Online Bible and Study Tools
Translate || Vine / Schaff || Alts/Vars/Criticism/Aramaic

 
 


End Times Chart


Introduction and Key

BOOKS:  BIBLICAL STUDIES (1500BC-AD70) / EARLY CHRISTIAN PRETERISM (AD50-1000) / FREE ONLINE BOOKS (AD1000-2008)



Church-State Relations and the Book of Revelation
An Introduction to The Parousia: A Careful Look at the New Testament Doctrine of the Lord's Second Coming
by James Stuart Russell (1878) // Written by
Todd Dennis, Curator
 



 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

 
 


An Inquiry into the Nature, Progress, and End of Prophecy, in Three Books
(1849)

 


Also by Professor Lee:

Preliminary Disserations on Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea, on the Theophania
1843

Next Page

The Events and Times of the Visions of Daniel and St. John.
1851


REBUTTAL BY CHAMBERLAIN:

The National Restoration and Conversion of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.. Remarks upon the Theory of Professor Lee.

["Inquiry" is] a work which one might more easily describe if any name less eminent adorned the title-page." - Chamberlain

(Published following Dr. Lee's death)




College Green, Bristol
1836 Original Letter

Free Online Books

Free Online Books



Apocalyptic | Apocryphal | Archeology | Lectures | Biographies | Dead Sea Scrolls | First Century History | Foreign | Jewish Sources | Josephus

Click For Site Updates Page

Free Online Books Page

Historical Preterism Main

Modern Preterism Main

Hyper Preterism Main

Preterist Idealism Main

Critical Article Archive Main

Church History's Preteristic Presupposition

Study Archive Main

Dispensationalist dEmEnTiA  Main

Josephus' Wars of the Jews Main

Online Study Bible Main

 1-1000

070: Clement: First Epistle of Clement

075: Baruch: Apocalypse Of Baruch

075: Barnabus: Epistle of Barnabus

090: Esdras 2 / 4 Ezra

100: Odes of Solomon

150: Justin: Dialogue with Trypho

150: Melito: Homily of the Pascha

175: Irenaeus: Against Heresies

175: Clement of Alexandria: Stromata

198: Tertullian: Answer to the Jews

230: Origen: The Principles | Commentary on Matthew | Commentary on John | Against Celsus

248: Cyprian: Against the Jews

260: Victorinus: Commentary on the Apocalypse "Alcasar, a Spanish Jesuit, taking a hint from Victorinus, seems to have been the first (AD 1614) to have suggested that the Apocalyptic prophecies did not extend further than to the overthrow of Paganism by Constantine."

310: Peter of Alexandria

310: Eusebius: Divine Manifestation of our Lord

312: Eusebius: Proof of the Gospel

319: Athanasius: On the Incarnation

320: Eusebius: History of the Martyrs

325: Eusebius: Ecclesiastical History

345: Aphrahat: Demonstrations

367: Athanasius: The Festal Letters

370: Hegesippus: The Ruin of Jerusalem

386: Chrysostom: Matthew and Mark

387: Chrysostom: Against the Jews

408: Jerome: Commentary on Daniel

417: Augustine: On Pelagius

426: Augustine: The City of God

428: Augustine: Harmony

420: Cassian: Conferences

600: Veronica Legend

800: Aquinas: Eternity of the World

 


1000-2006

FUTURIST
HISTORICAL
MODERN

1265: Aquinas: Catena Aurea

1543: Luther: On the Jews

1555: Calvin: Harmony on Evangelists

1556: Jewel: Scripture

1586: Douay-Rheims Bible

1598: Jerusalem's Misery ; The dolefull destruction of faire Ierusalem by Tytus, the Sonne of Vaspasian

1603: Nero : A New Tragedy

1613: Carey: The Fair Queen of Jewry

1614: Alcasar: Vestigatio arcani sensus in Apocalypsi

1654: Ussher: The Annals of the World

1658: Lightfoot: Commentary from Hebraica

1677: Crowne - The Destruction of Jerusalem

1764: Lardner: Fulfilment of our Saviour's Predictions

1776: Edwards: History of Redemption

1785: Churton: Prophecies Respecting the Destruction of Jerusalem

1801: Porteus: Our Lord's Prophecies

1802: Nisbett: The Coming of the Messiah

1805: Jortin: Remarks on Ecclesiastical History

1810: Clarke: Commentary On the Whole Bible

1816: Wilkins: Destruction of Jerusalem Related to Prophecies

1824: Galt: The Bachelor's Wife

1840: Smith: The Destruction of Jerusalem

1841: Currier: The Second Coming of Christ

1842: Bastow : A (Preterist) Bible Dictionary

1842: Stuart: Interpretation of Prophecy

1843: Lee: Dissertations on Eusebius

1845: Stuart: Commentary on Apocalypse

1849: Lee: Inquiry into Prophecy

1851: Lee: Visions of Daniel and St. John

1853: Newcombe: Observations on our Lord's Conduct as Divine Instructor

1854: Chamberlain: Restoration of Israel

1854: Fairbairn: The Typology of Scripture

1859: "Lee of Boston": Eschatology

1861: Maurice: Lectures on the Apocalypse

1863: Thomas Lewin : The Siege of Jerusalem

1865: Desprez: Daniel (Renounced Full Preterism)

1870: Fall of Jerusalem and the Roman Conquest

1871: Dale: Jewish Temple and Christian Church (PDF)

1879: Warren: The Parousia

1882: Farrar: The Early Days of Christianity

1883: Milton S. Terry: Biblical Hermeneutics

1888: Henty: For The Temple

1891: Farrar: Scenes in the days of Nero

1896: Lee : A Scholar of a Past Generation

1902: Church: Story of the Last Days of Jerusalem

1917: Morris: Christ's Second Coming Fulfilled

1985: Lee: Jerusalem; Rome; Revelation (PDF)

1987: Chilton: The Days of Vengeance

2001: Fowler: Jesus - The Better Everything

2006: M. Gwyn Morgan - AD69 - The Year of Four Emperors

Print and Use For Personal Bookmark or Placement in Bookstores


 

 

Samuel Lee, D.D.
Canon of Bristol |
"Father of Syriac Studies in Britain"

EARLIEST KNOWN MODERN PRETERIST
 

"the period for the fulfillment of all prophecy has long ago passed away"

TABLE OF CONTENTS.

 


CLICK HERE TO READ PDF OF ALL BOOKS
30 Megabyte PDF File

BOOK ONE | BOOK TWO | BOOK THREE


BOOK III.

 AN EXPOSITION OF THE REVELATION OF ST. JOHN.

Chapter I.

ON THE WARNINGS GIVEN TO THE CHURCHES OF ASIA.


Sect. I.—On the Author, Writer, Scope, and Period of the fulfilment, of this Revelation.

IT is not my intention here to discuss the question as to the genuineness of this Book, or to present to the reader a critical verbal commentary upon it. I shall take it for granted that the Book is genuine, because this has been proved again and again by the ablest writers, as I also shall that the received Text is generally correct. Where indeed any good reason presents itself for thinking differently, I shall give it, with such emendations as the place may seem to require. In the main however, we shall find that the text, as we have it, is sufficiently correct for our purpose; which is to ascertain its theological scope and bearing, not its mere verbal peculiarities, analogies, or the like.—

Having then, so far considered the nature of the Covenants, and the Book of the prophet Daniel, in connexion with their periods and events, as found in both Testaments; we may now come to " the Revelation," and consider its several exegetical particulars in detail, and thus connect in one great whole, as far as we may be able, the testimony of Jesus, which is,—as it assures us,—the spirit of Prophecy.

The first verse of this Book tells us, that it is " The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him" (i. e. in order to reveal Him to the world), " to shew unto His servants things which must" (i. e. at that time) " shortly come to pass1." It is added, "And he sent and signified it

1 Gibbon sneeringly says of this Book, "A mysterious prophecy, which still forms a part of the sacred canon, but which was thought to favour the exploded sentiment" (i.e. of Christ's reign on earth), "has very narrowly escaped the proscription of the Church."—It is very true, many of the Churches, hating the heresy of Cerinthus, and unable to understand this book, rejected it, because it went, as they thought, to establish a carnal millennium. The best account of this affair will be found in the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius (Lib. vu. c. xxv), where we have Dionysius of Alexandria thus expressing himself: " Ego vero librum ilium rejicere omnino non ausim, prsesertim cum multi ex fratribus eum magni faciunt. Sed hujusmodi de illo opinionem con-cipiens quasi sensus mei modum excedat, arcanam quandam planeque admirabilem singularum rerum intelligentiam latere existimo." The same was probably the opinion of those brethren here mentioned. If so, the probability is strong, that it always had its admirers, and those men on whose judgment no one need be ashamed of relying. If Gibbon had evinced such a mind, he would have shewn a higher order of intellectual power than he has done. We are next edified by the story of the exclusion of this Book from the Canon, by the Council of Laodicea: and next, with Gibbon's reasons why it has been thought so, much of by the Greek, Roman, and Protestant Churches : and by the latter, because of the advantage of turning those mysterious prophecies against the See of Rome. But, in all this, not the Book, but the men, have been to blame. Milman tells us here in a note, that the exclusion of the Apocalypse is not improbably assigned to its obvious unfit-ness to be read in Churches. And yet, parts of it are read in our own Church, and certainly these are not very obviously unfit for this purpose. Had it been better understood, no book could have been more fit. No portion of Scripture is, in my opinion, more edifying. " Wet-stein's interpretation, differently modified (?), is adopted by most continental scholars." (Milman's Gibbon, Vol. n. p. 303. Ed. 1838.) Which however, is any thing but very explicit.

232 REVELATION, CHAP. I

by His angel to His servant John : who bare record of the Word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw:" that is, The Evangelist and Apostle John, who testified of the Word (John i. 1, 7, 15,19, 32, 34 ; xxi. 24, 25) : also of the things which he had seen (so 1 John i. 1), "That... which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon"...(ver. 3) " That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you." All which allusions were, no doubt, given to assure us, that he was the writer of this Book.—I shall not dwell further upon this point now.

We are told moreover, that the things so revealed were " shortly'1'' to " come to pass:" which must, in the general

REVELATION, CHAP. I. &C. 233

acceptation of language, imply at no very distant time2. Let us examine the several places, in which the same is in effect said; and hence ascertain whether we can fix the period had in view. In verse 3 we have, " The time is at hand:" which must, as before, signify some period then soon to commence. In verse 19, John is commanded to write, "the things which" (now) " are, and the things which shall be hereafter:" i.e. to take place after those then in being, and, as it should seem, soon to succeed them. The Greek is more specific, and has, the things that shall be after these. Of the things which then were, the account of the seven Churches following, formed an important part: the things which should shortly come to pass, another; which should seem to imply events such as should materially affect these, and soon to happen.

It is said again (chap. iii. 11), " Behold, I come quickly3." We have here, Christ's coming coupled with judgments which should try the whole world (ver. 10). But this was, as we have seen, to take place with power, and to commence within the generation then existing. By Christ's coming quickly therefore, must of necessity be meant, His coming during the period of Daniel's seventieth week, that is, at the time of the End4 generally, when judgment should first be executed upon the Jews, in the fall of their City and Sanctuary, and in their final dispersion; and secondly, upon the Desolator himself, the Persecutor termed the Little Horn, who should make war upon the Saints, and whose body should then be

2 So also St. Paul (Rom. xvi. 20), " The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly :" i. e. by the power of Christ shortly to be revealed, as foretold by the Prophets generally, and limited in time by Daniel to his seventieth mystical week.

3 Vitringa says here, " Quis enim ab hoc distinctus (i. e. from Christ's final coming to judgment) peeulians ille sit Domini adventus ad Eccle-siam Philadelphenam, nemo facile explicabit." This is, no doubt, an insuperable difficulty to the followers of Mr. Mede, as also is,—and for the same reason,—" the day of the Lord," and its equivalents. They never could see, that an end was determined, and that the period for this was also determined. This was indeed the day for the recompense of the controversy of Zion, in which this Church should, and did, rejoice.

4 Page 107, seq., above.

234 REVELATION, CHAP. I. &C.

given to the burning flame. Christ's coming " in the clouds," has already been considered (p. 108, seq. above).

If we now turn to Chap. xxii. 7, 12, we shall find two repetitions of this: viz. " Behold, I come quickly:" which must, of necessity, be understood in the same sense. It is said again (ib. ver. 10), " Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book; for the time is at hand." But in Daniel (chap. viii. 26) it is said, " Shut thou up the vision: for it shall be for many days." And again (chap. xii. 4), " Shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end :" and (ver. 9), " The words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end." The reason for not sealing the words of this prophecy is therefore, this: viz. " the time is at hand ;" but in Daniel, the reason for sealing the words, and shutting the book was, because the vision had many days to run: and to a period then distant, viz. that of the end. Now the extreme end of Daniel's period was, as we have seen, the close of his seventieth week, which was to be signalized by the fall of the persecuting Power, named the Little Horn, and the giving of the fifth universal Empire to the Son of Man. This coming quickly therefore, and time then at hand, could not, in the nature of things, be of an extent so great as that had in view in Daniel, as far as the terms used may be relied on; and, from what we have seen, the generation then existing, and even St. John himself, were to witness its commencement at least, as " the beginning of sorrows:" while its termination could not exceed that noted above. And, once more, St. John's " quickly," and " at hand," virtually identify themselves here with Daniel's period of the end. Both the terms used therefore, and the events given for the purpose of limiting this period, conspire in assuring us, that the language used by St. John, is to be taken in its common and usual acceptation, and in no other.

This Chapter (xxii. 20) again, repeats this " Surely I come quickly ,•" which as before, must refer to Christ: and here, the declaration is strengthened by the term " Surely." I will only add, the repetitions of this enouncement must have been given, for the purpose of making it both prominent and important: which, accompanied as they are, and as shewn above, could not have been intended to carry the reader beyond the period so qualified, and so particularly and fre-

REVELATION, CHAP. I. &C. 235

quently brought before us. The time had in view therefore, by the Apocalypse, must have long ago passed5.

sect. II.—On the General Scope of the First Three Chapters of the Revelation, and first Vision of St. John.

it must appear from the general declarations of these Chapters, that Christianity had, at the time of their revelation, been generally received; for they extend to the uni-

5 It will be worth while here to notice Vitringa's objections to this conclusion, particularly as he is one of the ablest and best informed writers on this Book. Grotius and Hammond, he tells us, confine it to 500 years at farthest: while both most inconsistently add 1000 years for its duration beyond the times of Constantine. Most inconsistently indeed! Vitringa then introduces the metaphysical consideration of all duration of time being as nothing, with respect to eternity. Very true: but, Has this any thing to do with our question ? Besides, if we allow ourselves this latitude of criticism, every consideration about periods of time must be cast to the winds! This principle is, therefore, bad. He next tells us that, from the times of Domitian to the present, sixteen centuries had passed, and that the Lord had not thus come. I remark, This is to argue on his own grounds, and these assumed as true: which in fact they are not! The Lord has indeed come: but not in his sense of these terms. He next argues from the words "yet a little while" (Haggai ii. 6), to shew, that 500 years at least must be meant. I remark, not a word about" while" is found in the original Hebrew here, nor in any one of the ancient versions. All the place says is, Yet (there is) one (thing), Is it a small one 1 or the like. Then the shaking of the heavens and earth is mentioned. Which of these is most suitable to the context, let the reader judge.—He next carries us to Malachi iii. 1, 2, where he translates repente, and interprets by "quanta." But here he is palpably wrong: meaning in this place, beyond all doubt, suddenly, not soon! and so it has usually been taken. His last refuge is the consideration that, because these things were to begin in the days of John, it is accordingly said, they should soon come to pass. I answer, If we had means no better than these, for determining the end of these things, the case might be as he would have it. It has been shewn above,—and will again be shewn in the sequel,—that we have indeed better means. This question need not therefore, be further urged for the present. That the Prophets do occasionally represent times, at a great distance, as present to them, is true enough: so that even the Grammar is greatly affected by it (See my Heb. Gram,. Art. 231, seq.): but this is a thing very different from the reasoning of Vitringa: and cannot be appealed to, in settling any question about the times of events.

236 REVELATION, CHAP. I. &C.

versal Church, as it also must, that the Church was then implicated in certain corruptions; and likewise, that persecution was inflicted on it to some extent6; not indeed to that which it was doomed eventually to suffer7. And, on both these accounts apparently, these warnings and encouragements were given to it, in its universal character by St. John. We shall presently see, from the terms used, that, under these seven Churches, the whole Christian Church is addressed; for certainly, the Gospel had been preached to every 'creature under heaven in the days of St. Paul8. The mystery of iniquity evidently had, as in his days, begun at least to work; while the fuller tide of this, with its attendant tribulations, was as yet future in the views of the Evangelist John.

It, should seem evident moreover, from these considerations, as also from others to be noticed, that Jerusalem had not yet fallen: and this receives considerable strength from the circumstance, that not so much as a single allusion to it, as a fact, is to be found in the whole Book: while many certainly are, to the predictions of its fall'1. And if this be the case, St. John could not have written it when exiled by Domitian to the Isle of Patmos (chap. i. 9), because this Emperor was not in power till after the fall of the holy City. " / John," says the writer of this Book, " was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus.'1'' Which does not neces-

6 And hence (chap. i. 9) John says, " I.. . am your brother and companion in tribulation." And again (chap. ii. 9), "/ know thy. . . tribulation," &c. Again (ver. 13), " Antipas my faithful martyr." And ib. ''Satan's seat. . .Satan dwelleth;" ver. 14, "them that hold the doctrine of Balaam," ver. 15, "the Nicolaitanes;" ver. 20, "that woman Jezebel;" chap. iii. ver. 9, " the synagogue of Satan," &c. abundantly imply, that " the mystery of iniquity" had begun to work, and produced its fruits.

' So Chap. ii. 10, " Fear not those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days." But forty-two months, or 1260 days, or 85 days, or time, times, and a half; i. e. the last portion of Daniel's seventieth week, is the period elsewhere assigned to these tribulations. However varied therefore, these descriptions may be, the thing meant in them all, is identically the same.

8 See p. 129 above.

9 As we shall see.

REVELATION, CHAP. I. &C. 237

sarily mean, that he was there on account of persecution for the word of God (much less in the times of Domitian); but it may be, for the purpose of preaching, just as Paul was at this or that place, for the same purpose; and, as Asia seems to have fallen under the charge of St. John, it is not improbable he may, long before he became Bishop of that diocese, have made it the particular object of his care. It is true, tradition makes Patmos the place of John's exile under Domitian; but this seems to have no better authority than that of conjecture.

It should also seem from the expression, " I come quickly" noted above, that our Lord had not yet come in Power, in any case. If he had so come, with reference to Jerusalem, the form would rather have been, Behold, I come again, or a second time; or, as in His prediction10, Behold, after the tribulations, i. e. as already inflicted, I come again. But we have nothing bearing the least resemblance to this: whence, it is but reasonable to conclude, that our Lord had not yet so appeared in Power, in any instance. Jerusalem was therefore, in all probability, still standing; but was soon to fall, and that Wicked one to be revealed. To the same effect, " Behold, he cometh with clouds ; and every eye shall see him," &c. which is said of something not yet done. And, alluding to this, our Lord Himself says to the Jews, (Matth. xxvi. 64), " Hereafter shall ye see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven:" which is but an echo to what we have (ib. xvi. 28), " Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the

10 In all places of this sort, we are necessarily brought to Daniel (chap. vii. 13, seq.), "Behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven . . . and there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom," &c. So Matth. xxvi. 64, " Hereafter ye shall see the Son of man" sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." See p. 108, above. So also in the egress from Egypt, the power of Jehovah appeared visibly in the cloud (Exod. xiv. 20; xvi. 10, &c. Comp. Is. iv. 5, for a defence to his people; Chap. xix. 1, to destroy his enemies). In Deut. xxxi. 15, it is said, "The lord appeared. . . in a pillar of a cloud." Where however, there was no personal appearance whatever. Comp. Ps. i/xviii. 34; xviii. 9—19 ; civ. 3, seq. Nah. i. 3, seq. Zech. ix. 14, seq., &c. all speaking of the revelations^of Christ.

238 REVELATION, CHAP. I. &C. [bk. in. ch. k

Son of Man coming in his kingdom:'1'' and this, as already noticed, must be limited to the judgment to fall on Jerusalem ; for many then living would see it: while none could survive to the period, in which the fall of the Roman persecuting Power should take place. It is to this last therefore, that we must refer the prediction (in Matth. xxiv. 30), viz. " Then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven, and then shall all the tribes op the earth mourn11," &c., both because it exceeds the limit of time marked in the first case by our Lord, and also that of the space then had in view, which must have been Jewry only ; while we have here, " all the tribes of the earth" But, according to the terms of St. John, this coming in the clouds had not yet taken plaoe in any case. Jerusalem could not therefore have yet fallen: nor could this have been written in the times of Domitian.

The next thing to be observed here, is the dignity of Him who is the Author of this whole Book. Tt is said (chap. i. ver. 5) to be "from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first-begotten from the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth:" that is, de jure, not at this period de facto. A little lower down, it is said of Him, that He is " the Alpha and Omega," " the beginning and the ending12," " the Lord which is, and which was, and which is to come:" and (ver. 11) " The first and the last." And again (ver. 17), "I am the first and the last:" " I am He that liveth, and was dead;...and have the keys of hell and of death" In these former expressions, the titles assumed are those of jehovah Himself, besides whom there is no revealed God; in the second, those which refer to Christ,—God and Man, —and can possibly refer to no other person. When we are told that " His hairs were white like wool," we are necessarily brought back to our second Vision of Daniel, where, as then noticed, the Son of Man is brought to the Ancient of days : but here, Christ is made " Him which was, and is, and is to come:" and again, He has " the keys of hell and of death:" that is, the insignia of judgment. " Out of his mouth" too, goes forth (ver. 16) " a two-edged sword :" i. e.

11 See pp. 107, seq. and 127, seq. above.

12 Isai. xt,,!. 4; xiav. 6; xLviii. 12. Rev. xxii. 13, with their parallels.

REVELATION, CHAP. I. &C. 239

" the Word of God," which is " the sword of the Spirit," wherewith he smites the earth, and destroys by His denunciations (i. e. the breath of his lips) the wicked13. Our Lord is here depicted therefore, in His rightful character, as God-man, i. e. in His humility, and as having suffered death: in His power, as Prince of the kings of the earth, and, as God the Word, enouncing both the eternal blessings and terrors of the Almighty.

Sect. III.—On the more Important Particulars of Chaps. -I. II. III.

I shall not deem it necessary to note every particular mentioned in this Preface, but only such as seem important to the purposes of our inquiry. It is said then, Chap. i. ver. 20, " The seven stars are the angels of the seven Churches; and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven Churches." It is one admirable feature of this Book, that it occasionally supplies us with its own interpretation of its most difficult parts. These we shall notice as we proceed. We are here accordingly informed, that by the " seven stars'" are meant, the angels, or presiding ministers, of the " seven Churches :" i. e. as stated above, of the whole universal Church: and that, by the Candlesticks, these Churches themselves are meant. When we read therefore, of a Candlestick's being removed, we are to understand the removal of some one such Church.

We should observe in the next place, that every warning here given, involves some condition, with its consequence, e. g. (chap. ii. 5) " Repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick ...except thou repent." Of this character are all the rest. And if so, we have no prophecy here: this is doctrine, and nothing else: it foretells nothing positively: and therefore, it is not prophecy in the strict acceptation of that term. To talk then, of the desolate state of any such Church as

13 Isai. xi. 4.

14 The number seven here, although restricted verbally to the seven Churches of Asia, need not, in a book so manifestly mystical as this is, be supposed to mean nothing more than what these words imply. We shall presently see,—as we have in some places of the Prophets,—that the content cannot be made out, under any such assumption.

240 REVELATION, CHAP. I.

particularly named here, evincing the fulfilment of prophecy, is to talk wide of the mark. And, if by these seven Churches we are to understand the universal Church, then will such interpretation be still worse. But, if we take this as the enouncement of a doctrine,—for which indeed its very terms are sufficient vouchers,—then we shall see, not only in the desolate state of those Churches, but in the removal of those of Africa, Arabia, Persia, and of many other places, the infliction of these very judgments of God. They were all thus warned: they disregarded the warning, and they were accordingly laid aside. Nor need these warnings be confined to those times, as indeed the nature of all doctrine requires. They bear as much on us, as they did on the Churches then : and the truth is, the consequences are now as plainly to be seen, as they are with reference to those Churches, wherever these warnings are, or are not, attended to: while, considered as prophecies, strictly speaking, they have neither meaning in their terms, nor the possibility of correct application in the facts.

" Thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes" (ib. ver. 6). From the occurrence of this term again (ver. 15), in the same context with " them that hold the doctrine of Salaam," Vitringa has been induced to believe, that by Nicolaitanes is meant, the same thing as would have been, had the word Balaamites been used15; and hence, that this term is not derived from the name of Nicolas the deacon: his conclusion is, that everything said by the early Fathers of the Church on this subject, is not to be regarded. I must say with Mosheim16,—respecting, as I very highly do, the merits of Vitringa,—I am still inclined to believe, that the tradition of these Fathers is not to be wholly disregarded. Some of them too, lived near enough to these times to have known whence the name originated : and certainly, those who have so spoken of it were no visionaries.

From what is said of Balaam here, i. e. "who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock (i. e. in the Midianitish women17) " before the children of Israel" (i. e.) " to eat things

15 On Apocal. chap. ii. 6, &c.

16 "Demonstratio Seetee Nicola Harum," &c. Dissert, ad Hist. Eccles. pertin. Vol. i. p. 425. Ed. 1743. 17 Num. xxv. 1, seq.; xxxi. 16.


REVELATION, CHAP. II. 241

sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication:" no doubt need remain as to what these Nicolaitanes were. The Platonic doctrine of a community of women, had most likely been received among them: and this, as a temptation to embrace their views, was no doubt held out to all: coupled, —for nothing less could be expected,—with "forbidding to marry18,1" and " abstaining from meats," unless these were first offered to idols: for fanatics are commonly rigid in exacting from their followers, every particular distinguishing their party.

"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the Churches: To him that overcometh will 1 give to eat of the tree of life" (ver. 7). That this is a general enouncement of doctrine, directed to all Believers, there can be no doubt: nor can there, that what is said here by the Spirit, is also said to all the Churches. The thing promised too, can be nothing either less or more than the great privilege of Christianity as taught to all by the Apostles, by virtue of which alone, men should be restored to the image of Him that created them, and even to higher privileges than those of Eden, and even to eat of the fruit of the tree of life. (See on chap. xxii. 2, 17.) We have here therefore, neither Jewish, nor Gnostic, Millennium. We have the pure enouncements of Christianity only, and those in which believers should be made complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.

" The devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried : and ye shall have tribulation ten days" (ver. 10). From this, as also from (chap. iii. 10), viz. " The hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world to try them," it must be evident, that the persecutions and trials foretold, by Daniel and others, must be had in view. In Daniel we have (chap. xi. 35), " Some of them of understanding" (i. e. " some of you," here) " shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make white, even to the time of the end: because," it is added, "it is yet for a time appointed." The " ten days" of John must therefore, be the same with this " appointed time," and " end," of the Prophet; who also

18 Their general doctrine was, that marriage was of the devil, as shewn above, p. 116.

242 REVELATION, CHAP. II. .

tells us, that they should be given into the hands of the Power who should be the minister of Satan, during the period of a time, times, and the dividing of time: that is, during the latter half of his seventieth week (Chap. vii. 25; xii. 7. See on Rev. xii. 14, &c. below). John's "ten days" therefore, is a mere indefinite manner of speaking, as in Gen. xxiv. 55, Heb. ") some days, or a decade: or, as we would say, some nine days, or a fortnight: our Authorized Version is therefore lax here. But we have a more sure means of determining the " time," or " end appointed," as we have already seen. This therefore, as before, must have been written before the times of Domitian. And again, " the crown of life" promised in this verse, can mean nothing more or less, than the crown which St. Paul, declared was laid up both for himself, and for all believers, having fought the good fight, and perseveringly kept the faith19.

" He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death" (ver. 11). That is, every one that so overcometh throughout the whole Church, as before. See what is said on this subject, chap. xx. 14, and xxi. 7, 8, below. "Where Satan's seat is" (ver. 13). The Church of Pergamos is here addressed, where it is most likely Satan's service was in high repute; but the particulars we are not told. Nor can it be ascertained who the faithful martyr " Antipas" was. It is evident that he must have suffered before John wrote this; and therefore, considerably before the commencement of the general persecutions. He probably fell,— as Paul very nearly did,—(Acts xiv. 19, &c.) by the malice of the Jews. The seat of Satan however, in this Book generally, is certainly heathen Rome. Still, before the general persecutions, Jerusalem might be so styled with the greatest propriety: and here, both James the brother of John, and Stephen, fell by the atrocity (see chap, xi, 8) of its Rulers.

" To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth, saving he that receiveth it" (ver. 17). By " the hidden manna" is probably meant, that which the manna, laid up20, mystically

19 2 Tim. iv. 8. 20 Bxod. xvi. 33.


REVELATION, CHAP. II. 243

implied, namely, Christ; and this He Himself seems (John vi, 32, 36, inclus.) to say: i. e. I will feed his soul with the provisions of my Church, so that, in a spiritual sense, he shall neither hunger nor thirst, but shall ever have the greatest abundance. I greatly doubt whether any reference is had in the terms " white stone," to any Grecian or Roman usage, as supposed by the commentators generally, of which a sufficient specimen may be seen here in Vitringa. This " white stone"" was, as it should seem, to contain " a new name," written by the finger of God as in the tables of the Law. Of this Isaiah will give us some account (chap. Lxii. 2), " The Gentiles," he tells us, "shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the lord shall name21."

We have reference again made to this (chap. iii. 12), " Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God" (i. e. such as Jachin and Boaz were in that of the Jews22)..."and," it is added, "/ will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God; and I will write upon him my new name." This new name can be none but Christian; whether we find it on the white stone so given, or, as the name of the believer's God (Christ), or as the name of the New Jerusalem, which is the Christian Church. To have this so written therefore, upon him, and upon his stone, appears to have reference to Deut. vi. 8, seq., where we have, " Thou shalt bind them" (i. e. God's words) "for a sign upon thy hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes," &c. which the Jews understanding literally, applied in their phylacteries; when the intention is, that they should be written on the table of their hearts. Not unlike this is Num. xvii. 2, 3, where every man is commanded to take a rod, and according to the house of his fathers (i. e. tribes), to write his name upon it. Upon that of the tribe of Levi, Aaron's name was to be written. Here, upon white stone, i. e. pure, and as subject to no decay, is the name Christian to be written.

21 See Acts xi. 26, where supposed by some, not without reason, to signify given oracularly, or by inspiration*

22 1 Kings yii. 21.


244 REVELATION, CHAP. II.

No tribular distinction now existing, the rod is out of place, for the believer is now to be a pillar in his Redeemer's holy City, and the material of this is to be that of the rock, white, pure, and enduring; and so far is he to be a Cephas, or Peter23, both as to faith and practice.

Again, " A...name...which no man knoweth, saving he who receiveth it:" i. e. involving " the mystery of godliness:'''' the realization of the power of the Spirit, which the world knoweth not, because it seeth him not2. Hence it is said, " The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him.'" Ps. xxv. 14, &c. See Prov. iii. 32, &c. Where, it is remarkable enough, the Hebrew term signifying also foundation, is always used.

This is not therefore any Greek or Roman tessera, nor is it either a white, or black, calculus used by them in judicial proceedings: it is the insignia of the profession of citizenship, &c., just as the name on the tribular rod, or the text written on the door-posts, or frontlets, with the Jews; marking at once their religious profession, and tribular place and station: while, under the New Covenant, the name Christian includes all this in a, spiritual sense; and its essential properties are, to be written on the heart that has been purified by faith.

"Thou sufferest that woman Jezebel," &c. (ver. 20). Allusion is here evidently made to the wife of Ahab (1 Kings xvi. 31, &c.), who stirred up her husband to every species of spiritual fornication; and, among other things, to seek the life of the prophet Elijah, so that he exceeded in wickedness all that had gone before him. That some such Jezebel, or Balaam, or leader of the Nicolaitanes, was in Thyatira at this time, is very probable, although we have no historical record of the fact. The heresy of Simon Magus had, in one shape or other, evidently taken its stand here: and, as these Churches represented all others, the same was no doubt true of many of them also. The mystery of iniquity had been some time at work, and alas! how rapidly does it usually make its way!

"I gave her space to repent...and she repented not" (ver. 21). "And I will kill her children...and all the

1. Rock, or Stone.  John xiv. 17, &c.


REVELATION, CHAP. II. 245

Churches shall know," &c. Here "All the Churches," (ver. 23). It will be observed we are now told, that " she repented not;" and hence, the warnings so given, as well as the judgments so threatened, must have been intended for all the Churches so circumstanced.

"But unto you...and as many as have not this doctrine ...I will put upon you no other bur den... hold fast till I come" (verr. 24, 25). From which it is manifest, that there was a true Church in Thyatira, and that the Apostolic recommendation (Acts xv. 28, seq.) to abstain from meats offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from fornication, is the " none other burden1'' laid upon it here. By " holdfast," &c. seems to be meant, take care that, during the time of sifting and trial, presently to come upon the whole world (chap. iii. 10. Comp. Matth. xxiv. 13), your faith fail not. Then comes the promise :—

" He that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end" (i. e. every believer so doing until the end should arrive), " to him will I give power over the nations; and he shall ride them with a rod of iron" „.." even as I received of my Father" (verr. 26, 27). Christ gives to his servants, and "first-fruits'"'' here, the privileges and powers assigned to Himself by the Father. To them it was given, as His ministers, to erect His kingdom. They were to judge the world ; with the sword of the Spirit issuing from His mouth, in His holy word, they were to slay the wicked; and, by the same means, also to give salvation, light, and newness of life, to every one who should receive their testimony. As ministers, these would occupy His place and do His work, not by their own wisdom or might, but by virtue of that which should attend them, as He promised, " Lo, I am with you always even to the end of the world:" and, as this is delivered generally as a doctrine, it need not be restricted to the end intimated in prophecy, properly so called.

"And I will give him the morning-star :" (ver. 28), that is, my own enlightening Spirit and power. In Chap. xxii. 16, Jesus says of Himself, 'I am... the bright and morning-star." He also says, " 1 have sent mine Angel to testify unto you these things in the Churches:" where, be it observed, we have nothing limiting this to the seven Churches of Asia: what is said, is directed to the Churches generally. And

246 REVELATION, CHAP. II.

here, the subject-matter is the same as it is in all these addresses. All the Churches are therefore meant in each case; and this "bright and morning-star'"'' is, in like manner, promised to all. The doctrine too, is that of Apostolic Christianity, and of all times.

In 2 Pet. i. 19, this " morning-star" is styled " the day-star" (i. e. lit. light-carrier), and it is given together with the recommendation, to " take heed to the more sure word of prophecy, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until," it is said, " the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts:" as if the careful study of Prophecy would necessarily lead to this heavenly light. The Revelation of St. John was evidently given to guide and aid this study, and therein to reveal both to the understanding, and the affections, of the believer the light of life, which is to be found in the face of Christ Jesus alone. " / will give him the morning-star,'1'' is therefore much the same thing as to say, / myself will come to him, and make my abode with him. (Comp. John xiv. 18—24, and Rev. iii. 20, seq.)

The first intimation we have of Christ under the figure of a star, is in Num. xxiv. 17, in these words : "There shall come a star out of Jacob", " and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and He shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth." That is, Moab, as an opposer of Israel, shall be utterly destroyed: he shall be overcome by the sword of the Spirit, which is to proceed out of the mouth of this Ruler. The children of Sheth were now all mankind: those of Cain having perished by the flood. These as mere natural men shall, in like manner fall, and be raised to a new life by virtue of the law to be maintained under the Sceptre of Christ (as Shiloh), to whom the gathering of the nations shall be.

We have a manifest allusion to this in St. Luke (chap. i. 78), " Through the tender mercy of our God, whereby the day-spring" "from on high hath visited us." It is added, by way of comment, " To give light to them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." Again in the Song of Simeon (ib. ii. 32), "A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy" (true) "people Israel." To the same effect Isaiah (chap. ix. I, seq.), " Arise, shine, for thy light is come," &c...

REVELATION, CHAP. II. 247

" And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.'1'' And Malachi (chap. iii. 2), "To you that fear my name"" (i. e. the believing Remnant of Israel) " shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings" Where, it will be observed, the figure is changed, while the Person meant is clearly the same.

What might have induced the wise men of the East (Matth. ii. 2) to follow the guiding of a star to Bethlehem, it is impossible to say with certainty. The probability is strong that, as a tradition of the coming of Christ, had certainly made its way far and wide in the world25, some divine intimation was made to these sages, that, if they followed the star then appearing,—in an extraordinary manner of necessity, for this was an extraordinary period as to miraculous appearances and operations,—they would find Him in a state of infancy, and just born. But here, in St. John and St. Peter, this star was, in its enlightening and healing influences, to arise in the hearts, and to shine in the lives of them who should receive it: where, as in other instances noticed above, the natural phenomenon is made to intimate the spiritual privilege.

Chapter iii.

Verr. 1—6, contain the epistle to the Church of Sardis; where, as in our former cases, there appear to be only a few names to live. To this few it is said (ver. 4, seq.), "They shall walk with me in white; for they are worthy." We are taught (chap. xix. 8) that by "fine linen, white and clean" is meant " the righteousness of saints." It is in this place mentioned, as " the wedding garment'''' of the spouse of Christ; i. e. of His Church; and, of necessity, of every real member of it. And, as it is the custom in the East to give the garment to be worn at a feast, to every one who is to partake therein26, so here this garment is necessarily the gift of the Bridegroom, Christ.

25 The best work that I have seen on this subject, is the Praeparatio Evangelica of Eusebius: a work which every student of Theology should carefully read. Dr. Gaisford has conferred a great benefit on the Church, by printing a very good Edition of it.

26 It is the custom in the East to give a garment, and Sometimes other ornaments with it, to persons invited to feasts, and even to those presented to any great man.

248 REVELATION, CHAP. III.

We have some intimation of this garment, and its gift, in Isaiah (chap. Lxi. 10): " / will greatly rejoice in the lord," it is said, " my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe op righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride odorneth her self with her jewels." (Comp. verr. 1—7). In this manner was the returning Prodigal clothed, even with the best robe, (Luke xv. 22); the fatted calf was killed, and all were called upon to eat, drink, and be merry, because a lost child, and one as good as dead, had returned to the house of his Father: which evidently refers to the coming in of the Gentiles. It is in this way too, that the righteousness of Christ is made over to Believers, through faith even as it was to Abraham (Rom. iv. 3, &c.) : He is put on as it were, (Rom. xiii. 14: Gal. iii. 27, &c.) and hence, they appear before God without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing: in Him they have become new creatures, and have thus been restored to the image of Him who created them. Hence it is also said, ib. ver. 5, " I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before His holy Angels." Such an one is therefore, impervious to the second death (chap. xx. 19, &c.): he shall pass from death to life, and not come into judgment, (i. e. condemnation, John v. 24).

It is said of the sinful party here, " If therefore thou shalt not watch" (i. e. to repentance), " / will come as a thief" $c. where reference is had to Matth. xxiv, 43, seq.: " If the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh," i. e. to execute his fierce anger, both on the disobedient Jews, and the opposing Gentiles, within the period determined for this, as we have already seen ; and hence, to supply vouchers of a judgment to come, applicable at once to all times, places, and persons.

From verse 7 down to verse 14, we have the warning of the Church of Philadelphia: Here however we have nothing in the shape of rebuke, except as directed against unbelieving Jews. It is added by way of encouragement, (ver. 10), " Because thou hast kept the word of my patience,


REVELATION, CHAP. III. 249

I mil also keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth." If then we take this as prophecy, and apply it to the Church of Philadelphia, it will follow, that this Church should still remain in its integrity; but the fact is, it has, like all the others, fallen ! The " little strength"" which should be so aided as to overcome the temptation to afflict the world, must in fact have disappeared, and judgment have fallen upon it, as in the case of the Churches of Africa, to the uttermost. This can therefore be no prophecy; it is a doctrine, as before, and nothing else.

We then have (ver. 9), judgment denounced on the Jews" who are here, as before (ch. ii. 9), " The synagogue of Satan." It is said, "Behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee." That this contains no promise of conversion, must be evident from

2. It is truly marvellous that Vitringa could see here, and in Chap, ii., nothing but Judaizing Christians. The text in each case affirms, that " they say they are Jews, but are not." If the New Testament usually styled the Christians Jews, there might have been some ground for this: but it does directly the contrary. In the Church all are one: out of the Church, all are under the curse. Vitriiiga however, sees in the term Jew, rn'TT1 OTVT ? chap. ii. 9) Confessor: i. e. pros se ferens veram Judei confessionem. " Erant itaque," adds he, " inter Christianas, qui bo appellari et denominari cupiebant Judaeos" &c. And so the proof is made out! Once more, " Swayayrj hie est my ccetus, conventus . .. Jacobus . . . Christianorum Coetum (Epist. ii. 2) et Paulus (Heb. x. 25)." Both of which however, in this sense, are any thing but certain: each being most likely, to be taken in their common untechnical acceptation, as our Authorized Version has rendered them. Much the same is again said here, but nothing is proved. " Sensus est," he says, "fuisse qui jactaverint, se veram profiteri fidem in Christum, et hoc nomine se a communione verce AEcclesice separaverint." But this again, is only conjecture, and that too, without the least ground for it! And again, " Judaei in Apocalypsisunt Christiani:" which is assertion only! All of which however, receives, as he thinks, sufficient proof from its being said, "Behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet," &c. as if this must necessarily mean, their return to the true Church; and because this was to be expected from such, more than it could from Jews. It is astonishing, that so able a man should have odfered arguments so weak as these: but the fault lay in his system, which rarely ventures out of the region of conjecture.

250 REVELATION, CHAP. III.

the context, as well as the threatening manner in which it is given. If however, we turn to the original enouncements of it, no doubt will remain on this point. We have then. (Isai. lx. 14), " The, sons also of them that afflicted thee," (i.e. "people as of Gomorrah,"" who afflicted the true Zion in the days of the Prophet,) "shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet, and they shall" (thus virtually) call thee, The city of the Lord, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel."1 A Synagogue of Satan, such as we now have before us, could recognize the power of this Zion, in none but a secular sense :—and in this sense the Jews have been compelled to worship it:—which must be intended here. Besides, Zion is nowhere said in a religious sense, to be an object of worship to any people; nor, from the nature of the case, can she be.

We have again (Rev. ver. 8), "Behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it," that is, of entrance to the Zion of God. " Thy gates," says Isaiah (chap. lx. 11), shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night, that men may bring unto thee," (more literally, in unto thee,) " the forces of the Gentiles." So also (Rev. xxi. 25,) "And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day : for there shall be no" (spiritual) " night there." Such is the Zion into 'which this Church of Philadelphia had entered, and was then so found in the estimation of Him "who hath the key of David." The exhortation now is (ver. 12), "Hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." What this Church had received from the Apostles, was wholly adequate to the securing of this ; it wanted therefore neither the Jewish, nor Heretical, Millennium of that, or any other period. Then follows (ver. 12), the general declaration, already considered, viz. "Him that overcometh,'"1 would Christ "make a pillar in the temple of his God." all are then (ver. 13) called upon to " hear," as before, " what the Spirit saith to the Churches"

The last warning is addressed to the Church of the Laodiceans (verr. 14—22). It commences with, " These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;" all of which is a periphrastic description of Christ, amounting in value to his titles as given in the preceding addresses, though verbally differing from them.

REVELATION, CHAP, III. 251

The first of these I take to be the Syro-Chaldaic  Amen,Syr. .vn] stabilis, assiduus, &c. of which the Hebrew JD» Amen,—used adverbially as a term of asseveration,—is only another, and equivalent form. With the definite article, as in the Greek

The permanent, faithful, true, or the like. It should be remembered that, in the times of St. John, the Syro-Chaldaic prevailed in Palestine: the purer Hebrew had ceased to be spoken. We have indeed this Heb. in Is. lxv. 16. in the phrases, " the God of truth," more literally, God of (him that is) true, or of a true one. Which will bring us to the diction of St. John, (1 Ep. v. 20), " That we may know Him that is true", " and we are in Him that is true," " even in his Son Jesus Christ." It is evident too, from the context in Isaiah, that the person of Christ is there meant. We need not therefore suppose, with Vitringa, after Kimkhi, that here put for the word is intelligible enough as it stands.

" The faithful and true witness;" i. e. " who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession" (1 Tim. vi. 13). Faithful and true moreover, in viewing, and judging of, the faith and conversation of His professing people, as in these addresses. Faithful also to his own word; e. g. " Him that confesseth me before men, him will I confess before my Father and the holy angels" So (ver. 5), " /will not blot out his name from the book of life, but I will confess his name," &c. Faithful and true too, in preserving His believing people on earth "from the hour of temptation" (ver. 10), so that they shall not be hurt even by the second death. He is also faithful in judging, and finally avenging himself on His, and their, enemies, as judge of the quick and dead. Nor can any thing more clearly or satisfactorily evince this, than do the facts connected with this Book.

" The beginning of the creation of God:" i. e. not in a passive, but the active sense: signifying, among other things, Principatus, Potestas, and the like; and so the Syriac, " Illud principium creaturae Dei:" more literally, That Head of the creation of God; that is, He who acted

252 REVELATION, CHAP. III.

as its Head, and sole Governour. To this, some bring Prov. viii. 22. " The lord possessed me (Heb. 133J3, lit. acquired me, made me his own) in, the beginning of His way." (the beginning, &c. without "in" Heb. i3 which will then mean the Origin, Head, Commencement; and, by a metonymy, Him who was so. We have in Deut. xxxii. 21 a similar use of the word in, So he saw (viewed) a Commencement, or Headship, for him: i. e. a state in which his authority would take its rise. The LXX. give here: the Vulgate principatum, which is better: the Samaritan, " Et fecit prcerogativum swam,"  which the New Testament will throw the best light: e. g. Eph. iii. 9.  (God) who created all things by Jesus Christ.'1'' And (ib. 11.)  "According to the eternal purpose, which he (God) purposed in Christ Jesus." Better perhaps, of the dispensations which He purposed : i. e. not only as to creation, but to all pertaining to Religion. Of the first, Solomon speaks fully in Prov. viii. 27—31: of the last, ib. verr. 32—36, inclus. Comp. Col. j. 15, 16, where should imply primogenitus, as to dignity and pre-eminence, rather than any passive sense, as to birth. See also John i. 1, 2, which brings us to the other titles of divinity ascribed by our Lord to himself, in these three first chapters of the Revelation; and all is consistent.

From ver. 15 down to ver. 19, this Church is severely rebuked, and warned how to avoid the consequences threatened. Its fault was lukewarmness, the most subtle and fatal perhaps, that can attach itself to any Church, and sufficient, as it is declared here, to bring about its utter rejection. Let this never be forgotten. The counsel given (ver. 18) is, " Buy of me gold tried in the fire...and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed...and anoint thine eyes wiih eye-salve, that thou mayest see :" because " In him are hid all the treasures of wisdom, and knowledge" (Col. ii. 2), because He i» " Jehovah our Righteousness " (Jer. xxiii. 6), and because He " is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." (1 Cor. i. 30).

Ver. 19. " As many as I love, I rebuke," &c. is now given to assure this lukewarm body, that the severity had

REVELATION, CHAP. III. 253

recourse to was in the sincerest love. It is added: " be zealous therefore, and repent.'1'' The Chapter now concludes with a general invitation to all, and intended, no doubt, to apply to the Church of all times and places: not as a prophecy, but as a monition: " Behold, I stand at the door and knock; z/'any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in unto him, and will sup with him, and he with me." That is, if any such (—nay, if any even out of the Church) do this, then will I come in the power of the Spirit, and will sup with him. Which can be understood of nothing short of Almighty power, and ubiquity, in Him who makes the promise. The same is true of the next verse, " To him that over-cometh," sec., where the promise is to bestow eternal life, honour, and glory, on all so opening to the Redeemer, who stands as it were, and knocks at the hearts of all believers, by His word, His preachers, the suggestions of conscience, the unsatisfying things of time and sense, and in the dread anticipatings of eternal damnation. Let then every one, who hath an ear, hear attentively what the Spirit, in so much love and truth, says to the Churches.—

We learn two important things therefore, from this Preface, or Introduction, to the Revelation. I. The truth, that notwithstanding the fact, that Christianity was preached and seconded by the exertion of miraculous powers, it is not to be presumed that it will always be so maintained; but rather, that, if its followers forsake their first works, that is, as received by Apostolical enouncement and exemplification, their candlesticks, although retaining some portion of divine light, will be removed, just as they have been in the case of the Churches here addressed. For, as this involves a question of principle only, no increase of Christianity effected, even by miraculous power—were that possible—can interfere with it : degree being altogether excluded. The Revelation therefore, if it supplies us with the brightest view of Christianity,—as it certainly does—it does at the same time most effectually admonish us, that this can be known and felt, only by the cultivation of a true and lively faith, such as was realized by the Apostles, and Apostolic Believers, of its times. II. That the Author of the things brought here to our notice, is the Son of God, " God revealed in power." These declarations are therefore worthy of all acceptation, as they are

254 REVELATION, CHAP. III.

most instructive and edifying. They are the enouncements of Him who was, and is, and is still to come, as our Creator, Redeemer, and Judge. "This prophecy " therefore, and all "prophecy," the spirit of which is " the testimony of Jesus," proceeds from Christ, as the One, and same great Author of it all. The Prophets spake as they were moved by the Spirit of Christ28. St. John here did the same thing; and the amount, as we shall see, of these his visions is, a synopsis of all that they had said, presenting and supplying at the same time, the best means for understanding them.

We learn moreover from this Preface, as we also do from other parts of the New Testament, that, how perfect soever Christianity itself was in the Apostolic times,—and it was ever in principle entirely so,—its professors were in character, as were whole Churches, of a very various sort. And this, supposing no irresistible influence exercised upon them, is what would necessarily be the case, and ever will be. Nevertheless, the Apostle tells us, that, at this very time, Believers were complete in Christ, the head of all principality and power: that they were the very members of His body, and of His flesh and bones; that is, in a spiritual sense: that they were temples of the Holy Ghost; were citizens of the City of the living God, and had come to the true Zion, and actually sat in heavenly places with Christ; and, that this was the case in many, no one need doubt. He adds, that if an Angel from heaven preached anything beyond what had been preached to them, and had been received by them, he was to be considered as accursed, and as a minister of Satan29. It was not therefore, the men, but the thing, to which they were to look, and under which they were to grow up to a meetness even for heaven. Christianity still holds out the same to us; and vain must the expectations of those be, who look for something better ; because, neither here, nor elsewhere, is anything beyond this promised.

There is one consideration more ; it is, That this Book was written at a time when it was especially necessary to warn the Church of the things soon to take place. It had been warned to expect its Lord, who had said He would

28 1 Pet. i. 11. 2 Pet. i. 21.

29Gal. i. 8, 9.


 REVELATION, CHAP. III. 255

come as a thief (Rev. xvi. 15) in the night, and as the waters of the flood30. The expectations of His coming are accordingly insisted upon, by the writers of the New Testament. In the Revelation, John gives—after our Lord and the Prophets generally—the signs and other means whereby believers should know how, and when, this should take place. The highly figurative character of this Book was necessary, on some other accounts. I. For the purpose of bringing the mystical enouncements of the Prophets to bear on the events then to take place; and so to supply the best means of interpreting them. The enouncements of John are, as it will be seen, easily identified with those, to which they were intended to call our attention. Hence, these supply the surest clue to their meaning. II. In order to avoid giving offence to the Powers that then were, so as to make this Book a ground for persecution, this mystical style was likewise necessary. Had it plainly affirmed that the Roman Power, then bearing universal sway, should within a certain time fall for ever, and Christianity prevail; Who does not see, that the body in whose possession it was found, would be proscribed as a mere political party, whose object was to stir up the world to rebellion, and to bring about a new state of things in its own favour? and thus, under the pretence of a purer Religion, to have in view nothing beyond secular power and aggrandisement!

No sort of accusation was left untried during the Persecutions, as the writers of those times inform us: and surely, such an opportunity as this would have afforded, could not have been overlooked. But, as our Revelation presents itself under signs and symbols, and in highly figurative and mystical language, it would be to all but well-read believers in the Scriptures, a perfectly sealed. Book; and such it certainly was. Hence it is said, " Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy:" that is, so read and hear, as to understand what they unfold, and thence " keep" (i. e. observe to do) " those things which are written therein ; for the time'''' (i. e. then of experiencing them) " is at hand." I would rather read however, " he that read-

30 Matth. xxiv. 38, seq.

256 REVELATION, CHAP. III.

eth, and they that hear the words of prophecy31, and," (i. e. generally) " keep those things which are written therein" (i. e. as revealed in this Book); "for the time is at hand " i. e. when the instructions, encouragements, and great end had in view, should be above all things necessary to the work and warfare of faith. In this point of view, this admonition could not but be important to the Church. The world, but particularly the Church, was now to be tried in a way never before known (Dan. xii. 1, sec.). To the support of the Church this Revelation brought all the testimony of Scripture, both to assure it of victory, and to supply it with encouragement sufficient for all its wants. And, what is best of all, it brought this in strains of the purest piety, and in the fullest exhibition of spiritual consolation. In this particular too, it can never cease to administer the greatest blessedness.

31 In chap. xxii. 18, we have in this latter place, may signify generally the declaration, preaching, or the like, of this Book, not prophecy properly so called: for the fact is, there are no original predictions given in it. St. Peter speaks of the blessedness of attending to prophecy in his days (2 Ep. i. 19), as noticed above. I think therefore, that prophecy generally is rather meant in each case here.

Chapter II.

ON THE SECOND VISION OF ST. JOHN, AND FIRST SERIES OF EVENTS.

Introduction to the Opening of the Seals.

WE now come to the fourth Chapter of this Book, in which we have a general description of Christ sitting in judgment, with the powers of heaven and earth in attendance. His Elders, the twelve Heads of the several tribes of the Remnant of Israel, are here joined with the twelve Apostles and Heads of the Church under the New Covenant : thus symbolizing the whole united in one Body, and Christ as its supreme Head. The same thing,—as we shall see,—is done in the twelve foundations of the New Jerusalem; of which, one of each of the twelve tribes forms the gates1. This City is therefore at once precious, splendid, firm, and durable, as founded by God Himself; and it is " at unity with itself.'1'' The thunderings, lightnings, and voices, seem to represent the judgments which God would inflict upon His enemies, in establishing this Church, together with the enouncements of these.—The parallel places, given in the margins of our Bibles (verr. 1—3), will point out the prophecies, and other enouncements referred to : and here Daniel vii. 9, should be particularly considered. The "four beasts" (verr. 6, 7), would have been better translated, "four living creatures" They appear to symbolize the combined powers of nature, or it may be the angelic hosts, as in the Cherubim2 : and hence as ready, at the command of the Judge on the throne, to execute His judgments upon the earth.

We have in the next Chapter (v.), a general description of this Judgment; of its execution and consequences. " The Book" i. e. the Holy Scripture, particularly of the Old Testament, the Visions of which were sealed up in Daniel unto the time of the end, is here (i. e. in the time of the end,) opened by the Lamb; that is, by the ministry of Christ

1 Chap. xxi. 12, seq. below.

3 On these more particularly see Chap. xt. 2, &c. below.

258 REVELATION, CHAP. IV.

primarily; and then, secondarily, by that of His Preachers. This primary act of opening is here carried on through seven stages; in other words, the seals are made to be seven, and each of these is said to be opened, some time after its immediately preceding one. The number seven is used here, as it should seem, indefinitely: and is perhaps intended to correspond to some extent, to the seven days of Daniel's mystical seventieth week (in its seven days), during which, the Covenant was to be magnified with the many.

This number seven may therefore, involve the events of the period termed the last days, ends of the world, or the like, as noticed above3; and if so, the period implied will, at its close, find all completed: and we have accordingly, (chap. v. 9—14 inclus.) the New song, so often brought before us by the Psalmist4, and repeated at the close of each vision in this Book,—as we shall see,—which commemorates the full reign of Christ on earth, and His saving health made known to all nations. We have here therefore, a general view of the great subject before us, developed in its means, viz. the power of Christ in His word, as opened both theoretically and experimentally by Himself,—for none other can effectually do this;—with its object and end, the redemption and salvation of all men, of every kingdom and nation under heaven : for here, the reign of "the Son of Man" is exhibited as universal and complete.

Sect. I.—On the Opening of the First Seal.

the sixth Chapter begins with the opening of these sealed Scriptures, and its consequences; with this, the ministry of Christ to both Jew and Gentile. It should be borne in mind, that Jewry has now no covenanted privileges, any more than the unconverted nations. The Jews had rejected and crucified the Saviour, and with more than Gentile hostility persecuted and slain His ministers: on this account they had been broken off as branches to be gathered and burned5. They are mentioned in this Book therefore, as those who

3 Pp. 99—132.

4 Ps. xxxiii. 3; xcvi. 1; xcviii. 1; also Isai. xLii. 10, &c.

5 Rom. xi. 17. Isai. xxvii. 11.


REVELATION, CHAP. VI. 259

call themselves Jews, but are not; but are the synagogue of Satan6: while Jerusalem itself receives no better a title, than that of a spiritual Sodom and Egypt7. The Apostle Paul, much to the same effect, pronounces Jerusalem that now is, in bondage with her children, and cast out as was Hagar with her eon. He also declares that the Jerusalem,—which was then above,—is the mother of us all8. Circumcision too, he affirms, is a mere cutting or concision; while the true circumcision, that of the heart, is the property of the Church9, and not to be found under the worn-out system of Moses. This then being the case, neither Jerusalem, nor its Jews, had any right whatever to honourable mention in this Book ; and none such have they. They were manifestly obnoxious to the judgments to be poured out; and, we shall presently see, they are not lost sight of in this respect, by St. John.

The first thing presented to us here (ver. 2), is One riding on a white10 horse. A crown was given to him, " and he went forth, conquering and to conquer.'1'' By which we are perhaps to understand, that the first gleam of divine light derived from the opened Scriptures, is the power of Christ going forth to salvation. Here, more particularly, Christ revealed not in weakness, but as crowned for the diffusion of Divine truth throughout the world, for the establishment of His everlasting kingdom, and to recompense the controversy of Zion: and in this, to consign His adversaries to open shame and contempt. And, let it be observed, this is seen by St. John not in the heaven of disembodied spirits, but " in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory." See chap. i. 7, seq., where we have Christ speaking from the clouds of heaven, and declaring His dignity and power. This vision,—as indeed every other in this Book,—exhibits the execution of Christ's judgments as issu-

6 Rev. ii. 9 ; iii. 9, above.

7 Chap. xi. 8.

8 Gal. iv. 25, 26.

9 Philip, iii. 2, 3.

10 By which is perhaps meant, the purity of the doctrine of Christ. " Fine linen white and clean," marking in this Book the righteousness of His saints: and, as the horse may here symbolize His ministers, its whiteness may have been intended to intimate this. Whiteness too, occasionally implies prosperity, and the like, as in " White as snow in Salmon." Ps. Lxviii. 14. See my Note on Job vi. 16, and Lex. Heb.  p. 698.

260 REVELATION, CHAP. VI.

ing from the heavens; i. e. as from the clouds. See p. 107, seq., above.

One prophecy referred to here is, Ps. xlv, where we have (ver. 4, seq.), " And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness."..."Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's enemies ; whereby the people fall under thee." We have then (ver. 6), the Divinity of this conqueror, as cited by St. Paul (Heb. i. 8), "Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever" &c. And (verr. 10, 11) we have the marriage with His spouse, His Church: and then (ver. 16), the offspring, to be "Princes in all the earth :" i. e. the Son of Man, in his spiritual seed, inheriting as kings and queens the possessions of the whole world, and so fulfilling the promise made to Abraham, as the Father of many nations. (Let the parallel places here be examined.)

If we now turn to Zech. ix. 13, we shall find the same thing foretold more fully, and specifically. "When," it is said, " I have bent Judah" (as a bow) "for me, and filled the bow with Ephraim" (i. e. as with arrows, in the two houses so united), "and raised up thy sons, O Zion" (i. e. the spiritual and true Zion), "against thy sons, O Greece" (i. e. the philosophy of whom shall then, as a religion, be put down), " and made thee as the sword of a mighty man" (i. e. as in Ps. xlv. 3, seq). "And" it is added, " the lord shall be seen over them, and His arrow shall go forth as the lightning'" (such was His coming to be, Matth. xxiv. 27, &c.)..."77»e Lord of hosts" (ver. 15) "shall defend them"...(ver. 16) "They shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon His land" (i. e. among the Gentiles). These must necessarily be the Escaped of Isai. Lxvi. 18, seq.: " / will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall see my glory ...I will send those that escape of them unto the nations,.. and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles." Then follows (ver. 24) the fall of the transgressors, whose " carcases" (for these would be spiritually dead) should be " an abhorring unto all flesh." We have here therefore, Christ going forth in His ministers, conquering and to conquer, with the judgment to be executed by Himself, first upon the Jews, and secondly, upon the unbelieving Gentiles. Comp. Ps. ex. 5—7, where the same gene-


REVELATION, CHAP. VI. 261

ral judgment is had in view; also Num. xxiv. 8, Deut. xxxii. 23, particularly as to the Jews: so Ezek. v. 16, 17: and more generally Deut. xxxii. 41—44 exclus. Ps. xviii. 14, 47—50 inclus. Ps. vii. 12,13, comp. verr. 5—9 inclus. Ps. xxi. 3 : " Thou settest a crown of pure gold on His head.'"'' ..." Thine hand" (ver. 8, 9) " shall find out thine enemies,'1'' &c. "Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven...when" (ver. 12) " thou shalt make ready thine arrows upon thy strings,'1'' &c. Ps. cxx. 4 ; cxLiv. 6, 9. All of which evidently refers to this period, and its events.

It was thus therefore, that Christ should be revealed not in person, but in Power, and this by His ministers in nature, the thunder, lightning, i. e. arrows of fire (Ps. vii. 14,); of pestilence, famine (Ezek. v. 16, 17), earthquakes, and the like: also by His ministers in grace, His Apostles, their Associates and Coadjutors, as taken out of the Remnant of Israel (see Zech. viii. 11, 13, inclus.), united inseparably under David their spiritual King, and going forth conquering and to conquer.

This will introduce us to two other places in Zechariah, which are, perhaps, incapable of being understood under any other point of view. There can perhaps be no doubt that, under the building of the Temple by Zerubbabel, was shadowed out the building of that greater Temple, or rather City of God, to be erected among the Gentiles: and that hence it is, the coming of Him who was to be styled the Branch, is so often and pointedly brought before us. We have, Chap. i. 18, four horns, which are said (ib. 19) to be those powers that had scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem. Four carpenters (i. e. Builders) then appear, who had been sent to fray these first away, and to cast them out as Powers of the Gentiles. In verse 16, this rebuilding of God's house is clearly had in view; and under it, the building of that better house, which should, as a house of prayer, be erected among the nations.

We have again (ib. Verr. 8—12), apparently these same restorers, given under the figures of four men riding on horses; the first on a red horse, as also the second; the third on a speckled, and the fourth on a white, horse. These are now sent (ver. 10) " to walk to and fro through the earth;" i. e. the whole earth: and the consequence is (ver. 11), " all the

262 REVELATION, CHAP. VI.

earth sitteth still, and is at rest." These should seem therefore, to be the ministers of the Prince of peace; for in Him only, is real and lasting rest and peace to be found. The restoration is here therefore, not that of Jews to Canaan, but of the true and spiritual Zion, in Jerusalem during its times of course, but after these, throughout the whole earth as to the land of promise, the. spiritual Canaan, according to the terms of the everlasting Covenant. We have here therefore, as before, the ministry of the pious Remnant, or Escaped, symbolized by the outgoings of horses of various colours, the object and end of which is, quietness and rest.

There is a repetition of this given (ib. chap. vi. 1, seq.), " I looked, and behold, there came four chariots out from between two mountains... In the first chariot were red horses; and in the second chariot black horses; and in the third chariot were white horses ; and in the fourth chariot grisled and bay horses." I remark, we have the number four here, as in both the instances noticed above. The explanation given (ver. 5) is this: "These are the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth:" that is, for the purpose of executing His purposes throughout it. Two of these then go forth towards the north; and two apparently, towards the south, and this in obedience to the command (ver. 7), " Get you hence, walk to and fro through the earth :" that is, through the whole earth. We are then told (ver. 8), that " these that go toward the north country have quieted my " (i. e. the Lord's) " spirit in the north country :" implying,—as it should seem, and as in the former cases just noticed,—that all the others succeeded in a similar way.

We next have (ver. 12) the growing up of Him who should be styled " the branch," and who should build the greater Temple of the lord : and this must, from the next verse, mean the coming and rule of Christ, which should affect all nations by the permanent blessing of the New Covenant. Again (in ver. 15), the calling in of the Gentiles is evidently brought before us. These four chariots with horses, or these four spirits, sent out to quiet the Spirit of the Lord, must therefore imply, the reconciling of the world to God, by the ministry of the New Testament; or, as in (ver. IS), "He shall build the temple of the loud; He shall

REVELATION, CHAP. VI. 263

bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon His throne" (comp. Luke i. SI); "and He shall be a priest upon His throne"1"1 (i. e. for ever, after the order of Melchizedek), " and the counsel of peace shall be between them both:" i. e. this King, and His thus acquired subjects, i. e. between God and man. These four spirits must then, be understood as animating Christ's ministers thus sent forth, apparently into the four quarters of the world, for the purposes just mentioned.

We may now return to Rev. vi. 2, where, as we have seen, Christ is exhibited as going out conquering and to conquer. He is the First here therefore, the Leader, Head, and Principal, in this great work and warfare; just as we shall see Satan is, in that of opposing Him (on Rev. xii. 1, seq., below), "-The testimony of Jesus is" (therefore) " the spirit of prophecy'1'' in principle ; just as the denial of Him is, that of the Father of lies and god of this world. Let this not be forgotten. We have here therefore, the outgoing of Christ in His Apostles, for the purpose of establishing His kingdom, by the instrumentality of His Word, aided by His presence, and by the exertion of miraculous power, as intimated by these Spirits, or Powers.

Sect. II.—On the Second Seal.

we have in the next place, an exhibition similar to those just noticed in Zechariah, in which Christ's ministering servants are sent forth under Him, One, on a "red horse"" (ver. 4); " and power was given...to take peace from the earth." i. e. to be the innocent cause of this, as foretold by our Lord in the words, "Think not that I am come to send peace on the earth; I came not to send peace, but a sword" &c. (Matth. x. 34. Comp. Luke xii. 49—58, inclus.). It is added, " And there was given to him a great sword :" that is, the word of God, whereby His ministers should spiritually slay: in other words, " with the breath of His lips" they should slay, i. e. denounce slaughter on, the wicked (Isai. xi. 4). And, as this is here said to take place upon the opening of the second Seal, the time had in view should seem to be, that following the commencement of the Apostolic preaching, and preceding the fall of Jerusalem: for the place referred to in Isaiah, must be applied to the Jews.

264 REVELATION, CHAP. VI.

The red colour of this horse is sufficiently explained by the sword given, shewing that much blood should be shed,— as indeed was the fact,—in consequence of the preaching of the Gospel at this early period; for we find that Stephen was stoned, James the brother of John was killed with the sword, as probably was Antipas the faithful martyr noticed above. It appears also from Acts xxvi. 10, that, under the persecution carried on by Saul, many of the Saints were shut up in prison and actually put to death, according to his own statement.

Sect. III.—On the Third Seal.

here we are told (ver. 5), that a black horse was seen, and that he who " sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand." By the colour black here, is probably implied great affliction: blackness, darkness, gloom, and the like, being generally put in Scripture to represent this; while whiteness, light, brightness, &c. are, to signify prosperity, happiness, and success11. By the balances seems to be meant, that it was the office of this minister, to weigh and determine, according to the everlasting Gospel, the sinful state of the world; and to denounce thereon,—unless they should repent,—tribulation, mourning, and woe. Much to the same purpose John himself (chap. ii. 2), " Thou hast tried " (i. e. thus examined12) "them which say they are Apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars." It is added (ib. ver. 5), "Repent, and do the first works; or else I will... come ...and will remove thy candlestick." That is, as thou hast tried these, weighed them, and found them wanting, and hast made known to them the sad consequences ; so have I weighed thy works, and I warn thee, that, unless thou also repent, thy light shall be withdrawn, and the blackness of darkness shall be thy portion.

The consequence of this use of the balances, is thus given in the next verse (C), in the denunciation of a dearth: " A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley

See the Note in my Job just now referred to. 12 See on Ch. xi. 1, seq. below.

REVELATION, CHAP. VI. 265

for a penny." If then, we may take the opening of these seals respectively, as intimating the particular day of Daniel's seventieth week corresponding thereto; then must the opening of this third seal, approach the period of the fall of Jerusalem ; and the dearth had in view, may comprehend that foretold by Agabus, as also that which should afflict Jerusalem during its siege, or indeed, any other which should happen within these times. If we now turn to Moses and the Prophets, we shall find it repeatedly foretold, that famine, and pestilence its usual attendant, should fall in all their terrors upon the Jews at this time. For example, Lev. xxvi. 14, seq.: "If ye will not hearken...I will even appoint over you terror...your land shall not yield her increase, neither the trees of the land yield their fruits...I will send the pestilence among you, and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy... And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters, shall ye eat.™ Comp. Deut. xxviii. 22—25, 33, 39, 40, 42, 48—57. Isai. v. 13; xiv. 30, 31 ; u. 19, 20. Jer. v. 15—18; xiv. 13— 3 7, &c. So our blessed Lord Matth. xxiv. 7, " There shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places." See also the parallel places.

Let us now see what Josephus says of these times, and those shortly preceding them (Antiq. xv. c. ix. 1), " Now on this very year, which was the thirteenth year of the reign of Herod, very great calamities came upon the country; whether they were derived from the anger of God," &c...."for, in the first place, there were perpetual droughts, and for that reason the ground was barren, and did not bring forth... and after this barrenness of the soil, that change of food, which the want of corn occasioned, produced distempers in the bodies of men, and a pestilential disease prevailed," &c. This famine, which lasted for two years, happened, as we are told in a note by Whiston, in the twenty-third and twenty-fourth years before the Christian era. This was therefore, a little before our period: still, it was in accordance with the declarations of Moses and the Prophets, and sent no doubt as a warning judgment.

As to the famine in the times of Claudius Caesar, foretold by Agabus, he says (Antiq. m. c. xv. 3), " When Claudius was Emperor of the Romans...and when so great a

266 REVELATION, CHAP. VI.

famine was upon us...one tenth-deal13 (of wheat) was sold for four drachmae," &c. See also Book xx. c. ii. 5, ib. c. v. 2. Again (Wars, Book v. c. x. 2), after giving a frightful description of the murderous character of the disaffected, during the siege of Titus, Josephus tells us, that "many there were indeed who sold what they had for one measure : it was of wheat, if they were of the richer sort; but of barley, if they were of the poorer. When these had so done, they shut themselves up in the inmost rooms of their houses, and ate the corn they had gotten," &c. Again (Book vi. c. iv. 4), we have the account of a woman who cooked and ate her own child. (See my Theophania of Euseb. p. 253, seq.) And that all this came upon the Jews, because transgressors had now come to the full, Josephus will bear sufficient testimony (Wars, Book v, c. x. 5. My Theoph. p. 255, seq.). " It is...impossible to go distinctly over every instance of these men's iniquity...neither did any other city ever suffer such miseries, nor did any age ever breed a generation more fruitful in wickedness," &c. The office therefore, of this second Minister so sent out is, to inflict the scourge of famine, pestilence, and the like, as foretold by our Lord, and His Prophets.

"Hurt not the oil and the wine" could hardly be intended to be literally understood, because the terms "Hurt not," imply the contrary. The meaning apparently is, Inflict no evil on those who are planted within my vineyard, the oil and wine of whom is for the healing of the nations. The same thing is perhaps said in " the trees," where it is said (chap. vii. 3), "Hurt not the earth...nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads:" (comp. ix. 4), that is, Inflict no judgment until these, so designated here, are put into a state of safety: and again (ver. 4), the holy Remnant of the Jews is particularly had in view: to these are then added (ver. 9), multitudes innumerable from among the Gentiles. If we now turn to Chap. xiv. 1, seq., we shall find, that this same "hundred and forty-four thousand," sealed from among the Jews, are

'8 Without entering into any discussion on the relative value of money in these days, or the quantities here mentioned, it is certain from the context, that the dearth was very great.


REVELATION, CHAP. VI. 267

said to be " the first-fruits,"—i. e. as of trees, &c. of the earth,—secured, " to God and the Lamb." This must therefore, of necessity, fall within the period of the Apostolic preaching, and the first half of Daniel's seventieth week. That " the end" is not come must be evident from the fact, that we have here four seals still to be opened, and in (chap. xiv. 6) its parallel, an Angel is to publish the everlasting Gospel among the Gentiles. That the sealing and destruction, here had in view, should particularly affect the Jews, we shall further see when we come to consider this latter place.

Sect. IV.—On the Fourth Seal.

under the opening of this seal we have, " a pale horse; and his name that sat on him was Death, and hell followed with him." It is added, " Power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.'1'' If then, these seven seals correspond to the seven days of Daniel's seventieth week, this fourth seal will answer to his fourth day; that is to say, it will exceed the period assigned to the fall of the Temple and City of Jerusalem: for this was to take place in the midst of this week, after which a time, times, and the dividing of time, should follow: that is, a period mystically designated by 3-|: and which we shall presently see, John makes to signify " three days and a half," also "forty-two months," and again, " twelve hundred and sixty days;" each of the two last being equal to three years and a half, i. e. taking this period as one of seven years. We are now therefore, beyond the line which divides this period, from that of the Apostolic preaching.

Judgment has now therefore, been executed on those Jews who were not planted as trees in the courts of the house of the Lord; i. e. in His spiritual vineyard : they would therefore, be neither the oil nor the wine had in view above, nor had they received the saving mark of redemption in their foreheads'*; and, accordingly, the minister on the black horse, having weighed and found them wanting, had consigned them to famine, mourning, and woe, and with these all those

14 See on Chap. vii. 3, below.

268 REVELATION, CHAP. VI.

plagues of the siege, pestilences, and dearths, foretold by our Lord and the Prophets. And again, " the fourth part of the earth" must now be considered, as extending to such proportion as this of the whole creation, and to the execution of such judgments as should be executed upon the Gentiles. For upon them, together with the Jews, were the severest judgments to be inflicted, during the latter portion of this mystical week, both according to our Lord, and all the Prophets. It may be doubted however, whether "power... over the fourth part of the earth," &c. as generally understood, gives the sense of this place. I am inclined to think that the meaning is, over that fourth part, or quarter, of the earth, which was supposed in these times to be habitable: i. e. every part of the habitable world. The Arabs have still this usage, viz.: ^X^^] «_j . lit. fourth part of the inhabited (i. e. land), by which they understand the whole habitable world. It is accordingly added here, " to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth" (i. e. the whole earth). Besides, these judgments did, as we shall see, fall in these times upon all nations.

We have here therefore, the judgments to be poured out, " after the tribulation of those days:" i. e. of the fall of Jerusalem, under which " all the tribes of the earth should mourn'''' (See p. 127, seq.), and when He should have "sent His angels with a great sound of a trumpet,'1'' and Himself should go forth with the whirlwinds of the south ; of which more presently: which must of necessity be extended to the whole world, and fall in with the last half of Daniel's mystical week, as just mentioned: we shall see moreover, under our third Vision, that sword, famine, and the like, did destroy to an incredible amount within this period.

Sect. V.—On the Fifth Seal.

we have now (ver. 9, seq.) a view of the souls of " them that had been slain for the word of God, and for the testimony'1'' (of Jesus) "which they had holden." Their cry is, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the" (whole) " earth f" The answer given is, that " they should rest yet fob a little

REVELATION, CHAP. VI. 269

season, until their fellow-servants also, and their brethren, that should be killed as they were" (had been), " should be fulfilled." It is said elsewhere, in answer to the question, "How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?"—that is, if we date this from the time of their commencement, in the wrath poured out upon Jerusalem (Dan. xii. 1, 6, 7), to their final termination and close,—" A time, times, and a half." In Rev. xii. 6, this period is measured by " a thousand two hundred and threescore days:" and is (ver. 14) thus identified with Daniel's period, " a time, and times, and half a time." Again (Rev. xiii. 5), power is given to the Persecuting Rule "to continue forty-two months:" i. e. equal, of course, to the 1260 days just mentioned (or 31 years), and identical with Daniel's time, times, and a half, We have moreover, another designation of this period, in the very terms of the answer given to the souls of these martyrs (chap. xx. 3), " After that," i. e. Satan's previous binding, "he must be loosed for a little season." The next verse here (4) informs us, that after this, "judgment is given unto them"" (that is, of necessity, the judgment foretold by Daniel chap. vii. 9, 11, in which the body of the beast is destroyed, by being given to the burning flame. See also verr. 26, 27). This "little season" must here therefore, of necessity, signify what the other periods, so differently designated, also must, that is, the last half of Daniel's seventieth week.

By " the first resurrection" (Ch. xx. 5), should seem to mean, of those who are elsewhere styled, " the first-fruits to God and to the Lamb" (ib. ver. 6). And if so, the thousand years during which they had lived and reigned with Christ (ib. ver. 4), must imply the period termed a thousand years, during which Satan is said to be bound (ib. ver. 2): and must be the period of the Apostolic preaching, during which our Lord assured His disciples, that He had give them authority over every power of the enemy15; and so that the strong man16, now bound, should no longer keep his house and goods in peace.—But, more on this in our next Vision. It must likewise, be that day of the Lord, said by St. Peter to be as a thousand years, and which

Luke x. 19, &c. 18 Matt. xii. 29.


270 REVELATION, CHAP. VI. .

should reveal such a judgment of fire, as should " dissolve11" the elementary system then existing, and, after which, new heavens and a new earth should be given to the faithful who should endure.

By the " little season" here therefore, is evidently meant, the time within the latter half of Daniel's seventieth week, during which further persecutions and martyrdoms should take place. .Throughout this, these martyred saints are instructed to wait, and until the full cup of persecution should have been drunk by their brethren, and the destined time of trying and purifying the new Church, or new Jerusalem, should be fulfilled, and " the end of the matter" (Dan. vii. 28) have arrived. We have therefore under this seal, a continuation of the judgments commenced under the last, and to be poured out on the ministers and followers of the Little Horn, which should make war upon the saints, and which will be more particularly described hereafter.

Sect. VI.—On the Sixth Seal.

the opening of this seal occupies the whole of the events had in view from verse 12, Chap. vi. to the end of Chap. vii.: and, from what we have here, it should seem to occupy the whole remaining period, after the judgments noticed above, up to the end of Daniel's seventieth week. It is said, " Lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth...and the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth...hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains," &c.

It has already been shewn, that we must not understand by such expressions as " the heaven departed,'" &c. " every mountain and island were moved," &c., any such physical phenomenon as the words literally imply, which indeed, the context here is sufficient to prove : for, if the heavens should

17 We have the same expression, evidently applying to the same thing, in Ps. lxxv. 3; Isai. xiv. 31; xxiv. 19; xxxiv. 4.

REVELATION, CHAP. VI. 271

have so departed, and the mountains so moved, &c.; How, it might be asked, could these kings and others have hid themselves within the latter? We must therefore, take such places to imply some great moral or religious revolution, to be brought about by the judgments here denounced. By the sun's becoming black, and the moon as blood, we are probably to understand, that the heavenly bodies formerly worshipped, would now lose all their lustre in this respect; and, that the kings and mighty men of the earth (for the whole earth must here be meant, as before), discovering that their gods were as nothing, would flee to the mountains—their next source of strength—from the face of Him, who should now " arise to shake terribly the earth."

Our Lord has, as we have seen, used the very same imagery, when foretelling the judgments that should be poured out on the Gentiles, when Jerusalem should have fallen. His words are, as quoted also above: " Immediately after the tribulation of those days" (i. e. of the Jews), " shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven shall be shaken." It is not said here, that the heaven shall depart as a scroll; but, apparently as a comment on this, " the powers," i. e. influences believed to reside in these bodies, should so be shaken as to lose their influence. Hence, men hitherto trusting in these, would betake themselves to the caves of the rocks and mountains. " Then," it is added (ib. ver. 30), " shall appear,"1"1 i. e. be made apparent, " the sign of the Son of Man in heaven," i. e. as declared by Daniel, in order to take possession of the kingdom under the whole heavens, and by St. John (chap. i. 7, above), to make His power to be known and felt. And then, we are told, should all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they should see (i. e. perceive) the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. All which, as already remarked, must comprehend the whole habitable world, as consisting of " all the tribes of the earth:" and the power so to be evinced, that which should destroy idolatry as a prevailing system, in the Revelation of Christ.

If we now turn to the Prophet Joel, we shall find the same things foretold, and in the very same order. In the first Chapter, and down to verse 28 of the second, we have

272 REVELATION, CHAP. VI.

the judgments to fall upon the Jews, and to be inflicted, evidently by the Roman power. It is said (ver. 28, Seq.), " It shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh" &c. Which, as we have seen, was applied by St. Peter to the Apostolic period, generally termed the last days. We next have (ver. 30), as consequent upon this, " I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.- The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before18 the great and the terrible day of the Lord.'" More literally, at its coming; and here at some time, approaching the end of the period so styled.

After a short recapitulation, as to the redeemed Remnant of Israel (ib. iii. 1), it is said (ver. 2, seq.), " I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and I will plead with them for my people" See. Then again (ver. 15, seq.), as marking the effects of this pleading and judgment: " The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining... and the heavens and the earth shall shake,'1'' &c. In verse 19, " Egypt," it is said, " and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah" &c. It should be observed here, that, although these judgments are general, Egypt and Edom are particularly mentioned, because they had, in the earliest times, committed violence against God's people. The same is said elsewhere of Babylon ; and hence also, this general judgment it often predicted under the fall of Babylon. Still, it is not to be imagined, that, because " the sun and moon" in these places, clearly refers to the Gentile world, this language never refers to the Jews; for we have (Chap. ii. 10), " The earth'1'' (i. e. land of

18 It may be imagined that "before" must here mean some considerable time before, but this is by no means necessary. The Hebrew is lit. At the presence of coming in, or, as we would say, at the coming in; which would imply, either the point of time of its beginning to do so, or any other, during its continuance. We have the same usage in Malachi iy. 5 (Heb. Bib. iii. 23) ; where the coming of John the Baptist is certainly meant: i. e. at a period a little preceding the exact commencement of our day of the Lord. It was nevertheless within that of the generation then existing, and may therefore be laxly said to be, at the coming of this day.

REVELATION, CHAP. VI. 273

Canaan) ''shall quake before them''' (i. e. the Roman-destroying power), " the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shin-ing19" (comp. Isai. v. 26—30 inclus., where we have the same events foretold). It should be observed that, at the end of these judgments in Joel (chap. iii. 18, seq.), we have the blessings of the New Covenant given, as known and felt among the heathen.

If we now turn to Isai. xxxiv., we shall find expressions quite of a piece with those of the Revelation, and which, although denounced particularly against Edom ("Idumea"), must be understood as of general application. This Chapter begins by summoning the whole earth to attend : " Come near ye nations," it is said, " to hear; and hearken ye people" (peoples, Heb.): " let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world" (Heb.), "and all things that come out of it. For the indignation of the lord is upon all nations, and His fury upon all their armies: He hath utterly destroyed them, He hath delivered them to the slaughter." From which it must be obvious, that these denunciations far exceed the confines both of Jewry, and of Edom.

We next have our place in the Revelation worded thus: viz. " All the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll; and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a fallen fig from the fig-tree.'1'' It is added, " For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse" (i. e. generally) " to judgment." In verse 6 it is said, " It is the day of the lord's vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion:" i. e. generally as before, although Idumea is here named particularly. The truth is, Idumea did literally suffer these judgments, just as Babylon did: while both are made mystically to prefigure a far greater,

19 In Gen. xxxvii. 9, too, we have the sun, moon, and eleven stars, clearly referring to the family of Jacob. We must not presume therefore, that the same terms must always necessarily have the same meaning.


274 REVELATION, CHAP. VI.

more extensive, but spiritual, overthrow. By the everlasting duration of the judgments denounced in each case, we are necessarily to understand, that no restoration (i. e. of this heathen domination) should ever take place. The xxxvth Chapter here, just as it is the case in the third Chapter of Joel, brings us to a description of the new Church and kingdom to be erected in the Wilderness (i. e. of the world). We have in every case here therefore, the fall of heathenism, and this to take place during the great and dreadful day of the Lord, and within the last half of Daniel's seventieth week.

In the next portion of this Chapter (Rev. vi.), from verse 15 to the end, we are referred to other Prophets: let us see what they have said, and in what sense. And, I. Isai. ii. 19, seq.: " And they" i. e. the mighty of the earth, " shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the lord, and for the glory of His majesty, when He ariseth to shake terribly the earth:" i. e. within this great day, and when He cometh in these judgments so to shake the earth. The two next verses repeat this, with the further assurance, that the Idols should be cast to the moles and to the bats: which must of necessity refer to the Gentiles, as brought in by means of the Apostolic preaching. This Chapter begins moreover, with the declaration, that in the period termed the last days, the mountain of the Lord's house should be established higher than the hills, and that all nations should then flow to it; which we have already shewn elsewhere, refers to these times. At verse 4, God's judgments on the nations are denounced; and from verse 6 to the end of verse 10, the judgment on the Jews, with the cause of this, is particularly dwelt upon as coming, in point of time, before that to be executed upon the Gentiles: and the whole of this, is to take place in the day of the Lord (ver. 12).

The next place alluded to (Rev. vi. 16), is Hosea x. 8, which evidently refers to the Jews. This place therefore, relates generally to the judgments of these times, (ib. 17) "The great day of His wrath is come." This is perhaps intended to remind us, that, what St. John said in the outset of this Book should shortly come to pass, was, at this point of time, in an extensive and long-continued series of judgments, to take effect.

REVELATION, CHAP. VI. 275

Again in Isai. xiii. 6, here apparently referred to, the ravages and fall both of Jewry, and of the Roman Empire, are evidently had in view. " The day of the Lord," it is said, " is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty:" first to " destroy the sinners" of the Jews out of the land (ver. 9) of Judsea. Then at ver. 10, seq., "The stars of heaven, and the constellations thereof, shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine." It is added, by way of explanation, apparently : "And I will punish the" (whole) "world" (Heb. blf)) "for their evil;. ..and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible" (a most pointed description of the Romans). Again (ver. 13), "Therefore I will shake the heavens" (comp. Hag. ii. 6), "and the earth shall remove out of her place" (not physically and locally, this would be absurd here), " in the wrath of the Lord of hosts, and in the day of His fierce anger." This particular period is therefore, often styled the day of the lord, and here " the day of His fierce anger." The former part of this period is, as we have seen, called by Peter a day, and said to be as a thousand years: so may this latter be mystically said to contain a thousand years likewise. And if so, its first portion will be the period during which Satan is bound, or shut up for a thousand years; the latter, in which he should be let loose "for a little season," as we shall shew hereafter. It should be observed here (Isai. xiii. 17, seq.), that the fall of Babylon is also foretold: and then (Chap. xiv. 1—7), we have the establishment of the Church with " the whole earth at rest" (ver. 7), as we have seen above on Zech. i. 11.

Isaiah (chap, xxiv.) presents us, under similar figures, with matter of precisely the same description : we have here, first, the judgments on the Jews, and then, secondly, those on the Gentiles. In verse 1, seq., it is said, " Behold, the lord maketh the earth" (read, the land) " empty."..." And it shall be, as with the people so with the priest" &c. (see also ver. 5), which is sufficient to shew that this relates to the Jews. It is added, "Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth" (land)..." the inhabitants of the earth" (land) "are burned, and few men left,'1'' &c. We then have (ver. 13, seq.), the Remnant, Preserved, or Escaped, of Israel, who should carry

276 REVELATION, CHAP. VI.

the Gospel to the nations, e. g. " When thus it shall be in the midst of the LAND...£Aere shall be as the shaking of an olive-tree, and as the gleaning of grapes, when the vintage is done:" i. e. a few shall be left, a Remnant. (Comp. vi. 12, 13, where we have a similar figure intimating the same holy party.) It is added, " They," i. e. this Remnant, " shall lift up their voice, they shall sing for the majesty of the lord, they shall cry aloud from the sea," (saying), " Wherefore glorify ye the lord in the fires, even the name of the lord God of Israel in the isles of the sea" (comp. Chap. Lxvi. 19). We are next presented with the persecutions to take place among the Gentiles, and the judgments thence to follow. "My leanness, my leanness!" says the Prophet, personating the suffering Church as in chap. viii. 18; "woe unto me ! the treacherous dealers" (i. e. the Jews who should act as apostates, Matth. xxiv. 9) " have dealt treacherously; the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously." It is added, in order to mark the judgment to follow thereupon, " Fear, and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth*"..."for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake" (i.e. as at the flood, "as the days of Noe," Matth. xxiv. 37. 1 Pet. iii. 20). "The earth," continues the Prophet, "is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved" (Ps. XLvi. 6, "He uttered His voice, the earth melted"), " the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again:" i. e. not physically and locally, but in the heathenish state and power, in which it then lay. The same is said of mystical Babylon, Rev. xviii. 21, as already remarked. So also St. Peter, 2 Ep. iii. 10, " The heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein, shall be burned up," &c.: which, according to this Apostle, should take place within " the day of God :" while he, with his brethren, looked for " new hea-

20 This place applies apparently to the Jews, the transitions being exceedingly abrupt in the Prophets, the following verse seems to extend it to all: i. e. to Jews and Gentiles.

REVELATION, CHAP. VI. 277

vens and a new earth, wherein" should "dwell righteousness." Not heavens with an earth physically new, or differently located, but mystically new, i. e. a mystical, or spiritual, new creation. And here, Peter has, of necessity, the second and greater judgment upon the Gentiles in view.

The Prophet continues (ver. 21), "The lord shall punish the host of the high ones,...and the kings of the earth upon the earth,'" &c... ."Then," adds he, " the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign" (i. e. the Son of Man, as in Daniel) " in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem'1'' (i. e. the new Jerusalem, and City of the living God, Heb. xii. 22), " and before His ancients gloriously." Whence it should seem that, by the sun being ashamed^ 8zc. the idolatrous honour paid to it, and to the heavenly bodies generally, should, as already remarked, be at an end. The following two Chapters (i. e. Isai. xxv. xxvi.); as is generally the case, celebrate the great victory now obtained. We have here therefore, of necessity, the period and judgment of the Gentiles, as now before us in the Revelation. In the closing member of the last verse (Rev. vi. 17), reference is made to Mal. iii. 2: which see, together with Chap, iv. 1—3, inclusive.

We now proceed to Chap. vii. Rev., throughout which, as remarked above, the events which were to take place under .this sixth seal, are continued: and here we are first referred to Daniel (chap. vii. 2, seq.): " / saw four angels? says John, " standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree" (see ver. 3). That is, apparently, for the purpose of restraining these winds from doing injury to either of them, i. e. until something further were done. We have in Daniel, " Behold, the four winds of heaven strove upon the great sea? &c., after which the four beasts, representing the four great Empires of the Prophet, arise out of it. The agitation now said to be created, is also said to precede certain evils. In the Revelation these winds are restrained, until some persons shall have been secured against all this. In verse 10, seq. here, a fiery stream issues from before the Judge, and hence the Body of the Beast, or Roman-persecuting power, is given to its burning flame : but here (Rev. vi. 12, seq.), this judg-

278 REVELATION, CHAP. VII.

ment is inflicted under our sixth seal. The Son of Man now takes possession of the kingdom ; and (Dan. vii. 28) it is declared that, " Hitherto is the end of the matter.'' So also under our sixth Trumpet.

Another Angel is now made to proclaim (Rev. vii. 3), " Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads." This sealing accordingly takes place, and a certain number (12,000) out of every tribe of Israel is sealed, amounting in the whole to "' One hundred and forty-four thousand;" implying an indefinitely large number: and this of the Holy Remnant only, of necessity.

If we now turn to Ezekiel (chap. ix. 4, seq.22), we shall

21 It seems evident from some places in the writings of Julian the Apostate, as also of Lactantius, that the Christians of their times did actually carry the mark of a cross in their foreheads. The words of Julian are, At tos, infelicissimi homines,. .. crucis lignum adoratis, ejusque signa infronte formatis, et vestibulis sodium insculpitis. (Spanheim's Julian et Cyrill. p. 194. Ed. 1696.) The substance of Cyrill's defence here is, that this is much better than the lewd pictures, &c. of the Pagans. Lactantius says (De vera Sapientia, Lib. iv. c. 26. Ed. 1684), " Quod ad crucem spectat, magna in ea vis ac ratio est, quam nunc ostendere conabor.. . crux. . . electa est, quee significaret ilium tarn conspicuum, tamque sublimem futurum, ut ad eum... cunctse nationes . . . concurrerent. . . signumque illud maximum atque sublime, frontibus suis suscepturwm. Cujus rei figuram Judcei etlam nunc eichibent cum limina suo de criiore agni, notant.—This is extremely curious, (ib. p. 396) " Christus .. . saluti est omnibus, qui signum sanguinis, id est crucis ... in sua fronte conscripserint... sed turn figura valuit. .. ad depellendum periculum," &c. He goes on to tell us what power this mark had in casting out deemons, &c., which need not be transcribed. From all which it is evident, that this sign of the cross was commonly worn by Christians on their foreheads, in order, in all probability, to identify themselves with the persons so saved here in the Revelation.

22 The place referred to in Ezekiel (see my Lex. Heb. under p 619), certainly says the same thing, i. e. that a mark of the letter Thou,—then having the form of a cross,—was to be set upon the foreheads of these men. And, it is a curious fact, that the Arabic \y signifies, to this day, signum in anlmalis femore vel collo impressum

 REVELATION, CHAP, VII. 279

find the prototype of this, in these words, " Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.'" It is added, " And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity,...and begin at my sanctuary.'''' It must be self-evident here, that by " the men that sigh," must be meant that holy Remnant123, which should be preserved, when judgment to the uttermost should fall upon the Jews. St. Peter, alluding to this place, and expecting this judgment in his days, says (1 Ep. iv. 17), "For the time'1'' (period generally) " is come, that judgment must begin at the house of God; and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the Gospel of God ?" i. e. generally, of the Jew first, and then of the Gentile. And more generally (ib. ver. 7), in the very terms of St. John, " The end of all things" (i. e. of the then moral world) "is at hand." Comp. 2 Ep. iii. throughout. St. Peter appears here therefore, to speak of both these judgments in the very words of the Prophet, and to determine that they were in his days about to take place.

It is scarcely possible to look upon this place of Ezekiel, without calling to mind the declaration of the Apostle (Rom. ii. 28), "He is not a Jew, which is one outwardly... But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart," &c. Our Prophet comes now more particularly to the final ingathering of this so sealed, or marked, Remnant (ver. 16), " Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary;"—i.e. in which they may take refuge (comp. Ps. xc. 1. xci. 9), — "in the countries where they shall

22. And, if the Jews did from the first, as Laotantius says they did in his day, mark the lintels of their doors at the Passover, with blood in the form of a cross, it is highly probable, that from this Ezekiel took his form, because it was from the first intended to insure salvation.

23 See p. 48, seq., above, where the distinction between these two parties is particularly pointed out.

280 .REVELATION, CHAP. VII.

come." This Sanctuary" is, therefore, to be among these throughout the whole heathen world, so that they need not go to Jerusalem to worship. It is added, "/ will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye,''''—i. e. this holy Remnant,—" have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel:" i, e. as the promised heritage of the true Israel, in the heritage of the Gentiles, as the spiritual heirs of Abraham: .for we are now beyond the confines of Jewry. The Prophet proceeds, " / will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you" i. e. the same Remnant, " and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh," that they may walk in my statutes..." and they shall be my people;"—i. e. not the Jews generally,—" and I will be theie God."- Of the other opposing party it is now said, in order to provide against all possibility of mistake: " But, as for them whose heart walketh after the heart of their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their way upon their own heads;" i. e. in all nations also. This holy Remnant is therefore, here to possess their own land, i. e. of Israel, while the sinners are to be among the heathen, with the sword of God pursuing them. Does this look like a return of Jews generally to Palestine ? or even of their better Remnant to that place I—I know not.

Similar to this is Ezek. xxviii. 25, seq., " When I shall have gathered the" (true) " house of Israel from among the people among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the heathen" (i. e. after they

24 Of a piece with this is Isai. viii. 11, seq., " The lord instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people." It is evident, that Isaiah is here warned not to walk in the way of the Jews generally. In the next verse, he joins others with him, in these words, " Say ye not, A confederacy," ftc. " neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of hosts Himself; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread." It is added, " And he shall be for a sanctuary," i. e. to you: " but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall fall." Where both the houses of Israel, and the inhabitants generally of Jerusalem, are opposed to the Prophet and to those of his sort, to whom God should nevertheless be a Sanctuary. See the rest of this context.

 

REVELATION, CHAP. VII. 281

shall have been so gathered), " then shall they dwell in their land, that I have given to my servant Jacob."..." Yea," it is added, " they shall dwell with confidence, when I have executed judgments upon all those that despise them round about," &c. We have here therefore, the true Jacob, as before, scattered among the heathen, and sanctifying God in their hearts in the sight of these. It is then said, "They shall dwell in their land"—i. e. as given to Jacob, in the greater Covenant with Abraham,—"with confidence;'''' and this, when judgments shall have been executed upon all that had despised them: that is, upon both Jew and Gentile. Upon these the preserving mark had been set; they had been thus sealed: these must have been the Jacob scattered into all nations, while the winds of the four corners of the earth were so holden, as above, that they should not blow upon them. And it is remarkable, we have here with them (ver. 9), "a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues,'''' standing " before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms" (indicating peace and reconciliation with God) "in their hands:" and (ver. 14) these had come out of great tribulation, i. e. grievous persecution among the Gentiles.

St. James again, in the very outset of his Epistle, addresses as his brethren those, who had been so gathered in out of every tribe. His words are, "James, a servant of God, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. My brethren," adds he, "count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations" (i. e. trials); " knowing that the trying of your faith worketh patience." (ver. 18) "Of His own will begat He us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfrdits of his creatures." In the parallel place in the Hevelation (viz. chap. xiv. 4), where the same 144,000 are spoken of, we have, " These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits to God and to the Lamb." These must therefore, according to St. James, imply the early Church of God on earth. Here, " These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth." In chap. vii. 17, "The Lamb which is in the midst of. them shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters" (comp. Ps. xxiii. 2, seq.). Again (James v. 6, seq.),

282 REVELATION, CHAP. VII.

speaking of the reprobates among the Jews, " Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you" then, to his converted brethren, "Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord...for the coming of the Lord" (i. e. to destroy Jerusalem and scatter the Jews) " draweth nigh.'1'' Which, as addressed to the sinful Jews in the first instance here, must necessarily apply to the period before Jerusalem had fallen.

If we now examine St. Peter, we shall find him addressing his converted brethren from among the Jews, to the same effect (1 Ep. i 1, seq.). He says, "Peter, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers" (Jews, here necessarily) " scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, Elect (so Paul, Rom. xi. 5, 7) " according to the foreknowledge of God the Father" (i. e. as predicted above), " unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.'1''..."Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which...hath begotten us again" (St. James, " with the word of truth," &c.) " unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, ivho are kept by the power of God'1'' (i. e. as above, so that no destroying wind blow upon you) " through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time :" in the words of St. John, " shortly" and, " I come quickly.'1''

St. Peter here confines his address to the Elect, or holy Remnant of the Jews, scattered abroad in Asia, &c., because perhaps, these parts may have been assigned to his peculiar care, as the Church of Ephesus was to St. John. Yet it could hardly be supposed that, in either case, these addresses were intended for no other such converts. And if so, the address of Peter will finally be, as general as that of James.

By the inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reference is apparently made to Canaan, which had been defiled by the Jews, was of a corruptible character, and intended from the first to be only temporary. The inheritance here had in view must therefore, be that of the New Jerusalem and City of the Living God, to whom the Hebrew converts addressed by St. Paul (Heb. xii. 22) had come. This was incorruptible and undefiled, considered


 REVELATION, CHAP. .VII. 283

in itself, and, according to the revealed counsel of God, it should never pass away. By reserved in heaven, is probably meant, what St. Paul had also said to the Galatians (chap, iv. 26), "Jerusalem which is above...is the mother of us all :" where, be it observed, this is also opposed to the Jewish system, and to the Jerusalem which then was, and was in bondage with her children. St. Paul had probably in his mind the prophecies of Isaiah (chap. lxv. J 7; Lxvi. 21), in which new heavens, and a new earth, in other words, A new Jerusalem, and city of the living God, (comp. ib. chap. lxv. 16. Heb. xii. 22), should be given. This John in the Apocalypse saw descending from heaven,—the High Priest of whose Sanctuary is in heaven: hence the connexion is close, and inseparable.—But more on this hereafter.

By "ready to be revealed in the last time" must of necessity be meant, the revelation of Christ as exhibited here in the Apocalypse, to execute His judgments in the period so designated, first on the Jews, and secondly on the Gentiles. St. Peter also mentions the stone of stumbling and rock of offence, touched upon above25 by Ezekiel (vii. 19): by which we must here, as we did there, also understand as affecting the sinners of Israel (chap. ii. 8). Still even here, the Apostle introduces Believers from among the Gentiles, where he says (ver. 10), " Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God," &c. (comp. Rom. ix. 24—27 inclus.), where St. Paul also brings together both the believing Remnant, and the converted from among the Gentiles. And here again (ib. ver. 33), St. Paul adverts to the stumbling-stone and rock of offence of Isaiah (viii. 14), as noticed above. Sts. Peter and Paul therefore, should seem to have before them the same persons; for by both, these are styled a chosen generation (1 Pet. ii. 9), the Elect, or Election, who had all attained by faith to the privileges of the promise. Again (ib. iv. 7), " the end of all things" is said to be " at hand:" in St. James, " the coming of the Lord" (i. e. in power as in the clouds) " draweth nigh:" which (ver. 17) is repeated by St. Peter in " the time is COME26

25 Pages 103—105.

26 This is not expressed indeed in the original: it gives nevertheless, the true sense of the place.

284 REVELATION, CHAP. VII.

that judgment must begin at the house of God," &c., as already noticed. Again (2 Ep. ii. iii.) we have, as before noticed, the mystery of iniquity beginning its work, and in the close of the whole (chap, iii.), the expectation of the new heavens and new earth, already adverted to.

From what we have seen, under the opening of the six seals out of the seven, with which the Book, i. e. the Holy Scriptures, had been kept closed ; the victory of the Lamb appears to be complete. We are now therefore brought to contemplate 'this, in the sealed Remnant of the Jews out of every tribe, rejoicing with an innumerable multitude collected out of all nations, kindreds, and people. These are all " clothed with white robes " (i. e. the righteousness of Saints, Chap. iii. 5, 18; xvi. 15 ; xix. 8). They have also "palms in their hands," symbolizing the peace with God and with one another, with which this victory alone could furnish them.

' It might seem extraordinary, that these are found singing praises even under the judgments of this sixth seal, under which—were this the case,—they could not but be sufferers to some extent. But, they are represented in the song, as having " come out of great tribulation.''' We shall presently shew, that this must be understood as taking place on earth, not in heaven. Their having come out of this tribulation must imply, that the time of its infliction was now over. Besides, in each of the following series the sixth infliction of judgment closes them all. It must follow accordingly, that, although the seventh seal is not yet said to be opened, its effects are here given, i. e. by way of anticipation, as noticed on Daniel ix. 26, 27.—What occurs therefore, Chap. viii. 1, I take to mean that, when the seventh seal had been opened and this song sung, a silence of some considerable time took place; the object of which was, to mark the close of this series of events. Not unlike this too, in Daniel ix., the mention of the seven weeks in verse 25, does not occur in verse 26 : where however it must necessarily be understood; and so again in verse 27, the coming of the people of the Prince, both which had been anticipated.

They are now represented (ver. 10) as singing with one mouth and one heart, that " new song" so often brought before us by the Psalmist, in which all the earth should join

REVELATION, CHAP. VII. 285

when the Lord should reign27. And in this, the Angels are also made to join, saying, " Salvation" (be ascribed) " to our God:" here also shout the Redeemed out of every people, " Amen; Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be" (ascribed) " unto our God for ever and ever. Amen," respond the heavenly host. And this they recommend, by so doing, as the never-ending song of the Redeemed Church of the Lamb.

" What are these,"" it is then asked, " which are arrayed in white robes? and whence come they?" (ver. 13). The answer is (ver. 14), '' These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore" it is added, " are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and lie that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.'" It is added, " They shall hunger no more, neither shall they thirst any more; neither shall the sun light" (fall) " on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes."

It might be thought, from certain parts of this description, that the scene here presented to us must be in heaven, and among the glorified spirits of that place. There are however, some things occurring in it, clearly implying that nothing beyond the glories of the Church on earth is meant. They are clothed with white robes, and they carry palms in their hands. Clothing in heaven, together with earthly symbols of peace, one would hardly have expected to find in Holy Scripture. Again, they have washed their robes... in the blood of the Lamb, &c. and again, (ver. 15) "He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them .•'' i. e. wherever they may be, would hardly be said of the glorified spirits, who are supposed ever to view and admire His glory: while, what is here said, is given as a promise (comp. chap. xxi. 3) to those dwelling on the earth. (See, on this place).

Again, " They shall hunger no more" &c. (comp. ib. 4) : cxhx. 1, &c. Ps. xxxiii. 3; xl. 3; XLvii.; xciii.; xcvi. 1; xcriii. 1; cxliv. 9; jix. 1. &c.

286 REVELATION, CHAP. VII.

which is all evidently mystical, and to be spiritually understood, and applied to Christianity. And so our blessed Lord, as already noticed (John vi. 35), " I am the bread of life: lie that cometh to me shall never hunger; and Tie that believeth on me shall never thirst:" that is, shall never suffer under any need of spiritual support. A little lower down too (verr. 50, 51), He tells, us that those who eat of the bread that He will give them shall never die: and, in another place, (Chap. iv. 14) that the water which He will give, shall spring up in its recipient as a well of living water unto eternal life, so that such an one shall never thirst. And these places, St. John must have had here in his eye.

Again, "Neither shall the sun light" (i. e. fall in its stroke) on '' them, nor any heat." The reason rendered is, not because they had been removed into a state of being in which this could not happen, but because " The Lamb... shall, as their shepherd, protect and feed them, and shall lead them to living waters,"" &c. On these waters, see also Ps. xxiii. 1 ; xxxvi. 8, 9. On the sun's not smiting such, nor any other heat, see Ps. cxxi. 6. Besides, to speak of the Lamb's feeding them, and leading them to fountains of waters, in the heaven of glorified spirits, must be out of place; and the same is true of the parallel places at the close of the following Visions, as will be shewn when we come to them. This victory is therefore, the victory of the Church under the sovereignty of the Lamb, as indeed are all the other glories mentioned.

Let us now consider for a moment, the scheme apparently contained under the opening of these six Seals. It has already been observed, that the progress made in opening these keeps pace, to some extent, with the days of Daniel's seventieth week. Under the opening of the sixth, we have seen that judgments are poured out upon the nations, such that by them the whole system of nature seems to be dissolved ; that even the heavens pass away, as does every mountain and island. In other words, the whole old world hag, in its moral and religious character, now disappeared, and all things have become new ; or, in the phraseology of Scripture, new heavens and a new earth have now been created, i. e. in the miraculous establishment of better things. This is here put under the figure of the six days' work of the

REVELATION, CHAP. VII. 287

primitive creation, the last of which is mystically detailed under the opening of the sixth seal. Under the opening of the seventh (Chap. viii. 1, which properly belongs to chap, vii.) no work is done: the same is, as we shall see, the case under the sounding of the seventh trumpet, and the pouring out of the seventh vial. After the work of our site days here therefore, that of the seventh (the sabbath of this week), is the assembling of all the redeemed (verr. 9, 17) to sing the praise of Him28, who had so done all things well ; had avenged the controversy of His Zion, and put the Son of Man,— in His people,—in possession of the kingdom under the whole heaven.

In Daniel's seventieth week however, the judgments seem to- be poured out even to the end of its seventh day; here, to cease on the sixth, and the seventh to be reserved for the work of praise and thanksgiving. But it is to be observed in Daniel, that, although the whole seven days are appropriated to judgments, we have there no specific enumeration of those of each day. All that is said or implied is, that at the time of the end judgment should be poured out upon the Desolator. The latter day of this mystical week may nevertheless, be understood as reserved for the recital of these judgments, as composing the song of victory then to be sung : and the fact is, that, wherever we have this New Song in Scripture these judgments make a large part of it29. I am disposed to believe therefore, that we have here only an apparent, not a real, discrepancy. There is moreover, an analogy observable in the egress of the Israelites from Egypt, bearing upon this to some extent; e. g. The judgments inflicted on the Egyptians certainly did prefigure these to fall upon the heathen ; for it was to be after the manner of Egypt30. It was in Egypt, that the Israelites so delivered, kept their first sabbath, that is, as it should seem, as soon as they got to Succoth, or the Tents pitched in Egypt upon that occasion31. And, What can be more likely than, that to sing the praise of their Deliverer would be their first employment there ? Such

28 So Job xxxviii. 7, at the close of the creation, "The morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God" (the Angels) " shouted for joy."

29 E. g. Ps. xviii., xxix., with those cited in the note above.

30 Micah vii. 15—18, as already noticed.

31 Exod. xii. 37. Comp. Gen. xxxiii. 17.

288 REVELATION, CHAP. VII.

was indeed the song of Miriam and her associates, on their deliverance from pursuit in the Red Sea, and such evidently is the New Bong of the Redeemed here. But of this, more hereafter.—Here then ends our first series of events, which should take place in the establishment of the Church.

It has already been remarked, that the first verse here belongs to the last Chapter. Nothing further need now be said of it, except that the half hour's silence here mentioned, seems intended to mark the close of the events of the seven seals, and to afford a space between this and the following series, enounced under the sounding of the seven Trumpets, so that these should not be confounded together. It will be seen presently, that the sounding of these seven Trumpets, and the pouring out of the seven Vials, give nothing beyond a repetition of the events brought before us under the opening of the Seals, just as we find the same events foretold, under the several succeeding Visions of Daniel.

Chapter III.

ON THE SOUNDING OF THE SEVEN TRUMPETS.

Sect. I.—On the first Trumpet, and Ministry here employed.

"I SAW," (chap. viii. 2,) " the seven angels which stood before God, and to them were given seven trumpets?' By " the seven angels'"' we are perhaps to understand " the seven Spirits which are before His throne" (chap. i. 4), and " the sewn Spirits of God"1' (chap. iii. 1), which are here said to be had by Christ. Again, (chap. iv. 5) we have " seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God."" So (Ps. civ. 4 ; Heb. i. 7). " Who" (i. e. Christ) " maketh His angels spirits, and his ministers a flaming fire.'''' These same Ministers of Christ are apparently, brought again before us (Zech. iii. 9, and iv. 10) in the following manner. In the former place..." Upon one stone shall be seven eyes" &c.; in the latter.. "They shall rejoice and shall see the plummet (i. e. " stone of tin V) " in the hand of Zerubbabel, these seven2" (i. e. eyes) " they are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth."1 Whether therefore we term these, the seven Angels, the seven Spirits of God, or the seven Eyes of God, burning like lamps, the same Agents appear to be meant, and these as actuated by the Spirit of Christ. 1 take them therefore, to represent His spiritual Ministers generally, as sent forth to minister at this particular period.

We are next told that, " to them" (these angels) " were given seven trumpets" i.e. to each of them one. But, before they begin to sound, an Angel is seen with a golden censer standing before the altar of incense—which was placed before

1 Heb. "rian lixn, lit. The stone, the tin.

2 Lit. These, seven (are) the eyes of Jehovah; they run, &c. It is difficult to say what could have induced our Translators to introduce the word "with" here. Certainly there is not the least necessity for it. The same may be said of their rendering ilpN by " those," instead of these.

290 REVELATION, CHAP. VIII.

the veil,—for the purpose of offering up with incense, the prayers of the Saints, who were necessarily, and would be, during this period " in much tribulation.," We then have— intimating as it should seem, the answer to these prayers— a portion of fire taken from the altar and cast upon the earth : the consequence is, voices, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake : i. e. the terrors, woes, cries, and the like now generally to follow, i. e. throughout this whole period: which is, as usual, a general anticipation of these.

We come now to the sounding of the Trumpets, which seems intended to suggest warnings put forth by these Angels or Ministers, as in trumpets sounding to battle, or, as in the great feasts of the Jews, loudly to proclaim the great events about to take place. Before the Law was given from Sinai, the voice of the trumpet was also exceeding loud: i.e. to secure attention, (Exod. xix. 16). There are places however, in which the sounding of a trumpet refers exclusively to the times and events now before us : and it was in all probability the intention of St. John, to bring us more particularly, to the consideration of these.

The first of these is, in the seven Priests bearing seven trumpets before the ark of the Lord, and going about Jericho through the space of seven days: and sounding once, on each of the first six days, and seven times on the seventh (Josh, vi. 3, seq.). In these seven Priests, or Ministers, we have an analogy with the seven spirits noticed above, intimating, as it should seem, at once a completeness, and sufficiency in these agents : in the seven days, the seven-days-period of Daniel, and the power to be put forth by God Himself, for the execution of this His great and last purpose, the fulfilment of the promises made to the Fathers; the establishment of the New Covenant, so continually made the subject of prophecy. This Covenant too—let it be borne in mind— was to be established after the manner of the temporary one made with Abraham, or, as the terms of Scripture are, "after the manner of Egypt," (see p. 217, note, &c.) :—of which, more hereafter. It will be observed too that, after the sounding of the seventh, or last trumpet, on the seventh day here, the whole work is done—Jericho falls,—just as it is the case upon the opening of the seventh seal, and, as we shall see hereafter, it is upon the sounding of our seventh

REVELATION, CHAP. VIII. 291

trumpet, and the pouring out of the seventh vial. It has been shewn above, that the observances, &c. under the Law were typical of things to be effected under the Gospel, and particularly in its propagation. It is but reasonable to conclude therefore, that this fall of Jericho was intended to prefigure the fall of our mystical Babylon, as to the means, the ministers, their numbers, and the end had in view.

Again (Isai. xviii. 3) we have, " All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, see ye, when He lifteth up an ensign on the mountains; and when He bloweth a trumpet, hear ye." By summoning all thus to see and hear, must imply a message sent forth for this purpose, and this far beyond the confines of Jewry. The " Ensign to be lifted up on the mountains," cannot but forcibly remind us of the many instances, wherein this is made to intimate the calling in of the Gentiles3. The conclusion too, of this Chapter brings us to the period, when " the present should be brought unto the Lord of Hosts of a people scattered and peeled," which must imply the ingathering of the nations by the ministry of that Holy Remnant, who are often termed the Scattered, Outcasts, and the like4. Verses 5 and 6 here, pointedly describe the casting out of the wicked Jews. Compare, chap, xxvii. 9—12 ; xxx. 17, margin; Ezek. xvii. 10 ; xix. 12—14, &c.

If we now proceed to Isai. xxvii. ver. 13, we shall find another instance of this sounding of a trumpet, referring, as it must be evident, to these same events and times. " It shall come to pass in that day," says the Prophet, " that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish (lit. the perishing} in the land of

Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem.'1'' That this is addressed to the children of Israel, the preceding verse assures us; and, from the term Outcasts, it is evident, that the better part, i. e. the Remnant, or Election, of these is meant. By " that time,'" and " in that day" is, as already remarked, constantly signified that great day, in which the judgments of Christ should be poured out. St.

3 Isai. v. 26; xi. 10, 12; xviii. 3, &c.

4 See p. 57, above : the note.

292 REVELATION, CHAP. VIII.

John probably intended therefore, to bring these passages to our notice.

We have again (Jer. iv. 5, seq.) a most awful denunciation, which evidently refers to the fall of Jerusalem by the Roman Power..." Blow ye the trumpet in the land:,..set up the standard toward Zion...for I will bring evil from the north, and great destruction"... (1.3). "Behold he shall come up as clouds'1'' (in power), " and his chariots shall be as a whirlwind: his horses are swifter than eagles... (19). " I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, 0 my soul, the sound of the trumpet, tJie alarm of war"... (21). "How long shall I see the standard, and hear the sound of the trumpet f... (23) "/ beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form and void; and the heavens, and they had no light" (comp. Isai. v. 26, 30 ; viii. 21, 22, &c). " I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly."" " / beheld, and lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled" (see on Rev. vi. 13—17 above). "/ beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the lord (i. e. the Revelation of Christ), and by his fierce anger"

This may be thought to present a predicton of the fall of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, especially as this evil is said (ver. 6) to be brought from the north ; which I should not be disposed to deny, i. e. as to its literal intent: while I should, that it refers to this alone. We have, in the very outset of this denunciation (ver. 2), the lord promised, in whom the nations should bless themselves : which of necessity brings us to the times of the New Covenant. From the great similarity moreover of this Chapter to Joel (chapp. ii. iii.), where we also have this blowing of the trumpet, with an army from the north, consisting of horsemen, chariots, and the like ;—which clearly bring us down to the times of the Gentiles,—it must be evident, that something beyond the fall of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar is meant. And, if indeed this prior fall of Jerusalem be meant at all, it must be for the purpose of making this a theme, under which mystically to foretell a much greater.

" The first angel," it is said, (ver. 7) "sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth : and the third part of trees was burnt up, and


REVELATION, CHAP. VIII. 293

all green grass was burnt up." By "they were cast upon the earth" i. e. these plagues generally, we are reminded of the Angel's casting upon the earth the fire taken from the altar, as just noticed. These plagues are moreover, here described as of a sort with those of Egypt: for, after the manner of Egypt, as we have seen, was this to be (see Exod. ix. 22—25 inclus.) If we now turn to Ezekiel (chap, xxxviii. 2) we shall find a general prediction of these, under the figure of a Power quite of a piece with that of our mystical Babylon. It is said : " Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog5" &c. From this place to verse 8, we are told whence his forces were to come : but these can be no other than those, which were in this latter period to inflict these judgments : i. e. the Roman Power itself, under the figure of this northern army. In ver. 8, " the latter years," are mentioned as the period, when this invasion should take place : and (ib. ver. 16) it is also said, "It shall be in the latter days." Allusion is then made (ver. 17) to former predictions of this, some of which we have examined. From this place down to verse 21, general denunciations of the fire of God's wrath, to fall upon this Invader are given : and here, " / will call for a sword against him throughout all my

6 Gog and Magog are evidently put here, to represent the enemies of the Church within the period termed the latter years, and latter days (see on these terms, p. 99, seq. above). Two reasons may, I think, be assigned for this. One, because the lower Empire of Home occupied the position formerly held by Gog, just as it did those holden by the Assyrian, Babylon, &c., and thence is, as noticed above, often addressed under the names of these. Another, the people of Gog did, sometime before the times of Ezekiel, actually invade Canaan, and at that time built Scythopolis. So Bochart (Plialeg. Lib. in. «. xiii. Ed. 1651. p. 218, seq.), Euseb. Chron. lib. i., "videtur ad hauc rem maxime pertinere" He adds, "Sed unum hie me male habet, quod Scytharum excursio sub Cyaxare, de qud ibi Eusebius, videtur Ezechielis vaticinium prsecessisse aliquot annis." See also Lib. I. c. ii. I do not see, I must confess, any difficulty here in the consideration, that this incursion into Palestine must have been before the times of Ezekiel. I think, on the contrary, that this is necessary to the place, in order to account for the prediction of his fall.

294 REVELATION, CHAP. VIII.

mountains, saith the Lord God , every man's sword shall be against his brethren, and" (ver. 22) " / will plead against him with pestilence and with blood f (comp. Ezek. xxv. 17) "and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones," (comp. Josh. x. 11 ; Isai. xxx. 30, with the context), "fire, and brimstone" (comp. Gen. six. 24; and Ps. xi. 6). It is added (ver. 23) " And I will be known" (acknowledged) " in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the lord." Thus were all the tribes of the earth to be made to mourn, when they should, in this way, perceive the Son of man coming (as) in the clouds of heaven with power, and great glory6. These judgments were therefore, to be poured out upon both Jew and Gentile, but particularly on the latter, in these latter days: and we know of no such judgments, and of no latter days, except those to afflict both Jews and Gentiles, in the establishment of the New Covenant.

Again (Jer. vi. 1, seq.).. ."Blow the trumpet,'"1 it is said, " in Tecoa.. for evil appeareth out of the north," (i. e. from Babylon) "and great destruction'' After similar threats it is said (ver. 9), " They shall throughly glean the remnant of Israel as a vine; turn back thine hand as a grape-gatherer into the baskets.'''' That is, to save this Elect and holy portion of Israel, (see also Isai. xvii. 6 ; xxiv. 13 ; with the context in each case). Again (ver. 18, seq.) " Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, 0 congregation,''' (i. e. both the Gentiles and Jews) " what is among them. Hear, 0 earth ; behold, I

6 Ps. xcvii. affords us a most striking description of these times and events, in the form of an Epinicium, or Hymn of victory. " The lord reigneth," says the Psalmist, " let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of the Isles be glad thereof. . Clouds and darkness" (i. e. evincing His power) " are round about Him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of His throne. A. fire goeth before Him, and burneth up His enemies round about. His lightnings enlightened the world: the earth saw and trembled. The hills melted like wax" (i. e. those strong as mountains became weak as water), "at the presence" (i. e. revelation) "of the lord of the whole earth" &c. This figurative mode of speaking is constantly employed, when this subject is brought before us. On this seeing of Christ, John xiv. 19 affords a good example, " the world seeth me no more, but ye see me;" i. e. every disciple does, even to the end of time. But, as " seeth," in the first instance, is used in its natural sense, so—some would argue—it ought to be in the second!

REVELATION, CHAP. VIII. 295

will bring evil upon this people," (i. e. the Jews) " even the fruit of their thoughts"... (ver. 22). " Behold, a people cometh from the north country, and a great nation shall be raised up from the sides of the earth.'1'' (Comp. Deut. xxviii. 49, 50, and the parallels). The stumbling-blocks here, too, (Jer. 21) seem to refer to the stumbling-stone of Isai. viii. 14 ; Rom. ix. 32, 33 ; and 1 Pet. ii. 8; which brings us to the times of the New Covenant, as before. The voice of this Destroyer is moreover, to roar like the sea (ver. 23 ; comp. Isai. v. 30: and Luke xxi. 25); (as) " the sea and the waves roaring" should perhaps, have the particle of similitude «5s, as, inserted: (nothing being more common in the Hebrew and the Hellenistic Greek, than the omission of this particle) : and, if so, this must refer to the same period. This place is again, quite of a piece with Joel, Chapp. ii. iii., as observed above. And again, (Jer. vi. 25) " Go not forth into the field, nor walk by the way. For the sword of the enemy and fear is on every side" is apparently had in view by our Lord Himself when He said : " Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left,''' &c. (Matth. xxiv. 40; comp. Luke xvii. 36). In verses 26, 27, here, we are brought to view the Holy Remnant, as distinguished from the Rewlters (verr. 28, 30, inclus.) The former is made as a Tower and Fortress, in which the silver should be tried, and purged from its dross (comp. Isai. i. 22, 25), " Reprobate silver" (as opposed to the choice, chosen, or election), it is said, "shall men call them, because the Lord hath rejected them.'1'' Which, of necessity, refers to the Jews, and to their last days.

In Jeremiah, chap. Ii., we have the denunciations against Babylon given at length; which,—from the application of these by the Apocalypse, as we shall presently see, to the fall of Daniel's persecuting Little Horn ; i. e. heathen Rome, —must refer to the judgments generally to be poured out upon the Gentiles, after the fall of Jerusalem. It is said (ver. 27) " Set up a standard in the land, blow the trumpet among the nations" (of the north, as in Gog, &c. above),... "cause the horses to come up as the rough caterpillars." We have already referred to Joel in illustration of contexts similar to this, and evidently referring to the same events and period. So Jeremiah compares these horses to rough caterpillars : Joel

296 REVELATION, CHAP. VIII.

(chap. i. 4) depicts the same destroying power: i. e. mystically had in view here by Jeremiah, and as applied by the Apocalypse, under the figures of " the palmer worm, the locust, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar''." Verse 6 (Joel i.) converts these into a nation, strong and without number, to come up upon God's land, having the teeth of a lion, the cheekteeth of a great lion : figures, as we have seen, applied to the Roman heathen Power8. Again (ib. chap. ii. 20), this is styled the northern army as before, and its fall is foretold : that is, as is evident from the context here, the fall of that Power which should destroy Jerusalem; and which (in Jeremiah,—under the figure of Babylon,—Li. 39, 57) is said should " sleep a perpetual sleep, and not awake:" i. e. any more at all, as in the cases occurring in each of the Visions of Daniel.

We next have, (Joel ii. 21, seq.) the renewed glories of the true Zion in its preservation and restoration. " Fear not,'''' it is said, " 0 land; be glad and rejoice"... "Be not afraid, ye leasts of the field-" i. e. those that now pasture in this happy land, "for,'" it is added, " the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit'''' (not as in the judgments above). " Be glad then, ye children of" (the true) " Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God," &c. " And" (ver. 26) "ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied" (comp. Lev. xxvi. 4, seq.; also Zeph. iii. 12—20).. ."And my people shall never be ashamed" The next verse repeats this, and we then have the pouring out of Gods Spirit upon all flesh, cited by St. Peter (Acts ii. 17), as already shewn, which must necessarily comprehend the Apostolical period. The fearful signs spoken of by our Lord, are next predicted (ver. SO, 31), and the Chapter closes by telling us of the salvation to be had. in the Remnant which the Lord should call: and this, the commencement of the next Chapter informs us, should consist in bringing again, and in those days, (i. e. of the Apostles), the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem: that is,

7 We shall have something further on these locusts, &c. when we come to Chap. ix. 3.

8 Dan. vii. 7, 19. It has been usual to suppose that this judgment in Joel, meant a visitation by locusts : with how much propriety, let the reader judge: history knowing of no such thing.

REVELATION, CHAP. VIII. 297

of its holy and Elect portion.—Of this fifty-first Chapter of Jeremiah, we shall have something further to say, when we come to the fall of the Apocalyptic mystical Babylon.

We have again, (Zech. ix. 13, 14) this sounding of the trumpet, evidently relating to the times and events now before us. " When I have lent Judah for me, and filled the bow with Ephraim" (i. e. the Elect or " Election'"1 of both, as arrows to be shot forth), " and raised up thy sons, 0" (thou true) "Zion, against thy sons, 0 Greece, and made thee as the sword of a mighty man:" (comp. Ps. xlv. 3). "And the Lord shall be seen over them" (i. e. every eye shall see Him) " and His arrows" (ib. 5) "shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord God shall'''' (in His Ministers, or Angels) " blow the trumpet, and shall go with the whirlwinds of the south :" i. e. " in the clouds of heaven'"' dispensing His judgments, " with power and great glory." We have moreover, an echo to all this in Zephaniah i. 7, seq.: " The day o/"the lord is at hand: for the Lord hath prepared a sacrifice9, he hath bid his guests".. .(ver. 14, seq). "The great day of the lord is near, it is near, and hast-eth greatly, even the voice" (sound) " of the day of the lord. .. that day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress.. a day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers"..." The whole land shall be devoured by the fire 10 of His jealousy: for He shall make a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land." All which evidently relates to the fall of the unbelieving Jews, as the next Chapter (ii.) does to that of the persecuting Gentiles. Both these judgments are therefore, here had in view.

Again, in the New Testament, (Matth. xxiv. 31) we have, " And He shall send His Angels" (messengers) " with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.'"11

9 Comp. Isai. xxxiv. 6, &c.

10 So Moses Deut. xxxii. 22, as already observed. Comp. Mal. iv. 1, &c.: the matter evidently referred to by St. Peter, 2 Ep. iii. 7, &c. as noticed above.

11 Comp. Is. Lxvi. 15, seq., where we have the same judgments denounced: and (ib. ver. 19) we have the Escaped sent forth as the Ministers of Christ, i. e. so to blow His trumpet in all nations, and to bring all the outcasts, i. e. Elect brethren of Israel to God's holy mountain, which could not now be the Jerusalem of Canaan, for holiness had forsaken it.

298 REVELATION, CHAP. VIII.

It is added (ver. 34) " Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass till all these things be," : which, of necessity, limits the commencement of all these things to the period of the generation then existing™. In every case here therefore, this sounding of the trumpet must relate to the period of Daniel's seventieth week : in some cases, as we have seen, to the former portion of it, in others to the latter. And, if this be so taken as occupying this whole period, and putting forth, as well the denunciation of judgments, as the announcement of salvation by the Gospel, now to be proclaimed by the Ministers of God under the influences of His Holy Spirit; then may these seven Trumpets have been intended to exhibit, a repetition of all that was given under the Seven Seals, and again to be repeated, as we shall see, under the Seven Vials. Nothing is more common in the usage of Scripture, than this sort of repetition ; of which we have had a good specimen in the Visions of Daniel.

We may now return to Ezekiel (chap, xxxix.), which contains other matter relating both to this Power and Period, and which is also alluded to in the Revelation, as we shall see hereafter. This we may as well notice now. It is said (ver. 1, seq.)..." Prophesy against Gog12, and say,... I am against thee, 0 Gog."..," I will turn thee lack... and will cause thee to come up from the north parts,'"—i. e. as if from Assyria, or Babylon, " and I will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel.""..." Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and thy lands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the leasts of the field, to be devoured'1'' (Rev. xix. 17, seq.). In verse 6, a fire is to be sent upon Magog, and upon them that dwell carelessly even in the Isles. So, it is added, (ver. 7) would God make His holy Name known in the midst of His true Israel.

The next verse (8) tells us that the thing is done™, and that this is the day, or period, generally, of which God has spoken, i. e. for His avenging the controversy of Zion. We

12 As shewn above p. 107, seq. If we take the term generation, in the sense ascribed to it, pp. 92—97, above, the result will be much the same.

13 See above p. 293, note, on this Power.

14 Comp. Rev. xvi. 17, where this consummation is also had in view.

REVELATION, CHAP. VIII. 299

next have (ver. 9) the exploits of the true Israel, as the destroyer of every weapon of war16: and all this to be continued during the space of seven years : i. e. the whole of Daniel's last week, mystically making the days of this equal to as many years. A little lower down (ver. 11) Gog is to find his grave in the land of Israel, which is now necessarily the whole world; for Abraham is, at this period, its spiritual heir; and those descended from him, in a spiritual sense, have it as their heritage. Again (ver. 12) the space of seven months is assigned to this burying: which may perhaps be considered, as equal to that of the warfare, and which is above said to continue seven years. We have therefore apparently, the same mystical period in each case : and this again, that of the seven days of Daniel's seventieth week. The Figure is then changed, and it is assumed that no such burial has taken place, and the birds and beasts are, as before, summoned to feast on the carcases of these enemies (verr. 17—20, inclus.). That is, the same great event is otherwise mystically described, and as given by St. John (chap. xix. 17, seq. below).

We next have the consequences of this warfare, in a full restitution of Zion. It is said (ver. 21), " And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them." In the words of St. John, " Behold, he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him," &c. (Rev. i. 7). It is added (ver. 22), " So the"" (true) "house of Israel shall know that Jam the Lord their God from that day forward.'1'' The Prophet continues (23), " And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel" (i. e. the sinful portion of it) "went into captivity for their iniquity... therefore I gave them into the hand of their enemies; so," it is added, "fell they all by the sword." This, I say, the heathen far and wide have seen and known, and still do see and know; the sad testimony is too sure to be mistaken (see also ver. 24). We have here therefore, both these portions of the house of Israel mentioned in the same context, as above (Ezek. xi. 15), but, as in every other case, the context is sufficiently explicit to supply the true distinction.

16 Comp. Ps. Lxviii. 30. Isai. ii. 4. Micah iv. 3.


300 REVELATION, CHAP. VIII.

Again (ib. ver. 25), we have the return of a captivity of one of these parties; let us try to ascertain which of them is meant. The words are : " Now," i. e. in the day whereof God had spoken (ver. 8 above), "will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel," i. e. chap. xi. 15, " all the house of Israel wholly ;" those whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem treated as outcasts16. Of these it is said there (xi. 17), " 1 will gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel." While (ib. ver. 21), the recompense of abomination committed, is still to be poured upon the reprobates. And here (xxxix. 27), " When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies'1 lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations; then they shall know that I am the lord their God," &c. "For" it is added (ver. 29), " I have poured out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord God," i. e. in the day of God already mentioned. This party therefore, must be that styled the Remnant, &c., and this return from captivity, be that which the true Israel experienced, when they were made possessors of the heritage of the Gentiles17.

It is said indeed (Ezek. ib. 26), " After they have borne their shame, and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against me, when they dwelt safely in their land,"

16 "We have a place similar to this, Jer. xxxiii. 24, seq., " Considerest thou not what this people have spoken, saying, The two families which the loud hath chosen, He hath even cast them offf Thus" it is added of the heathenish Jews, " they have despised my people, that they should lie no more a nation before me.. .for I will cause their captivity to return, and have mercy on them :" that is, those whom God would take to be Bulers, even over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And in the parallel place (chap, xxiii. 2, seq.), " 5V i. e. the unfaithful pastors of Israel, "have scattered my flock, and driven them away" &c. " And I will gather the remnaot of my flock out of all the countries whither I have driven them" (i. e. allowed them to be so driven), " and will bring them again to their folds." In ver. 14, these unfaithful people are all made, in God's estimation, " as Sodom, and the inhabitants tliereof" (i. e. of Jerusalem) " as Gomorrah." Comp. Isai. i. 9, 10, 21.

17 See pp. 78—88, above.

REVELATION, CHAP. VIII. 301

&c., which should seem rather to refer to the whole nation; and thence, the return of this captivity, to refer to this likewise. The fact of the case certainly is, that all suffered alike in this general captivity, and from the Gentile Power here had in view: but then, all did not become refined18 by this purging and sifting; all did not mourn as doves of the valleys for their sins, as those termed the "Escaped" did (chap. vii. 13, 16): the multitude too, as distinguished from these, can boast of no promise of a return : it is, on the contrary, positively declared (ib. also chap. xx. 38) of them, that they "shall not RETURN19." While here (ver. 25, seq., and xi. 17) it is said, that God Himself would bring back their captivity, and place them in their own land, i. e. now, in the heritage of the heathen which should have become theirs as true Israelites, by heirship.

Besides, His Spirit was, as noticed again and again above, to be poured out upon these (xi. 19, Joel ii. 31, &c.) in a peculiar manner, so that in them God should be sanctified,—in that day,—in the sight of many nations. The Spirit was accordingly, poured out in that day, which St. Peter styles " the last days," and this in the sight of Jews assembled from various parts of the world (Acts ii. 2, seq.). And here again (Joel ii. 31), we also have notice of the fearful judgments to be poured out upon the Gentiles, and which should be preceded, as here in the Revelation, by the sun's being turned into darkness, and the moon into blood. The captivity here to be brought back therefore, is not that of Israel, improperly so called: for all this house, it is said, should continue to fall by the sword; it was only that better party, on whom the Spirit should be, and was actually, poured out within " the last days." And, once more, this Gog of Ezekiel, who should make war upon these, must, from these considerations, be that Power which should, according to Daniel, make war upon the saints, and should itself fall at the time of the end, and within the precincts of the Empire of the Son of Man.

" The third part of the trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up" (Rev. ver. 7), i. e. the famine, &c.

18 Zech. xiii. 9. Comp. Dan. xi. 35. Amos ix. 9.

19 See pp. 44—52.

302 REVELATION, CHAP. VIII,

commencing in the days of Claudius Caesar (Acts xi. 28), noticed under our first Seal20, and followed by the series of general judgments denounced. In this point of view, this first Angel will prepare us for the whole series, by an allusion to these first troubles, and with an outline of the subsequent ones. Daniel ix. 26, prepares us in like manner, for the fall of Judaism, which, verse 27, is more specifically described by the cessation of sacrifice and oblation. We have here therefore, commenced our Second series of Events.

Sect. II.—On the Second Trumpet.

we now come (ver. 8) to our second Angel and trumpet. " And," it is said, " the second Angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood21,'''' &c. If we now turn to Jeremiah, chap. Li. 25, we shall find that this is said of Babylon, and alludes, as already remarked, to the mystical Babylon of the Revelation, i. e. heathen Rome as a persecutor. "Behold,''1 it is said, "lam against thee, O destroying mountain, saith the lord, which destroyest all the earth ; (see Dan. vii. 23) "and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain." See also 35—44.

We have already seen this Power in its horses, coming up as rough caterpillars: i. e. to destroy and devour. We have here an enouncement, by this second Angel, of its fall. But then it is added (ib. ver. 26), " And they shall not take of thee a stone for a corner, nor a stone for a foundation ; but thou shalt be desolate for ever" &c. That is, mystically speaking, as before no part whatsoever of thee shall remain as a ground-work, or corner-stone, of any future mystical Babylon : and, as in the first Vision of Daniel, every portion of it was to be so carried away that not a particle of it should remain, nor its place be found; so here, the same is virtually said, as also noticed above, in the perpetual sleep to which it was there doomed.

We are told (ib.) that " the third part of the sea became

20 See on Chap. vi. 6, above.

21 Comp. Chap. vi. 2, and xvi. 3, where the same period and events are apparently had in view.

REVELATION, CHAP. VIII. 303

blood," sec. By a multitude of waters, or sea, a multitude of people is often represented in Holy Writ, and particularly in this Book22. We are not therefore, to seek for these things in the sea, but on the land; and, as we shall see, primarily among the multitude of the Jewish nation. Allusion seems here to be made to Ezekiel, chap, v., where the Prophet is commanded to shave off his hair, and to divide it into three equal parts. One third part is then to be burnt in the midst of the city (ver. 2), another third to be smitten about with a knife; and the last is to be scattered to the winds, and a sword drawn out after them. Let it be observed here (ver. 3), a few thereof are to be taken and bound up, and so to be preserved in the skirts of the Prophet himself. Which must necessarily refer to the preserved Remnant of Zion.

At verse 10 (Ezek. ib.), we have the horrors of the siege foretold by Moses (Deut. xxviii. 52. See also chap. vi. 1, 2), in which the parents should eat their children. Again (ver. 12), a third part is to die of the pestilence and famine, and another by the sword, and the last third to be scattered to the winds of heaven, and a sword is to be drawn out after them. That all this took place under the Roman heathen Power, is too certain to admit of a doubt: and it is equally certain, that in this state of dispersion, rebuke, and contempt generally, are the same family of Jews at this present day. In the Revelation here, one third part of the sea becomes blood : in other words, one third part of this Jewish multitude is slain by the sword. Again, one third part of the creatures die (Rev. 9), that is, as it should seem, by famine and pestilence. And again, a third part of the ships (ib.), i. e. as sailing or emigrating far and wide, are destroyed: in other words, that part which so wanders are represented as in a perpetual state of destruction, because the pursuing sword, pestilence, and famine, everywhere follow them.

Let us now see what becomes of that portion, or Remnant, (chap. v. 3) bound up in the skirts of the Prophet, and necessarily of the same party with himself. In Chap. vi. 8, it is said, "Yet will I leave a Remnant, that ye may have some that shall escape the sword among the nations, when ye

22 Chap. xvii. 15.

304 REVELATION, CHAP. VIII.

shall be scattered through the countries. And," it is added, " they that escape of you shall remember me among the nations whither they shall be carried captives...and they shall lothe themselves for the evils which they have committed^..and they shall know that I am the lord," &c. Comp. vii. 16, &c., and it will be seen, that the end of Judaism is too plainly foretold to be mistaken.

In Ezek. chap, xiv., we have, I think, the same things foretold, though not under the same figures (see from verse 12 to the end). Up to verse 22 here, we have the pestilence, famine, and slaughter, of our first citation fearfully dwelt upon; and this is followed (ver. 22, seq.) by a prediction respecting Israel's holy Remnant, in these words: " Yet, behold, therein shall be left a Remnant, that shall be brought forth, both sons and daughters: behold, they shall come forth unto you, and ye shall see their way and their doings," &c. Which must necessarily be that Remnant, of which Paul the Apostle was one (see p. 33, seq. above). All this will therefore refer to the Jewish nation, and may commence a little before the fall of Jerusalem, and extend to the dispersion of the Jews under Hadrian: that is, after the beginning of Daniel's seventieth week, to about one third part of its latter half.

But within this period, the commencement of the judgments to fall upon the nations will also have taken place. We have seen that the fall of Jericho, appears to shadow out that of the Gentiles, at least in its beginnings. In like manner, " the hail," to fall under the sounding of our first trumpet, probably alludes to that cast upon the Canaanites at the fall of Gibeon (Josh. x. 11): for, after the manner of taking possession under the temporary Covenant, was that under the everlasting one, also to be. Besides, the fire cast into the sea (i. e. many peoples), under our second trumpet, cannot, without violence, be confined to the Jews. Under our second seal moreover, peace was to be taken from the (whole) earth, and this was to be by the instrumentality of a great sword, to be wielded by him who sat on the red (i. e. blood-coloured) horse. We have therefore, within the period apparently here had in view, famine, and sword, committing their ravages upon the Jew first, and then upon the Gentile. Chapters xv., xvi.; xvii., are generally to the same effect.

REVELATION, CHAP. VIII. 305

Sect. III.—The Third Trumpet.

if we suppose these soundings to keep pace with the several days of Daniel's seventieth week, we shall have under this, the period in which Jerusalem fell, with the commencement of that in which judgments should fall on the Gentiles : for here the sounding of our third Angel, extending to that of the fourth, will exceed the days, at the end of which both the Temple and City of Jerusalem were to fall. We must also bear in mind that, under the mystical language of Scripture, principle, rather than particulars23, is always urged. Under this, the Jews are in principle " no people :" they have rejected their Lord, and He has rejected them. They are consequently to be considered spiritually, as the " Rulers of Sodom," and " People of Gomorrah;" or, as " Sodom and Egypt" (chap. xi. 8), and the children of the Devil (John viii. 44). In this point of view, they are accordingly to be considered as his ministers and agents, and therefore the objects of threat, not of promise, and as subject to the judgments denounced upon all unbelief.

Now under the Theocracy,—and the same is still the case,—the true Church is occasionally called Heaven24: and hence (chap. xii. 10), " the accuser of our brethren is" said

23 I say this, because I find writers on this place, endeavouring to make such pretender as Barcocab, or some other influential insurgent among the Jews at this time, the person meant by this falling star; which, according to my notions, is infinitely beneath the requirements of the case. Besides, these judgments fell upon the Jews, in one shape or other, in places far distant from Jerusalem, while they concerned the Church in every nation under heaven, where the name of Barcocab, &c., was never heard. This sort of particularizing is moreover unnecessary, and especially as it narrows the application of these Scriptures, and opens a field for endless conjecture.

24 Ps. txxxix. 6, " The heavens shall praise," &c. .. ."thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints." But would be more accurately rendered by, Even thy faithfulness, &c. The heavens are made to consist of persons in the congregation, &c. " Made its to sit in heavenly places in Christ," Eph. ii. 6. Comp. i. 3. The new heavens too, both of Isaiah and St. John, can be no other than the Church under the New Covenant: the reason of which is, this is considered as an habitation for God in the Spirit.


306 REVELATION, CHAP. VIII.

to be " cast down :" but (ver. 9) he is also said to be " cast out into the earth:" i. e. by the power of God in his Angels, or Ministers, he is cast out of the Church.—But more on this when we come to Chap. xii. 9, seq. It is accordingly, with reference to this event, that our Lord says to His disciples (Luke x. 18), " I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven:" i. e. when He was told how the " devils were subject to them through His name" throughout Jewry : for this their mission extended no farther. We may therefore, now view the fall of Satan,—as a Principal in persecuting the Church of God,—indirectly foretold in all those places, in which the fall of his Agents is predicted; and this, as affecting the Jew in the first instance, and the Gentile in the second: both having the same work before them, both acting under the same Principal, and both to fall by the same Divine power: and in this general sense, we have only to refer to the predictions already cited, on the character and fall of " the Antichrist" pp. 206—212.

It must not be imagined however, that the several periods in which the enouncement of these judgments is made by the Angels, are to be always identical with that of their infliction: this would be to confine language decidedly mystical, to a precision known only to the pure mathematics. . These enouncements are made time after time, intimating rather the amount and sort of judgments so to be inflicted, during the whole period of Daniel's seventieth mystical week, rather than their precise time ; first, before the fall of Jerusalem, and to be consummated in this: secondly, during the last half of this week, on both Jew and Gentile generally, and to be consummated in the fall of heathenism at its close. But which in each of these series, and its end, is at any time foretold by the Prophets, and brought before us from them by St. John, must be ascertained from their several contexts: and this we shall endeavour to do, as we proceed.

" And the third angel sounded," says St. John (ver. 10), " and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp." The place alluded to here is Isai. chap. xiv. 12, "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!" (i. e. who hast placed thyself there, as prince of the host). " How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!" Again (ver. 19), "Thou art

REVELATION, CHAP. VIII. 307

cast out of thy grave" &c. Again (ver. 26), giving its application : " This is the purpose purposed upon the whole earth." It extends therefore beyond Babylon, or Assyria, in its mystical bearing, although strictly applying to either in its literal one. On the application of this place to the Antichrist, see page 202, above.

Again (Ezek. xxviii. 2, seq.), Tyre is denounced under the fall of this God-assuming power, and said to be (ver. 14, as) " the anointed cherub...thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire" (here in St. John, " burning as it were a lamp"). It is added, " I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God" (i. e. out of His Church); " I will destroy thee... thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more." (See also p. 203, above.) Again (ver. 17), "Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness'25." It is added, "/ will cast thee to the ground" (as in Isaiah and John). " / will lay thee before Kings, that they may behold thee" (i. e. as in the fall of the mystical Babylon, Rev. xviii. 9). Again (ver. 18), "I will bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee,...in the sight of all them that behold thee" (Rev. xvii. 16; xviii. 15). That this should take place in connexion with the ingathering of Israel's holy Remnant, is evident from the last three verses of this Chapter. It must therefore, of necessity, have the fall of the Antichrist for its object.

The figure and language used by Ezekiel, has been to some extent adopted by St. Paul, for the purpose perhaps of suggesting, that this place had particular reference to his "Man of sin." He says, e. g. 2 Thess. ii. 4, " Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sittith, or against, the Temple of God" (see above, p. 202, seq.), " shewing himself that he is God26." Isaiah tells us, that this power should

25 Which may perhaps be taken as intended to imply (mystically), the original fall of Satan. See also verr. 15, 17.

26 In verse 2 here, " I sit in the seat of God," fyc.

 

308 REVELATION, CHAP. VIII.

exalt his throne (seat) above the stars of God; Ezekiel,. that he should sit in the seat (or throne) of God: more literally, / sit the seat, or the sitting of God: i. e. as God: which, to my apprehension, is perfectly of a piece with the words of St. Paul. Allusion is perhaps made in Ezekiel to Ps. xxix. 10, in the words "In the midst of the seas." The Psalmist has, "The Lord" (Jehovah) "sitteth upon the flood'''1 (lit. Deluge), Sic. And to this, Daniel (xi. 45) seems to allude when he says of the Antichrist: " He shall plant the tabernacle of His palaces between the seas, in the glorious holy mountain:" not locally, but mystically, to hold dominion over many people (see p. 196).

Again, in the words (ver. 14) " And I have set theew" &c., i. e. have said of thee sometime before this, or the like, we have an allusion apparently to some previous declaration respecting this power. The place is, perhaps, that just now cited from Isaiah, where this Pretender28 is said to have chosen for his throne, " the mount of the congregation;" that is, on which the Temple then stood, and was therefore the mount of holiness; " in the sides of the north :" i. e. in the City of the great King: and, just as in Isaiah (xiv. 15),

The Heb. uses the word 3u;i, sat, or dwelt, in each case. In Ps. xxix. Jehovah sat on to, or inhabited, the Deluge, &c. The LXX. takes the latter sense. In Ezek. xxviii. 2.  lama god, I sit in the seat of God in the heart of the seas: which implies something much greater than the insular position of Tyre : it certainly expresses universal rule, as in the place above cited from Daniel. It must be obvious, I think, that St. Paul had this place of Ezekiel in his eye, when he described his man of sin. See on Dan. vii. p. 153, seq. and pp. 202, 3, seq. above.

27 In Ezek. xxxi. 8, 9; ver. 11 seq. we have the fall of the Assyrian's successor by the power of Home.

28 Comp. Ezek. xxxi. 3. seq. In verr. 11, seq. we have his fall as before, (ver. 16), "/ made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall," (i. e. as of this star in St. John, "when I cast him down to hell with them that descend into the pit: and all the trees of Eden," (i.e. children of God), "ths choice" (Elect.) " of Lebanon, all that drink water," (i.e. of the spiritual rock Christ), "shall be comforted in the nether parts of the earth," &c.

REVELATION, CHAP. VIII. 309

" they shall bring thee down to the sides of the pit." " In the midst of the stones of fire" implies perhaps,—for the sense is here wholly mystical,—among those whom God considered as His jewels (comp. Mal. iii. ] 7), or, as " the stones of a crown" (Zech. ix. 16). And so in Daniel (viii. 11), " He magnified himself even to" (his becoming) " the prince of the host." And (ib. 10), "He waxed great even to the host of heaven, and cast down some of the host of the stabs to the ground, and stamped upon them." Where the stars must stand for the same Elect and shining servants of God, whom this Power should destroy in his assumed power of Deity. We have here therefore in Ezekiel, the same Power mystically foretold, that we have in Isaiah as just considered, under the name of Babylon; but here under that of Tyre: and which, the Apostle Paul,—speaking of the same Power,—had in his eye in his man of sin.

Again (Ezek. xxviii. 21, seq.), judgments of a similar sort are denounced against Zidon, although nothing is there said about a claim to Deity. That this extends to the times of the New Covenant, is evident enough from these words (ib. ver. 22), " / will be glorified in the midst of thee: and they shall know that I am the lord, when I shall have executed judgments in her, and shall be sanctified in her." The next verse speaks of the pestilence, blood, and the like, had in view, by the Apocalypse, in the denunciations of our second trumpeting Angel, as also in the opening of our second seal. This third in particular, speaks of the deadly character which the waters of the rivers and fountains should assume, upon the fall of this Star from heaven; which should remind us perhaps, both of the deaths to take place, and of the corruptions of the doctrines of the New Testament to be effected, by the ministers of Satan, during these times.

It is next declared (Ezek. ib. 24), generally, that when this Power shall have fallen, " there shall be no more a pricking brier" (i. e. thorn in the side) " unto the house of" (the true) " Israel, nor any grieving thorn of all that are round about them, that despised them; and" it is added, "they shall know that I am the lord." That is, these, whether Canaanites, Moabites, Edomites, Amalekites, Babylonians, Assyrians, or any other such enemies, shall know, that the declaration here mystically given, includes the spiritual tri-

310 REVELATION, CHAP. VIII.

umph to be obtained over them all, and their entire subjugation to the true and spiritual Zion of God. The latter three verses of this Chapter, as already noticed, fully confirm this. They clearly bring us to the times, when God should gather His true Israel together out of every people; and this again, when He should have so executed His judgments on (all) them that had despised them round about. Then it is said, " They shall dwell safely, and with confidence:" here, in their own final possession, or land, given them by Covenant, i. e. the heritage of the heathen, even to the uttermost parts of the earth. And, be it remembered, this great end,—the testimony of Jesus,-—and necessarily the mystical declarations disclosing it, constitute the spirit of all prophecy. What is said (Rev. viii. 11) of the waters becoming of a deadly bitter (comp. Exod. xv. 23), so as to poison and kill those who drank them, stands in the parallel place (Chap. xvi. 4—7) thus: "And they became blood'1'' (comp. Exod. vii. 17, seq.). " For," it is added, " they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink." Which will refer to the Jews; for they alone had shed the blood of the Prophets. So our blessed Lord, " Upon you''' (shall) " come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel."..." All these things shall come upon this generation'®." From what we have seen here it must be evident, that we now are within the period in which Jerusalem should fall: i. e. should precede this, so far as the enouncement must precede the judgment : and it may be, to continue for some time after this. " The name," it is said, " of this star is called Wormwood.'1'' That this is a designation of Satan, as the author of all bitterness and misery, there can be no doubt, from the following places: viz. Deut. xxix. 18, "Lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood:" i, e. an evil heart, labouring under the baneful influences of the devil. See the context. Heb. xii. 15, "Lest any man fail of the grace of God: lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled:" i. e. by this poison of the serpent. Again (Jer. ix. 15, seq.), "Behold, I will feed them'1'' (i. e the Jews), " even this people, with wormwood,

Matt, xxiii. 35, 36.


REVELATION, CHAP. VIII. 311

and give them water of gall to drink. I will scatter them ...I will send a sword after them, till I have consumed them." See also Lam. iii. 15, where the better party,— suffering in common with the rest,—view these things as come to pass. Of the transgressors it is also said (Amos v. 7), " Ye.. .turn judgment to wormwood, and leave off righteousness in the earth." All which, there can be no doubt, St. John had in his mind when he wrote this: and hence, intended to send his reader to it, and so to impress upon him the judgments to be inflicted on the Jews as foretold in these Scriptures. It need now only be remarked, that all this quadrates well with the period assigned to the sounding of our third Angel.

Sect. IV.—The Fourth Trumpet.

we now come to the fourth Angel (ver. 9). " And " the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise." We have already seen (on Matth. xxiv. 29, page 127, seq. above), that the darkening of the sun and moon referred generally to the judgments to be executed upon the heathen. It has been remarked too, that the enemies generally of God's true Zion, are had in view in all the judgments so foretold, whether upon Babylon, Idumea, or any other people. In Ezekiel (chap, xxxii. 2, seq.), the judgments here apparently had in view, are those denounced against Egypt: and, what is most remarkable, the context especially includes those other states, which were then known as the enemies of Zion.

It is said (ib. ver. 2), " Son of man, take up a lamentation for Pharaoh King of Egypt."..." Thou art as a whale in the seas" (comp. Isai. xxvii. 12, "The lord shall beat off from the channel of the river" i. e. the Euphrates, " unto the stream of Egypt" &c.). It is added (ver. 7, seq.), "And when I shall put thee out, I will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark: I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light. All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over thee, and set darkness upon

312 REVELATION, CHAP. VIII.

thy land, saith the lord God. I will also vex the hearts o/"many people" (i.e. as noted above), "when I shall bring thy destruction.... Yea, I will make many people amazed at thee, and their kings shall be horribly afraid for thee...and they shall tremble...every man for his own life, in the day of thy fall." Which is just what is said, both by Isaiah and St. John, of the fall of Babylon. By " / will set darkness upon thy land," we are forcibly admonished of the darkness that might be felt30 inflicted on the Egyptians, when Israel was in bondage there (Exod. x. 21, seq.):—for this controversy of the true Zion, was to be carried on after the manner of Egypt, as already remarked (see p. 217, above).

In verse 12, the sword of the king of Babylon is to spoil the pomp of Egypt. Again, verse 18, the Prophet is made to wail for the multitude of Egypt, which is then laid,—just as the king of Babylon is in Isaiah (xiv. 9, seq.),— in the pit. "•The strong among the mighty31 is then made to speak to Egypt out of the midst of hell" (rather the grave). " As-shur," we are next told (ver. 22), " is there,'''' that is, in the same grave, together with "her company...all of them slain luith the sword." We have here therefore, the very power which should destroy Egypt with the sword, laid in the same grave with it! which will be sufficient to shew, that this language must be mystically understood. But this is not all, we have next (ver. 24), "Elam and all her multitude" in the same situation: we have also (ver. 26), " Meshech and Tubal." " Edom" also (ver. 29), and " her Kings ;" " the Princes of the North" (ver. 30), " all of them," i. e. Gog and Magog, as also " the Zidonians32," in the same category.

30 I. e. in which one should fee' about, or grope: darkness to be felt is absurd.

31 So Isaiah in a place perfectly parallel to this (chap. xiii. 10, seq.): "For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not e luse her light to shine. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of (all) the proud to cease, and I will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible." We then hare, a little lower down, a particular prediction of the fall of the temporal Babylon, as already remarked.

32 The fall of these states, spiritually considered, is given at length, by Isaiah, in different Chapters; of Moab, ch. xr.: Damacus, i. e.


REVELATION, CHAP. VIII. 313

And it is added, " Pharaoh shall see them." All of which can,—as far as I can see,—be capable of no literal interpretation ; but, if taken mystically, as referring to the victories to be achieved by the sword of the Spirit in the great day of the Lord, when the controversy of Zion should be determined, becomes sufficiently natural and easy.

The next Chapter (xxxiii.) of Ezekiel brings us apparently to our trumpeting, or " trumpet-tongued," Angels generally. " Son of man," it is said (ver. 2), "speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I briny a sword upon a" (i. e. any) " land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman" (i. e. mystically their Preacher, or Apostle): " If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and (so) warn the people; then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning...his blood shall be upon his own head."..." But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take away any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity;. but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand. So thou, O son of man, I have set thee (as) a watchman :" i. e. as in our angels, or, the ministers of Christ, to warn the world of the revealed will of God.

A little farther on (ver. 27, seq.), the utter and final overthrow of unbelieving Israel is particularly foretold. The words are: " Say... Thus saith the Lord god: As I live, surely they that are in the wastes shall fall by the sword, and him that is in the open field will I give to the beasts to-be devoured, and they that be in the forts33 and in the caves

Syria, xvii. Egypt, xviii. xix. xxi. Babylon, &c. xxiii. Tyre, &c. xxxiv. Idumea, and under it, of every other opposing power, as shewn already. .,

83 In Josephus (Wars, Bk. vn. chap. vi. viii. ix. xi.) we have the events foretold here by Ezekiel. I will make a few extracts, Ch. vi. As for the Jews that were caught in this place (Macherus) " they seized the upper citadel, and held it," &c.; but were eventually compelled to leave it by Bassus, the Roman General. Ch. viii. is thus headed, " Concerning Masada," (Ezek. 1. c.  ie. fortresses :whence this place probably took its name): " and those Sicarii who

314 REVELATION, CHAP. VIII.

shall die of the pestilence. For I will lay the land most desolate™, and the pomp of her strength shall cease; and the mountains of Israel shall be desolate, that none" (i. e. Jew) " shall pass through." That this is not to fall upon the holy Remnant, is evident enough from the context; it is upon those who are made to say (ver. 24, as in chap. xi. 15), " the land is given to us in possession." It is remarkable too, that not so much as mention of Jerusalem occurs here : for these judgments were to fall upon those in the wastes, the forts, and in the mountains. Much warfare of this sort wasted the Jews, after the fall of their City, and during the reigns of Trajan and Adrian, as the historians tell us. Under the latter, they were actually forbidden to set a foot in Jerusalem; and this I take to be implied in the terms most desolate, &c., as used above : which answers well to the place assigned in the series to our fourth Angel, and brings us of necessity, to the latter period of our " latter days," " time of the end," and the like.

But the Jews attended not to the trumpet-sounding, either of Isaiah (chap. Lviii. 1, seq.), of Ezekiel, or of their successors,—in this office of warning,—the Apostles of our Lord; and accordingly, judgment came upon them to the uttermost, and still cleaves to them. And again, what had become a stumbling-block to the Jews, was treated as foolishness by the Greeks, and by the heathen powers generally : they regarded not the sound of the trumpet when God went forth with his ambassadors, although this was in the whirlwinds of the south, in fearful signs and wonders; and the end was, judgment fell upon them also. We then have, as before, the salvation of the Remnant, or Election, i. e. God's true Israel (xxxiv. 20—31), as a general conclusion to this context. We are therefore, now among the judgments which

kept it; and how Silva betook himself to form the siege of that citadel. Eleazar's speeches to the besieged." Ch. ix. "Now the people that were in the fortress were prevailed on by the words of Eleazar, two women and five children only excepted, and all submitted to be killed by one another." Ch. xi. " Concerning Jonathan, one of the Sicarii, that stirred up a sedition in Cyrene," &c. This man induced large numbers to follow him into the desert, most of whom were slain by the Roman general Catullus.

34 See my Heb. Gram. Art. 223. 2, on this usage.


REVELATION, CHAP. VIII. 315

should be executed both upon the Jews and the heathen: God accompanying His ambassadors, with the sound of his trumpet (Zech. ix. 14, seq.), and with the clearest evidences of His wrath.

If, then, these places are ultimately to be taken in a mystical sense,—without at all interfering with their primary one,—the language of John, which thus indirectly appeals to them, must be taken mystically likewise. When ,we are told therefore, as we are here (Rev. viii. 12), that " the third part of the sun was smitten," &c., we are to understand that, at this period, there would be " great distress of nations,"—including of necessity the Jews,—as foretold also by our blessed Lord: and that these Prophets intended to bring before us these very events.

Sect. V.—The Fifth Trumpet.

The next verse (13) tells us through an Angel, that further distress and woe are to be inflicted on the inhabiters of the earth, i. e. generally; and accordingly, the beginning of the next Chapter (ix.) announces the sounding of " the fifth Angel." "I saw," says John, " a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. And," adds he, " he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace ; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the earth. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth...And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth... neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads." It is added, "To them was given that they should not kill them" (i. e. the men just mentioned), " but that they"" (these) "should be tormented five months'" (i. e. by these locust-like ministers). We are told a little lower down (ver. 11), that these have a king, the angel of the bottomless pit, named in the Hebrew Abaddon (destroyer), but in the Greek Apollyon. We have now therefore, not only the actors in this tragedy, but also their Principal, Satan.

By the air's being darkened, we are perhaps to understand the consequence of the sun's being smitten. We now

316 REVELATION, CHAP. IX.

have therefore, gross darkness suffused over the whole, and this the darkness of hell itself: and under which, good and bad must suffer, physically at least; the Saints being now given into the hands of the Antichrist for a time, times, and a half. Again, these locusts were to hurt nothing except those who had not received " the seal of God in their foreheads,'" i. e. repeating Chap. vii. 3, and meaning that those who had been so sealed, should not be hurt in any spiritual sense ; representing, as they did, spiritual agents under an Almighty spiritual King. These sealed men (taken from chap. vii. 3, above) would, of necessity, suffer much externally in times such as these, and especially as this was allowed, in order to try and to refine them even to the end. Many of them were moreover, to be slain during this period, by the " Little Horn;" their spirits should nevertheless be preserved wholly and without blemish. Of this sort of language we have had many examples; such is (John vi. 49, seq.), " Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread...that a man may eat thereof, and not die...If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever,...(ver. 58), "he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever." Where eateth, not dying, and living for ever, must be taken spiritually, of necessity. The same holds good in many of the instances above. Natural armies and plagues, such as horses prepared to battle, locusts, and the like, under a spiritually sinful king, are brought mystically into action, in order to shew by whom the world should be thus plagued, and how the Saints, physically to fall under their weapons, should nevertheless remain wholly unhurt. This sort of distinction is of infinite importance, in our endeavours to interpret Holy Scripture (see pp. 10—15, above).

We may now view the period, during which these agents are allowed fully to act. It is said (ver. 5) to be "five months." How then is this to be understood? Not, one would think, as implying so many calendar months, in mystical language such as this evidently is. It has been remarked above, that the whole period of Daniel's seventieth mystical week, is occasionally styled a year, as it also is a day, &c. Supposing then,—as before,—these seven trumpets to extend through the whole seven days of Daniel's week, and that the fifth of these is now sounding; we shall of

REVELATION, CHAP. IX 317

necessity, be within a period beyond its first half, or middle; and, supposing a year to represent this whole period, we shall now be beyond its sixth month: again, if we suppose we are arrived at the end of the seventh, five months will still remain to complete the period. We have seen too, that the Saints were to be given into the hands of this Desolator or Destroyer, for a time, times, and a half, that is, 3^ times at least. We are also told, that this should be for 42 months (Rev. xi. 2; xvi. 5) ; i. e. the whole half of the seven mystical years of Ezekiel, as noticed above : and which again (Rev. xi. 9), is said to be 3 \ days:—but of this more presently. By this five months therefore we are, probably, to understand such smaller part of the latter portion of this seventieth week, during which, Daniel tells us (chap. ix. 27), He shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, i. e. to the time of the end. Let us now enquire, whether the particulars adverted to by St. John will suit this period. In Rev. xvi. 10, 11, we have the parallel to this place given under the fifth vial; and again, chap. xvii. 8, 9, a repetition or resumption of it:—of which more hereafter.

When it is said (ver. 5), that " they should not kill them," the meaning probably is, that they were not sent for that purpose: only to injure under Satan, the cause of all the plagues of these times. It should seem from the mention of locusts here, that dearth and scarcity would be implied, as afflicting the whole earth: and this again, both temporally and spiritually, as far as the nature of the case would admit. In the Jews, this would be felt in both these ways. They were now deprived of their divine appointments, privileges, and consolations: and were therefore, just as the heathen had always been, suffering a dearth of the Word of God: in the words of Amos (viii. 12), "They shall wander from sea to sea,...they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the lord, and shall not find it." And (ib. iv. 8, seq.), " Two or three cities wandered unto one city, to drink water ; but they were not satisfied....I have smitten you with blasting,...when your gardens and your vineyards and your fig-trees and your olive-trees increased, the palmerworm" (rather, the locust} "devoured them....I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah." That is, by an entire overthrow of their polity. As to the

318 REVELATION, CHAP. IX.

Gentiles, the famines, earthquakes, wars, and other judgments that fell upon them were many and grievous, as we have seen from Orosius, and shall further see presently. The heretics too must, at this period, have been numerous, and have inflicted, as locusts and scorpions, grievous temporal plagues upon the professing Church. If now we consider for a moment the declarations of Amos (iv. 9. vii. 1—4; viii.; ix. 1—9), we shall find predictions the most fearful of Jerusalem's latter days. In chap. vii. 1, we have the locusts of St. John; for, although our Authorized Version gives grasshoppers, the original really has Locusts35. If we now pass on to chap. ix. 11, seq., we shall come to the establishment of the throne of the spiritual David, and the return of the captivity of Israel's holy Remnant: i. e. when these plagues should have come to their destined end.

The sealing of God's servants, here only referred to, took place at an earlier period than this. See above under chap, vii. 3. We may now come therefore, to those other places in the Prophets which are apparently alluded to here. "In those days," says St. John, " shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.'''' Parallel to this are the judgments of the fifth vial, chap. xvi. 10, 11 : of which more when we come to that place. We also have declarations similar to these in chap. vi. 16, and which are given apparently, to mark the latter part of Daniel's seventieth week, under the opening of the sixth seal. Under that of the fifth seal, we have the prayer of the martyrs; who, as it should seem, should be augmented under our fifth trumpet: and where,—as in this place, —a considerable space of time was yet to run out. (See on that place above.)

We are here, in the first place (ver. 6), referred probably to Isaiah (chap. ii. 19), where it is evident these particular times are had in view. " They shall go," it is said, " into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the lord.. when He ariseth to shake terribly the earth," &c., and when the idols shall have been utterly abolished (ver. 18): which must imply the general fall of heathenism. Again, in Jeremiah (viii. 3), " Death," it is said,

35 See Rosenmuller on the place.

REVELATION, CHAP. IX. 319

" shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue of them that remain of this evil family;" which refers to the Jews, who are now de jure, part and parcel of the nations; their polity having fallen, and they themselves being broken off from their original stock. Jerem. viii. 16, seq., we have the snorting of the horses of the Roman power,—as pictured (ver. 7) by St. John,—and the serpents and cockatrices of Jeremiah (ver. 17), given also under St. John's figure of scorpions. The only difference in St. John is, that he applies this language generally, and so includes both Jews and Gentiles : which suits well the circumstances of this period, as falling upon all.

We are told by St. John (ver. 7), that " The shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle,'1'' &c., which will bring us to the army of locusts mentioned by Joel ii. 25, Sic., and noticed above36, and where the fall of the Jews by the Roman power is first described, and then (chap. iii. 2, seq.) that of the Gentiles: Tyre and Zidon are also named, together with all the coasts of Palestine. At verse 9, it is said, " Proclaim ye this'1'' (as with a trumpet) "among the Gentiles,"" (ver. 15), " The sun and moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter His voice" (as with a trumpet, Zech. ix. 14) "from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake^."...(\er. 19), "Egypt shall be a desolation, and JSdom3s shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they shed innocent blood." That is as before, Egypt and Edom should literally fall; but here, more largely and mystically, as the enemies of the Lord. It is then said, "In that day, the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk...and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the Lord, and shall water the valley of Shittim." That is, when this spiritual enemy shall be so destroyed, the wilderness of the formerly Gentile world, should be so irrigated by the full flowing rivers of Judah, that it should blossom as the rose. And then also, i. e. " in

36 See p. 271, seq. above.

37 Comp. Haggai, ch. ii. 7.

38 Just as in Ezekiel xxxii. noticed above, p. 311.

320 REVELATION, CHAP. IX

these days, and in that'''' (identical period, or) " when I,"" saith the Lord, " shall bring again the captivity of" (the true) " Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations,'1'' &c. Which gives us the warfare under these locusts, and its termination in complete victory, and necessarily brings us to the end of Daniel's seventieth week. Joel's description of this army (chap. ii. 2—12) is graphic and vivid, and well suits the context of St. John in this place. It appears however, as before, to extend over the whole latter half of Daniel's seventieth week, commencing with the fall of Jerusalem.

If we now turn to Nahum (chap, iii.), we shall have some further particulars, apparently adverted to here by St. John. But we must first take a general view of the context of this Prophet. It is evident, from the outset of his book, that God had taken up here, as elsewhere, the controversy of His Zion; and, although Nineveh39 is especially named,—and in all probability actually suffered as here foretold,—yet, from the nature of the language used, a further or mystical application must have been intended. It is said (chap. i. 2, seq.), " God is jealous, and the lord revengeth : the lord revengeth, and is furious; the Lord will take vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserveth wrath for His enemies" (i.e. generally). " The lord hath His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet*°.n... (ver. 6), " The mountains quake at Him, and the hills melt1, and the earth is burned at His presence, yea, the world " (Heb. bini), " and all that dwell therein." Which is a general enouncement of the judgments to be inflicted upon His enemies. In verse 11, a particular individual is singled out, as the object of His wrath on this occasion. "There is one come out of thee" (i. e. Nineveh, ver. 1), " that imagineth evil against the Lord, a wicked counsellor." But (chap. iii. 18) it is said, " Thy shepherds slumber, O King of Assyria: thy nobles shall dwell in the dust." Whatever

39 We have seen above that Nineveh had partaken in the sin of traffic in the hetter part of Israel's sons, p. 80.

40 I. e. Christ, the Lord, shall be so revealed in power, as noticed above.

41 So in other places as already noticed, without at all implying that any such melting should physically take place.

REVELATION, CHAP. IX. 321

evil Counsellor therefore, Nineveh might have sent forth,—. and we read of none at enmity with God's people;—we are brought apparently, to supply the needful in the King of Assyria, who should occupy his station: and, as this Prophet appears to have been contemporary with Isaiah, the probability is, that we have here also that King of Assyria against whom his predictions (chap. xiii. seq.) were particularly directed. It is true, Isaiah says nothing whatever of the fall of Nineveh ; but, of that of Babylon he says much, as we have seen. To denounce Nineveh was committed to Nahum; and. as this city must have fallen some time after Babylon became the metropolis of the Empire, the fall of the same Power generally, viz. that of Assyria, must have been had in view both by Nahum and Isaiah: and by both mystically, the fall of mystical Babylon.

If then, this may be relied on, we need not wonder in finding the denunciations in each case partaking much of the same character, both being directed against the same Enemy of Zion. If we now pass on to Chapter ii. 2, seq., we shall find a very important place, connecting,—as it should seem,— the judgments denounced against this power, with its dealings with the Jews. It is said : " For the lord hath turned away the excellency of Jacob, as the excellency of Israel: for the emptiers" (comp. Isai. xxiv. 1, seq.) " have emptied them out, and marred their vine-branches." Which has been wholly misunderstood by our Translators; it should be rendered to this effect: " For the lord will" (surely) " turn again" (i. e. bring back) " the excellency of Jacob, as" (being) " the excellency of Israel; for emptiers have emptied them out, and marred their vine-branches." By the excellency of Jacob must necessarily be meant the best and holy portion, or Remnant, of Jacob; and these, it is said. He should turn again, or back, as the holy portion of His Zion. This place therefore, contains a promise of deliverance to Zion, as then suffering under these afflictions. See also Chap. i. 12—15.

If we now examine Isai. chap. xiv. 1, seq., we shall have, I think, that turning again of Jacob which we have here in Nahum ; and which cannot mean the return from the Babylonian captivity: for it is said, " And the house of Israel shall possess 'them" (i.e. those who should so bring them L. 21

322 REVELATION, CHAP. IX

back) " in the land of the lord for servants and handmaids: and they shall take them captives, ivhose captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors." Which will admit of none, I think, but a mystical interpretation, declaring that the true Zion should obtain a spiritual victory over these her oppressors42. Again (ver. 25, here), " I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders.'"'' Which again, Is capable of none but a mystical, or spiritual, interpretation. Nahum again, presents us with a perfect echo of the place just quoted from Isaiah (chap. i. 12, seq.), "Though they be quiet, and likewise many, yet shall they" (i.e. Israel's oppressors) " be cut down, when he shall pass through." It is added, " Though I have afflicted thee, I will afflict thee no more. For now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder" Again (ib. ver. 15), " Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace!" i.e. generally (saying), " O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows : for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off:" that is, to rise no more: all which must necessarily refer to Zion's ultimate triumph. Compare Isai. ui. 7, seq. Rom. x. 15. Also Isai. xxiv. 13—17.

From Chap. ii. 8, to its end, we have, as in Isai. xiii. 17, seq., the Enemies of this destroyer depicted, whose bows should dash the young men to pieces. Here (Nahum ii. 1), " He that dasheth to pieces is come up before thy face," &c. Again (ver. 10), " She," i. e. Nineveh, " is empty, and void, and waste," &c. In Chap. iii. 1, Nineveh is addressed as a " bloody city, full of lies and robbery;" and (ver. 4) it is said, " Because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the well-favoured harlot"" (a title mystically given, as noticed above, to Tyre, and in the Revelation to Babylon), " the mistress of witchcrafts, that selleth nations" (comp. Rev. xviii. 2, 3) " through her whoredoms, and families through her witchcrafts."..." I am against thee, saith the Lord"" (ver. 5). To the same effect are all these denunciations, and so to be under-

42 See pp. 79, 80, above.

REVELATION, CHAP. IX. 323

stood, from this place (ver. 5), down to verse 15, where we have the fiery judgments and locusts of Joel and St. John.

"There," it is said (ver. 15), "shall the fire devour thee; the sword shall cut thee off, it shall eat thee up like the cankerworm: make thyself many as the cankerworm, make thyself many as the locusts... the cankerworm spoileth, and fleeth away. Thy crowned are as the locusts, and thy captains as the great grasshoppers, which camp in the hedges in the cold day, but when the sun ariseth they flee away, and their place is not known,'1'' &c. Where, it is observable, these locusts are said to have their encampment as an army: while neither here, nor in Joel, can locusts be really meant, but armies such as these both in their numerous and destructive character: and, in every case here, the same Power is ultimately meant: viz. that which should take up arms against the Zion of God, although other and different powers are here literally, and primarily, had in view.

Return we now to St. John's account of these locusts (ver. 7, seq.), " And the shapes of the locusts," says St. John, " were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions,"'1 &c. It must be evident enough, that some signal judgment is here had in view, and that this should have for its principal leader and agent, the king of the bottomless pit, Satan himself. His captains, or subordinate agents, must here be the rulers and honourable men of the earth. St. John next says of these locusts, that " on their heads were as it were crowns like gold;" which Nahum's words will sufficiently well explain : viz. " Thy crowned are as the locusts, and thy captains as the grasshoppers;" i. e. the Kings and Captains in thy service, are thus numerous and destructive : which represents these locusts and grasshoppers in their natural characters as such; but mystically, as invading and destructive armies, led on by the Kings and Princes of the earth.

Again, in Joel (ii. 2, seq.), this army is, as already remarked, spoken of as a great and strong people. In the next verse it is said, " A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth:" the constant attendant on invading armies. In ver. 4, it is said, " The appearance of

324 REVELATION, CHAP. IX.

them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen shall they run:"" i. e. they shall be very rapid in their warlike movements; and war is the judgment now before us. St. John tells us, that they " were like unto horses prepared unto battle." He says moreover, that " their faces were as the faces of men:" i. e. their exterior is that of men, while their character is that of locusts, destructive and swift as the war-horse. Again, " They had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.'"'' By the hair as of women, Princes are no doubt meant, it being customary in these early times with such, to cultivate the hair43. By the teeth, as of lions, we are brought back to Joel (chap. i. 6), who tells us that " a nation is come up upon my land,"—— now Judea and Christ's land, also upon His in the heritage of the heathen,—" strong and without number, whose teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek-teeth of a great lion." In Daniel, chap. vii. 19, the fourth beast or Empire has " teeth of iron,'1'' which, as we have seen, must refer to that Little Horn which should make war upon the Saints. The rest of the description (Rev. ix. 10) identifies itself sufficiently well with that of Joel (ii. 5, 6, &c.), to suggest its best interpretation.

"They had" (Rev. ix. 9) "breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle." That this was intended to bring us to Joel ii. 5, seq., there can be no doubt: nor can there be any,—all circumstances considered,—that by these the invasion of Judea by the Roman army was primarily foretold by this Prophet. Here too, as before, the earth is to shake, and the heavens to

43 On the nourishing of the hair by the Greek philosophers, see my Theophania of Eusebius, p. 115, seq. note. That this was done by the great men of the East, is evident from the carvings still remaining in the ruins of Persepolis, and elsewhere. In some cases a man received a name from the flowing hair of his head : e. g. " Homeiritarum cretus extitit, cui nomen ZeraS, Ibn Caab; cognomento Dsu Nowas (Dominus cincinni), sic appellatus, quod geminum gestaret cincinnum, qui super humeris ejus fluctuabat." Hist. Imper. Joctanidarum, Alb. Schultens, p. 79. Hence Absalom's heathenish vanity in cultivating his hair, which proved the cause of his death. It is not improbable the Roman senator Cincinnatus received this name for the like reason.

REVELATION, CHAP. IX. 325

tremble before them; the sun and moon to be dark, and the stars to withdraw their shining, because it is the day of the lord, great and very terrible. So also in St. John, the sun and the air are darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit now opened. The breastplates of iron moreover, could scarcely have been mentioned for any other purpose, except to suggest to us, that a real army was meant, while the iron material of these cannot but remind us of Daniel's description of his fourth kingdom (chap. ii. 40), viz. "As iron break-eth in pieces and subdueth all things; and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise." So also (chap. vii. 19) it has "iron teeth." And it is the fact, that the Roman soldiery did wear breastplates of iron.

St. John proceeds (ver. 10), "And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and" continues he, " their power was to hurt men five months." The duration and date of this period have been already pointed out. Let us now see what is meant by " their tails." It has been seen, that before this army a devouring fire should proceed: their running as horses to battle, should then imply sudden destruction, as proceeding from the face of this army; not from its rear or tail. But, as the sense is evidently mystical, and as the plagues inflicted by these tails must necessarily be of a sort different from the preceding ones of consuming fire; some injurious spiritual agency must be meant, and particularly as such is described in the places parallel to this, in the following context of St. John (chap. xiii. 11—18 inclus.; xvi. 10, 11).

If we now examine Isai. ix. 15, &c., we shall find the mystical usage of this expression explained. "The ancient and honourable," i. e. the senator and leader, as in our crowned and long-haired locusts, " he is the head, and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail." And (ver. 18, seq.), we have the judgment on these: " Wickedness," it is said, " burneth as the fire,"..." through the wrath of the lohd of hosts is the land darkened," &c.: which refers to the Jews; but may, nevertheless, include the Gentiles, at this stage of the general judgments to take place, in avenging the controversy of Zion. By " the Tail" then, is meant the false prophets and ministers of Satan, as to spiritual things : and this I take to be the meaning of St. John here. (Com-

326 REVELATION, CHAP. IX.

pare the parallel places just now given.) That is, by the ministry of false prophets among the Jews, and of a diabolical priesthood among the heathen, should all the poison exist, out of which these plagues should originate, and continue during their appointed time.

Again in (Rev. xii. 8, seq.), further light is afforded on the use of the term " Tail." " A great red dragon," which is (ver. 9) " that old serpent called the Devil" is represented as having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads: which necessarily brings us to the power now given to this King of the great abyss (comp. Dan. vii. 21, 25 ; viii. 9—11, 12) : and as exhibited by St. John, in his crowned and long-haired locusts. In verse 4 it is said, " And his tail drove" (better, dragged) " the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth;" which will be best explained by Daniel (chap. vii. 8), where the Little Horn is said to have " the eyes and mouth of a man." St. John's locusts have the faces of men. In Daniel (ib. ver. 25), he "shall wear out the Saints of the Most High...and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time." Again (chap. viii. 10, seq.), "It," i.e. the Little Horn, " waxed great even to the host of heaven, and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them,"..." and it cast down the truth to the ground, and it practised and prospered." By casting down and stamping upon these, must be meant their fall by his means, just as when it is said above (ver. 7), of Darius, that one cast him down, and stamped upon him: i. e. these should so be tried, and should fall (as martyrs) during many days. In Dan. xi. S3, seq., ''They that understand among the people shall instruct many; yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days... Some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end :" i. e. during a time, times, and a half (Dan. xii. 7), or, forty-two months (Rev. xiii. 5), or, three days and a half (Rev. xi. 9). That is, by the diabolical influence of this power. But this may be thought adverse to the declaration, that those who should be sealed (Rev. ix. 4), should receive no hurt either from it or its ministers. But here, though these should receive, and eventually come out

EVELATION, CHAP. IX. 327

of, many earthly tribulations, they should not nevertheless be, in a spiritual sense, by any means hurt. The earthly affliction to which they should be exposed was, as already remarked, intended to purify, refine, and make them white and clean4. For this purpose they were sealed, i. e. by the Holy Ghost " to the day of redemption^ " both to enable them to be more than conquerors, and to count it all joy, when so tried; and hence, willingly to submit to the spoiling of their persons and goods, and even to be thankful for it. These could not therefore, be really hurt by the influence of this power as others should be, who, by worshipping its image, and joining in its impious work of destruction, should lose both body and soul in hell.

We are now told that " one woe is past:" i. e. one of the three foretold above (chap. viii. 13): "and behold," it is added, " there come two woes more hereafter:" i. e. during the sounding of the two remaining trumpets, or rather during that of the (sixth, for the sounding of the seventh is only to enounce the victory over all the combined powers of the enemy, which would however be a woe to them. We have now therefore, to consider the events to take place under—

Sect. VI.—The Sixth Trumpet.

'And," (ver. 13, seq.), " the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in" (read upon) " the great river Euphrates." The vision is supposed here to be in the Temple; this command issuing from the golden altar, which was before the vail, where Isaiah appears to have had the vision which commissioned him to

45 See 2 Cor. vi. 4. « Eph. iv. 30.

46 The Ethiopia has at tJts river, &c., not in river (" influmine"), as the Polyglott gives it. This distinction is important: it is one of those, as in j; ajrooratna, as noticed above, and ttjv aipav, below,—without which the context cannot be fully understood.

328 REVELATION, CHAP. IX.

prophesy (chap. vi. 1). This command is, "Loose the four angels which are bound" &c. We have parallel to this (chap. vii. 1), under the opening of the sixth seal, where it is said, " / saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds,'''' &c. It is evident from what follows, that these four winds represent spiritual agents, whose business here was, to inflict plagues on the four quarters of the earth47: but they are holden48, until the servants of God shall be sealed (comp. chap. ix. 4) : after this the plagues, so to be inflicted take place (chap, viii.): which could not be, until the latter period of Daniel's seventieth week, commencing with the fall of Jerusalem.

The first general intimation we have, as it should seem, of this holding is Matth. xii. 29 : viz. " How can any enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man ?" &c. Where Satan is evidently meant, and with him his agents. In the parallel place in St. Luke (xi. 20, 22), the enouncement is more full (comp. Isai. Liii. 12). Again in St. Mark (chap. xvi. 17, seq.) : " In my name shall they cast out devils : they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them." But more fully in St. Luke (chap. x. 18, seq.), " / beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy ; and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding...rejoice not that the spirits are subject" (i. e. bound) " to you; but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven:" anticipated (Ps. xci. 13) thus: " Thou," (i. e. Christ, see the parallels) " shalt tread upon the lion and adder; the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet." And, as Christ's power is com-

47 'four living creatures before the throne, the four horses and carpenters of Zechariah, as also the four horses of the Revelation considered above, are similar ministers of the Almighty.

48 So also 2 Thess. ii. 7, "He who now letteth (or withholdeth) will let, until he be taken out of the way; and then shall that wicked" (one) " be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and destroy with the brightness of His coming."  See p. 212, seq., above.

REVELATION, CHAP. IX. 329

municated to His followers, and was in a peculiar manner to His Apostles, this is true of them also. During the Apostolic period this took effect in a peculiar manner; and to this, the place before us in all probability refers. The devil had not yet received power to stir up the heathen against the trumpeting messengers of the Gospel: he is said therefore, to be thus holden, or bound. We have again (Rev. xx. 1, seq.), the very same event in, " I saw an angel come down from heaven having the key of the bottomless pit, and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years :" i. e. he is here bound for an indefinite period, the extent, and precise occurrence, of which cannot exceed the end of Daniel's seventieth week. Satan is now therefore bound for a season: and, from what has been quoted above, this must apply to the period of the preaching of the Apostles, &c. up to that of the fall of the Temple: after which,—even to the end,—desolations had been determined (Dan. ix. 27, 28, &c.) : i. e. by his power.

But here (Rev. xx. 3), Satan is, after this, to be loosed a little season. We find in the next verse (and chap. vi. 4, 9), that John saw, during this latter period, the souls of them who had been beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and who had " lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years:" that is of necessity, during the Apostolic period, and before Satan had been so loosed. This is therefore, the Millennium of St. John. Again (Rev. xii. 12), Satan is said to be cast down upon the earth for a " short time:" (comp. Luke x. 18, quoted above) i. e. he is let loose in order to inflict the woes there mentioned.

It is added here (xx. 4), " And I saw thrones, and they " (i. e. impersonally, some men) " sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them."" It is obvious that Dan. vii. 9—] 5 is here had in view: " I beheld," it is said, " till the thrones'" (i. e. of the opposing heathen) "were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit:" i. e. for the purpose of giving judgment against the Little Horn (mentioned in the preceding verse), and in favour of the Saints. In verses 13, 14, here, " One like the Son of man came with the clouds op heaven" (comp. Rev. i. 7. Matth. xxiv. 30, with the parallels), " and came to the Ancient of days... And there was

330 REVELATION, CHAP. IX.

given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom,'1'' &c. "But? (ver. 26), " the judgment shall ait, and they'''1 (i.e. some) " shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto 'the end. And the kingdom...under the whole heaven...shall be given to the Saints of the Most High." "The judgment given unto them," i. e. to the Saints of the Most High, is here given: i. e. after the Persecutor's power is utterly destroyed.

The period again, here had in view (ver. 3), is that in which Satan is loosed. The enouncement (in ver. 4) is a citation from this prophecy of Daniel, promising to those then suffering, both the avenging judgment and the kingdom. (Comp. Rev. vi. 9, seq.). During this period of trial, and near its close apparently, John sees the souls of the martyrs. A little lower down (xx. 11), this judgment is again actually given: and its consequences noted. But more on this hereafter. It is further said (xx. 4), that these martyrs lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years; which must be read of necessity, " had lived and reigned," &c.; for they are here said to have suffered death. They must therefore, have so reigned during the previous period, or thousand years in which Satan was bound : i. e. they then enjoyed that immunity from the power of Satan, which preserved them from every spiritual injury and hurt. This language is moreover common to the Gospel. " It is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luke xii. 32. Comp. xxii. 29. Col. i. 13. Heb. xii. 28. James ii. 5. Rev. i. 9, &c. As Kings, 1 Cor. iv. 8. Rev. i. 6: reign, Rom. v. 17, sec.). From which it must appear, that the children of the kingdom are said to reign with Christ; which is particularly applicable to this period. Again, it is said of those who should have followed Christ " in the regeneration," i. e. of the world at this time, should, when the Son of man should sit on the throne of His glory, also sit upon twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Matth. xix. 28). But, to give judgment is properly the business of kings: and here, this is promised particularly to all them who should now so follow Christ. And once more, what is here termed by our Lord " the regeneration,'1'' is, by St. John, said to be " The first resurrection" (Rev. xx. 5). In other places, those partaking in this, are said to be " the firstfruits unto God"

REVELATION, CHAP. IX. 331

(Rom. xi. 16; xvi. 5. 1 Cor. xvi. 15. James i. 18. Rev. xiv. 4). Verse 6 here, Rev. xx. These are the men whom St. Peter terms a royal Priesthood, &c., they took part in the first resurrection with Christ: hence (i. e. future to the time in which John wrote49), " they shall reign with Christ," during this thousand years: i. e. of Satan's being bound. This is therefore, beyond all doubt, the Millennium of St. John.

By "Loose the four angels," we are therefore to understand, that the Agents of Satan, appointed to tempt and harass every quarter of the world, were now, in a peculiar manner, to be let loose for their work. Their being bound upon the river Euphrates, which washed the shores of Babylon, means perhaps their being bound as to many nations, peoples, and languages; which we are told, these waters mystically imply (Rev. xvii. 15). " The waters," it is said, " which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and languages." , Satan is, therefore, now to be viewed as let loose in his Agents, in order to act upon the nations.

Again (chap. xvi. 12), the parallel place to this, in which the sixth Angel pours out his vial, tells us that he poured it out upon the great river Euphrates; " and,"1"1 it is added, " the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.'1'' We have next the character of these Agents. " I saw" continues John, " three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth, and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of the great day of God Almighty." In our second vision, the four winds, or spirits, were commissioned over the four quarters of the world: here, these several spirits, deduced each from its Principal, i. e. the Dragon, the beast, and the false prophet, are also sent abroad into the whole world, as before ; the number three here having respect to these their principals ; that of four there, to the several quarters of the world, in

49 This abrupt shifting of the period in which a writer places himself, is common to the Scriptures (see my Heb. Gram. Art. 231. 14). The new subject begun here will justify this. Comp. chap. i. 3.

332 REVELATION, CHAP. IX.

which they should act. They are therefore identically the same Agents, although thus differently described.

We are next told (xi. 15), that these "four angels were looked which were prepared for an" (read thee "hour, and day, and month, and year, for to slay the third part of men." By the terms, the hour, day, month, and year, we necessarily have one and the same period, viz. that hour in which the Son of Man should come to execute His judgments upon both Jew and Gentile (comp. also Rev. xvii. 12); that great and dreadful day of the Lord, in which also this should take place; that month (Zech. xi. 8. Comp. Hos. v. 7), in which the faithless shepherds of Israel should be cut off: and that year, in which the controversy of Zion should be avenged: and here, during which (i. e. each and every of these) a third part of men should be slain.

From the description of the army, the horses, armour, and the like, following (verr. 16, 17), it is sufficiently evident that we have here a continuation of the preceding events of the fifth trumpet^ although other imagery has been employed. It will only remain therefore now to notice a few of the places, to which our attention is here called by St. John. By the great army mentioned, we are first naturally brought to Ps. Lxviii., where the deliverances from Egypt, from Si-sera (ver. 12), and others, are brought before us. In verse 18, we are reminded of our Lord's victory over the grave (comp. Eph. iv. 8), and (ver. 21) of that over His enemies generally. We have a similar aggregate of the fallen enemies of the Church in Ezekiel xxxii., as we have seen above, p. 311, seq. Verse 22 presents us with another occasion on which this victory should be consummated, in bringing " Hrs people again*1" (i.e. after the manner of Egypt) "from the depths

50 And, as cannot here signify the fractional part of a day, so called, the context requires that it be taken to mean that certain period, or season, of time, so often brought before us by the Prophets, under the term last days, &c. By these different expressions therefore, we are not to imagine that some other period, great or small, is intended.

61 We must not suppose that, by God's bringing His people again, necessarily signifies a return to Canaan. This would,—as already shewn,—be to talk as if the Old Covenant were yet in force.

REVELATION, CHAP. IX. 333

of the sea:" and verses 31, 32 seq., with the conversion of the Gentiles generally, as the result of all this: that is, the final and great spiritual victory obtained. In Daniel (ch. vii. 10, seq.), we have an exhibition of the same thing, as we have already seen, when the kingdom is given to the Son of Man. But the most remarkable place apparently had in view by St. John, is Ezek. xxxviii. 2, seq., and it deserves particular notice. "Son of man," it is said, "set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog5*, the chief prince of Me-shech and Tubal,...and say ...Behold, I am against thee, O Gog,...and I will turn thee back, and put my hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses, and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords : Persia, Ethiopia, and Lybia with them ; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer and his bands ...After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter YEARS53 thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword" (i. e. the regenerated world), " and is gathered out of many people" (i. e. of Jews and Gentiles) " against the mountains of Israel, ivhich have been always waste" (i. e. prior to this time, but now in a restored condition) : " but it" (i. e. this true Israel) " is brought forth out of the nations," &c....(ver. 15), " Thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army"...(ver. 16), "It shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land" (i. e. God brings this army: it is, as His minister, His army). Again (ver. 18), " It shall come to pass at the same time" (rtj avry wpa, i. e. season), "that my fury shall come up in my

62 On the reason of introducing these here, see p. 293 above.

63 See on this usage, p 106, seq. Let it be observed, Ethiopia, Lybia, and Persia, Gomer, Togarmah, &c., are here joined with Gog: a thing which, most likely, never took place literally: and if so, this place will admit of none but a mystical interpretation, as in other cases noticed above. The terms "latter days," "brought back of the sword," &c. sufficiently confirm this.

334 REVELATION, CHAP. IX.

face,"... (ver. 19). "Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel,...all the men that are upon the face of the earth shall shake at my presence" (i. e. the revelation of Christ), " and the mountains shall be thrown down,"...and (ver. 22), " / will plead with him with pestilence" (Matth. xxiv. 7, 39, &c.), " and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone" That is, as in the times of the deluge (Matth. xxiv. 38, &c.), in those of Joshua's victory at Gibeon (chap. x. 10, 11), and as in those of the fall of Sodom and Gomorrah.

It should be observed here, that although this is said to be God's army, it must not be imagined that they are therefore his friends. In like manner, speaking of the Assyrian,— mystically implying the same power,—God, it is said, should bring them to execute His purposes ; but then, they should not think this, but only should intend to destroy nations not a few (Isai. x. 5—18). This may therefore, be said in one sense, i. e. as acting under God to execute His purposes: and, at the same time, in another as intending to destroy for their own murderous purposes. The army now before us is that of the Abaddon and Apollyon, or destroyer, of the Revelation, so actuated.

It should also be observed that, what St. John places under the terms " the hour, day, month, year" (ver. 15), Ezekiel gives as to take effect in the latter years, latter days, at that time (wpa, or season), and "in that day:''"' all evidently implying one and the same great and remarkable period, as already observed. We have no mention of a month here by Ezekiel; but (chap, xxxix. 1 2, seq.), the dura-, tion of this period is designated by " seven months." In the next verse it is also said: " And it shall be to them" (i.e. the true Zion) "a renown" (on) "the day that I shall be glorified.'1'' So that even these "seven months" also, designate this same period.

And once more, the land here spoken of, as brought back from the sword, and as gathered out of many people, cannot be said literally of any particular country. This bringing back, and being made to dwell safely, must rather apply to the inhabitants of some such land, than to the

REVELATION, CHAP. IX. 335

land itself: and, be it observed, such were to be "gathered out of many people :" and this again, within the period termed the latter days, Sic., during which, all nations should according to all the Prophets, flow together as a full and mighty tide to the mountain of the Lord's house (Isai. ii. 2, seq.), and in which the Remnant of Israel should also return to the Mighty God (chap. x. 21, seq.). This bringing back, and .gathering out of many people, must therefore apply to the establishment of the Church, throughout the heritage of the heathen.

It has already been remarked, that the imagery given under this sixth trumpet, is such as to shew, that we have here little more than a continuation of that under the fifth. In the former, no number is assigned to the army; it is here said to be of horsemen only, " two hundred thousand." In Ezekiel likewise, these are all said to be horsemen, but no number is given. In Ps. Lxviii. 17, " The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels; and the lord is among them." Where, as before, we have no foot-soldiery. In Daniel (vii. 10), a "thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him." And, as these are elsewhere represented by horses of various colours, and, as noticed above (chap. vi. 2, seq.), all acting as God's ministers, it is but reasonable to conclude, that in every case the same times and events are meant.

The breastplates,—formerly of iron,—are here of fire, jacinth, and brimstone; which will be best interpreted by JoeFs " the fire hath devoured the pastures of the. wilderness'''' (chap. i. 19, 20): and ''Afire devoureth before them, and behind them a flame burneth," Sec. He also tells us that, " Like the noise of chariots on the tops of the mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth." Where it will be observed, that, what is positively a fire that devoureth in the first quotation, is like the noise of a fire that devoureth in the second. In Daniel again (chap. vii. 10), " a fiery stream issued and came forth from before...the Ancient of days,'1'' i. e. eventually to destroy the enemy. In every case therefore,—and the predictions of this are innumerable,—the judgment is a fiery one.

Under our former trumpet, the faces of the locusts were

336 REVELATION, CHAP. IX.

as the faces of men: their hair as that of women, and their teeth as those of lions. Their heads are here as those of lions: and out of their mouths issue fire, smoke, and brimstone : and it is by these that the third part of men are to be slain. Under the former trumpet they were only to hurt, not to kill: but here, the fire, smoke, and brimstone, issuing from their mouths, are to kill even the third part of mankind : that is, as it should seem, by actual warfare; fire, smoke, and brimstone, being had recourse to universally in this; which more particularly marked the latter period of the persecutions, and to such an extent that Gibbon assures us a moiety of human nature suffered. If then, we give one third to the sword and fire of the destructive armies of Rome, the remainder, necessary to make up this moiety, may perhaps fairly be laid to the account of the famines and pestilences which raged at this period.

Again (ver. 19), "Their power is in their mouth, and in their tails:" i. e. in their mouths to kill; in their tails to hurt, as before. These tails, we are next told, " were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt." Under our last trumpet, " they had tails like scorpions, and there were stings in their tails; and their power was to hurt," &c. We have seen above, what this was intended to teach us: the same must necessarily be meant here: and if so, we have the unclean spirits to hurt the souls of men, which should issue out of the mouth of the false prophet (chap. xvi. 13, below): and, be it observed, this also takes place under the pouring out of the sixth vial, answering exactly to our sixth trumpet.

Verses 20, 21, here,—which speak of pure heathenism, not of a fallen Church,—evidently belong to the next Chapter, which is, in fact, nothing more than a recapitulation of what we have had under both the seals and trumpets already considered. It will readily be perceived, that these two verses afford no complete sense as they are generally read. They appear to me to present a very common Hebraism, known under the term of a nominative absolute^. In this point of view, the place may be read, " And" (as to) " the

64 On this sort of construction, see my Heb. Gram. Art. 212, 3, note. 216, 15, seq.

REVELATION, CHAP. IX. 337

rest of the men," &c. " I also saw"1"1 (chap. x. 1) "another mighty angel."...(chap, xi. 13). "The same hour there was a great earthquake5...and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand." It is added, " And the remnant" ("the rest" of verse 20 here) "were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven." It should be observed, that we have had hitherto no destructions by earthquakes, although it is certain an extraordinary number of them took place within this period, as indeed our blessed Lord foretold there should. In Chap. viii. 5, indeed, there is a general mention ,of their occurrence among other judgments : but no such destructions are specifically mentioned there. In Chap. xvi. 18, however, which is a place parallel to this, we have such an earthquake as had never before been witnessed:—but more on that when we come to this place.

Sect, VII.—Matter preliminary to the Recapitulation of the second Series of Events, under the Trumpets.

It has already been remarked, that after the opening of the sixth seal, no further judgments are denounced, and that the opening of the seventh was, to declare the contest ended, and the victory won. The same is the case here upon the sounding of the sixth trumpet, as it is again upon the pouring out of the sixth vial: a plain intimation that these several series are conversant about the same events. Again, after the opening of the sixth seal we have a sort of report given of the progress made, and of the victory obtained.

68 That earthquakes happened within this period to an extraordinary extent, as noticed abore (p. 219) from Orosius, we shall presently shew more abundantly. These judgments, also foretold by our Lord, Matth. xxiv. 7, as "famines, pestilences, and earthquakes." In other places, the shaking of the heavens and the earth, the passing away of the heavens, the elements melting with fervent heat, and the like, evidently declare the same judgments: on all which, the comment of St. Paul (Heb. xii. 26—28) is full and satisfactory, viz. " Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven." He adds, " This. .. signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken " (i.e. now, at this period of time); not merely and principally of things physical, as in earthquakes, &c.,— these were giren as signs only of things moral and religious;—but of things, purely moral and religious. He adds, in order to include the judgments by fire, " our God is a consuming fire."

338 REVELATION, CHAP. X.

We have a short parallel to this after the pouring out of the sixth vial (chap. xvi. 15, 16). We have here however, upon the sounding of the sixth trumpet, an actual recital of the whole matter, commencing with the Revelation of Christ in power, as in the outset of this Book. We then have John's commission (verr. 4, 9, seq.), a brief notice as to the time of the end (verr. 6, 7): and (chap, xi.) the rejection and casting out of the Jews (verr. 1,2): the Apostolic preaching (verr. 3—7): the persecution of their immediate successors (verr. 7—11): their complete victory (verr. 11, 12): the fall of their enemies (ver. 13) : and the song of victory (verr. 15— 18, inelus.), as in the conclusion of the series both of the Seals, and the Vials. We now come to the particulars.—

" / saw," says St. John, " another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud; and a rainbow was upon his head, and His face was as it were the sun, and His feet as pillars of fire,,"..." and He set His right foot upon the sea, and His left foot on the earth."1"1 From what we have (chap, i. 15), and have already considered, as also in Daniel, chap. xii. 7, and from His coming in a cloud56, and with the rainbow51 over His head, it is obvious that our blessed Lord is meant. His feet placed both on the earth and the sea here, evidently implies His universal dominion, as assigned to Him by the judgment of the Ancient of days.

It is then said (ver. 3), that " He cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth" (comp. Isai. xui. 13. Jer. xxv. 30. Hos. xi. 10. Joel iii. 16. Amos i. 2 ; iii. 4—9, where, in every case, these times are had in view) : " and when He had cried,'''' it is said, (the68) " seven thunders uttered their voice;" i. e. as ready to respond to His authority. We are told in the next verse, that John heard a voice from heaven, saying, " Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not,•" i. e. not yet: their effects will be seen when we come to chap. xvi. 18. We also learn here (verr. 10, 11), that a little opened book was given to John, out of which apparently, he was—after this—to '•'•prophesy again before " (against?) " many peoples, and nations, and tongues, andJcings." From the sweetness (of the contents) of this in John's mouth,

Chap. i. 7, above. & Chap. iv. 3. 88 Gr. ai.


REVELATION, CHAP. X. 339

the Word of God must be meant59: and from the bitterness of these in his stomach during digestion, the lamentation, mourning, and woe, yet to be denounced by him upon others. This place too, will naturally carry us back to Ezekiel (chap. ii. 8, seq.), where similar matter is given: " Open tliy mouth,'1'1 it is said, " and eat that" (which) " / give ihee. And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a, roll of a book was therein; and," it is added, " he spread it" (i. e. laid it open) " before me; and it was written within and without; and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe" The Prophet goes on (chap. iii. 2, seq.), " So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll"..." and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness. And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get ihee unto the house of Israel." (ib. ver. 14) ..." and I went in the bitterkness of my soul:" i. e. what had been sweet as honey to his throat, had now become bitter as gall in its consideration: i. e. the task of uttering denunciations against his nation and people. The same appears to have been the case with St. John. These woes had perhaps been intimated by " the seven thunders." They were not to be committed to writing by John, because they were to be delivered from the little opened book, or roll, in which, as it should seem, they were already written in the lamentations, mourning, and woe, to be uttered by him. By this opened book, or roll, we are apparently to understand the Book which had been sealed; but was opened by our Lord in our second Vision, We have a similar recurrence from chap. ix. 4, and xiv. 1, below, to matter found in chap. vii. 3, seq. We have here therefore, an anticipation of other matter still to come, i. e. perhaps in our next vision, just as we have seen was the case in some other instances. So far therefore, we have been prepared for another recital of these judgments. We may now return to the concluding particulars of this our third general Vision.

" And the angel" it is said (ver. 5, seq.), " which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth, lifted up his hand to

69 To John, as God's true servant, this would necessarily be the case : corap. Ps. cxix. 103; cxLi. 6: to others, as His enemies, the contrary would; because of the blessings promised on the one hand, and the curses denounced on the other.

340 REVELATION, CHAP. X.

heaven, and sware by Him that liveth for ever and ever,...that time should be no longer:" that is, prophetical time; in other words, time in which the things foretold by the Prophets, should be expected to take place: i. e. prophecy should now "fail" or cease in its completion: which is thus explained in the next verse (7): ..." In the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery op god should be finished :" i. e. consummated, " as He hath declared to His servants the Prophets,''''—A question may now arise, as to whether this mystery should at that time, be finished in the manner which God had declared it should; or, whether the mystery simply, which had been so enounced by them, should then be finished; or again, whether just as God had declared it (i. e. in every particular) should be, when the sounding of this seventh Angel should take place: for either of these meanings may be supposed to be intended.

My answer must be: Of these, the last appears the most probable; because a complete fulfilment must, of necessity, include every particular predicted. And if so, the manner how, as well as the whole simply and in the aggregate, would in such case be complied with. And the fact is, all these are abundantly brought before us, as we have seen, and still shall see, to such an extent, as can leave no doubt on the mind as to them all.

We have now therefore, arrived at a most important declaration of Scripture: viz., that, at whaiever period the sounding of this seventh Angel should take place, then "the whole mystery of God, as declared to his servants the Prophets, should be finished" and for ever completed. In the parallel place (chap. xvi. 17), "It is done:" which, as we shall see, means the same thing. Let us now inquire therefore, whether the declarations made, together with the facts of the case, are to this effect.

It must be evident from the nature of the case, that the Covenant made with Abraham, under which all nations should le blessed, must be, at some period, fully and completely established, as already remarked60; and that, if the testimony of Jesus is indeed the spirit of prophecy, then must all prophecy have, in one way or other, reference to Him. Other things

Page 224, above.

REVELATION, CHAP. X. 341

might, in a subordinate sense, be included, as the history of the Jews, &c. up to the time in which this should take place : but, as Abraham would now be, in accordance with the name then given him, the spiritual Father of all believers, and heir of the world; all particular reference to Judaism would necessarily be merged in this first greater and everlasting Covenant. We are told accordingly, by St. Paul, that under this, there is neither Jew, nor Greek, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free : but that all are one61. And certainly, no prediction has been anywhere quoted by him, speaking either of their conversion, or of any particular dignity to be enjoyed by them, under this now new, and better, Covenant. We have only the doctrine delivered, viz., that " if they abide not in unbelief, they shallbe graffed in,...and so all Israel shall be saved 6V1 In the case of the Jews remaining unbelievers, one thing is certain, they are cut off from the stock of Israel, and can be graffed in again, only by means of the Church63. In all other respects, and how much soever they may be loved for the fathers' sakes, they are as the heathen, in the sight of God, excluded from the Covenants of promise, and without Him in the world.

But, according to inspired authority, no less than the facts of the case, as already shewn from Daniel, the period termed " the fulness of time" did commence with that of our blessed Lord and his Apostles. And, if " the fulness of timen did then so come, it must be out of place to suppose, that any addition should be made to this fulness some hundreds of years afterwards. The nature of the case would rather

61 Col. iii. 11. 62 As shewn above, pp. 33—41.

62 Rom. xi. 31. That they can never again possess Canaan, either as Jews, or as a distinct people, see p. 44. seq. above. I will now add a place in Ezekiel (ch. xx. 38), which I omitted there. The words are, "I will purge out the rebels" (Comp. Isai. i. 22—25. inclus.)," and them that transgress against me ; I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter the land of israel," &c. Again, in this very context (ver. 40), the better party, (as in Ch. xi. 15. See p. 48, above,) is thus spoken of:..." In the mountain of the height of Israel... there shall all the House of Israel, all op them in the land serve me." That this should not be in Judea, is evident from verse 41, where it is said, " I will be sanctified in you before the heathen:" i.e. in their sight in all lands: all being now the heritage of the true Israel.

342 REVELATION, CHAP. X.

suggest that, at this period, the whole mystery of God so foretold, and testifying to Christ and His Church, would be fully and finally completed.

It will be more satisfactory however, particularly to inquire, whether the Prophets have, or have not, limited the entire fulfilment of all these things to this period. We have already touched upon this question64, which is, not whether Christ came at the time so foretold, but whether any predictions are to be found, confining the fulfilment of the whole mystery of prophecy to this specific period. Some such have already been pointed out: we now proceed to add to these some others, with a few further remarks.

We have seen that, when the stone cut out of the mountain, in Daniel's first vision65, had stricken and entirely destroyed the Image representing,—among other things,—the last, or fourth heathen Empire, i. e. the Roman, it filled the whole earth : that is, it completely and entirely filled it; and that, not a particle of the former now remained, implying, that nothing additional could be either necessary or possible. Again, in Daniel's second Vision66, we are expressly told, that when the dominion under the whole heaveens had been given (de facto) to the Son of Man: then, i. e. at that point of time, the matter was ended: not partially, but fully. Again, in Daniel's fourth Vision67, the Covenant was, as we have seen, to be magnified with the many within the period of the " one" and last week: and that, at the close of this, the consummation, i. e. the completion of this work of mercy, should take place : and to this consummation it does not appear, that we have either reason or right to add any thing whatsoever68: and that, should we attempt to do so, the consequence must be, a virtual denial that this was any consummation at all. And again, we learn from this place, that, when the indignation should be poured upon the Desolator, i. e. at the end of this mystical week; the time of this consummation should have fully arrived. Daniel is however, still more specific in Chap. xii. 7, where we have the original

67 See pp. 99—132, 144, 149, 158, 199 seq.

68 Ch. ii. 34, &c. 63 ch. vii. «' Ch. ix.

68 Comp. ch. xi. 35, with its parallels.


REVELATION, CHAP. X. 343

enouncement,—with some of its particulars,—of the very place now before us in St. John: the words are these:—

"And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river'" (i.e. implying as before, many peoples, &c. In St. John, on the earth and the sea, implying the same thing), " when He held up His right hand and His left to heaven, and sware by Him that liveth for ever, that it shall be for a time, times, and a half.'''1 We must bear in mind, that the commencement of this Chapter (xii. 1) places us in the period in which times such as never had been seen, or should be,—and identified by our Lord Himself (Matth. xxiv. 21) with these now before us,—should commence69, and during which, even to the end or consummation, desolations hitherto never witnessed should be poured out; that is, from the midst of Daniel's last week to its end : or as it is worded here, "for a time, times, and a half." But in St. John, we are brought to the end of this period: these desolations having already been poured out, during the sounding of our six trumpets, The Angel consequently declares, that time is now no more : that is, time, as far as prophecy is concerned, is at an end: the end of the period foretold by Daniel has now arrived.

The character of these times is moreover, such as sufficiently determine the period of their occurrence. Daniel and our Lord's description of them we have seen: to the same effect Jeremiah xxx. 7, " That day is great, so that none is like it," &c. If then, these were to be times such as never had been witnessed, they must, from their very nature, be such as would demonstrably mark the period of their occurrence : and a surer mark of these it is impossible either to desire, or to find. " Then," says our Lord (Matth. xxiv. 40, seq.), " shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left." Now hear the testimony of Gibbon to this fact:—the last man surely that can be suspected of bearing false witness to the truth of the faith, which he most cordially despised. His words are (Decline and Fall, &c. chap, x., at the end), " We have the knowledge of a very curious circumstance, of some use," &c. "An exact register was kept at Alexandria, of all the citizens

69 See p. 129, seq. above.

344 REVELATION, CHAP. X.

entitled to receive the distribution of corn. It was found that the ancient number of those comprised between the ages of forty and seventy, had been equal to the whole sum of claimants, from fourteen to fourscore years of age, who remained alive after the reign of Gallienus. Applying this authentic fact," continues Gibbon, " to the most correct tables of mortality, it evidently proves that above half the people of Alexandria had perished; and could we venture to extend the analogy to other provinces, we might suspect that war, pestilence, and famine, had consumed in a few years, the moiety of the human species!'1'' Some however, interpret the terms of this register, as implying that two-thirds of human nature must have perished within this period (viz. Niebuhr)! That no such period as this ever did occur before, I may perhaps safely affirm. History sacred and profane, certainly knows of none. This must therefore have been the period so foretold by Daniel and our blessed Lord, beyond all reasonable doubt.

The " Man" (Dan. xii. 7) adds nevertheless, evidently for the purpose of precluding all mistake, as to the full and entire end now arrived at: " And when He shall have accomplished to scatter abroad the power of the Holy people, all these things shall be finished.'1'' In the words of St. John, " The mystery of God, as declared to the Prophets should (now) be finished." By " the Holy people1"1 the Jews cannot be meant, for the following reasons. I. The nature of the case forbids that the Jews can, at this period, be called Holy; because they had now rejected, and crucified, their Messiah ; had slain His servants, and they themselves had been cast out as unholy. Hence, they are in the Revelation never mentioned, but as " a synagogue of Satan1'' or, as dwelling in the city spiritually catted Sodom, and Egypt, where they crucified the Lord70. II. Isaiah has directly declared, that the heathen and others, under the New Covenant, should now be " the Holy people.'"1 '•''They,'''1 he declares (chap. Lxii. 12), "shall call them, the Holy people,'''' and " the Redeemed of the Lord,'" i. e. generally. And (ib. ver. 2), in order to distinguish these from the Jews generally, he says, " And thou" (i. e. the spiritual Zion) " shalt be called by a new name.'''1 St. Peter

70 Key. xi. 8.

REVELATION, CHAP. X. 345

again gives to the Christian (for this is the new name), every privilege under the New Covenant, that Moses had given to the Jew under the Old ; for he says (1 Ep. ii. 9) " Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people," (Sic.. ." which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of god," &c. To the same effect St. Paul, (Phil. iii. 2, 3) : " Beware of the concision,'1'' 5. e. of the Jews generally ; because their circumcision did not deserve a better name. He adds, " For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit,'1'' &c. Comp. Gal. iv. 22—31. From all which it must be clear that, at this time, the Jews could not be " the Holy people" spoken of by Daniel: this title had passed over to another people generally. And, once more, the Jews were now ''not a people;" their privilege of once being such, had now been made over to those, who had not, in the language of Holy Writ, been accounted a people (see p. 32, above).

Again, " When he shall have accomplished to scatter" rather spread abroad the power of these, cannot mean any such scattering as takes place after a defeat in war; but, on the contrary, the spreading, or extending, far and wide of the dominion of this people ; i. e. as that of the subjects of the Son of man71, to whom the Kingdom and Dominion under the whole heavens was, at this time, to be given. By scattering, then, or spreading abroad, this Power, must signify to extend it far and wide (comp. Gen. ix. 19, where this verb is used); not to bring it to nought, as has usually been imagined. And, as this must of necessity be the Power of the People to be considered Holy at the Period now in question,

71 It is worth while remarking too, that the expression used here in Daniel (xii. 7) is quite of a sort with that found in Isaiah (lxii. 12), as cited above : viz. People of holiness (Dan. i- e. lit. People of the holiness. Isaiah adds,the Redeemed of Jehovah : while Moses uses the phrase, 13. Holy nation. I notice this merely to suggest the probability, that Daniel had in his eye this place of Isaiah, rather than that in Exodus (xix. 6) : and with this, the event so foretold by Isaiah, rather than the declaration of Moses.

346 REVELATION, CHAP. X.

it can in no way mean the Jews73. Our conclusion is therefore here, that, at the period in which the Holy People, now called by " a New Name,'' should have taken possession of the whole heritage of the heathen, under the Son of Man, and in which Abraham had (de facto) become the heir of all this, in his spiritual seed ; all the particulars had in view by Daniel, and others,—or, as St. John puts it,—the mystery of God, as declared to His servants the Prophets, should be finished, i. e. fully accomplished.

But, we have other intimations of this consummation, or end, of the things pertaining to Christ, as delivered by Himself, (see pages 106—110 above ; and again pages 121— 131). Again (Matth. xxiv. 6, seq.)..."Ye shall hear of wars, and rumours of wars" (of which more presently): "see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass,

 It is worth remarking that Forst, in his Hebrew Concordance, (p. 720) makes this verb apply to the Jews in their present

dispersion. His words are, "De Israelitis in terris exteris disperse viventibus." He then cites James i. 1; 1 Pet. i. 1 : speaking of the Siat Tropa. It did not occur to him as a Jew, of course, that this is said by the Apostles, of those only who had embraced Christianity, not of the Jews generally: nor that here, the Power of this people was to be so spread, not the weakness of the Jew, as in his diaspora. It is true indeed, that these (now converts to Christianity) had been among the dispersed of Israel; but they must have been of the Holy party or Remnant, who waited for the consolation of Israel, and by the Prophets styled, the Dispersed of Judah, &c. (Is. xi. 12 ; Zeph. iii. 10, &e.) Still, the time for so extending the power of this Holy people generally, had not arrived in the days of those Apostles ; the notion of First therefore, and of those who think with him, is utterly groundless. If it be urged moreover, that the term used here, is generally to be taken in a bad sense, as of dispersing people in defeat, breaking to pieces, &c.; I answer, this may be granted without at all affecting our question. Dispersing, spreading abroad, or the like, is clearly the sense of this verb: but, here, as in Gen. ix. 19, the context is sufficient to shew, that it is not always to be taken in a bad sense: both these places clearly require the contrary. The same is true of the cognate verb p2; and, it is remarkable enough, in Zeph. iii. 10, noted above, we have, in the daughter of my dispersed,  this verb applied to the Remnant of Israel. There is therefore, no good reason for objecting to the sense here given to the verb in question.

REVELATION, CHAP. X. 347

but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places. All these" it is added, " are the beginning of sorrows,'1'' as we have already seen. Again (ver. 13) it is said, " He that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved." To this beginning therefore, there was also to bean end : and, accordingly, it is added (ver. 14) ..." This Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached'1'' (i. e. accompanied by miraculous powers) "in all the world for a witness to all nations" (i. e. of the truth of His Messiahship); " and then,'''' it is added, " shall the end come."

That the Gospel was preached within this period, and received, in all nations is evident from the declarations of St. Paul: e. g. Rom. x. 18 : " Verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the end of the world: i. e. just as the light and warmth of the sun is said to do in Ps. xix. 4. So again (ib. xvi. 26), " But now is made manifest, and by the Scriptures of the Prophets''' (i. e. just as they had predicted), " according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known" (i. e. now) " to all nations for the obedience of faith:" i. e. the' mystery of the Gospel. Again, Col. i. 6, " Which (Gospel) is come unto you, as it is in all the world.'1'1 Again ib. ver. 23, " The Gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven.''' The Apostle adds—and this is highly important in this place —"Whereof lam made a minister to fulfil the word of God:" i. e. " according to the dispensation of God:" which had determined that His word should be thus fulfilled, and that then the end should come. And, as to the fact of the case, all Ecclesiastical History73 attests it, as does the existence of the Church wherever it is found: for it is certain that, had not the Apostles and Apostolic men originally carried out their commission far and wide, revealed religion would never have prevailed beyond the confines of Jewry. That it does not now so universally prevail, forms no objection to our position : which is, that prophecy was once thus fulfilled : and that nothing else does it foretell: while prophecy, improperly so called, i. e. the doctrine, of Holy Writ assures us, that, not-

W The work of Fabricius, entitled Luce Sancta Evangdii, &c. will supply abundant extracts to this effect.

348 REVELATION, CHAP. X.

withstanding this its miraculous establishment, sin will suffice to remove its candlestick.

If then the whole mystery of God, as foretold by His Prophets, has been so fulfilled, a most important result grows necessarily out of this: viz. That there is not, in the hands of the Church, the legitimate means of any further development™ of God's holy will. We have already seen that, to Christianity in principle, nothing can be added, because,

I. it is in its own nature perfect and complete. And

II. because, condemnation is pronounced against every one who shall either add to it, or take from it; or, in any way alter or corrupt its declarations as once delivered by the Apostles to the Church. In this sense therefore, any attempt at further development, is damnable. It may be illustrated indeed, to an indefinite extent: but then, cursed must he be, who, in any way—wilfully, and for corrupt and earthly purposes,—departs from its spirit. Men are in this case to be governed, taught, judged of, by it; not it, by them. It has been given to be a light and lantern to their feet; not, that their traditions, notions, practices, and the like, are to be taken,—varying, as confessedly they do, under different circumstances,—as means of governing its interpretation. All such attempts are clearly anti-Christian and damnable. The same must necessarily be true, as to the events of which it speaks. If Revelation has determined all these for us, it is clearly our duty to abide by them, and to look out for no others; and this,—I have shewn, perhaps sufficiently at length, —it has done. Men may indeed very innocently err in their endeavours to ascertain these : and, from the vast variety of the conclusions arrived at, it is evident enough that they have. But here,—as already remarked,—the fault has consisted in taking resemblances for identities; in other words, in relying in the first instance on plausible conjectures, rather than on a careful and accurate investigation of the sacred text. If, however, the result we have arrived at may be relied on, all such speculations are worse than vanity.

54 This paragraph owes its existence to the suggestion of a friend.

 REVELATION, CHAP. XI. 349

Sect. VIII.—Recapitulation of tlie Events already brought before us wider the Seals and Trumpets.

having then, so far considered the sounding of the six trumpets of St. John; that of the seventh being solely the completion of all this, we may now come to the recapitulation of the events brought before us,—for the purpose, as it should seem, of impresssing more deeply and permanently on our minds the conclusion arrived at, as also the character of the period within which they were to be confined.

We are brought in the first place, then,—as already remarked in the opening of the seals, in the sounding of the trumpets, in our Lord's predictions (in Matth. xxiv. and its parallels), and in the predictions generally of the Prophets,— to the fall of Jerusalem, and the scattering of the Jews : and, in the second, to the full and complete victory over that Man of Sin prefigured in Daniel's Little Horn, and who has been made a very important part of all Prophecy.

As to the first of these, John says, Chap. xi. 1, " There was given me a reed like unto a rod ,• and the Angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.'1'' It should seem from the particulars following, that this measuring must be understood as taking place, at the very outset of Daniel's seventieth week; that is, at the commencement of the Apostolic mission for the purpose of magnifying the Covenant, &c.

The terms "measure the temple" &c. should seem to mean, Take a special account of these, as to their real spiritual character. In the case of Belshazzar, " Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting'1'' (Dan. v. 27). On another occasion (1 Sam. ii. 3), " By the Lord actions are weighed:" which evidently involves the principle here had recourse to. Comp. Job vi. 1 ; xxxi. 6; Prov. xvi. 2, &c. So also to " measure," Job xi. 7—9, of the finding out of God, " The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea." Comp. xxviii. 25, where this term is used in connexion with weighing. In Jeremiah we have (Chap. li. 13) the " measure of thy covetousness:" and (Matth. xxiii. 32), " fill ye up the measure of your fathers j" &c. To which many similar instances may be added75, shewing that these terms

78 See Rom. xii. 3. 2 Cor. x. 13—15, Eph. iv. 13, 16, &c. By

350 REVELATION, CHAP. XI.

are often applied metaphorically or mystically, to abstract considerations, i. e. of a moral or religious character. We have in Ezekiel (chap. xl. 3, seq.) a similar measuring of the Temple, and of its courts: the object of which evidently is, to ascertain whether all this erection was in accordance with the Divine commands : for every thing so set up, either in the Tabernacle, or the Temple, was to be in exact conformity with the patterns shewn in the mount: mystically intimating, that the character of those who should live under this system, ought to be such, that the Lord might weigh their actions, and find them not wanting.

If we now pass on to Chap. xiii. 7, seq. we shall see what use Ezekiel makes of this: " Son of man,... the place of the soles of my feet, where I dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever'1'' (i. e. the Temple under the Law, the new Jerusalem under the Gospel), " and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile" (i. e. they shall not be in a situation to do so). At verse 10, seq., " Shew., the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern." " And if?' continues the Prophet, " they be ashamed of all that they have done, shew them the form of the home, and the fashion thereof. ..and all the ordinances thereof. ..and all the laws thereof: and write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them ...the whole limit thereof round about shall be most holy. Behold, this is the law of the house." From all which it must appear, that the holiness of this house, and of its ordinances, is the thing ultimately had in view; and that the Jews, weighed and measured, with reference to these, were here found wanting. Again (chap. xiiv. 1—13 inclusive), the same things virtually are repeated, and the rejection of the Jews is plainly foretold. We shall presently see that this Temple, with its Canaan, is superseded by another infinitely more glorious.

John therefore measures the Temple and its furniture, as also " them that worship therein16" just as we have seen the Angel did in the sight of Ezekiel, for the purpose of measuring again, is sometimes intended the parcelling out for destruction. See 2 Kings xxi. 13. Isai. xxxir. 11. Lam. ii. 8. Amos vii. 7, &c. 6 Ezek. ii. 16.

REVELATION, CHAP. XI. 351

ascertaining the general character of these worshippers, and thence of determining their fate. It should be observed nevertheless, that God does not cast away here, in either place, His appointed House of Prayer ;—considered as such, —nor those who truly worshipped therein (comp. Ezek. xuv. 15, seq.). In a spiritual sense, these are here excepted. The removal of both from the temporal Jerusalem,—as a peculiar place,—need not be considered as a mark of anger here ; the time having now come, that the Sanctuary77 should be wherever God's people should reside : because the whole world was now to be the possession of Abraham in his spiritual seed.

The progress of John however, affords us the means of making the due distinction here. It should be remembered that the Priests and Levites only, worshipped in the Temple: but, under the New Covenant,—the times of which had now begun,—the Priests and Levites were to be taken, not only out of every tribe of the Jews, but also out of the myriads of the heathen78; Christ himself occupying the Holy of Holies in heaven, and there presenting Himself to the Father, as the propitiation for the sins of the whole world. So St. Peter of Christians generally, "ye are a Royal priesthood, a peculiar people," &c. All this is therefore retained, in its true spiritual sense and meaning, in the Christian Church. But, of the outer courts of the Jewish system, it knows nothing. All draw near now to the throne of grace, in the full assurance of faith and of hope : and every one offers up for himself, and for others, the spiritual sacrifices peculiar to the New Covenant.

The Jew however, will still have the shadowy Temple, and can therefore venture no farther in his services than into the outer court. This portion therefore, St. John measures not: he has nothing whatever to do with this system : in his eye it is but " a synagogue of Satan." He gives it up therefore, together with the City,—remaining still in bondage,— to be trampled upon by the Gentiles, and this during the

f See the whole of Sect. I. from pp. 31 to 47, of my Letter to Dr. Pusey (Appendix), on the Doctrine of the Keys (Seeley's and Co. London), where this question is discussed.

78 Isai. Lxvi. 21.

352 REVELATION, CHAP. XI.

space of forty-two months. We have remarked elsewhere, a similar disregard of John to Jews and Judaism : this is evidently an element in his proceedings.

We have seen that Ezekiel speaks of the period, marked by Daniel's seventieth week, as one of seven years (p. 299). We have also seen that, according to Daniel (ix. 27), the judgment should fall upon Jerusalem " in the midst of this week. From this point therefore to the end, a period of 3^ years would, according to Ezekiel, follow; that is, of "'forty and two months," as given here by St. John. In the language of prophecy therefore, Jerusalem was, with its Temple, to be given up during this period: and this carries us to the utmost limit of prophetical prediction. Daniel conducts us no farther than this; and, as we have seen, he tells us, that " hitherto is the end of the matter :" and, again, that at this period " all these things should be fulfilled79?'' Our Lord brings us to the same event when He says (Luke xxi. 24), " Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." By this period therefore must be meant that of the Gentiles, and during which the Saints should be given into the hand of Daniel's Little Horn, for a " time, times, and a half:" which again must be equivalent to St. John's "forty and two months;" or, as we have seen, three years and a half80.'1'' We shall presently come to other equivalent designations of this period.

Our Lord virtually declares moreover, that, when this period should close, the times of the Gentiles should be fulfilled: that is, as before, the end of Daniel's seventieth week should now have come. And now, Daniel also tells us, Vision and Prophecy generally should be sealed. Our Lord himself also declares in this very context (ib. ver. 22), that " these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled" i. e. within them, as already shewn. And if this be the case, Prophecy tells us that, during the whole of this period, Jerusalem should be trodden down: but, it nowhere tells us that, it shall afterwards be restored. After this period we have, as we have seen, no prophecy : time is now

79 As shewn above, on Oh. x. 7.

80 The same must be true of Rom. xi. 26. See also p. 39 above, with the note.


REVELATION, CHAP. XI. 353

no more in this sense. But if the question be asked, Does prophecy forbid the belief of any such restoration ? I answer, Hear what Isaiah says on this point (Chapp. xxv. 12 ; xxvi. 5, 6), " And the fortress of the high fort of thy walls shall He bring down, lay low, and bring to the ground, even to the dust. ... For He bringeth down them that dwell on high; the lofty city He layeth low, even to the ground; He bringeth it even to the dust. The foot shall tread it down," &c. And again (ib. xxv. 2), " Thou hast made of a city an heap ; of a de-fenced city a ruin : a palace of strangers to be no city" (so that) "it shall never be (re-) built." (See also p. 44, seq. above).

This cannot refer to the heathen conquerors of the Jews, as is evident from what immediately follows : viz. " Therefore shall the strong people glorify thee, the city of the terrible nations shall fear thee:" which must refer to those who should destroy Jerusalem, and who should hence, i. e. from witnessing God's judgments on the Jews, be induced to glorify and fear Him. That Jerusalem should be said to contain a palace of strangers, is not to be wondered at. when we are told, that they " delighted themselves in the children of strangers," &c. (Isai. ii. 6).—Again (chap. i. 7, seq.), " Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers." These latter were the Romans certainly : i. e. the terrible nation just now mentioned. The close of this Chapter again predicts this final overthrow: while Chap, xxiv., where this same subject is resumed, we are positively told that the land should fall,"" i. e. with its City of necessity,—and should not " rise again" (ver. 26).

It is foretold therefore, that within the sphere of prophetical enouncement, this city should not be rebuilt, nor the land raised to its former station and dignity, in any peculiar religious sense. The end, the full end, had now come, so that the buyer should not return to enjoy his purchased land, nor the seller grieve for its loss: for the multitude of this people,—i. e. excluding its Remnant,—should not return to it any more. See Ezek. vii. 3—14, and xx. 38, while the Escaped (vii. 16) should be like doves on the mountains, as observed above. See also Isai. Lxvi. 15—18,19—24, l. 23

354 REVELATION, CHAP. XI.

where the same times, persons, and events, are brought before us.

The Apocalypse proceeds (ver. 3, seq.), "And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth" &c. It will be our first business to inquire what is intended by these two Witnesses. By " Witnesses'''1 would seem to be meant, either some persons, or it may be things, attesting God^s revealed truth, as connected with this Revelation of Jesus Christ. These, as things, are here mystically termed " the two olive-trees" &c.: i. e. they may here be considered as the means of affording divine light, and likewise that which should feed and nourish this, just as the oil-olive did the lights of the seven-branched Candlestick of the Temple. By this light then, would be meant revealed truth; and by the " Olive-trees," the Holy Ghost, from whom alone this light is derived, and by whom it is fed and nourished. It should also seem from what follows, that the Ministers or Dispensers of this light and unction, are also meant by these Witnesses: for it.is said, " If any man will" (i. e. wills to) " hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth" (i. e. by their denunciation of judgments), " and devoureth their enemies," &c.

And again (ver. 6), " These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy" (i. e. of their preaching): " and have power over waters, to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with plagues, as often as they will." By turning waters to blood, Moses is, as a minister, evidently alluded to (Exod. iv. 9; vii. 17, &c.): and by "power to shut heaven," and "fire proceeding out of their mouth" it is clear that Elijah is (see 2 Kings i. 10, 12, and 1 Kings xvii. 1, seq.). The smiting of the earth with plagues, &c. is more fully exemplified in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, the minor Prophets, and the Psalms, and even in Moses, as ministers of this description. There can therefore, remain perhaps no doubt that the Scripture, with its Author, and its inspired ministers, are here primarily had in view. And, if so, by these two Witnesses will be meant these, as acting under both the Law and the Gospel: just as the four

82 P. 47 seq.


REVELATION, CHAP. XI. 355

and twenty Elders, already noticed, imply the union of the Apostles of the Lamb, with the heads of the twelve tribes of Israel. And once more, as Moses was the primary minister of the Theocracy, so was Elias, mystically, in John the Baptist, to be that of the New Covenant. (See Mal. iii. 1 ; iv. 5. Matth. xi. 14; xvii. 12, &c.) If it be objected that this is to extract too much out of the words given, I answer, I can see nothing in it in principle, beyond what was apparently intended in Ezekie'ls wheel within a wheel, Chap. i. 16.

Again (ver. 4), " And the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth :" i. e. by these Witnesses are represented both these things, viz. the olive-trees, and the Candlesticks. We have seen that by Candlesticks is meant the Church, i. e. the Body in which this light is to be put forth, and found. And, as these Candlesticks are also said to be two, the combination of the Mosaic Church, together with that of the New Covenant, must be intended, just as it is under the two olive-trees: and hence we have the God of the earth, i. e. of the whole earth : not the God of Israel, as under the Mosaic system. And again, by the '' fire proceeding out of their mouth," and "their smiting the earth," &c., should imply, the seconding of the denunciations of these ministers, by the prayers of their Churches. For, although the offices here are different, the work is one: and again, every real believer is himself the member of a royal priesthood, in his several private capacity. And, let it be observed, it is' against these in the aggregate, that the beast ascending out of the bottomless pit, was to make war (ver. 7). The same is true of all the subsequent matter given here, down to verse 14.

We are next told (ver. 7), that " when they shall have finished their testimony:" that is, shall have declared in " the fulness of time," that the Old Covenant has, with all that is old, wholly and entirely passed away, and that all things have become new; and further, when they shall have done this fully, even to the extremities of the earth, for a testimony to all nations, as the Covenant made with Abraham required:—and we have seen this was really done, so that the Gospel had been carried out into all the world, and had been preached to every creature (Col. i. 6, 23. Comp. Rom. x. 18 ; xvi. 26):—then, " the Beast that ascendeth out of the

356 REVELATION, CHAP. XI.

bottomless pit shall make war against them,, and shall overcome them, and kill them" i. e. to some extent. This was, as we have seen (Dan. vii.), to be done by Daniel's fourth Beast, termed the Little Horn. "/ beheld" says he (ver. 21), " and the same Horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them." It is added, " Until...the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom :" and this period was, as we have seen, to continue (ver. 25) "until a time and times and the dividing of time:" that is, some mystical period which may be designated by three times and a half. And then (ver. 28), comes " the end of the matter."

A complete (i. e. finished) testimony having therefore, now been given of Christ by these two Witnesses, in their Ministers, clothed in sackcloth: i. e. in much tribulation, with persecutions and 'many tears, as to earthly circumstances, i. e. during the period of twelve hundred and sixty days; from the time of Christ's commissioning His Apostles, up to that of the fall of Jerusalem ;—for this constitutes the first half of Daniel's seventieth week; which, taken as a week of years in the mystical acceptation of Ezekiel, supplies the 1260 days here given by St. John. This period being now therefore fulfilled, the second half of this week commences, i. e. the time, times, and dividing of time, of the same Prophet, during which the Roman-persecuting power should make war with the Saints, and, to a certain extent, prevail against them and kill them. John has now conducted us therefore, beyond the period of the Apostolical Millennium, during which Satan was bound, and into that in which this war should be carried on against God's new Church.

We are next told (ver. 8), that " their dead bodies" (i. e. considered as such) " should " (now) " lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually'''' (or mystically) " is called Sodom and Egypt, where our Lord was crucified.'1'' That is, in (the earthly) Jerusalem, now no longer to be so called in a Scriptural sense, but, as it truly deserved, Sodom and Egypt, and which would now be in the hands of a Rule, in all respects, mystically considered, allied with these, and succeeding in Daniel's order of Empires to that of Babylon. The next verse (9) tells us, that the nations should " see their dead bodies" (i. e. considered as dead) " three days and an half," and should not suffer them to be put into graves.

REVELATION, CHAP. XI. 357

This "three days and an half" must therefore be the " time, times, and an half'1 of Daniel, during which the saints should be put into the power of the Little Horn, and which should complete the latter period—from the fall of the Temple (chap. ix. 27)—of his seventieth week. We have above moreover, the "forty and two months," during which the Gentiles should tread down Jerusalem, also designating this period. And again, as 1260 days (ver. 3) designate the first half of this mystical week of Daniel, every one of these periods must also mystically imply an equal period; that is, either the former, or the latter, half of this week of Daniel: not in any chronological or mathematical sense; for none of these periods contain any thing of the kind, but only as indefinite periods, and as thus designated in the enigmatical language of prophecy.

We are next informed (ver. 10), that the dwellers upon the earth should now rejoice (" shall rejoice," i. e. because this should happen after the times of St. John), " and make merry, and send gifts one to another, because these two prophets8," which had tormented them, were now believed to be dead. A nd, be it observed, the Jews are necessarily a part of these; for they had preceded the Beast in making war upon the Saints as far as they could, and had been cast out as the enemies of the Witnesses, just as these had declared they should be.

St. John then tells us (ver. 11), that "after" (these mystical) " three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet,'1'' i. e. upon the earth. If therefore, the nations had considered these witnesses as dead, during this three days and an half; the fact is, that at their close they are found to be alive ; and,

83 And it is a remarkable fact, that at this very point of time, this was done by the Gentiles. The Edict of Diocletian to this effect, I gave from Gruter, in ray Sermons and Dissertations of 1830, p. 323. The words are these: " Diocletianus. Jovius. et. Maximian. Herculeus. cses . aug. ampliflcato . per. orientem . et. occidentem. imp. Rom. et. nomine. christianorum. delete . qui. remp. evertebant. . . Diocletian. caes . aug . Galerio . in oriente . adopt . superstitione . christ. ubiq. deleta. et. cultu. deorum . propagate." An edict of Maximin to the same effect is to be found in the Eccles. Hist. Euseb. lib. ix. c. 7, of which the following is an extract: " Lsetentur imposterum cuncti, quod pervestram pietatein (i. e. the inhabitants of Tyre) .... numen Martis placatum est: atque idcirco tranquillissima pace quietius perfruentes, sese oblectent," &c. This edict was however, in a very short time annulled, and another published giving full liberty to the Christians to exercise their faith. Eusebius says generally, on this change of mind in the persecutors (ib. lib. vm. c. xvi.), "Postquam ccelestis Dei gratia benigno nos .. . vultu respexit, turn principes illi ipsi, qui persecutionem adversus nostros. .. commoverant, repente prater omnium spem mu-tatft sententia palinodiam cecinere." See also the next Chapter.


358 REVELATION, CHAP. XI.

not only so, but are soon seen in the situation which declares, that they had gained a complete victory; and, accordingly, " great fear fell upon them which saw them." St. John adds (ver. 12), " They ascended up to heaven in a cloud" (i. e. just as our Lord did, and thus marking His victory}. It is added, in order to give full effect to this, " And their enemies beheld them!" " And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city'1'' (i. e. of the nations) "fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand " (i. e. some large indefinite number); "and," it is added, " the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven:" they rescinded their edicts, and so attested the victory now everywhere obtained. The Jews have been cast out, their system trampled under foot, and the body of the Beast, now at the head of the nations, is to be given to the burning flame.

The second woe of this our Vision " is," we are told (ver. 14) "now past, and the third," it is added, " cometh quickly:" and this appears to be the sounding of the seventh Angel, announcing the complete victory: i. e. a woe to both Jew and Gentile. We are now told therefore, that great voices, i. e. shoutings, declared in heaven that " the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ; and," it is added, " He shall reign for ever and ever .-1" just as Daniel had declared He should. We have here therefore, as before, the work of the seventh day of our mystical week, carried on in singing the praises of Him who had so completed the work of His new creation (comp. chap. vii. 9—17, inclus.).

The remainder of this Chapter gives us this Hymn of victory, in these words: " We give thee thanks, 0 Lord God


REVELATION, CHAP. XI. 359

Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because Thou hast taken to Thee Thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry" (comp. Ps. ii. 1, seq.), "and Thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead" (i. e. spiritually), " that they should be judged, and that Thou shouldest give reward unto Thy servants the prophets" (i.e. Witnesses), " and to the Saints, and them that fear Thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth" (comp. Dan. ix. 27). This Hymn too, is sung by the four and twenty Elders, who sat on their seats before God; i. e. by the heads of the Church, under both the Old and New Covenants. They, it is said, "fell  upon their faces and worshipped God," and then broke out into this incomparable song of praise. Here then, we see the work of promise completed, as we also do the harmony produced by it between both our Witnesses, and the thanksgiving, i. e. the true spiritual worship, and character, of the real Church of God.

Chapter IV.

THE FOURTH VISION OF ST. JOHN, AND THIRD SERIES OF THE EVENTS OF PROPHECY.

Sect. I.— On the Church in the Wilderness.

WE have now to consider a repetition of this series of judgments in a third vision of them. " The temple of God," it is said, "was opened in heaven" (chap. xi. 19. Comp. chapp. i. 7; iv. 1; xv. 1; xviii. 1), " and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament'1'1 (read, Covenant) : " and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail." This vision is ushered in, just as our second was, by heaven being opened, and by the presence of "lightnings and thunderings and voices" (chap. iv. 1, 5, &c.). We then have a kind of summary of the events about to take place, during this exhibition of the Ark of the Testimony,—yet shut up and closed, as it should seem,—and to take place during the laying open of this, as in that of the sealed Book in our second Vision (chapp. v. vi. vii. viii. 1), and closing with declarations of victory as before (verr. 5—11, and part of 12). The particulars seem to commence with verse 1, and are resumed with " Woe to the inhabiters of the earth," Sic. in verse ] 2. Let us now consider these.

"There appeared," (Ch. xii. 1) "a great wonder in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon" (was) "under feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars." It is obvious from what follows, that the true Zion of God is here symbolized. By " clothed with the sun," is probably meant, that a light and glory as of the sun entirely enveloped her: which taken spiritually will mean, that upon her had arisen the Sun of righteousness with healing in His wings (Isai. lx. 1. Mal. iv. 2). The crown of twelve stars seems to represent the twelve tribes of Israel, or Holy Remnant of all these who cleaved to her from the first, and became in the Apostles, her ambassadors to the countless multitudes of


REVELATION, CHAP. XII. 361

the Gentiles (comp. Isai. Lxvi. 19, &c.). The figures used are perhaps taken from Joseph's dream (Gen. xxxvii. 9), "Behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars'''' (Joseph being the twelfth) " made obeisance to me:" i. e. the whole family of Israel, as interpreted by Jacob himself in the next verse: while the place under consideration (i.e. Rev. xii. 1) must be taken in a more extended sense. The sun should symbolize Christ: " the moon" the Church, His spouse, as in Jacob's family, spiritually subject to Him, and as receiving light from Him: and the twelve stars, the Holy Remnant, as before, which were " the first-fruits," or spiritual household of Jacob, under the New Covenant.

" And," it is added (ver. 2), " she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.'''' If we turn to Isai. chap. ixvi. 7, we shall find this birth thus foretold, viz. " Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man-child." And (ver. 8), " As soon as zion travailed, she brought forth her children.'1'' St. John's words accordingly are (ver. 5), " And she brought forth a man-child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron.'1'' In the man-child here, we evidently view Christ as the Head of his Church. St. John further tells us, that " her Child was caught up unto God, and to His throne." Which refers apparently to Christ's final ascension and dignity, as His birth here does to the promise, that He should be born of " the seed of the woman."

We have further reference to this event in its more general sense, in Isai. xlix. 20, seq., where it is said, " The children which thou" (i. e. Zion, ver. 14) " shalt have after thou hast lost the other" (i. e. in the fallen Jews), " shall say again in thine ears, The place is too strait for me" (i. e. the narrow confines of Jewry), "give place to me that I may dwell" (i. e. a large room, Ps. xxxi. 8. Isai. Liv. 3). " Then shalt thou say,... Who hath begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children, and am desolate?" (i. e. without husband, chap. Liv. 1),-.." Who hath brought up these?... Thus saith the Lord god, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, ...and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders. And Kings" it is added, " shall be thy nursing fathers, and their Queens thy nursing mothers" (i. e. shall nourish this thy

362 REVELATION, CHAP. XII.

family, and so supply abundantly the loss of thy rebellious children). And above (ver. 18), " Thou shall surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them on thee, as a bride doeth:" i. e. as being the Spouse of Christ.

Again (ib. Lxvi. 8, seq.), John's "great wonder" here, is thus expressed by the Prophet, " Who hath heard such a thing ? who hath seen such things ? shall the earth be made to bring forth'''' (i. e. its whole year's produce) " in one day ? or shall a nation be born at once ? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children :" i. e. mystically speaking, she brought forth a population for the whole earth, in that one day, so often brought before us by the Prophets as the day of the Lord1. This birth is termed by the same Prophet (lxv. 17, seq.), "a new creation," and is said to take place with particular reference to the true Zion, or Jerusalem, " Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth"1"1 (i.e. new morally, not physically)..." behold," it is added, "/ create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy"... (ver. 25), " The wolf and the lamb shall feed together," &c. as in chap, xi., where the coming of Christ, the restoration of the holy Remnant, and the calling in of the Gentiles, are
clearly foretold. To the same effect, Isai. xuii. 5, seq., " / will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west: I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; Even every one that is called by my name : for I have created him" (i. e. each one) "for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him"."1'1

And that this applies to the Gentiles, the following context will abundantly shew, e. g. ver. 20, seq., " The beasts of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert"1"1 (comp. Ezek. xLvii.), " to give drink to my people, my
chosen."

1 See p. 99, seq., above.

2 If this then refers to the Gentiles, it may be asked, Were they as well as the Jews to be brought, upon their conversion, to Canaan; for the language applied to the Jews generally, is applied to them here ? Comp. Ps. cii. 20—22, inclusive, and see p. 44, seq. above; also p. 78, seq.


REVELATION, CHAP. XII. 363

" This people," adds the Prophet (ib. ver. 21),—taking up again the figure of a new creation,—" have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise,'''' &c. We have again, matter similar to this in Ps. Lxxxvii., and upon which this will throw much light. It is said here (ver. 2), " The lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob:" clearly intimating, that God's love was not to be considered as confined to the family of Jacob. The same is necessarily intimated above, in the loss of those other children, which Zion is said to have sustained. Then (ver. 4, seq.) speaking of Rahab (Egypt), Babylon, Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia, it is implied that the inhabitants of these several places should be born there, that is, there in the city of God, mentioned in verse 3 : and again of Zion, that each should be born in her : and that the Most Highest himself should thus establish her. It is added, " The Lord shall count, when He writeth up the people" (nations, in the Lamb's book of life), " that this man was born there :" i. e. that such, and such an one, was born in that glorious City, now extending throughout the heritage of the Gentiles (see on chap. xxi. 10, below).

We have moreover, a very remarkable passage in the Prophet Micah, which should not be omitted here. It is this (chap. v. 2, seq.), " But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto me that is to be Ruler in Israel" (comp. Ezek. xxi. 27. Gen. xux. 10); " whose goings forth have been from everlasting" (comp. Ps. ex. 3). " Therefore," it is added, " will He give them up" (i. e. who wickedly assume this rule) " until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth. Then," continues the Prophet, " the remnant of his brethren"—i.e. not those so given up and lost—" shall return to the" (true) " children of Israel" (Ezek. xi. 15), i. e. to those who should be sent out, in order to call them thus to return (Isai. Lxvi. 19, &c.) : i. e. the Apostles and their coadjutors. This return too, was to be, not to the peculiar territory of Canaan, but " to the mighty God" (Isai. x. 21), and to His spiritual Zion, or Jerusalem (Heb. xii. 22—25).

By " she which travaileth," must then be meant, the Zion of Isaiah noticed above : and here, the time of her travailing,

364 REVELATION, CHAP. XII.

that in which this Zion should bring forth, i. e. in a day, and so should produce a nation at once. When it is said too, until the time  i. e. usque ad tempus), the meaning appears to be, that this time of travail should have some duration; but which, when considered with reference to the marvellous events so to be accomplished, should seem as but a day. During this period then, the Prophet tells us, that the wicked brethren of this Remnant should be given up : i. e. during the day had in view by Isaiah. And, if we are here to understand the period mentioned by St. John (Rev. xii. 6), during which this woman should be nourished and fed: i. e. our Zion should be so nourished in the wilderness,—just as the Jewish Church had been,—we are certain that this should continue during the space of " twelve hundred and sixty days" (ver. 6). We are again told (ver. 14), that this period should be that of " a time, times, and half a time." Again, chap. xiii. 5, this same period is designated by the terms, "forty-two months.'1''

It must be evident therefore, as before, that by these mystical terms, not only is the same duration of time meant, but also, that precisely the same period is: and which must be that, during which the Saints were to be given into the hand of the Little Horn (Dan. vii. 21. Rev. xiii. 5), and the Jews generally, to suffer in the fall of their City and Sanctuary : and again, during which desolations should be poured out, and these finally on the Desolator himself: that is, we have the latter half of Daniel's seventieth week: and likewise, the forty-two months, during which, as shewn above, Jerusalem should be trodden down by the Gentiles (chap. xi. 2). This giving up of the Jews is therefore, that same treading under foot of their City, so adverted to by the Apocalypse : and this day of the bringing forth of Zion, also that day of the Lord, so often adverted to by the Prophets.

" Then," it is said by Micah, i. e. within that same period, " the remnant of his brethren shall return," &c. Which necessarily applies to the Church generally. The next verse brings us to the person of Christ, as the Shepherd and King of this His people. The words are, " And He shall stand and feed" (i. e. His Church, this Zion in the wilderness) " in the strength'1'' (miraculous power) " of the lord, in the majesty of the name of the lord His God" (as one hav-

REVELATION, CHAP. XII. 365

ing authority). " And," it is added, " they shall abide:" "for now" (i. e. during this period) " shall He be great" (lit. become great) " unto the ends of the earth."" If therefore, our Prophet refers this birth, in one sense, to that of Zion's children, and that of our Lord is given by the Evangelist in another; still, we have, as observed above, nothing more here than (Rev. xii. 5) the Principal coupled, in the enunciation of the Prophet, with His ministers and servants.

But, we have other important matter in this Chapter of Micah, also bearing on this period, which it is our duty to notice. The next five verses then, relate exclusively to the work of the Apostles and their coadjutors, as comprehended in the Remnant just mentioned. It will be granted, I presume, that no earthly victory, such as that described here, was ever obtained over the Assyrian Power by the Jews : that none such ever can in future, must be equally certain. This victory must therefore, necessarily be understood as a spiritual one. The words of the Prophet are, " And this man shall be the peace." More literally, And this shall be peace : i. e. shall be, or become, the means or source of peace; which I would understand of the government and teaching of this good Shepherd, as centering in His person. We shall then have an equivalent to Isaiah (chap. ix. 7, seq.), " Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David,"" &c. " When," it is added (Mic. v. 5), " the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise up against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men." That is, an indefinite, but complete, number of shepherds, following up the government and teaching of their Principal, Christ. " And they," it is then said, " shall waste the land of Assyria with the sword:" i. e. of the Spirit; for this was the only weapon of their warfare. " Thus shall He deliver us," continues the Prophet, that is, "He" (although not specifically mentioned in the original), who, it is said above, " shall stand and feed in the strength of the lord," &c.

These "seven shepherds3," and " eight principal men,"

3 In like manner too, in Jer. xxiii. 3, seq., "And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. And I will set up shepherds" (comp. iii. 15) " over them which shall feed them : and tliey shall fear no more," &c. " Behold the days come, saith the lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch . . . In His days Judah" (i. e. Israel's Remnant) " shall be saved, and" (this) "Israel shall dwell safely" (in Mic. above, "they shall abide," Heb. l) lit. shall dwell; and so here ver. 8 Jer.): "and this is His name whereby He shall be called, the lord our righteousness.". . ." and they shall dwell in their own land:" that is, throughout the heritage of the heathen, as given to them by Covenant, styled above, "their" (own) "folds." Comp. chap, xxxiii. 15 — 19. Ezek. xxxiv. 11, Again, Jer. xxxi. 7, seq., "Save the people, the remnant of Israel." (ver. 12), " They shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness" (i. e. His Zion) " of the lord," &c. And, to deter. mine the period in which this should happen, it is said, ver. 15, "A voice was heard" (i. e. surely shall be heard) "in Ramah," &c. See Matth. ii. 17, 18. And in ver. 31, "the New Covenant" is also to be established in these days. Comp. Heb. viii. 8 ; x. 16.

and

REVELATION, CHAP. XII.

are designated in the two following verses (7, 8) by " the Remnant" of Jacob. These, it is said, " shall be in the midst of many people, as a" (i.e. refreshing and glowing) " dew from the lord, as" (fertilizing) " showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men." I. e. it, shall certainly come to pass in its time; and in its time shall disappear, and so give place to its fertilizing and refreshing consequences (comp. Hab. ii. 3).—Let the vain Jewish and Millennarian expectants observe this.—It is repeated, in order to give prominence to this declaration: " And the Remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep; who, if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver." The laying waste by the sword, mentioned above, is here described under a different figure; and yet, both the waste, and the wasters, cannot but be, respectively, the same in each case. This is next given more generally, and God is, in His Zion, made the executor of it. " Thine hand," it is said, " shall be lifted up upon thine adversaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut off." And, that the rebellious Jews are not lost sight of here, is obvious from what follows : viz. " And it shall come to pass in that

REVELATION, CHAP. XII. 367

day, saith the lord, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots. And I will cut off the cities of thy land, and throw down all thy strongholds. And I will cut off witchcrafts out of thine hand ; and thou shalt have no more soothsayers,'''' &c. (comp. Zech. ix. 10. Isai. ii. 6, 7, 8, 15): which could hardly be said of the Assyrian, as it was no particular sin in him to trust in horses, chariots, and the like; while it was an abomination very common among the Jews of these times. By " that day," must necessarily be understood here, that day of the lord, which refers exclusively to the times of our Lord and His ministers; who, as St. Paul himself assures us, then likewise constituted a Remnant according to the election of grace, not less than that existing in the times of Elijah (Rom. xi. 1—6). By the Assyrian here therefore, must ultimately be meant, that Power which should at this time stand in his place: viz. heathen Rome : by the Remnant of Jacob, i. e. the "seven shepherds" &c., the Apostles and their fellow-labourers: by the warfare had in view, the spiritual conflicts of these ; and by the fall of strongholds, cutting off of horses, &c. the final overthrow of Judaism, together with its appointments.

The vengeance too, to be executed upon the heathen at this period, is said to be such as they had not heard of (ver. 15): and this, as noticed above (pp. 222, 343), and as we shall shew hereafter, was indeed the fact of the case.

We have therefore, here (Rev. xii. 1, 5, seq.), under the birth of Christ, and mystically, that of his Church under the New Covenant, the fall of His, and its, enemies plainly set forth; as is also the period of these events, in a manner too plain to be misunderstood, and too well defined to be misapplied. Must it not then, be matter of great exultation to every sincere follower of this great and good Shepherd, that all this, which Jewish infidelity and Millennarian ingenuity, has made so difficult and uncertain, is never-• theless so plain, that he who runs may read it, and that he who reads, cannot but understand it ? But, let us follow out these marvellous revelations of God's holy will, and then we shall more fully see the amount of the gratitude we owe to Him, and of the thankfulness we should express.

"And" (ver. 3) "there appeared," it is said, "another

368 REVELATION, CHAP. XII.

wonder in heaven; and behold, a great red Dragon*," &c. The particulars of this power have been discussed above (chap. viii. p. 306). We may now pass on therefore, to verse 7 here. " And" it is said, " there was war in heaven : Michael and his angels fought against the Dragon: and the Dragon fought and his angels." Let us see whether we can find any Scripture, that will throw light upon this. We have then (Dan. xii. 1), "At that time" (clearly the period of Daniel's seventieth week) "shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy" (true) " people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation," &c. Which has been applied by our Lord Himself, Matth. xxiv. 21, to this very period.

Again (Dan. x. 5, seq.), we have a vision, in which our blessed Lord Himself5 appears to Daniel; and in this, we have some further particulars as to the interest which Michael took in the affairs of the people of God. At verse 13 it is said, " The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me ; and I remained with the kings of Persia." Again (ver. 21), " / will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that hold-eth with me in these things, but Michael your prince." And (ib. ver. 14), to fix, as it should seem, the period had in view for the fulfilment of the things so shewn, " J am come," it is said, " to make thee understand what shall befal thy people in the latter days." We are led therefore, by these several considerations here, to carry the things had in view down to this particular period.

We learn moreover, that Michael is here to be considered as a chief minister of God, in protecting the interests of His Church among the Jews. The first interference mentioned here, is evidently that in which the Persian Kings shewed favour to the Jews in the case of Esther and Mordecai (Esth. v.—x.): and, secondly, in their deliverance under Cyrus (comp. Isai. xlv. 1, seq. Ezra i. 1, seq.). So

4 By the seven crowned heads, and ten horns here given to the Dragon, nothing more is probably meant, than the universal kingly power that he had attained over mankind.

5 Comp. Rev. i. 13, seq.


REVELATION, CHAP. XII.

far therefore we may also consider Michael, as mentioned by St. John, as a guardian and ministering servant of God's Church, in these times.

John tells us, that " Michael and his angels fought against the Dragon and his angels' That is, as in Daniel, he stood up to protect the people of God, of whom Daniel was one. From this consideration then, as well as from what follows,—which seems to carry this matter still farther out in time,—I am induced to believe, that this war in heaven, is to be understood as being in the professed Church of God on earth. It is said indeed (chap. xiii. 6), that this enemy in his minister, " opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle" (Church), " and them that dwell in heaven :" the latter part of which must mean God's Church, or Saints; for against these was he to make war.

Our Lord also says (John vi. 70), " One of you is a devil.'1'' -And again (ib viii. 44), of the Jews; " Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own.; for he is a liar, and the father of it" And again, to his disciples (Matth. x. 34, seq.), " / came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against Ids father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.'1'' Comp. Micah vii. 6, &c. from which this is taken, all evidently referring to these times. If moreover, we consider the sanguinary hatred with which the Jewish nation pursued our Lord both in his life and death, and then persecuted His Apostles, we shall find it impossible to ascribe this to any thing short of the work of Satan. In the ministering Angels too, as attending upon our Lord'1, and his Apostles7, we cannot fail of being reminded of this guardianship of Michael, as a chief Prince,— which implies the attendance also of a host,—as spoken of in the times of

6 Mark i. 13, &c.

7 Acts xii. 8—11. Rev. i. 1; v. 2, &c.

370 REVELATION, CHAP. XII.

Daniel, and as here brought before us by St. John, telling us that "Michael and his angels fought against the Dragon" for Satan also had his aiding and assisting ministers in this warfare, as our Lord said of Judas and of the Jews generally.

I am led to conclude therefore, that this " war in 'heaven'' belongs exclusively to this period; because we can with no shew of propriety suppose, that by heaven can here be meant either the Jewish or the Gentile world, with which a warfare was also to be maintained. Much less can we, with Milton and others, that this war took place in heaven, properly so called. As well might we suppose, that the vision with which this Chapter commences, with the birth there described, also took place there; which would be absurd. And, as to the original fall of Satan himself, I would rather take the place in Ezekiel (xxviii. 17), or the account of this as given by our blessed Lord, and as quoted above (John viii. 44), than that of Milton, &c.; which appears to me sufficiently to provide for all the phenomena of the case.

St. John continues, "The dragon and his angels...prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven." They were accordingly cast out. It should seem from the Scriptures just now quoted, that the Jewish Church generally, had—as its Temple certainly had,—really become a den of thieves9. According to the enouncement of the Prophets, they had for ages acted a perfectly hypocritical part, and might fairly be called a cage of every unclean bird9. The fulness of time had however now come, when One was to sit as a refiners fire, who should take away their dross, and purge away all their tin, by the spirit of judgment and of burning10. Our blessed Lord had often warned them of this; which,—as in the cases of Jeremiah and Stephen,— only increased their wickedness, till the measure of their iniquity was filled to the very brim.

During the whole period of the Apostles, these left no effort untried both to ruin their cause, and to destroy their persons. On one occasion, forty of them took an oath that

8 Matth. xxi. 13, &c.

9 Jer. v. 27.

10 Isai. iy. 4, &c.


REVELATION, CHAP. XII. 371

they would neither eat nor drink until they had slain Paul. James they put to death by the sword ; Stephen they stoned ; and Peter they imprisoned with the hope of succeeding in procuring his death. They pursued the Apostles too, as in Iconium and Derbe, and succeeded in getting Paul stoned11. And again, where they had no hope of harassing and killing them, they did their utmost for the purpose of corrupting their doctrine. St. Paul's words on one occasion are (2 Cor. xi. 13, seq.), " Such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And," continues he, " no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light." Where we have the apostles or angels of Satan, acting in strict conformity with the mind of their principal.

Throughout the whole of this period indeed, from Satan's tempting our Lord himself, down to the latest record of the New Testament, we find continual reference made to his workings. During our Lord's ministry, the demoniacal possessions so often spoken of, and the knowledge evinced by the foul spirits on these occasions, are sufficient to prove to us, that this was a period in which Satan put forth very extraordinary powers, such indeed as no other period of Scripture-times had witnessed. In these cases, that of the woman bound by Satan eighteen years (Luke xiii. 16): his known desire to get hold of the Apostles (ib. xxii. 31): the " messenger" (i. e. angel) of Satan sent to buffet Paul (2 Cor. xii. 7), the " damsel possessed with a spirit of divination," who said, " These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation" (Acts xvi. 16, seq.): which, with their casting out by the power of Christ and His Apostles, present us with matter perfectly unknown to any other period, but which constituted the signs of these times12. We have here therefore, even within the professed Church of God, the kingdom of Satan in much power: the

11 Acts xiv. 19.

12 Of this extraordinary sort too, was the Pool ofSethesda (John v. 2). Its object apparently was, to excite the Jews to consider the peculiarity of the signs of these times, and also to afford an additional type, to the many then existing, of the spiritual offices of the Redeemer; and here, both the type and Antitype were present.

 

372 REVELATION, CHAP. XII.

strong man armed keeping his palace as a king, and so far were his goods, and his ministers, in security and peace. Within the Jewish Church too,—as we have seen,—there was only a very small Remnant, governed by a different sovereign; they were the poor, the afflicted, the outcasts, escaped, and the like. These indeed waited for the consolation of the true Israel; but they were treated as Jeremiah, Amos, and others had been, as the enemies of the state, and as hated by God and man.

The Apostles had however powers conferred upon them, sufficient both to detect, and to overcome, all the devices and energies of this Satanic confederacy. These were put forth, and they were acknowledged by the spirits themselves, as just now noticed ; and this was, perhaps, the case to some extent with believers generally, during these times. The Apostles indeed and others, were exposed to trials, both spiritual and temporal, of the severest sort: while none of these could be spiritually injured13, both were temporally so; and hence it is, that the appearing of the Lord to succour, defend, and avenge them, is so often brought before us in the relations of this period. And here again, the judgment to be inflicted by Him, must necessarily fall first upon the Jews : and this our Lord himself declared should take place during that generation. With reference to this too, He says (Luke x. 18), " I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven." The disciples had just told Him, that the devils were subject to them through His name: He now tells them generally, that He had seen Satan, in His prophetic view, fall from heaven: in other words, cast out of the

13 The power of Satan was now,—but more particularly so after the fall of Jerusalem,—much of a sort with that granted to him against Job, where it is said (Job ii. 6), " Behold, he is in thine hand ; but save his life." I would rather render this with the Septuagint," Only regard his soul," i. e. that thou affect not it ; and so the Chaldee, Syriac, Arabic, Vulgate Latin, and Montanus, of the Polyglott. So also during the persecutions, neither should be given up to spiritual destitution, except through their own disregard or neglect of the means afforded for their preservation. Both were evidently tried in order to purge and refine them. Job himself confesses this near the end of his book, and the Scriptures declare the same of the Church (Dan. xi. 35, &c.).


REVELATION, CHAP. XII. 373

true Church in Jewry, in order to make way for the full establishment of His kingdom of heaven, so much so, that Satan should not, as he had done, deceive the nations any more (Rev. xx. 3),—of which more presently.

In about forty years after the crucifixion of our Lord, a period quite sufficient for the hypocritical Jews to discover their error, and during which miraculous powers had been enjoyed and publicly put forth by the Church, for the purpose,—among other things,—of convincing them of this; the once beloved City Jerusalem, together with its inhabitants, and the whole population of Judaea, felt the weight of the judgments which had so often and so plainly been denounced against them, even from Moses down to their last Prophet. Satan was accordingly, in his stronghold there, visibly and completely bruised under the feet of the Christian Church (Rom. xvi. 20). He was cast out with his Jewish Synagogue,—now " the synagogue of Satan,'''1 de jure,—into the regions of the Gentiles, with which Jerusalem now indeed identified itself, as far both as its locality and character were concerned. And here we find, i. e. among the Gentiles, both Satan, and its citizens, determined to make a stand, and to wage violent warfare with the Saints.

"And" it is said (ver. 9), " the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him?'' That is, he and his are no longer to occupy the acknowledged sanctuary of God: they are cast out of this seat of God's rule into the earth, where indeed they had holden undisputed sway: and even here, is this now to be wrenched from them, but not without a warfare of no ordinary sort.

Upon obtaining this first and partial victory, the redeemed are made to sing (ver. 10), " Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night1*.," In

14 Allusion is here made to Job i. 6—9, &c. where, it is evident, the company of the true believers at that day is meant. See my notes on this context. We have a similar place in Zech. iii. 1, seq., "He shewed me," says the Prophet, " Joshua the high priest" (the first servant in rank in the Jewish Church, and hence personating Christ), " standing before ike Angel of the lord, and Satan standing at His right hand to resist him. And the lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee" (more literally, and perhaps correctly, shall rebuke thee), " O Satan, even the lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this" (people as) " a brand plucked out of the fire ?" The angel of the Lord is here, according to the Apostlo Jude (ver. 9), " Michael the arch-angel:" who, as we have seen, was considered as ministering in a peculiar manner to the true Church among the Jews; and this receives from Jude the name of the " Body of Moses," he being their head: just as Christians are the Body of Christ; but of which he is, in a peculiar sense, the Head, and from whom they receive all their strength, spiritual life, and sustenance. Col. ii. 19. See also Rom. viii. 33. This resistance of Satan is against the Elect of God : and so here, ver. 38, neither angel, principality, nor power, can succeed against Christ, to the injury of his. And, as in the place (Rev. xii. 10), the accuser (Sta-0oXoj, devil) has been cast down, or out, by Jehovah himself; so is He here in Zechariah called upon to rebuke him.

374 REVELATION, CHAP. XII.

other words, The stronger man armed had now not only bound the strong man, but He had divided the spoil15. The strong forts of his high walls had, in the Holy City,—the lodging-place of murderers,—been brought low even to the dust, and the power of the Son of Man, coming in the clouds of heaven to vindicate His right to the kingdom, been openly manifested; and this during the generation in which He himself had said it should. This hymn affirms too, that it was " by the word of their testimony,'1'' i. e. by their preaching, and thus wielding the sword of the Spirit, that this victory had been obtained, and because " they loved not their lives unto death" Which plainly restricts all this to events which took place on earth,—not in the heavens properly so called,— and to the preaching and labours of the first promoters of Christianity, sometimes styled " the firstfruits of the earth to God and the Lamb." It is added, " Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them." Which, although primarily referring to the Church, does, I think at the same time, call upon the Angelic hosts to rejoice, just as it is said they did at the creation of the world, when " All the sons of God shouted for joy'," and at the birth of the

15 See Isai. Liii. 12 ; xLiv. 23, seq., where the victories of the Church of Christ are plainly foretold, and thus celebrated.

16 Job xxxviii. 7. See my translation of Job on this place.

REVELATION, CHAP. XII. 375

Saviour, when they ascribed " Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, and good will towards men." This extension of the sense,—which could not well apply where it is said, " they loved not their lives unto death,"—is here just and suitable, because of the close connexion established by the Saviour between the Church thus militant, and above triumphant.

If we now turn to Isaiah, chap. xiix. 1, seq., we shall find both the conqueror, and the grounds of this victory, plainly foretold. "The lord," it is said, "hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath He made mention of my name." That is, in the earliest intimations of a Redeemer of the seed of the woman, who should bruise " the serpent's head."—We have here therefore, "the great wonder" of St. John in "a woman's being with child," and who, as such, " brought forth a man-child, who should rule all nations1^."

It is then said of this Child, " Thou art my servant, O Israel" (i. e. prince of God), " in whom I will be glorified." Including here also, as it should seem, God's true Israel, or people. We then have (ver. 4) the complaint of this people, including also (by the same figure) the sufferings of their federal Head in the days of His humiliation. In the next verse (5), the great work which He, also in conjunction with them, should accomplish. " And now, saith the lord that formed me from the womb to be His servant, to bring Jacob again to Him. Though," continues the Prophet, " Israel" (i. e. generally so called) " be not gathered16" (i. e. as the

17 See p. 66, seq., above, with the note.

18 The Hebrew has here two readings, i.e. lit. And Israel shall not be gathered, and, shall be gathered to Him. Our Translators have adopted the former. See also their marginal rendering. Their " Though Israel," &c. seems to me a very doubtful rendering. The Vulgate has, " Et Israel non congregabitur." The LXX. have read "fa here, and given an imperfect translation, if the text be not corrupted. The Targumist has also read i^, and gives a paraphrase only of the place. The Syriac has also taken. As to this " Though," &c. of our Translators, what can it mean ? It must at least imply the contingency, that Israel may not be so gathered: which, in the mouth of a Prophet, must amount to a prediction that they should not. Let it be observed, we have nothing like doctrine or exhortation, delivered here : all is pure prediction : and, if this reading is to be preferred,—which I think it ought,—then will this be a prediction that Israel generally, should not be gathered to the Lord.

376 REVELATION, CHAP. XII.

facts would now evince), " yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the lord, and my God shall be my strength.''''

The holy Remnant had now, as we have seen, obtained the victory over the apostates of their nation: and observe with what precision the Prophet states this (ver. 6), " It is a light" (i e. small) "thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up" (i. e. the spiritually dead of that nation), " and restore the preserved of Israel'''' (i. e. as now done): " / will also give thee" (i. e. in time future to that of the Prophet) "for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.'1'' The following is too, very remarkable: " Thus saith the lord, the Redeemer of Israel, His holy one, to" (read, concerning) "Him" (i.e. Christ) ''whom man" (as such) " despiseth, to" (of, concerning) " Him whom the nation" (i. e. here of necessity the Jewish) " abhorreth" (i. e. in the period now contemplated), " to" (of) " a servant" (i. e. a mere menial in the estimation) " of" (its) " rulers : Kings shall" (nevertheless) " see and arise; Princes also shall worship ; because of the lord" (i. e. of this manifestation of Him in power) " that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and He shall choose thee" (i. e. future to the time of the Prophet). The following verses (9—12) relate solely to the calling in of the Gentiles. We then have (ver. 13) the first draft of our hymn, and it is sung by this Zion (i. e. the firstfruits unto God and the Lamb), on the victory now obtained over its oppressors. " Sing, O heavens," it is said, " and be joyful, 0 earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains; for the lord hath comforted His people, and will (continue to) have mercy upon His afflicted." After this, the influx of the Gentiles

19 It is difficult to imagine what could have induced the Translators generally to render the particle ^ by to here, when it is obvious that this does not give the sense of the place, but grievously obscures it. The particle literally signifies to, with respect, or reference to ; and here of necessity of. See my Sermons and Dissert, p. 203.

REVELATION, CHAP. XII. 377

is foretold ; i. e. to make good, by the gift of a new family, the loss which this spiritual mother, Zion, should so sustain, —as noticed above.

We next have (Rev. xii. 4) the commencement of Satan's warfare against the Church, i. e. after his expulsion from it. It is said, " And the Dragon stood before the woman which ivas ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.'1'' This had been attempted before by Herod, one of the Dragon's principal ministers at this time. We are then told (ver. 6), that " The woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days." The flight of Joseph and Mary with " the young child" into Egypt,-is probably intended to be suggested here, although the main thing had in view is evidently another. So apparently Hosea, as cited by St. Matthew (chap. ii. 15), is also intended to suggest, that the calling of Christ out of Egypt, should, mystically considered, " be after the manner" (of Israel's call out) " of Egypt;" and whose migration thither had also been for the purpose of preserving life, and that the life of God's own Zion. So here, the flight into Egypt, i. e. out of the land of the then Church, into that of the heathen, or, mystically speaking, the wilderness, serves powerfully to remind us, that the Principal in each case, the Devil, was the sole moving cause. The period here mentioned,—viz. 1260 days, termed "a short time" (ver. 12), "a time, times, and half a time" (ver. 14), and forty-two months (ver.5,chap, xiii.),—we have already considered above; and shewn that it applies exclusively to the period commencing with the fall of Jerusalem and its Temple: i. e. the latter half of Daniel's seventieth week.

We are now told (ver. 13), that " when the Dragon saiu that he was cast unto the earth" (i. e. out of the professing Church, and down from the acknowledged place of spiritual eminence), " he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man" (i. e. the -Q.3 of Jeremiah, see p. 66 above, foretelling the mysterious conception of Christ, and reproaching backsliding Israel, who would not receive this; which the Prophet terms a creation, and a new thing). " And," it is added, " to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness into her place.. from

378 REVELATION, CHAP. XII.

the face of the serpent." We have in these eagle's wings, an evident allusion to Exod. xix. 4, where it is said, " Ye have seen what I have done to the Egyptians" (i. e. Satan's ministers on that occasion), " and how I bare you" (as) " on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself.'1'' (Comp. Ps. lv. 6, seq.) It has been remarked, that the deliverance of Zion from the united powers of the Gentiles, was to be after the manner of Egypt. And the fact is, that just as the Jewish Church was erected in the wilderness, after its deliverance from Egypt, and had all its appointments determined and established there ; so also was the New Church raised, appointed, and established, in the wider wilderness of the world, within the period noticed above; and all this in direct opposition, in the one case, to Gebal, Ammon, Amalek, the Moabites, Hagarenes, Ishmaelites, and others; in the other, to the combined influence of the philosophy of Greece, the long-continued persecutions, the wealth, the effeminacy, and every other means, violent or corrupting, of heathen Rome. We shall presently see, how in the mystical language of the Apocalypse, the place prepared for the woman in the wilderness, assisted her on this occasion.

" And the serpent," it is said, " cast out of his mouth water as a flood" (symbolizing many people), "after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And," it is added, " the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the Dragon cast out of his mouth." We have in this, the commencement of the warfare with the saints of the Most High, under the leading of the Old Serpent, or Principal of Daniel's Little Horn, who should magnify himself even to the Prince of the host of heaven, and cast some of the stars down to the ground, and stamp upon them (Dan. viii. 10, &c.). Let us now see what other intimations we have of this, which may tend to explain and illustrate the place now before us.

We have then (Isai. Lix. 19), with reference to the conversion of the Gentiles:—and this is the question here,— " So shall they fear the name of the lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun. When" it is added, " the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the lord shall lift up a standard against him." More lite-

REVELATION, CHAP. XII. 379

rally, "shall be standard-bearer against Him10." : which will remind us of Exodus xvii. 15, where it is said "Jehovah is my Banner" And here we find Amalek warring against Zion in the wilderness, while the hands of Moses lifted up,— towards heaven, praying earnestly in the Spirit, no doubt,— raised as it were the sign, or banner, under which Zion should ever prevail: and which was probably intended on this occasion, to intimate to all future times, that in the same manner would the Spirit of the Lord be Standard-bearer: Aaron (the chief priest here) and Hur (one of the Elders of the congregation), thus bearing up the hands of Moses21, should seem to imply, under this shadowy system,—for something it must have been intended to imply,—that not only the Captain and Leader of Zion should thus be engaged as

20 So in Zech. iv. 6, " Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith ike, Lord of hosts."

21 The sign seen here generally by the Fathers is, Christ crucified. Theodoret's comment on the place is: "Dumcxtendebatmanus, typum gerebat ejus qui cruciflxus est pro nobis. . . Quemadmodum enim servo manus extendente cecidit Amalec; ita cum Dominus manus extendit, dissoluta est acies Diaboli. In illo vero bello Jesus Salvatori nostro cognominis trophseum erexit," &c. To this comment, provided the Spirit of the Lord be not disregarded under it, I have no objection to offer; nor have I, to Constantine's " In hoc signo vinces." But in this acceptation, the doctrines of the Cross will be the things signified, not merely the cross itself, as is too often imagined. Besides, we must never forget, that principle is the great thing always had in view, in symbolic language. It has been remarked above (p. 278, note) from Lactantius, that the Jews in his days, marked their door-posts and lintels during the passover with the form of a cross, and hence that Ezekiel applied the signing of a cross, to the foreheads of those who should be saved from the destroying angel. This sign is not inappropriate here, as lifted up by the Spirit of the Lord. Justin Martyr has some curious remarks on this subject, some of which are as follows :—his fancies I omit: and I give the Latin translation, as above in Theodoret,— " Verum in nullo eorum qui Jovis filii dicti sunt crucis supplicium ... non enim intellectum est ab eis ... per symbola arcane prolata sunt." He adds,—which is curious—" Quin et signa vestra figures hujus vim declarant," (i. e. fortitudinis et imperil) " vexillorum signa dico, alio-rumque insignium et tropseorum . .. Et qui apud vos moriuntur Im-peratorum imagines forma ista consecratis, et deos inscriptionibus nominatis," &c. Edit. Thirlb. pp. 82, 83. Apol. i.

380 REVELATION, CHAP. XII.

Mediator, but with Him both the priests and people, in supplicating aid against the Mighty.

We have however, another such place in Isaiah (viii. 7, 8), e. g. " Now, therefore, behold, the lord bringeth up upon them" (i. e. the Jews) " the waters of the river" (Euphrates), " strong and many, even the Icing of Assyria, and all his glory: and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all Ids banks: and he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach" (i. e. in his depth as a river) " even to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall Jill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel.'1'' The Prophet passes on from this invasion of Judea, to the invasion of the true Zion, the Church ; and here he also foretells the fall of this power altogether, with its associated kings and people. " Associate yourselves, O ye people," continues he, " and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries : gird yourselves" (i. e. ye shall gird yourselves in like manner, and for the same purpose), " and ye shall be broken in pieces : gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces...for God is with ms" (Heb.  Which is plainly intended to have a much more extensive and general application, than to the fall either of Sennacherib, or any other Assyrian monarch; and ultimately, to that Power which was in the latter days to succeed to that of Assyria; and in this, to the Principal, Satan himself; while the mention of immanuel here, must have also been intended to bring us to the person of our Lord, as his conqueror.

If we now pass on to Chapter x., we shall find that this fall of the Assyrian was to take place, after the judgments which should be executed upon Jerusalem, and when the Remnant of Israel should execute a work overflowing with righteousness far more deeply and widely, than could the waters of the invading Assyrian monarch. It is said here then (ver. 3), " What will ye" (faithless Jews) " do in the day of the visitation ?.. .without me" (i.e. my standard-bearing Spirit) "they" (lit. one, each one) " shall bow down under the prisoners, and they shall fall under the slain" (i. e. by a prolepsis, under them who should be, in the end, both prisoners and slain). It is added (ib. ver. 12, seq.), " It shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed His whole" (i. e. last and finished) " work upon mount Zion, and

REVELATION, CHAP. XII. 381

on Jerusalem'''' (i. e. in the visitation just now mentioned. Comp. Luke xix. 44), "/ will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks." More literally, " / will visit the fruit of the greatness of heart of the king of Assyria" &c. referring this visitation, or judgment, rather to the principle which governed the heart of this monarch, than to the monarch himself. The term fruit too, would, in such context, more naturally refer to something to be produced in future, than at the period then present. And, as the event here had in view, was to take place after the judgment denounced against Jerusalem (as in our Lord's prediction), it could not have had its mystical fulfilment in the monarch then ruling the Assyrian empire, but in the period in which the Remnant of Jacob should return to the mighty God.

It is therefore added (ver. 20, seq.), " And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob'''' (intimating, as it should seem, that, at this time, no such distinction as that of Israel and Judah should exist, and that those called the Escaped should. Comp. also Matth. xxiv. 16, with its parallels), "shall no more again stay upon Him that smote them" (i. e. the Assyrian, whose services they had hired, Isai. vii. 20); " but shall stay upon the Holy One of Israel in truth. The REMNANT,11 continues Isaiah, " shall return, even the Remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God'1'1 (Heb. i. e. to Him so to be named, and to be born as a child, chap, ix. 6; ver. 22), " the consumption''' (consummation) "decreed shall overflow with righteousness." The Prophet adds, " Therefore thus saith the Lord god of hosts, 0 my people that dwellest in Zion" (i. e. God's true people), " be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of egypt :" because, after the manner of Egypt, should they be now delivered. If then, we connect all this with the period of " that day" as mentioned here, in which the Escaped and Remnant of Jacob, should so return as to stay themselves upon the Holy One of Israel in truth, we are necessarily conducted to that, at the close of which this Power should, in his successor, and after the judgment to be executed upon Jerusalem, finally fall and perish.

382 REVELATION, CHAP. XII.

We have many other instances in which floods and waters occur in a similar sense, some of which should be noticed. In Ps. Lxix., we have the following (ver. 2), "/ am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me :" while verse 4 makes these to be the mighty and numerous enemies of the Psalmist, and verse 9, suggests Christ as the person meant. Again (ib. ver. 15), " Let not the water-flood overflow me, neither let the deep waters swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me" (i. e. so that I rise not again). And (ver. 21), " They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink," clearly brings us to the crucifixion of our blessed Lord: while verses 22— 28, foretell the blindness and judgments to be inflicted upon the Jews, as Satan's ministers in this case. And again (ver. 34) we have, as in the Revelation, the song of victory, and in nearly the same words: " Let the heaven and earth praise Him, the seas, and every thing that moveth therein•" i. e. the multitudes whom no man could number out of all nations.

Again, Ps. xciii. 3, seq., " The floods have lifted up, 0 Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves." The answer is, " The lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea." I. e. than all the combined powers of men. So also Ps. xviii., after describing the power of Jehovah (Christ) coming in the clouds in thunders, lightnings, and the like, we have (ver. 16), "He sent from above, he drew me out of many waters:" (i. e. as interpreted here) " He delivered me from my strong enemy" (Satan), " and from them'''1 (i. e. his ministers) " which hated me," &c. Then, after a description of this warfare with Satan (ver. 43), " Thou hast made me the Head of the heathen; and a people whom / have not known" (or acknowledged) " shall serve me." All of which refers of necessity to Christ particularly, to His people generally; for such is, in one way or other, the experience of them all. In this sense, this Psalm is most encouraging. To these very many similar instances may be added, which however, time and space will not permit.

The Church of God had, therefore, been abundantly forewarned of the extraordinary flood of war and persecution, which this minister of Satan should pour forth as a flood

REVELATION, CHAP. XII. 383

upon it; as it also had, of the period and duration of this, and of its final close in his utter and everlasting discomfiture. By the " earth's helping the woman, and opening its mouth to receive this flood," and so to frustrate its object, is evidently to be understood, the readiness with which it received in the Gentiles, the tidings of the Redeemer by the preaching of the Escaped and Remnant of Zion: whose business it was to be to publish the name and glory of God among them, and even in the isles afar off; and, as it had also been foretold, these Gentiles should receive it, and become a people (of God), where there had been no such people, and beloved, where formerly hated: and this moreover, when the once-beloved should cease to be beloved, and even to be considered a people or nation. For, even in the days of Paul, the Gospel had come to the Colossians, as it also had to all the world ; i. e. it had come, and had also found acceptance with all. Nor was even Caesar's household exempt from its converts (Phil. iv. 22). We shall have something more hereafter to add on this point. That the period for this had arrived, St. Paul assures us (Rom. ix. 25, seq.), where he writes, " / will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved"..." where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God."" He then cites the very place from Isaiah (x. 22, 23) which we have been considering: " Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant" (only) " shall be saved : for He will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness."—Which he gives according to the rendering of the Septuagint.

St. John now has the following, which limits this warfare of the Dragon, to that which should be waged against the Church of Christ. His words are: " And the Dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the Remnant of her seed'1'' (i. e. the Apostles and their coadjutors, for this is the commencement of this war), " which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus." There can be no doubt, that the war to be made against the Saints of the Most High by the Little Horn, as foretold by Daniel, is the event had here in view: and yet, it must be equally certain, that reference is also made to the Woman,

384 REVELATION, CHAP. XIII.

to whom the first promise of a seed to bruise the serpent's head had been given: which is this (Gen. iii. 15), "I will put enmity between thee" (i. e. that old serpent) " and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it" (read He) " shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel." Here, " He went to make war with the" (part or) " Remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus" In other words, with that portion of Israel which should be so named, and which should be such, in conformity with the commandments of God : all others would necessarily be Satan's allies and abettors.

Sect. II.—On the Rise of the Persecuting Power, symbolized by the Little Horn, &c. of Daniel: the False Prophet, and his Ministry.

st. john now tells us (Chap. xiii. 1) that he " stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads, and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy." We have already seen (p. 152 seq.), that the persecuting Little Horn of Daniel is here brought before us in a general sense. Let us now consider this place more particularly.

In Chap. xii. 3, it is the "great red Dragon, that old serpent the Devil," has these seven heads and ten horns, as also seven crowns upon his heads (here, upon his horns22). In Chap. xvii. 3, this is "a scarlet-coloured'1'' (i.e. red as before) " beast, full of names of blasphemy, also having seven heads, and ten horns." It is said a little lower down (ib. ver. 9), " The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman''' (the ministering agent of the persecution " sitteth"). "And" (ver. 10) "there are seven kings." These seven heads therefore, represent both seven mountains and seven kings,—of these more when we come to this place. Of these seven heads, Daniel tells us nothing. He only tells us that it had ten horns; after and among which, grew up a Little Horn, and to this was given a mouth speaking great things (Dan. vii. 7, 8 ; viii. 25). We also learn from Daniel, as shewn above, that this Little Horn should wear out the saints of the Most High; and that they should be

22 I. e. implying his kingly power.

REVELATION, CHAP. XIII. 385

given into his hand " until a time, and times, and the dividing of time.'''1 And again, that by him the daily sacrifice should be taken away, and the place of His (i. e. of the Most High) sanctuary should be cast down.

We are here told (Rev. xiii. 5, seq.), that " there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things, and blasphemies : and power was given to him," it is added, " to continue forty-two months ;" that is, of necessity, Daniel's " time, times, and the dividing of time," as already noticed : and, as he was to take away the daily sacrifice, and to cast down its sanctuary, in other words, to destroy,—in the people of the Prince who should so come,—both the City and Sanctuary of Jerusalem, this Power, Prince, or Beast, must be that of heathen Rome generally, which actually did effect this. It can be but of little importance, as to the general drift of this place, in what manner this Power is described. There is nevertheless, good reason for the particulars here given, which I think is this: by the " seven heads" is probably intended complete, or universal dominion: the same also seems to be intended by the " seven mountains 2V and " seven kings," given here as interpretations of the " seven heads.'''1 The Prophet Daniel has expressed himself more directly on this particular. The seven hills of Borne were probably, in those times, thought to imply great dominion24; and may therefore be fairly supposed here, to have been intended to imply this by St. John. And accordingly, it is said (ver. 7)> " Power was given to him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations,"..."whose names were not written in the book of life of the Lamb,'" &c. (Comp. Exod. xxxii. 32, 33.)

23 Mountains in scriptural language usually implying irresistible strength.

24 Allusions to this effect to these seven hills, will be found in Hor. Carm. Scecul. 1. 7; Ovid. Trist. I. v. 69, I remark, a coin of Vespasian is thus described in J. Vaillant's " Numismata," Paris, 1694, p. 30, viz. " Roma Figura muliebris septem Romce collibws insidens, ad quarum radices lupa cum puerulis," &c. i. e. Romulus and Remus. St. John too, as we shall presently see, represents Rome as a woman sitting, i. e. having a throne, as it were, upon the great red Dragon: whence it should seem, that her sitting upon these hills, is virtually the same thing as exercising the power of this beast, for he gave this power to her.

386 REVELATION, CHAP. XIII.

Prom this woman's sitting upon the Beast, from his heads, horns, and crowns, we are naturally led to conclude that the Beast had in view by St. John, is identically the same with the great red Dragon, i. e. " scarlet Beast," already noticed, and hence the Principal, i. e. the Devil, and Leader in this warfare against the saints. He himself is filled with the names of blasphemy in one place; his seven heads (i. e. his agents) are covered with these in another; in another it is his own mouth, which is opened in blasphemy against God; while it is that of his agent which is so employed in the Prophet Daniel. From all which therefore, we cannot but look upon that old serpent, the Devil, as the Principal here; while persecuting heathen Rome, symbolized in Daniel as the Little Horn, presents us with his primary agent and minister: which is just what St. John plainly, but indirectly, tells us in the close of his seventeenth Chapter, in these words, " The woman which thou sawest," i. e. sitting upon the scarlet Beast, " is that great city, which" (now, i. e. in his days) " reigneth over the kings of the earth;" which may be mystically considered as constituting its mountain of strength.

We are next informed (ver. 2), that " the Dragon gave him his power, and his seat" (i. e. as a god on his throne), " and great authority." The former part of this verse has its parallel places above, (p. 331, seq.), where it is evident, that the Dragon's primary agent, or minister, must have been meant, viz. Daniel's Little Horn, and the persecuting Rule of the lower Roman Empire. What we have here is remarkable, and of great importance to our inquiry. Satan is, as Scripture informs us, " the god of this ivorld:" the power and authority given to the Beast, was also offered by this same Dragon as a temptation to our blessed Lord; and this upon the condition, that He would fall down and worship him25. Here the Dragon actually bestows this Power, deity, and authority, on the Beast, so that,—as we learn a little lower down,—all the world was called upon to worship him.

But we have here another particular, tending greatly to elucidate this matter. It is said, that the Dragon gave his

25 Matt. iv. 8, 9.


REVELATION, CHAP. XIII. 387

seat to this Beast: that is, that he might sit on his throng as the god of this world, and be worshipped as such ; or, in the words of St. Paul, as considered above, he should sit for, or against, i. e. in opposition to, the temple of God, and should so shew and exhibit himself as God, and claim to be worshipped as God. And this we know from authority not to be disputed (p. 215, seq. above), the first persecuting Emperor, Domitian, actually did. He was moreover, the first Caesar (i. e. within this part of our period), who did so: but not the last; for it appears that a claim to Deity was made by this whole series of Rule, probably to the last of its constituents, Licinius26. We here find then, fully accomplished what Daniel had long before predicted, and indeed less directly, all the Prophets. St. Paul too, had echoed after them, that this Power should magnify himself above everything that was called God, but should nevertheless, be consumed by the Spirit, or breath27, of the Lord's mouth, and by the brightness of His coming.

" And I saw" continues St. John (ver, 3), " one of Ms heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the Beast, And they worshipped the Dragon which gave power unto the Beast: and they worshipped the Beast" &c., i. e. all the world worshipped the Dragon, in the Beast and his images. It was the Dragon therefore, that was ultimately worshipped in all here. We need not be perplexed by such language in a book so highly symbolical as this is: where, while the Agent is the only Power cognizable by man, the Principal is, by the mind of the Spirit.

By one of his heads being wounded (see Gen. iii. 15), we are probably to understand, that Satan had now suffered a defeat in some one of his ministers. The language of St. John here, naturally leads us to similar language in Isaiah, where we have (chap. u. 9), " Art not thou it" (i. e. the arm of the lord) " that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon ?" In other words, that hath in cutting Rahab,—i. e. Egypt28, the visible agent once in enslaving Israel,—really

26 P. 214, note, above, &c.

27 Isai. xi. 4; xxx. 27, 28, 30—33, inclus. sb We hare again, a place not unlike this1, and evidently relating to the same time and events, in Is. xiv. 29, seq. The temporal fall of the Assyrian (ver. 25, &c.) as the head of Babylon, is the subject of the previous context here. "Rejoice not thou," it is added, " whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken; for out of the serpent's root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent." It is added (ver. 3l), " Howl, O gate; cry, O city: thou, whole Palestina, art dissolved ; for there shall come from the north a smoke" (i.e. from the direction of the invading forces of Babylon,) " and none shall be alone in his appointed times." Under this smoke we are of necessity, to understand the fire which should effect this dissolution, comp. Chap. i. 7, 31: iv. 4: v. 24 : and ix. 18, &c. We, Chap. xiv. 30, have the fall of this power, and the triumph of the "first-born of the poor;" i. e. of " the first-fruits to God and the Lamb," in these words : " And the firstborn of the Poor shall feed, and the needy shall lie down in safety: and I will kill thy hoot," (i. e. thy principal) "with famine, and He shall slay thy remnant" (i. e. adherents). " What," it is now asked, " shall one answer the messengers of the nation" (i. e. the Apostles,) " that the lorb hath founded Zion" (i. e. given it a permanent foundation. Comp. ch. liv. 11, seq.) "and the Poor of His people shall trust in it." Comp. also ch. v. 17 : vi. 13 : viii. 10 : x. 20—28. Which can be fully understood on no other supposition, than that the Jewish Polity shall now be wholly dissolved; its Desolator also ruined; and the kingdom given to the Saints of the Most High,.

388 REVELATION, CHAP. XIII.

wounded the Dragon ? Which, as the next verse sufficiently shews us, is said of the fall of Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea. The Prophet adds, nevertheless,—and in this he speaks of times future to his own,—" Therefore the redeemed of the lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head,'1'' &c. From various places of this Chapter too, it is evident that the period of which, and in which, St. John is speaking, was also had in view : e. g. (ver. 4), " I will make my judgment to rest for a light of the people" (i. e. Gentiles: comp. Luke ii. 32.—Ib. 5) " The isles shall wait upon me, and on mine arm shall they trust." And (ib. 6), " My salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished;" i. e. alluding to the kingdom of the Son of Man now to be established in new heavens and a new earth, morally speaking, when the former ones should have passed away (comp. 2 Pet. iii. 11—14, &c.).

The head of the Dragon here wounded, must be the king of Egypt, with his forces: and, as the erecting of the New Church was to be after the manner of the deliverance

 

REVELATION, CHAP. XIII. 389

from Egypt, we need not be surprised in finding the same, or nearly the same, language used in each of these cases. We have again in Ps. Lxxiv. 13, seq., "Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength: thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters*9." It is impossible, I think, not to see here, the agents of this Old Serpent working desolation among the Jews of this period. The whole Psalm is a prayer of the afflicted Remnant, as had in view by Isaiah above (li. 12, &c. especially Liv. 11, seq., which see). " O deliver not," says the Psalmist (ver. 19), " the soul of thy turtle-dove unto the multitude" (comp. Ezek. vii. 13, &c.) " of the wicked" (where it should seem, the term multitude, Heb.tribe, opposed to ?P53y JVtl» tribe of thy afflicted ones, was sufficient to denote this diabolical party): "forget not," it is added, " the congregation of thy poor for ever.'" Under this again appears to be foretold (verr. 7, 8) the fire, ruin, and distress, which this enemy and his agents should inflict upon the Jews in their latter days.

In Ps. ex., we have likewise this wounding of Satan's head in his ministers, by the power of Christ: " The lord," it is said, " at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of His wrath" (comp. Ps. xlv. 5). " He shall judge among the heathen, He shall fill the places with the dead bodies: He shall wound the heads over many countries." It is added, as a consequence of this, and to intimate that the victory is now won, " He" (rather One, Every one, i. e. impersonally) " shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he" (i. e. each so provided for) " lift up his head." Because now " on every high hill shall be streams of waters : and streams shall break out in the desert" (Isai. xxx. 25; xxxv. 6. See also Ezek. Lvii. Joel iii. 18, &c.). That this Psalm has our Lord's mission especially before it, inspired authority assures us (Matth. xxii. 44, &c.).

We have again in Isaiah (chap, xxvii. 1, seq.), the same subject brought before us much in the same way. " In that day the lord with His sore and great and strong sword

29 The Heb. has, upon the waters i- e. as ruling over many people. And if so, the place before us has this Scripture particularly in view. See its context, particularly verses 10, 22, 23.

390 REVELATION, CHAP. XIII.

shall punish Leviathan the piercing serpent, even Leviathan that crooked serpent; and He shall slay the Dragon that is in the sea." This being done the true Zion, here symbolized by a Vineyard, is called upon thus to sing its hymn of victory : " A vineyard of red wine'1'' (or, of desire™), respond ye to it. " I the lord do keep it: I will water it every moment,'"' &c. Then as to the enemy, and his agents, the multitude in Jewry (ver. 10, seq.), " The defenced city shall be desolate, and the habitation forsaken, and left like a wilderness...when the boughs thereof are withered, they shall be broken off: the women shall come, and set them on fire : for it is a people of no understanding; therefore He that made them will not have mercy on them, and He that formed them will shew them no favour," &c. Then (ver. 13) follows a prediction of the gathering together of the holy Remnant, under the sounding of the Apostolic trumpet: which (ver. 6) is thus amplified: " He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, andfill the face of the world (72JF1 universe) with fruit"1"1 (comp. Ps. Lxxii. 16, &c.).

Ezekiel (chap. xxix. 3, seq.) gives us a similar account of the fall of Pharaoh, " I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great Dragon that lieth in the midst of the rivers...I will put my hooks in thy jaws31,...and I will bring thee up out of the midst of thy rivers, and all the fish of thy rivers shall stick unto thy scales"1"1 (i.e. thy adherents). " And I will leave thee thrown into the wilderness, and all the fish of thy rivers,"" i.e. I will " cast thee out" as the Agent of the great red Dragon, and thy adherents with thee. Under this figure is implied the casting out of the Principal. In the next Chapter, Nebuchadnezzar is to execute a judgment similar to this upon Egypt. From this place again, to Chap, xxxiv. 11, we have similar denunciations against Egypt, the Assyrian, the Jews generally, and others, as agents of this enemy of God's people; and then we have the deliverance of these His Elect, in a complete return from this oppressing and continued captivity. From these several places, in which this Dragon, or Leviathan, is said to be in the deep, we are

30 Which I take to be the meaning of the reading,

31 See Isai. xxxvii. 29.

REVELATION, CHAP. XIII. 391

led to see, why he is said in the Revelation to come up out of the sea, the great abyss, the bottomless pit32, or the like : and again, why he is cast again into the abyss, there to be confined for ever: that is, so as never again to afflict the Church in this particular manner.

In the Dragon's being wounded here therefore, we are led, as it should seem, to view him thus disabled in the fall of the Jewish polity, now his adherents, and which he had so amply succeeded in making his own, and so in making them a spiritual Sodom, synagogue of Satan, &c., just as he had in every case now quoted. One of his mountains had now therefore fallen: one of his heads had received a deadly wound by the sword of the Son of Man (Ps. xlv. 3, &c.), just as he had in Pharaoh and his hosts, and the other powers mentioned above, similarly smitten and cast out. In the Jews, the boughs had, in the language of the Prophet, become withered; they were accordingly cut off, cast out, gathered, and consigned to everlasting burnings (comp. John xv. 1—7, and Isai. Lxvi. 24).

We have again, in the Prophet Habakkuk (with the parallels), especial reference to this bruising of the head of Satan, and of the victory which should follow. In Chap. i. 5, it is said, " Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously : for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you." Which is cited by St. Paul (Acts xiii. 41), and applied to the heathenish Jews; and it was verified in the sequel. In Isaiah (chap. xxix. 14, seq.), we have the parallel to this: " I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvel-r lous work and a wonder," &c. In verse 17, "Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed a forest." I. e. Jewry shall be desolate, and the heathen world shall occupy its moral position. The following verses (18, 19) bring us to that day in which the deaf should hear, &c. We then have (ver. 20) the fall of Satan in Jewry: " For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the Scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off" In verses 4, 5, this same judgment is also predicted; it is then added, " Thou" (i. e. Ariel, Jerusalem) " shall be visited of the lord of hosts with thunder,

32 Rev. ix. 2; xiii. 1; xx. 1.

392 REVELATION, CHAP. XIII.

and with earthquakes, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire" (comp. chap. i. 7, 24, 25. Dan. vii. 11).

We have (Hab. i. 6, seq.) the invasion of the Chaldeans foretold, as the primary and literal judgment to be inflicted upon the Jews. In Chap. ii. 2, seq., "Write the vision, and make it plain...For it is yet for an appointed time" (as in Daniel), "at the end it shall speak...it will surely come.'1'' Which carries us far beyond the times of the Chaldee invasion. In verse 4, seq., we have our Antichrist mystically pourtrayed: it is said, " Behold, his soul which is lifted up:" more literally, Behold an assumer (swell, in vulgar English, i. e. one who lays claim to greatness, &c). " He is a proud man" -(lit. a great man, he swells, &c.), " who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations" (as the Roman power did), " and heapeth unto him all people." (8) " Because thou hast spoiled many nations, all the Remnant of the people shall spoil thee; because of men's blood," &c. In Chap. iii. 3, seq., God's judgments by the Revelation of Christ in the' clouds of heaven, are brought vividly before us, " The sun and moon stood still," as in the fall of Gibeon, Josh. x. 12. Again (ver. 12), we have the salvation of His Elect thus secured in the fall of the Antichrist, " Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people,...thou woundedst the head out of the house of the wicked, by discovering the foundation even to the neck:" i. e. by laying open his falsehood and lies, through the preaching of thy Apostolic ministers. See also the two following verses. All of which pointedly foretells the fall and times of the Antichrist, in Jewry first, and afterwards among the heathen.

" His deadly wound" (i. e. as thus received) ''washealed" (ver. 3). In verses 14, 15, " the Beast which had a wound by the sword, and did live." We learn here therefore, that although the wound was a deadly one, still the Beast continued to live; while in Chap. xvii. 8, he should "go intoper-

33 Verse 17," Although," &c. Heb. ^ lit- When, &c. i. e. when the pestilence (ver. 3) should so go forth with famine, &c., then I,—the true Church,—will rejoice, i. e. as the Israelites in Goshen when Egypt so suffered. Verse 19 gives us a parallel to Ps. xviii. 33. See p. 382, above.

REVELATION, CHAP. XIII. 393

dition :" and (ib.) that the Beast was, and is not, i. e. remains or continues not, but shall eventually fall. See also verse 11. And again, Chap. xx. 10, " The devil that deceived them" (i. e. the nations) " was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone"... "and shall be tormented for ever and ever."...(ib. 14, 15) " And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever" (i. e. the adherents of these) "was not found written in the book of life, was cast into the lake of fire"—which should admonish us, that there is a secondary casting out, and judgment, intimated in all such places as these : which, as in other cases, is taught under the temporal ones. Again (ver. 10), " he that killeth with the sword, must be killed by the sword;" which contains the principle governing these things.

The healing therefore here had in view, could be only a temporary one : the life so continued, could only have been such in a secular sense, but was death in a spiritual one ; as when it is said, " to be carnally minded is death," and " she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth." We have several instances of this sort of deceptive healing in Holy Writ: e.g. (Jer. vi. 13, seq.) "From the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, Peace; when there is no peace,"..." at the time that I shall visit them they shall be cast down, saith the lord." ... (ver. 30) "Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the lord hath rejected them." Where we have the fall of the Jews and of their Polity by the great northern army, so frequently brought before us: while we have even here (verr. 26, 27), the Daughter of God's true people called upon to mourn over the fall of this her reprobate family: herself indeed represented impregnable as a Tower and Fortress, and such as to convince those about her, of their diseased and unhealed character. So again of Babylon, the very Power had in view by the Apocalypse (Jer. Li. 8—10), "Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: howl for her: take balm for her pain, if so she may be" (well) " healed. We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed...her judgment reacheth unto heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies." The triumph of Zion is then given in these words: " The lord hath brought forth our righteousness: come" it is said, "and let us declare

394 REVELATION, CHAP. XIII.

in Zion" (i. e. the "true Church) " the work of the lord our God." The healing therefore, now before us, is both a deceitful and a temporary one. But we also have the means of ascertaining in what it consisted, and the time of its duration : let us now investigate these.

And first, in what it consisted. We find from Daniel, that the Saints of the Most High were to be given into the hand of this destroying power, for " a time, times, and a half." In the Revelation, all earthly power is given to him in his semen heads, his crowns, his ten horns, and his reigning over the Princes of the earth. Again (Chap. xiii. 5, seq.), " power was given unto him to continue forty-two months" We are also told, " it was given unto him to make war with the Saints, and to overcome them" (i. e. as before, in an earthly sense) ; it is added, " and poweh was given him" (i. e. to do this) " over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations." St. John continues, "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him." If therefore Satan had now received a deadly wound in one of his heads, i. e. in the loss of his spiritual influence in God's Church in Jewry; both he, and his, could not but have thought, that he had now received ample compensation in the Power so given him, over (not in) the new Church. He knew indeed,—which perhaps his followers did not,—that this was only for "a short time" (ver. 12). His only consolation must have been therefore, to turn this to the best account: while theirs was to act vigorously under the deceptive belief, that his deadly wound was healed. They therefore worshipped him, and vainly, as we shall see presently, encouraged one another by proclaiming, " Who is able to make war with him ?" (ib. ver. 4.) Of the duration of this short time, i. e. forty-two months, we need not add anything to what has been said above (p. 364).

Again (ver. 6), " And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell therein." See also the preceding verse. From which it must be evident, that the person symbolized by Daniel's Little Horn, is now before us. And, be it observed, it is not said here,—nor indeed elsewhere,—that he should exert his powers in the temple of God; but only that he should so act, as to oppose God, and harass His people. In Isaiah (chap. xiv. 13, p. 202) his words are, " / will ascend

REVELATION, CHAP. XIII. 395

into heaven, I will exalt my throne" (seat) " above the stars of God; I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north." But here we should have, not " above the stars," but over against the stars3*. And again, if this throne was to be " in the sides of the north,"" i. e. over against the stars, or congregation of God; it could not either be, in the Temple, or in the Congregation. The fact however is, that the Roman army, with its ensigns, exhibiting a temple with its deity (see p. 185, seq. above), did plant itself in the "parts of the north" and north-east of God's Temple, i. e. on the Mount of Olives, and from that quarter it attacked the City, and took it. Nor were the eagles,—as Josephus expressly tells us,—brought to the Temple until it had been burnt down35. In the Temple therefore, these were never placed.

And again (Dan. xi. 45), this Power is said to "plant the tabernacles of his palaces...in the glorious holy mountain.'1'' But we have in the original here, not "in the glorious" &c., but "for the glorious," &c., as observed above (p. 1,96, seq.), els opos, &c. And if we take the place in this sense, then must this Deity-assuming power and position be understood as opposed to the Temple of God, over against which it had so planted itself. The Hebrew diction here, will moreover admit of this interpretation, so that we may read against, or over against, the glorious holy mountain36. And here, as also in 2 Thess. ii. 1, seq. (see p. 202, seq. above), it is of little importance to the exegetical meaning of the place, which of these interpretations we take: the general sense remaining in each the same. We have here therefore, the Principal

34 Over against with respect to the stars of God. Where, by " the stars of God," must be meant, His elect servants, as in Dan. viii. 10, where it is said, he " cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them."

34 Wars of the Jews, Book VI. c. vi. 1.

36 The precise meaning of the particle ^ is, as to, with regard to, or the like: the context must determine whether for, or against, is intended. So Prov. ix. 14, so she sat (n.HS'p) as to, i. e. here, at, or before, over againzt, the door of her house, &c. See also Exod. i. 10. Lev. v. 5. Deut. i. 41, &c. Noldius Concord. Partic. p. 396. Ed. 1734. under partic. The LXX. is occasionally to be taken in like manner, 2 Mace. viii. 4; ix. 26. See Lexicon in LXX. Schleusner. Vol. I. p. 690.

 

396 REVELATION, CHAP. XIII.

Agent of Satan, the persecuting power of heathen Rome, as foretold in the Little Horn of Daniel: the occasional allusions made to the first Beast, i. e. the Dragon and Satan, we need not be surprised at in language such as this.

It is still desirable to offer a few remarks on another place, viz. Matth. xxiv. 15, "When ye shall see the abomination ...standing the holy place," &c.. Where it may be presumed, that ei> roTry dyitf must mean, in the Holy place: but this cannot be true, because Jerusalem could not at this time have been taken by the Romans: this event was now only nigh. And if so, in (Gr. eV) must here rather signify over against, or the like. Schleusner says on the place, " ev, juarta, ad, prope,.. .ex.ercitma admotum urbi et templo." In the same page (806, ed. 1819), he makes it equal to eis, in Matth. x. 16; xiv. 3. Mark i. 16; comp. Matth. iv. 18, &c. Kuinoel says on this place, " intelligitur, exercitus Romanorum, ut satis perspicue patet e Luc. xxi. 20...quod veniebant ad desolandam...Judaeorum urbem," &c. And yet the Neologian tells us, that although " Respexit Christus locum Daniel ix. 26, 27, comminationem illam re-ferri debere ad tempora Antiochi Epiphanis !" Our blessed Lord must therefore, according to this very erudite Nationalist, have totally mistaken the place! Hammond however, tells us that it refers primarily to Antiochus, and secondarily to the Romans; while, nevertheless, the fact is, as shewn above (pp. 165, 168), that Antiochus never did destroy Jerusalem, in any sense; nor did he take away the daily sacrifice. We have now to consider another, or third Beast, and minister of this first, as described in the following terms (ver. 11, seq.), " And I beheld another Beast coming up out of the earth : and he had two horns like a lamb, and," it is added, " he spoke as a Dragon" &c. The origin of this Beast is of the earth, and hence he is human. By his horns being like those of a lamb, we are perhaps to understand, that the putting forth of his power should present an easy, gentle, and indulging aspect. We are thus reminded of his manner in Daniel (xi. 32), " Such as do wickedly against the covenant, shall he corrupt by flatteries" And again (ib. ver. 34), " Many shall cleave to them" (i. e. to the Apostles, 8zc.) " with flatteries" (i. e. as subordinate and secret ministers of this Beast). And again (ib. viii. 25), " By peace" (laxness, effemi-

REVKLATION, CHAP. XIII. 397

nacy, smooth things, and the like) " he shall destroy many:" i. e. by transforming himself, in his ministers, into an angel of light (2 Cor. xi. 13, 14, 15), and even ''into the Apostles of Christ r and so should he personate a minister of the true Lamb of God. That this lamb-like character was assumed in an extraordinary degree by the persecuting Emperors, and their Agents, and by the heretics here their allies, is too well known to stand in need of proof. It is this seeming virtue which so frequently, and so loudly, called forth the eulogies of the infidel Gibbon, on the characters of these persecuting Emperors: and it is remarkable, that our Prophets and Evangelists should have so specifically forewarned us of it. This his speaking as a Dragon, will also remind us of iiis first effort in this way, whereby all mankind fell (Gen. iii. 4, 5).

It is added (ver. 12, seq.), " He exerciseth all the power of the first Beast before him'1'' (i, e. as his minister) : " and causeth the earth, and them that dwell therein, to worship the first Beast'''' (i. e. the Devil ultimately, but here, the Beast, i. e. the Persecuting Emperors). It is added, " And he doetk wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth, in the sight of men. And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power t& do in the sight" (or presence) " of the Beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image.

From what we have seen, it is evident that the ministers had in view would be earthly-minded men, so circumstanced as to have the power and opportunity of effecting what is here said. And none could be so suitable for these purposes as the heathen priesthood, who took a most active part in the work of corrupting by flatteries, no less than by their common pretensions to divine powers : and these things they did, for the purpose of setting up throughout the whole earth this worship of the Beast now before us: and, be it observed, it was now for the first time that the worship of this Beast was claimed and so set up, as shewn above (p. 214). Among these miracles, must have been those of prediction ascribed to the Oracles, and which many, whose judgments may be relied on, have had no doubt were real, but diabolical, miracles. The same may be said of those of Jannes and Jam-

398 REVELATION, CHAP. XIII.

bres in opposition to Moses in Egypt37. And, if this may be relied on, it will follow that Satan had in these cases, and as noticed above, powers and privileges which he possessed in no other times. So far indeed, had bis deadly wound been healed.

We have too, other authority for the existence of the miracles to be wrought at this particular period, e. g. (Matth. xxiv. 24), our Lord Himself says, " There shall arise false Christs, and false peophets, and shall skew great signs and wonders ,• insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very Elect." And (ib. ver. 34), " This generation shall not pass till all these things be:" i. e. in progress. So also St. Paul (2 Thess. ii. 8, 9, seq.), " Then shall that Wicked be revealed... whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceveableness of unrighteousness in them that perish." And it is evident,— as shewn above,—that the Apostle speaks of this as shortly to take place, just as John does of his whole Revelation. What these miracles, signs and wonders actually were, history does not particularly inform us: but, that they did take place, just as in the Demons declaring the real character of our Lord, and acknowledging the power of His Apostles, no believer in Holy Writ will doubt.

We have here then, the same ministers and machinations as we have above, in our scorpion-tailed locusts. They are the ministers of Satan under a different, but equally expressive, figure, and working to the same end. This place may therefore, be considered as parallel to that, and as a repetition of it. These ministers had moreover, their part in harassing the Church as apostates and heretics, to a very great extent. Still we have a slight apparent discrepancy as to the duration of the periods of each of these. These scorpions, it is said, should torment men for five months, i. e. a little tinder one half-year. Supposing these not t» have been brought into full operation, until some time after the Persecutions commenced,—which was actually the case, as shewn above :—while here, Satan's whole "short time" or forty-two months, i. e. the full half of Ezekiel's seven years, or period of Daniel's last week, is given under another

37 2 Tim. iii. 8. Exod. vii. 11, &c.

REVELATION, CHAP. XIII. 399

figure. But this constitutes the whole period of Satan's power: while it is evident that this earth-born Beast is not called up, until some time after the flood was sent forth by the Dragon against his victim, the woman in the wilderness. The period is therefore, in each case, something shorter than one half of Daniel's last week: it must be therefore its latter portion, when the heathen priests were employed as magistrates under Maximin, as we shall presently see.

Again (ver. 14), this Lamb-like beast says "to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast" &c., i. e. to, or foe, the beast. That the Image of the Ctesars exhibited in the courts of justice, and worship claimed for them from the Christians, is here intended, surely there can be no doubt. And whether we speak of these, as Images to, or for, the persecuting Caesars, or the Dragon whose deadly wound had been healed, the general sense will remain the same: for it can be of no importance in this case, whether Satan be worshipped in his agent, or in his own person. This forms so evident a part of the transactions of these times, that I deem it unnecessary to offer any thing further in support of it.

It is next said (ver. 19, seq.), "And he had power to give life unto the Image of the Beast, that the image of the Beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the Beast, should be killed. And? it is added, " he caused all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, saw he that had the mark, or the name of the Beast, or the number of his name.'1'' By giving life is perhaps meant nothing more, than giving vigorous effect to the edicts of this Beast. The same may be said perhaps of the Image's speaking; but this might have been actually effected by diabolical influence. Of receiving the mark of the Beast, his name, or number, I am disposed to think in like manner: viz. that the dispositions, objects, and practices of these,—as in unison with those of the first Beast,—is all that is intended38. The being killed and deprived of the

38 That the heathen priesthood are brought before us here, there will remain no doubt, when we consider the opportunities which were put into their hands. Eusebius tells us (Eccles. Hist. Lib. Tin. cap. xiv.), that during the times of Maximinus, the Flamens were everywhere in the East made the Priests and Magistrates of the people: men,—as every one must see,—the most likely to carry on this ministry of Satan faithfully and vigorously. Maxentius in the West exercising every species of tyranny at the same time, and the influence of magic. Eusebius says on these (I quote the Latin of Valesius as sufficient for my purpose)," Quippe impostorum et magorum principes, Bummi honoris apicem apud eum (Maximinum) obtinebant. . . simula-crorum ac dsemonum vanitatis inprimis deditus ... Quam ob causam acerbius ac vehementius quam superiores principes persequi nostros instituit.. . Adhuc Plamines in singulis locis atque urbibus constituit: iisdem Sacerdotem cujusque provinciee prsefecit, eum, qui cunctis in curia, muneribus egregie perfunctus esset (comp. Lib. IX. cap. iv.); addito ei militari satellitio. Denique," adds Eusebius, " hariolis omnibus, velut religiosis viris ac divino numini acceptissimis provinciarum ad-ministrationes et maxima privilegia concessit." As to the laxnessnow indulged in, Eusebius says, " Ac milites qwidem lascivia ac moixitie diffluere permisit." He then tells us that he encouraged his nobles and generals to practise upon the provinces, the rapacity and avarice in which he himself indulged. Our historian says in his next Chapter, that, during the whole of this ten years' persecution, the Roman commonwealth was never free from intestine war: and that even the seas were innavigable. "After this," continues Eusebius, " Fames pestisqwe supervenit." So also our Lord, " And great earthquakes shall be in divers places" (which actually took place), "andfamines, and pestilences; and fearful sights, and great signs shall there be from heaven." Of the signs here mentioned, Eusebius gives a succinct account, Eccl. Hist. Lib. in. cap. viii., principally from Josephus. That famines, pestilences, earthquakes, and wars prevailed to an extraordinary degree, during these times, all the historians conspire to attest.


400 REVELATION, CHAP. XIII

common privileges of buying, selling, and the like, was certainly any thing but figurative in these times: it was real and continued, at once to try, and to purify, the Believers, even to the end. Nor is it a thing uncommon in the Scriptures, as already shewn, to find one part of the same context figurative, and another literal. In all such cases, the nature of the subject in question will supply enough to keep us from error. We have here moreover, the accomplishment of Daniel's prediction,—as noticed above,—that this Beast, magnifying himself even to (be considered) the Prince of the heavenly host, should drag a number of the stars, God's preaching Apostles,—for these were to shine as stars,—cast them down to the ground, and stamp upon them, because they would refuse to worship him.

REVELATION, CHAP. XIII. 401

St. John proceeds (ver. 18), "Here is wisdom'''' (i.e. an exercise for it). " Let him that hath understanding count the number of the Beast; for it is the number of a man*9" &c. We have seen above (p. 349, seq.), that by measuring, weighing, and numbering, is meant the ascertaining of the amount of spiritual excellency or the contrary, existing in the person so dealt with. We have a remarkable instance of this sort in Isaiah (chap. lxv. 11, seq.): " Ye are they,'1'' it is said, " that forsake the lord, ...and that furnish the drink-offering unto that NUMBER40 " (i. e. the number, or earthly character of some man; for the idols so worshipped, represented dead men deified). " Therefore,'1'' it is added, " will I number you to the sword, and ye shall low down to the slaughter." From this context, it is evident that the sinful in Zion are meant,

39 In Chap. xxi. 17. we have, " According to the measure of a man ;" but, that no mistake might be made, by supposing that " the measure of a man" is to be taken in the sense of "the number of a man," in the place before us, it is added, " that is, of the Angel." In other words, of heavenly character, as the context clearly requires.

40 See my Job xi. 6, notes, and p. 261, seq. It is evident enough, I think, that this is the name of some idol worshipped in Isaiah's times by the Jews: and, as the word is cognate with the Hebrew  he numbered, constituted, and the like, the Prophet has, by a play on the words,—a thing common with him,—taken from it occasion to foretell the final casting out of the Jews. See also my Heb. Lex. under this word (p. 372). We have here also another name probably of this same Idol: viz. Gad. See my Heb. Lex. p. 104, shewing that this is probably another name for Baal. The Syrians named Fortune here. Buxtorf has a very .curious note taken from Jewish writings, in his Talmudical Lexicon, Col. 387, on this word: and there he shews, that it was taken to signify either good or evil Fortune, as circumstances might require: also as a household or mountain-god. From the Table, mentioned here in Isaiah, sacrificial feasts are probably meant, and by the drink-offering, the libations poured out to this deity. The Manu of the Hindoos, the Mneuis of the Egyptians, and the Manat of the Arabs,—as shewn in the places referred to,—all probably meant the same deity; and this again, as identical with the Buddh of the Buddhists, the Prometheus of the Greeks, the HDDn of the Hebrews, i. e. Christ originally, and the  first intellect of the Soofees, &c. See also Kuinoel's Proleg. in Johan. Evang.

402 REVELATION, CHAP. XIII.

and especially with reference to their fate at the close of their polity. In verse 8, " / will so do for my servants' sahes, that I may not destroy them all:" that is, for those who really were God's servants. The next verse has, " And I will briny forth a seed out of Jacob, and" (even41 ?) " out of Judah an Inheritor of my mountains: and Mine Elect" (comp. Rom. xi. 7, " The Election" i. e. the " Elect" of the Prophet, and these are here, verse 5, made the Holy Remnant) "shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there." A little lower down (ver. 17), we have the creation of the new heavens and new earth: and again (ver. 25), the times of the regeneration of the world, under the Messiah, are clearly had in view in " The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,"..." and dust shall be the serpents meat" 8zc., just as in Chap. xi. of this Prophet. We are brought therefore, necessarily into the times of the New Covenant. This then being the case, the Bed Dragon of the Apocalypse is here also brought before us, as the ultimate object of worship, in the " bowing down"— of this sinful nation, these Judges of Sodom, and people of Gomorrah : and hence they are,—and have been,—numbered to the sword. In St. John, it is " the man" (whose number is that) " of sin" the primary Agent of this spiritual Power, that is brought before us, just as it visibly and tangibly was for worship among all the heathen : and he is here termed by Isaiah, that number, as it is said in our Apocalypse to be, " the number of a man" and " the number of the Beast." This Beast is therefore, as before, a man, and his properties (i. e. character) as weighed, measured, or numbered, are those which this context supplies; namely, those of the old Serpent, the Devil, and Satan; they are " earthly, sensual, devilish:" this is their " number" " weight," and " measure."

It is next said (ib.), " And his number is 666" (al. 616). I give the figures, because the Greek copies generally do so. Now, whatever may be said of this number, it is quite certain

Heb."and out of Judah." It is obvious, that in most such repetitions as this, the •) is intended to extend, and to correct, the meaning, thus, " Out of Jacob,.. . even out of Judah:" i.e. the house more properly so called, as confined to the tribe of Judah.


 REVELATION, CHAP. XIII. 403

that it adds nothing of value to our context, which is sufficiently obvious and clear without it. And again, if number ' is here to be understood as taken above, and as weight and measure are in other places; then must this 666 not only be useless, but altogether inapplicable to the context. If it be said, that this number stands with as much propriety here, as do those given in Chap. xxi. 16, 17, &c., I answer, Certainly not. Good reason can be given for those: they are there measures of space : while here, nothing capable of such measure is before us. In saying that a city has such and such measures, the sense,—mystical or not,—will be obvious; while to say that a man is to be so measured by the number 666, &c., can have no meaning whatever. And again, if we are to have recourse to the Cabbala of the Jews, for the explanation of this number,—which must be a very doubtful mode of proceeding,—then are the interpretations of it so many and various, that we are much in the situation we should have been, had it never been given42.

The Greek of St. John is in some instances peculiar, as it has been remarked by many. We have a place quite of a piece with that before us, in John viii. 44. It is said, speaking of Satan, lit. that he is a liar, even the father of him, or it, i. e. of (every) liar as such, or of (every) lie. This place has proved a stumbling-block to many a commentator, purely on account of its. elliptical character. Our place in the Revelation stands thus :  lit. ' For it is the number' (i. e. character, &c.) 'of a man, even the number of him:' i. e. of every man, considered merely as of the earth, earthly, sensual, sinful**. Now it may

42 Grabe (Irenseus, p. 448, 9) will give us its solutions by the Fathers, to the number of twelve. Mr. Thorn's book (London, 1848) will supply us with those of the moderns, to a very surprising amount. I adhere therefore, to the opinions expressed on this point in my work of 1830, Six Sermons, &c. pp. 328,9, having seen nothing in the interval, amounting to a reason to the contrary.

43 That is, such as the Roman reigning power then was, is the amount, or sum, of his moral character. St. Paul (2 Thess. ii. 3) designates this person, or rather series of persons, by the man of sin, the son of perdition: i. e. the man so characterized, and who was to be destroyed. In Rev. xv. 2, we have this reference to him, viz. " / saw. . . them that had gotten the victory over the Beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name:" which may be thus paraphrased, ' over Satan, over the flattery and threats of his Ministers, the temptation to that conduct which designated, or marked, them as his, and over sin in principle, of which he is the father and teacher.' This will, I think, suit the place; but if we apply to this number any abstract consideration, or even any thing like the interpretations of Irenaeus and others of it, the place instantly loses every thing like precision.

404 REVELATION, CHAP. XIII. [bk. in. oh. iv.

be readily conceived, that this would always have appeared remarkably elliptical, and in need of something to complete it. If then we suppose,—what probably was the fact,—that the o-Tj'^oj, i. e. the number of the lines of the MS. up to this place, happened to stand in the margin here, over against the term avrov, it will be no difficult matter also to suppose, that this number was carried from the margin, and made to supply the ellipsis of this construction ; and of this number the lines of such MS. might have consisted. We shall now have then, just what we have in all our copies of the Greek text, and what, I have no doubt, is the fact of the case44. As early indeed as the times of Irenseus, this reading appears to have existed; and then it exhibited a variety, giving the number 616 : which might also have constituted the number of lines up to this place, in other MSS. That Father however, considered this latter as a corrupt reading. He then tells us, that 666, when duly interpreted, signified Lateinos', i. e. Latin, or Roman. However then, the true state of this case may be, both the text without this number, and the opinions of the times of this Father with it, require the interpretation which has been given to it above; and this is the main thing for which I would contend.

We have in this Chapter therefore, the persecutions of the Church generally, under the influence of Daniel's Little Horn, and St. Paul's Man of sin, i. e. whose number, measure, and weight, are sin, and that of the most blasphemous, artful, and cruel character. We are next brought to contemplate the character and conduct of God's true Church under this.

44 This was also given in my publication of 1830; to the remarks of Mr. Rabbet, on which I do not think it necessary to attend.

45 See Grabe's edition on the place, as noted above.

REVELATION, CHAP. XIV. 405

Sect. III.—On the Triumph of the Church, after a Recapitulation of the Events of the Seven Trumpets.

" I looked," says St. John (Chap. xiv. 1), " and, lo, a Lamb on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty an d four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads."1"1 " The mount Sion" must here, necessarily, symbolize the Church under the New Covenant (Heb. xii. 22); and, from what we read (ver. 4), these were its firstfruits to God, and to the Lamb. They had been redeemed from among men ; they were therefore, "the Election" or "the Elect," of God ; they were also the Holy Remnant of the Jewish nation, and the primary ministers of the Gospel. We must not, nevertheless suppose, that this was meant to exclude the first converts from among the Gentiles: for we have (Chap. v. 9, seq.) this same "new song" sung by countless multitudes out of all nations; and (Chap. vii. 4) this same 144,000 sealed and preserved of the Jews, and with them an innumerable company out of all nations, singing and praising God; and the Lamb is there,—as He is here,—in the midst of them. We have an instance of this sort of omission in Dan. ix. 26, p. 140, above. This whole company therefore, constitutes the Church of the Redeemed at this period: that is, before the commencement of the warfare which was to wear out many of them, under St. Paul's Man of sin, i. e. Daniel's Little Horn.—We have too, in each case, the occurrence of the same event.

Of the employment of these St. John says, " / heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder"1"1 (admirable picture of the character and unanimity of a true Church !) : " and I heard" continues he, "the voice" (sound) "of harpers harping with their harps: and they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four living creatures^, and the Elders." This new song necessarily designates the New Covenant, and powerfully reminds us of that New Song, which the whole earth is so often called upon to sing by the Psalmist*7; as it also does of the fulfilment of these places as prophecies.

46 See Chap. iv. 6, &c.

47 Ps. xxxiii. 2, " with the harp," 3, " Sing... a new song... play with a loud noise." 8, " Let all the earth fear the lord .. . all the inhabitants of the world" (universe). 10, "He bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought," &c. evidently referring to the victory to be obtained over heathenism, as in Ps. ii. Comp. Isai. xLii. 10. Again, Ps. xl. 3, "He hath put a new song in my mouth," &c. "many shall see it," &c. 7,"Lo, I come," &c., manifestly referring to the coming of our Lord, and to His vicarious sacrifice. Comp. Heb. x. 5, seq. 9, " / have preached righteousness," &c. Verr. 14, 15, we have the fall of the Jews, and ver. 16, the rejoicing of the Gentiles. See also Ps. xcvi. 1, seq.; xcviii. 1, seq.; cxliv. 9, &c.; cxiix. 1, seq. In all which, we have manifest predictions of the calling in of the heathen; and in some the harps, the loud exultations, and shoutings of the Revelation.

406 REVELATION, CHAP. XIV.

"No man" we are next told (ib.), " could learn that Song, but" these " which were redeemed from the earth:" i. e. so as fully to understand its bearing, to feel its force, or to put forth any thing like the zeal and unanimity which these did: it contained the mysteries of redemption, i. e. those deep things of God, which the carnal mind can neither receive, obey, nor enjoy. It is also said (ver. 5), that these " were virgins" and " without fault before God:" in other words, they had committed no spiritual fornication. Righteousness had also been imputed to them, and this by virtue of their faith in the merits, sufferings, and mediation, of the Lamb: for their robes had been washed in his blood: and accordingly, Him they never cease to follow. This song is therefore necessarily, the song of the Church under the New Covenant, and it is here carried on, in that " general assembly of the first-born," in the " mount Zion" and " City of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem" to which the Redeemed and Elect of God had actually come in the days of St. Paul (Heb. xii. 22, 23).

We now have (ver. 6, seq.) a repetition, as it should seem, by a ministering Angel flying through the heavens with the prediction, that the Gospel should be preached in all nations, and that then should the end come. The fall of the spiritual Babylon (ver. 8) constitutes the enouncement of another Angel. And then as before, we have a general description of the judgments to be poured out, which the preaching of the Gospel would of necessity call forth, as the judgments to be inflicted by the Almighty, in avenging the cause of His persecuted Zion.

These enouncements are followed by a declaration of the

REVELATION, CHAP. XIV. 407

blessedness of those who should keep the faith and commandments of Jesus, and hence die in the Lord (ver. 13) : thus preparing the Church of " the first-born" or " first-fruits? and of their Gentile converts, for the fiery trial which was to try them. We may now therefore consider these trials as begun at least: and these such as to call for the interference of God to avenge the cause of His people, and to determine " the controversy of His Zion." For this purpose, " One like unto the Son of man'''' is seen coming " in the clouds of heaven:" here on a "white cloud" and "having on his head a golden crown." We have the parallel to this in (Chap. vi. 2, seq.), " / saw a white horse; and He that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given to Him: and He went forth conquering and to conquer:" and in this place, just as in that now under consideration, the judgments to be inflicted by the Son of man are brought generally before us. We had the particulars there (i. e. Chap, vi.), under the seven seals, and again, Chap. viii. seq., under the seven trumpets; we shall have them here again, under the seven vials. To observe this parallelism is of great importance in the interpretation of this Book, particularly as to its events.

"Another Angel," it is said (ver. 15), "came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap; for the time" (i. e. long ago appointed) " is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe" It must be evident from the context, that the general judgment is not intended here, although this sort of diction is occasionally used in order to designate it. We should bear in mind that, in each case, we have both a judgment and an End: and that, as the language used to denote the one, may also denote the other; so also may the one be taken as a voucher and evidence, that the other shall certainly follow. The context will always be sufficient to shew us, which of these we are primarily to take.

"He that sat on the cloud" we are now told (ver. 16) " thrust in His sickle on the earth ; and the earth was reaped." The figures here used were, no doubt, intended to direct us to such places of Scripture, as would supply the information necessary for their solution. In this point of view, blessed indeed must those have been who could then, under the various trials which they suffered, view the judgments that

408 REVELATION, CHAP. XIV. 

should first, and last, terminate in their favour. If then we turn to Joel (chap. iii. 12, seq.), we shall find the needful. We have already seen to what particular times that prophecy refers (pp. 271, 296, 323, &c.) : we shall now see, to what this place does. It is said, " / will sit to judge all the heathen round about:" that is, who should at this period harass the Church. " Put in the sickle," it is added, "for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down, for the press is full, the fats overflow ; for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes" continues the Prophet, "in the valley of decision46" (i.e. of Zion's controversy): "for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.'"'' Joel adds, " The sun and the moon shall be darkened," Sic., which our Lord Himself has declared should be the case, when the judgment which would have its commencement even in his own times, or generation (Matth. xxiv. 29, SO, &c.), should be executed.

We also have this judgment thus foretold by Jeremiah (chap. u. 33), " Thus saith the lord of hosts, the God of Israel: The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing-floor, it is time to thresh her49: yet a little while, and the time of her harvest shall come." And in the next verse, " The king of Babylon hath devoured me, he hath crushed me,...he hath swallowed me up like a dragon....He hath cast me out. The violence done to me, and to my flesh," it is added, " be upon Babylon, shall the inhabitant of Zion say; and my blood upon the inhabitants of Chaldea, shall Jerusalem say? We next have a particular prediction of the fall of Babylon by Cyrus, and then some more general ones, which,—as we shall presently see,—St. John has applied to the fall of the spiritual Babylon. We have here therefore as before, a prophecy, to which it was the intention of St. John particularly to direct our attention.

In Joel however, as just now cited, the figure is changed from the reaping of harvest, to the gathering in of the

48 See a similar denunciation against the Jews, as taking place in " the Valley of Vision," Isai. xxii. 1, seq.

49 This will throw light on a very obscure place in Isaiah (chap. xxi. 9, 10), " Babylon is fatten, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods He hath broken unto the ground. 0 my threshing, and- the corn of my floor: that which I have heard of the Lord of hosts .. . have I declared unto you."

REVELATION, CHAP. XIV. 409

vintage, and its being placed and trodden in the wine-press. " The press" it is said, " is full, the fats overflow." In the Revelation (ib. ver. 19), " Thrust in thy sharp sickle," it is said, " and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the Angel thrust in His sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great wine-press of the wrath of God." It is added, " And the wine-press was trodden without the city; and the blood came out of the wine-press, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.'1'' This is therefore no treading of grapes, but of men; and their blood so shed is represented, both in its depth and extent, as of immense amount. We learn also from Rev. xix. 15, who it is that executes this judgment upon the heathen. " Out of His mouth," it is said, " goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations60 : and He shall rule them with a rod of iron51: and He tread-eth tlie wine-press of the wrath of Almighty God.'1'1 That this is our blessed Lord, the places referred to are sufficient to shew. Which again, will lead us to another prophecy, and, at the same time, afford us the best explanation of it, viz. Isaiah, chap. Lxiii. 1, seq.—

" Who," it is asked, " is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? This that is glorious in His apparel, travelling in the greatness of His strength ?" The answer of our Lord, in the person of Jehovah, is, " / that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore," it is then asked, " art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the wine-fat?'1'' The answer, "/ have trodden the wine-press alone,...for I will tread them" (i. e. the heathen) " in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment, for the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year" (time appointed) " of my redeemed is come," &c. We then have (ver. 7), Zion's Song of praise in acknowledgment of this, in a strain quite of a piece with all those given by St. John.

It is worthy of observation too, that Edom and Bozrah are here mentioned as the places in which this should happen.

50 See Isai. xi. 4. 61 Ps. ii. 9; Lxxxix. 23; ex. 6, &c.

REVELATION, CHAP. XV. [bk. HI. CH. IV.

But here (as shewn above on Isai. xxxiv., p. 273, and which shews that our interpretation of this place is correct), not only is the fall of these places primarily had in view; but also, in a more extended sense, that of " the people'''1 generally of God's curse (ib. verr. 5—8, inclus.). And here again, as in Joel, " All the host of heaven shall be dissolved," &c. We may rest satisfied therefore, that these places of Isaiah, Joel, and Jeremiah, were intended ultimately to foretell this very judgment upon heathen Rome; and, that the means thus afforded for our investigation of them, were supplied for the purpose of giving us a key to their true interpretation.

We have too, in the outset of this Chapter, an anticipation of another series of events to take place under the discharge of the seven vials. These, as we have already remarked, present a repetition of the judgments denounced also under the seven seals, and seven trumpets; which, with other repetitions already adverted to, appear to have been intended as a means of introducing to our particular regard other prophecies, given under different figures, but relating to the same events and times.

" And I saw as it were," says St. John (ver. 2), "a sea of glass" (i. e. before the throne, comp. Chap. iv. 6) "mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the Beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And," continues he, " they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty," ..."for thy judgments are made • manifest,'1'' &c.; which constitutes a repetition of the song of victory upon the close of the warfare, under the seven trumpets. The mention of the seven last plagues (ver. 1) here, is evidently a mere anticipation of our next series, which we shall see (ver. 5) take their commencement, as in the former cases, by the heavens (here, the tabernacle in heaven) being opened. " The song of Moses and of the Lamb," necessarily reminds us of the harmony and unity of object subsisting between the dispensation of Moses, as that of a servant (Heb. iii. 5, 6), and that of Christ, as of a Son and Lord over His own house: as we also are, by the subject-matter of it, that the victory

REVELATION, CHAP. XV. 411

had now been miraculously and fully won, as in the song of Miriam (Exod. xv.), of Deborah and Barak (Judges v.), Sic. We have in this place therefore, as in others, the Redeemed publishing in the Church the marvellous works, which had been so consummated for their sakes.

As to the particulars of the Song before us, they are a sort of Collect made up of several prophetical Scriptures, and evidently intended to bring these before us. One probably is Ps. cxi. 2, seq., " The works of the lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.'''' (ver. 6), " He hath shelved His people the power of His works, that He may give them the heritage of the heathen:" which is precisely the work here accomplished. Again, Ps. cxlv. 3, seq., " Great is the lord, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable." (ver. 10, seq.), " All thy works shall praise Thee, O lord, and thy saints shall bless Thee ...to make known to the sons of men His mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of His" (Christ's) "kingdom.'''' " Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom," &c. i. e. as it respects His Church under the New Covenant; not in some lax heathenish sense. Comp. Isai. xii. xxv. xxvi., &c. Again Jer. x. 7, " Who will not fear thee, 0" (Thou now) " King of nations,?" (ver. 10) "He is...an everlasting King; at His wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide His indignation:" all which forms that one great event, brought before us here in the Revelation.

This Song also contains the important particular, so constantly adverted to in prophecy, viz. the fulfilment of the first and everlasting Covenant made with Abraham, viz. " In thy seed shall all nations be blessed.'1'' So Moses in his song (Deut. xxxii. 43), " Rejoice, O ye nations, with His people; for He will avenge the blood of His servants'''1 (i. e. who should now suffer martyrdom), " and will render vengeance to His adversaries, and will be merciful to His land "• (now the heritage of the heathen), " and to His peo-ple" (comp. also Isai. Lxvi. 23). Innumerable similar places might be added were it necessary, all tending to shew that the testimony to Jesus, in establishing and vindicating His universal divine Rule, is the spirit of them all.

Chapter V.

ON THE SEVEN VIALS.

Sect. I. — Preliminaries to their Outpouring.

Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony," is now seen (ver. 5) by John opened in heaven, just as in the outset of our former visions, and as already observed. This will bring us to the particulars so laid open to our view : and of these the first is, " the sea, as it were, of glass mine/led with fire." By a sea we are probably to understand a place vast in extent, such as the sea or ocean is : by its glass and fire, its purity and brightness1 : as in Chap. xxi. 18, where it is said, " The city" (which is only another figure of the same thing) " was pure gold, like unto glass :" i. e. its brightness and purity were those of pure gold : and, as glass (comp. Chap. xxii. 1), it received, and transmitted the light it received, without any earthly alloy. We have moreover (ver. 7, here), mention of " the four beasts," or living creatures, which are said to stand as Ministers before the throne of God ; all which is a repetition of what we have in Chap. iv. 4 — 11, above. We have already observed these Ministers in the four horses and four carpenters of Zechariah, &c. Let us now touch upon these particulars, a little more at length.

We have then Christ here as before, sitting in judgment, and as in Exodus (chap. xxiv. 1 0), " They saw," it is said, " the God of Israel : and there was under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire-stone, and as it were the body of heaven in its clearness :" i. e. not darkened by the intervention of clouds. If we now turn to Ezekiel (chap, i.),

1 I cannot think with some, that Solomon's brazen sea, or laver, can be meant here, either primarily or otherwise. The conception is much too small; which is evident from the circumstance, that all the Redeemed out of every nation are seen standing on its surface, not on its brink, as they imagine.


REVELATION, CHAP. XV. 413

we shall find the description much fuller, and more particular. (Ver. 5), " Out of the midst thereof," i. e. of a cloud and a fire infolding itself, with a brightness about it2, " came the likeness of four living creatures:" i. e. of our "four beasts." Various indeed have been the explanations given of these, some making them to represent the four Evangelists, others the Holy Trinity with the assumption of the manhood in Christ, &c., which however, need not affect our inquiry: it being quite sufficient for us, that we consider them as the Ministers of God: the number four intimating, as in the four horses of Zechariah, &c. that their functions extended to the four quarters of the earth, and as in the four Angels of St. John loosed upon the Euphrates, and sent forth into all the earth (Chap. ix. 14. Comp. vii. 1). Let us see what Ezekiel further says of these.

"They went," says the Prophet (ver. 12), "every one straight forward: whither the Spirit was to go, they went : and they turned not when they went," They were therefore, subject to the motions of the Spirit: and hence, only Ministers of the Divine Will; and, as such, both Angels and Men are probably meant. It was too, the duty of Ministers to proceed straight forward, whithersoever the Spirit should direct. So says Isaiah (chap. xxx. 21), " Thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it" (i. e. take the straightforward path), " when ye shall" (be tempted to) " turn to the right hand, and when ye shall turn to the left.'1'' An instance of transgression in this respect, is presented to us in 1 Kings xiii. 21, 22, with its consequences: "Forasmuch," it is said, "as thou...hast not kept the commandment which the lord...commanded thee, but earnest back...thy carcase shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers," &c. And hence it is, that so much is said in the Scriptures in condemnation of those whose ways are crooked3.

2 Ps. civ. 4, " Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flaming fire:" which would perhaps, be more literally rendered, Who make his messengers (as the) winds (i. e. rapid and overpowering): but mystically, His ministers (as the) flaming fire: as in John the Baptist, who " was a burning and a shining light" (John v. 35).

3 Deut. xxxii. 5. Ps. cxxv. 5. Proy. ii. 15. Isai. mx. 8, &c. A doctrine which cannot be too much insisted on in these days, in which the tortuous ways of Jesuitism have become so fashionable.

414 REVELATION, CHAP. XV. v.

Again (ver. 13), " Their appearance was like unto burning coals of fire",.." and out of the fire," it is said, "went forth lightning. And," (ver. 14) '' the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning" Their execution of the mandates of the Spirit, their Principal, was quick and effectual, i. e. as witnessed particularly in the Apostolic times. To the same effect Zechariah (chap. ix. 14), " And the lord shall be seen over them" (i. e. as the guiding Spirit), "and His arrow" (i.e. as placed in His bow, and taken out of the tribes of Israel) " shall go forth as the lightning i and," it is added, " the lord shall blow His trumpet, and shall go with the whirlwinds of the south :" which, as we have seen, relates especially to the mission of the Apostles, and their fellow-labourers: as it also does to our Lord's shining as lightning, in its passage from the East even to the West.

We have in Isaiah also, the same Ministers under the name of Seraphim (flaming, i. e. ministers), where it is said (Chap. vi. 2), "Above it4" rather over against, i.e. the throne, " stood the Seraphims: each one had six wings. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, Holy, Holy, is the lord of hosts" (i.e. Christ, John xii. 41): " the whole earth is full" (lit. the filling of the whole earth shall His glory be): the place being strictly prophetical. One of these Ministers then flies to the Prophet, and touches his lips with a burning coal taken from the altar. The consequence of which is, he proceeds to foretell the fall of Judaism, with the preservation of the Holy Remnant, there termed "a Tenth ;" which is one of the main events of the Apocalypse. If we turn to Rev. iv. 8, we shall see that St. John has thus applied this very place of Isaiah.

Ezekiel further says (Chap. i. 22, seq.)," The likeness of the firmament upon" (over) " the heads of the living creatures was as the colour of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above."..." And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.... This," it is added, " was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the lord" (i. e. of Christ, as noticed

* Heb. V


REVELATION, CHAP. XV. 415

above). Then (in Chap, ii.) Ezekiel is commissioned, just as Isaiah had been, to go and proclaim to the Jewish people their rebellious character, and to foretell their utter downfall. In every case therefore, we have virtually the same Ministers of God, adduced for precisely the same purpose, to comfort His own people, and to make known, and to inflict, His righteous judgments upon His adversaries.

We should particularly bear in mind, that St. John here sees " the Temple of the Tabernacle of Testimony opened in heaven." Isaiah has his vision in the Temple, and in this He sees Christ. Ezekiel too, saw " the heavens opened," and one like the appearance of a man sitting upon a throne, which, as in Isaiah, must be a vision of Christ in power. In Ezekiel, this is said to be " the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the lord." In Exodus, as cited above," They saw the God of Israel." And (ib. verr. 16,17), " The glory of the lord abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days...and the sight of the glory of the loud," it is added, " was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel." This revelation is therefore, in each case, that of Christ.

These visions under the Old Covenant, were,—except in the case of Ezekiel during the captivity,—either on mount Sinai, in the wilderness, or in the Temple on Mount Zion : these mounts were, under that dispensation, the mounts of God. Under the New Covenant and last dispensation, Jerusalem which is above is the mother, i. e. Metropolis of all the Church. The mountain of the lord's house now, and to which the nations flow, is far above the hills of this earthly system of things: there the true Temple, not made with hands and eternal, exists, and therein the great High Priest of our calling, ever exercises His mediatorial and intercessory office for His people; and thence He sends down the gifts of grace to men, which it is His sole privilege to bestow. There is nevertheless, a representative (Heb. /TiD^T)

of this here below: and, as we shall presently see, not the Priests of the Old system, but the Levites of the New, represent its Ministers5. This is the spiritual mount Zion,

8 See my Letter to Dr. Pusey On the Keys, Appendix, pp. 31—47.  And Vitringa de Synagoga Vetere, pp. 70—73.

416 REVELATION, CHAP. XV.

to which believers,—particularly those from among the Jews, —are said to have come in the days of St. Paul (Heb. xii. 22, seq.). Of this too, Isaiah spoke when he said (Chap. iv. 2, seq.), " In that day shall the Branch of the lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped," i. e. of the holy " Remnant of Israel. And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem"  i. e. such as these should be in "that day"), " shall be called lioly, even every one that is written among the" (spiritually) . " living in Jerusalem...when He shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem ...by the spirit of judgment'''' (i.e. condemnation), "and the spirit of burning" (i. e. of a fiery destruction). It is added, " And the lord will create upon every dwelling-place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke" (i. e. as seen upon Sinai in the wilderness) " by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for upon all the glory" (i. e. this noble army of spiritual soldiers) " shall be a defence.'1'' It is added, " And there shall be a tabernacle" (i. e. of testimony, as in the desert, which should constitute a dwelling-place on this spiritual mount) "for a shadow in the day-time from the heat, and a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from ruin" (comp. Ps. cxxi. 5—8).

It should be observed, we have no intimation either of the Jewish Temple here, or of any of the Temple-service, although we have of Assemblies, i. e. for public worship. We have a mount Zion, upon which the very dwelling-places of all true believers are to be (mystically) placed: and over this is a cloud of glory ever to rest as a defence, so that the thin covering of a tent only should, with this, form a sufficient refuge against the burning heat of the sun, and the violent beating of the storm: and this Zion is that to which all the nations should flow: it is commensurate with the earth, and its height is that of the heavens. Its purity is, according to St. John, that of pure gold, of clear glass, and of the finest crystal: its extent is that of the sea or ocean. St. John's figures represent here therefore, the glories of the Church of the New Covenant, as foretold and typified under the Old: while there, as a Tent, i. e. subject to removal, as it was the case with the tabernacle in the wilderness,

REVELATION, CHAP. XV. 417

where the Church at this period is, but hereafter to be contemplated as a City, whose foundations are the sapphires and other precious stones emblematic of the Apostles of the Lamb, as we shall presently see.

We now come more particularly to the series of events symbolized by the seven Vials of the wrath of God. St. John's words are (ver. 1) : " I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues: for in them is filled up the wrath of God." It is added (ver. 6, seq), " And the seven angels came out of the Temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles. And one of the" living creatures " gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials6 full of the wrath of God, who live. His for ever and, ever. And the Temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from His power; and no man was able to enter into the Temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled."

The language used here generally, is that of the old dispensation, but applied to the new; the pure and white linen garments then, i. e. of the Priests, is now the righteousness of the Saints, who have put on Christ Jesus. The "four living creatures are," as before, the ministers of God superintending, urging, and directing, His spiritual service in the four quarters of the world; no part being now closed against this. The number seven in the Angels, as formerly in the Trumpets, symbolizes, in all probability, the full, adequate, complete, and great company of the Preachers, who should denounce,—as if pouring out the deleterious contents of vessels, prepared as "instruments of death,"—the judgments of the Almighty upon all unbelievers. And again, when we are told that "No man was able to enter into" the " Temple" &c., we are brought to the diction of the Old Testament,

6 We have in these Vials, nothing more than what we have essentially in those denunciations of the Old Testament, in which the pouring out of God's wrath upon both Jews and Gentiles is foretold: e. g. Ps. Mix. 24; Lxxix. 6. Jer. vi. 11; x. 25: in Lam. ii. 4, this pouring out of fury is said to be like that of fire. The Apocalypse does nothing more here than add the vessel, or vial, which the figure seems to require, and which is often styled in the Old Testament, " the cup," i. e. of the Lord's fury. See Isai. Li. 17. Ps. txxv. 8, &c. xi. 6, &c., and Rev. xiv. 10.

418 REVELATION, CHAP. XV.

while we are more particularly to consider what this was intended to imply under the New.

The place here (ver. 8) referred to by St. John, is probably Exod. xl. 34, seq., " Then," it is said, " a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses,'''' it is added, " was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the glory abode thereon, and the glory of the lord fitted the tabernacle V If then we take the analogy suggested by St. Paul, we shall perhaps be enabled to understand the whole of this. The Apostle tells us (2 Cor. iii. 13, seq.), that " Moses put a vail over his face" (shewing by this), " that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is" (now) " abolished. But their minds were" (thus shewn to be) " blinded : for until this day remaineth the same vail un-taken away in the reading of the Old Testament; which vail is done away in Christ.'1'' We have apparently the same thing, mystically implied in the Veil of the Temple: it screened the Holy of Holies entirely from the view, as also its Ark of the Testimony (now laid open); which was then accessible only to the high Priest. At the death of our blessed Lord, this veil was rent in twain from the top to the bottom8: intimating that now (de jure) the mysteries latent under the services of the High Priest, and of an earthly sanctuary, were to be made plain, and fully laid open.

To this St. Paul alludes (Heb. x. 19, seq.), when he says: "Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh. And having an High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith" &c. St. John has his visions here from heaven, and in them the tabernacle of the true testimony is laid open. So says St. Paul of the Jews, " When it" (i. e. the heart of this people) " shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away:'' So also here, until the whole mystery of God shall have been laid open, i. e. to the heart, as enounced generally under the Trumpets, and here under the Vials especially with threats, no man will fully enter into

Comp. 1 Kings viii. 10. 2 Chron. v. 13. 8 Matth. xxvii. 61, &c.

REVELATION, CHAP. XVI. 419

the representative of this Temple as established on earth: in other words, into the kingdom of heaven, now set up among men.

Sect. II.—On the First Vial.

we are now arrived at the last Series of events as delivered under symbols in this Book. It has been seen long ago9, that the things enounced under the Vials are nothing more than a repetition of those given under the Trumpets: and this, a comparison of the context in each case, will abundantly prove. We have moreover such Scriptures appealed to, as will conduct us to the same times and events, as vouchers to the same effect: and this may be said of all the instances adduced here, as repetitions of others occurring in this Book.

St. John then, (ver. 1.) conducts us to the particulars, as follows : "/ heard a great voice'1'' (proceeding) " out of the Temple, saying to the seven angels, Go...and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth. And," continues he, " the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth : and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the Beast, and...which worshipped him" (as under the first trumpet: see Chap. vii. 3, viii. 7, necessarily the same persons and period): " there followed hail and fire mingled with blood." But there " the servants of God " were first to be " sealed in their foreheads." Again under that series, and the sounding of the fifth trumpet (Chap. ix. 4), " It was commanded them that they should not hurt ... but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads;" that is, virtually having " the mark of the Beast" as given here ; determining that these were not the servants of God : and hence, necessarily, the worshippers of the Beast. What has been said therefore, in that place, will suffice for this, and particularly as that is the more specific, and clearly relates to the same persons, events, and times.

The Second Vial.

"And the second angel," it is said (ib. ver. 3), "poured out his vial upon the sea: and it became as the blood of a

9 As noticed from some of the Fathers in my Work of 1830.

420 REVELATION, CHAP. XVI.

dead man : and every living soul died in the sea.'''' Under our second trumpet (Chap. viii. 8, 9), " a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea; and the third part of the sea became blood; and the third part of the creatures which were in the sea...died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed." See what is said there (p. 302, seq.) on these particulars. The first Scripture apparently there alluded to by St. John, is Exod. vii. 17, seq., "Behold," it is said, " / will smite with the rod that is in mine hand upon the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned into blood. And the fish that is in the river shall die, and the river shall stink."..." Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, and upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood, and in vessels of stone." The context here following declares that all this took place.

Whether these plagues of Egypt were intended, or not, to shadow out certain events, in some respects similar to them, we need not stop to inquire: certain it is, that they have been very properly taken as examples of God's judgments in favour of His people, and upon which,—as themes, —to ground others even in the Scripture itself: and, in this way, I consider it most correct to view them, together with all those so grounded upon them ; and these again, as vouchers of a judgment much more signal yet to come. I prefer this way of viewing these things, because Types are more properly the sacrificial observances, &c. of the Temple, which strictly prefigured Christ as our great High Priest,

It was shewn under the second Trumpet, that the judgments there denounced, included both Jews and Gentiles: the Jews principally before the fall of their polity. The same is the case here; because first, no distinction is made by St. John between Jews and Gentiles, either as to the judgments so denounced, or the character of those on whom these were to fall; except only that the Jews are said to be " the synagogue of Satan," and their City, " the spiritual Sodom and Egypt, where our Lord was crucified.'1'' And secondly, because inspired authority has declared that all the plagues of Egypt should be their portion, if they walked con-

REVELATION, CHAP. XVI. 421

trary to the Lord their God. Among the severest denunciations therefore, delivered by Moses (Deut. xxviii.), one is, a most exact description of the siege of Jerusalem, its fearful sufferings, and fall (verr, 49—59, comp. Jer. xix. 8, seq.):—and, be it remembered, we are now in the period which should precede its fall; — it is also said (ver. 60), "Moreover He will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee." "And," again (ib. ver. 27), " the Lord will smite thee with the botch of Egypt,...whereof thou canst not be healed." It is added (ver. 61), "Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law."

So also (Amos iv. 10, seq.), "/ have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt. ,.. / have made the stink of your camps to come up unto your nostrils," &c. "/ have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah'''' (i. e. perpetually); " and ye"" (i. e. the holy Remnant), " were as a fire-brand plucked out of. the fire." And that plagues, similar to those of Egypt should be inflicted on the nations generally, who should persecute the rising Church under the New Covenant, Micah vii. 15, seq., is sufficient to shew: " According," says he, " to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt, will I shew unto him marvellous things. The nations shall see, and be confounded at all their might,'1'' &c. And it should be remembered, our Mother, and spiritual Zion, was to be placed in the Wilderness, during the forty-two months assigned for her purification and final establishment. Both Jews and Gentiles seem therefore, to be had in view here; and, as it should seem, by way of prediction generally.

The Third Vial.

The third Vial is now (ver. 4) "poured out upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood:" which is just what is said to have taken place under the plagues of Egypt, as we have seen above. If then, we are to suppose any difference here, from what was said on the second Vial, it must be that those judgments still continuing, are become more extensive and severe. We should bear in mind too, that under this Vial, as under the third seal and trum-

422 REVELATION, CHAP. XVI.

pet, we shall be carried beyond the period assigned to the fall of Jerusalem, and brought within that of the times of the Gentiles (comp. chap. vi. 5, seq.; viii. 10, seq.).

St. John continues (ver. 5), "I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because Thou hast judged thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and Thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy." John further says (ver. 7)"And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments." That is, these judgments are righteous, because they are such as the crimes committed deserved: they are true and real, because they are known from God's previous revelations, to be such as He would inflict upon His enemies. They were the judgments therefore, of no other Being. And here, as before, they serve as vouchers of another yet future; and in which, as God was, and is, visible in these, so shall He be in those. The same is implied in Chap. i. 4; iv. 8; and xi. 1710. And, let it be noted,

10 It should be observed that, who was, is, and is to come, and the like, are attributes of Christ, not of the Father. In Chap. i. 8, He is said to be the First and the Last: that is, not as to His Deity; this is eternal, and therefore can have no such distinction as First and Last; but, as to His office in what is termed the Economy, or Dispensation, with regard to man. He was, in this sense, the first of the way of God (Prov. viii. 22): He was the author of creation (John i. 1, seq.), as He is of the New creation: He sat as King upon the cloud (Ps. xxix. 10), and in this we are presented with the first of His judgments. In the deliverance from Egypt, and the judgments then inflicted, it was Christ, the Angel of God's presence, that saved them. It was also His judgment, coming as He did in the clouds of heaven, i. e. in the signs of His power, that He overthrew Jerusalem, and scattered the Jews. It is in judgments similar to these, that St. John views Him, as He is; i. e. was in his and former days : and it is by faith in His word, that he also views Him as He was, and is, and is still to come, i. e. to the final judgment of all men. In like manner, St. Paul says of him, that He is the same yesterday, today, and for ever, Heb. xiii. 8. St. John too, uses this sort of language in a similar way, when he says (Rev. i. 19), " Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and.. . which shall be hereafter:" i. e. thus marking the different periods of time had in view in this book; not of eternity . Quote "When it is said by St. John that our Lord 'is to come,' the fall both of Jerusalem, and of the Roman-persecuting Power, are primarily meant; but, as  we are elsewhere taught, that He shall be finally the Judge of all, we must necessarily include this, in this last of His attributes, viz. 'which is to come.' And in like manner, the punishments to be inflicted on the unbelieving Jews, Isai. Lxvi. 24, are taken by our Lord Himself, Mark ix. 43, 46, 48, to represent those of the finally condemned: and so also the valley of the son of Hinnom, (i. e. Tophet, 2 Kings xxiii. 10. Isai. xxx. 33), is made to represent hell in the New Testament, in the form  Matth. v. 22, 29, 30, &c. I conclude therefore, that, by the terms " which was, is, and is to come," we are to consider Christ in His judicial character: and that we are to view every one of the judgments here had in view, as vouchers of that which shall terminate all things, and shall be, even to the end of time, still to come.

 

REVELATION, CHAP. XVI. 423

in these judgments the Jews are primarily implicated. It was the Little Horn that should make war upon the Saints of the Most High ; but it was the Jews who slew the Prophets (see Matth. v. 12; xxiii. 31—37, &c. So also Rev. xi. 18). This therefore suits the period of this Vial, as it also does that of the third trumpet.

Again, if we are to understand by "the waters" (ver. 5), nations and people,—and this the context seems to require;— then, by the "Angel of the waters," we must apparently understand one,—or perhaps each one,—of the ministering spirits sent forth under various figures, as noticed above, for the purpose of ordering and carrying on by miracle, the propagation of the Gospel among the nations. Such was the Angel seen flying through the heavens (Chap. xiv. 6), carrying with him the everlasting Gospel, so to be propagated. Such ministers would, under these circumstances, necessarily ascribe the power and justice of all this to God : and, in like manner, would the ministers of the Church, and their converts, render all the praise to Him. We have here therefore, another picture of the Church of the first-fruits to God and the Lamb, acknowledging the hand of God in all this, and thus expressing their acquiescence in His will, and their thankfulness for His judgments, in which they themselves were,—as far as earthly considerations went,—great sufferers. How unlike is this to the struggling wild bull in a net, to which the most eloquent of Prophets assimilates the Jews in their sufferings11 ? Nay, how unlike to their murmuring

11 Isai. Li. 20.

424 REVELATION, CHAP. XVI

and complaining conduct, even under the most signal favours which their God could confer on them, appearing as He did visibly in the giving of their Law, and in His raining down angels' food upon them when sojourning in the sterile desert! How different indeed does our Zion appear here in the desert, from that generally of Moses, whose very life was in jeopardy more than once among them ! Would to God the Spirit of this our persecuted Zion had not departed so soon, —nay, not at any time,—after these persecutions ceased!

By "Another out of the altar" (ver. 7), &c., we are, as it should seem, to understand the voice of a ministering Angel, speaking in the person of the martyred Saints and Prophets (ver. 6): much, as in (Chap. vi. 9, seq.) "I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God,"" &c. (i. e. Prophets and others)..." saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?"" In this place the period is more advanced, being under the fifth seal: the voice too, is uttered by the Martyrs themselves. In the former, apparently by a ministering Angel. The souls of the Martyrs again, in Chap. xx. 4, are those, not of the Prophets merely, but also of Saints who had fallen under the persecution of the Little Horn, or Man of sin. This third Vial moreover,—be it observed, and as noticed under our third seal and trumpet,—will, from its place in the series, comprehend the fall of Jerusalem, and the commencement of the general persecutions: in the other instances (i. e. in Chap. vi. 9, and xx. 4), both Jews and Gentiles are the objects of these judgments.

On the Fourth Vial.

" And the fourth angel," continues St. John (ver. 8), "poured out his vial upon the sun; and power," it is added, " was given him to scorch men with fire.'''' Men are accordingly so scorched, that they blaspheme God under it. This is not indeed the patience of saints, but quite the reverse. We have the same things said virtually, under the sounding of the fourth trumpet (Chap. viii. 12, See.). Let us briefly notice these particulars.

It is said here, that "power was given to him" (i. e. the Angel) " to scorch men with fire." But afflictions usually

REVELATION, CHAP. XVI, 425

bring darkness with them : we have accordingly in the former place, " The third part of the sun was smitten, Sic., so as the third part was darkened" &c. If then we are here to understand distress of nations generally,—as shewn under the opening of the fourth seal,—for it would be too much to expect in a context of this sort an invariable identity of diction, we shall have, "Power was given unto them" (i.e. death and hell) " over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth." Under the fourth trumpet, the third part of the sun, &c. is extinguished: implying, as it should seem, in each case, that the judgments so to be poured out were in progress, especially as under the opening of the sixth seal the sun is said to have become black as sackcloth, i. e. wholly extinguished; the stars to fall from heaven to the earth, and the heavens themselves to "depart as a scroll." Under our fourth Vial therefore, the sun is apparently only darkened; it is not wholly extinguished: i. e. mystically speaking, sorrow, affliction, and the like, to a certain extent, now vex and harass the heathen world: and in this, as before, the Jews are necessarily partakers, in addition to those which fell peculiarly on themselves. And the fact of the case is, that in the latter times of the persecutions the judgments were by far the most severe, as we shall presently see.

Of the Jews it is said (Amos viii. 9), " In that day, saith the Lord Gou,.... I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day:" that is, in the period mystically called, " the great and dreadful day of the Lord;" and here, its midday portion. We have also a very remarkable coincidence between St. John and Isaiah. St. John says, " The fourth Angel poured out his Vial upon the sun; and power was given him to scorch men with fire." Isaiah (chap. ix. 19), "Through the wrath of the lord of hosts is the land darkened, and the people," adds he, " shall be as the fuel of the fire." We have seen too, that prior to the sounding of the Trumpets generally (Chap. viii. 5), an Angel filled a censer with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth, and that voices (cries), thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake followed. The judgments consequent upon these are, throughout that context, precisely of this sort. See also ib. Isai. 17, 18. It is likewise said (Rev.

426 REVELATION, CHAP. XVI.

ix. 21), " Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.'''' While we have under the fourth Vial (xvi. 9), " They repented not to give Him (God) glory." See also Isai. ix. 20, 21: which,—with other similar things already noticed,— appears to me to be intended to apprize us, that the same events are meant.

"The fifth Angel," continues St. John (ver. 10, seq.), "poured out his Vial upon the seat of the Beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, and blasphemed the God of heaven," &c. The partial light afforded under our fourth Vial, is now exchanged for entire darkness, as already noticed under our sixth seal. The kingdom of the Beast is now accordingly filled with darkness. We have virtually the same thing under the sounding of the fifth trumpet. It is said there (ix. 2), " There arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.'1'' Out of this smoke came locusts. See on this place above, p. 315, seq.

This entire darkness therefore, and these locusts,—themselves usually causing a partial darkness,—will suggest to us the plagues inflicted upon Egypt by their means; and especially as these succeed each other there, just as they do here. In Exod. x. 5, it is said of the locusts, " They shall cover the face'''1 (lit. eye) " of the earth" (read land12), " that one cannot be able to see the earth" (land), &c. And (ver. 15), " They covered the face of the whole earth" (read land), "so that the land was darkened," &c. We have here therefore, a parallel to the partial darkness under our fourth Vial. We then have (ver. 22), " Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness" (ver. 21), " which may be felt," (rather, in which one would feel or grope), " in all the land of Egypt three days." " All the

12 It is difficult to imagine what could have induced our Translators to render in one place,—even in the same verse,—by the earth, and in another by the land, when it is certain the same thing is meant in each. Here indeed, this is but of little importance; in other places not so.

REVELATION, CHAP. XVI. 427

children of Israel," it is added (ver. 23), " had light in their dwellings.'1''

We know too, that the wrongs of our Zion were to be avenged after the manner of Egypt. Nothing can be more likely therefore, than that these plagues would be thus referred to under the New Testament. I am also disposed to think, that these signs (Exod. vii. 3), said to be

13 The consideration here touched upon is one of great importance in our interpretation of the Prophets: which should nevertheless, be applied with the greatest care; otherwise we may so spiritualize every thing, as to make the Bible a tissue of the merest mysticism and uncertainty. Let us see how the Scripture limits this usage. St. Paul tells us, Heb. x. 1, that the Law " was a shadow of good things to come:" and again, 1 Cor. x. 11, "ALL these things happened unto them for ensamples"  : " and they are written," continues he, "for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come" (see p. 117, &c. above). We are then exhorted to take care, lest we fall as the Jews fell, as they would in this case also be ensamples to us. Now, be it observed, this is limited to the shadowy events, &c. under the Law. To this end, the term signs, is evidently applied in this place of Exodus. (See my Hebrew Lexicon, sub voce, p. 17, and Cruden's Concord, under "sign") In Exod. xxxi. 13, " My sabbaths ye shall keep . . .it is a sign . . . throughout your generations" (see p. 92, seq., also verr. 16, 17). I. e. this sabbath-keeping was a sign, shadowing out another of a more spiritual character (see Heb. iv. 4— 10, and my sermon On the Sabbath). This sabbath then, in which every one rests from his works, even as God did from His, also implies mystically, that the believer rests from his works as things meriting salvation, and relies wholly on the finished work of his Redeemer, in this His new creation. So again, of circumcision, Gen. xvii. 9, " Thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations" (shall keep this observance). . . "Every man-child among you shall be circumcised:" i.e. before the period termed " the ends of the world," for in this the Apostle teaches us, that circumcision had come to an end. Then, as to what it implied as a sign, Rom. ii. 29, " Circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter." And Phil. iii. 3, " We are the circumcision" (i. e. this shadowy rite pointed to us, and to our times, for its substance), " which worship God in spirit" &c. As the sabbath therefore, shadowed out a spiritual sabbatism, so did circumcision a spiritual depriving of the heart of every species of sensuality. In the Greek, the term by which  is usually rendered. So Gen. ix. 13, of the rainbow : xvii. 11, of circumcision; and Exod. xxxi. 13, of the sabbath. So also Matth. xxiv. 3, "What shall be the sign  of thy coming, and of the end of the world," or dispensation ? i. e. What will intimate the approach of these? The general answer is (ib. ver. 33), "Whenye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. . . . This generation shall not pass, till all these things" (i. e. given as signs) " be"  I conclude therefore, that the signs so given under the old shadowy system of the Law, were intended even then, to he understood as of things more substantial to come, in the period termed the ends of the world, last days, fulness of time, and the like.

428 REVELATION, CHAP. XVI.

given in Egypt were intended to signify or imply, and so to be " ensamples'1'1 of something to take place within the period termed the ends of the world, last days, &c. : and if so, then these locusts and this subsequent entire darkness, as also the light enjoyed by Israel,—spiritually to be understood,—i. e. under the eighth and ninth plagues so inflicted, come in their due order and place here : five out of our seven Vials having now been poured out, while the seventh,—as in the Trumpets,—implies nothing beyond the celebration of the complete victory gained. The three days'' darkness in Egypt will, by the same analogy, well represent the remaining period of Daniel's last week (i. e. of seven clays), during which these judgments were to be inflicted on his Little Horn, represented by St. John's great whore, or mystical Babylon. A similar analogy was remarked in the duration of the power of the scorpion-tailed locusts, i. e. five months. In the one case, 3 days out of 31/2; in the other, 5 months out of 6.

"The seat of the Beast," so given him by Satan (Chap, xiii. 2), may perhaps be taken to imply his vain ostentation of Deity, and as now to be subjected to an obscuration sufficient to shew that he is no God, by the pains, famines, pestilences, and the like, inflicted on his followers. It has already been remarked, that not fewer than a moiety of human nature perished during this period: which must be sufficient to shew, that these were indeed times such as never were seen since there was a nation upon the earth, and that they may therefore, be well compared with those of the flood14: and also that, unless they had been shortened, no flesh

14 Matth. xxiv. 22, "Except those days should be shortened" (" there should no flesh be saved: 'but for the elects sake those days shall be shortened." Which is much the same thing as to say, that "unless the lord had left unto us a very small Remnant" (i.e. in the Elect)," we should have been as Sodom," &c. The Chapter alluded to here is Isai. x. In ver. 12, "When the lord hath performed" Heb. shall cut short. My Heb. Lex. p. 88, cut off parts, or pieces : which is the exact meaning of the Greek. See Thes. Steph. sub voce, &c.). And in this sense St. Paul gives (for ver. 22),  Rom. ix. 28, "for He will finish His work, and cut it short in righteousness." He then gives the words cited above on the Remnant's being the cause of the preservation of the Jews. The Authorized Version has here, " The consumption" (i.e. consummation) "decreed shall overflow with righteousness." St. Paul gives the words of the LXX. What the Greek makes "short" therefore, the Hebrew makes "decreed" The extent of the period allowed for the judgment to be so executed is decreed, as we have seen, to the latter half of Daniel's seventieth week: i. e. 31/2 mystical days, or 42 months, and which is termed in the Rev. xii. 12, " a short time;" and ib. xrii. 10, "a short space." We are not to suppose therefore, that these days would be made shorter, than it had been decreed they should be on account of the Elect; but that, on their account, they had been decreed, and so made short from the first.

REVELATION, CHAP. XVI. 429

could be saved. Again, as earthly power with rule is likewise involved in this subject, the extinction of light in the kingdom of the Beast must likewise, according to Daniel's predictions respecting the fall of his fourth empire, imply the extinction of his rule.

"And the sixth Angel," it is said, "poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates, and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the East might be prepared." If we turn back to Chap. ix. 14, we shall, I think, find the same events referred to under different figures, and these given with reference to other places in the Prophets (see what has been said there on these). We are told then, that the river Euphrates was to be dried up, in consequence of this outpouring, so that " the way of the kings of the East might be prepared:" i. e. so that these might find no obstacle in their progress from these waters. Let us now see whether the places apparently referred to here, will supply us with the requisite light on this matter.

Jeremiah tells us then, with the event here had in view apparently before him (Chap. l. 38), that "A drought is upon her" (i.e. Babylon's) "waters, and," he adds, " they shall be dried up: for it is the land of graven images, and they are mad upon her idols." We have in the next verse,

 

430 REVELATION, CHAP. XVI.

the language applied by Isaiah to Idumea : " Therefore," it is said, " the wild beasts of the desert with the wild beasts of the islands shall dwell there, and the owls shall dwell therein; and it shall be no more inhabited for ever; neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation" (see Isai. xxxiv. 10—15. Comp. 8 here, with verr. 28, 34, there). Again (ver. 40 here, Jer.), tells us that the overthrow shall be like that of Sodom, Gomorrah, and the neighbouring cities, so that no man should abide there, nor should any son of man dwell therein : which is just what Isaiah says of Edom, mystically also implying Babylon, as shewn above.

We next have the prediction of a destroying army coming from, the north, " A great nation, and many Icings," it is said, " shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. They shall hold the bow and the lance: they are cruel, and will not shew mercy,... they shall ride upon horses, every one put in array, like a man to the battle, against thee, O daughter of Babylon."

Again (Chap. li. Jer.), we have further predictions connected with this subject; and in these the nation, so to come from the north against Babylon, is mentioned by name. "Therefore, I'' it is said (ver. 36), "thus saith the lord; Behold, I will plead my cause, and take vengeance for thee'''' (i. e. Jerusalem and Zion of the preceding verse); " and I will dry up her sea, and make her springs dry. And Babylon," it is added, "shall become heaps, a dwelling-place for dragons,...without an inhabitant."..." In their heat I will make their feasts, and I will make them drunken, that they may rejoice" (which was actually the fact on the occasion so foretold), " and sleep a perpetual sleep, and not awake, saith the LoRD15." "And I will punish(Baal) "in Baby-

16 It should be observed, that although Babylon was taken, and its king and government thus fell, neither was the city nor the people generally destroyed : the government passed over to another dynasty. In like manner, the City of heathen Home fell not with its empire, any more than did Macedonia with the end of Alexander's rule. Heathen Rome, as such, fell; and this was sufficient to fulfil the predictions of Daniel: while its Empire (but not heathen) vested in Constantine, was as necessary to this fulfilment, as was the fall of its heathenism: the continuance of this was not.

REVELATION, CHAP. XVI. 431

Ion" (in other words, will pour out my vial of wrath upon the seat of this Beast). And (ib. ver. 28) it is said, "Prepare against her the nations with the kings of the" (East, i.e. here the) "Medes, the captains thereof, and all the Rulers thereof.'''' St. John's " Kings of the East,'''' are here plainly identified with those who should destroy Babylon: while (verr. 31, 32) give us the particulars of the eventful night in which Babylon was so taken. " One post" it is said, " shall run to meet another, and one messenger to meet another, to shew the Icing of Babylon that his city is taken at one end, and the passages are stopped, and the reeds they have burned with fire, and the men of war are affrighted.'1'' This Chapter has been already referred to, under other figures (ver. 25, seq. See Rev. viii. 8, above, and ix. 3—11) : which should suggest, that how diversified soever these visions appear to be, their object is the same in all.

We have too in Isaiah much that is allied to this, foretold also of Babylon ; while a far more signal victory of the Church is couched under the terms used: " Behold,'''' says God (Chap. xiii. 17, seq.), " I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it. Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb.... And Babylon .. . shall be" (i. e. eventually) " as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah." The king of Babylon's assumption of Deity, and his fall, as spoken of by Isaiah (chap. xiv. 13, seq.), are also similarly described by Jeremiah (chap. ii. 53). And in each case,—as noticed above,—the fall of Daniel's Deity-assuming persecutor is covertly predicted.

Zechariah again, connects this drying up of the great river and the fall of the Assyrian, with the coming of our Lord, and the spiritual exploits of the Holy Remnant, His Apostles; and so shews us,—just as St. John does—that the fall of temporal Babylon was intended to symbolize that of the mystical one: Babylon being at this time the metropolis of Assyria. If we begin at Chap. ix. 9, we shall the better see the ultimate object of the Prophet: " Rejoice greatly,"" are his words, " O daughter of Zion...behold, thy King cometh unto thee" (comp. Matth. xxi. 5, &c.) See also ib. verr. 13—17, and Chap. x. 4, seq. In ver. 10 we have,

432 EEVELATION, CHAP. XVI.

" I will bring them again" (as) " out of the land of Egypt, and gather them'''' (as) " out of Assyria" (i. e. here, the Elect, or Remnant); " and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and place shall not be found for them" (i.e. because they should be so numerous). It is added, " And he" (i. e. this spiritual Israel) " shall pass through the sea, and shall smite the waves in the sea" (i. e. as Elijah did those of the Jordan, 2 Kings ii. 8), " and all the deeps of the river" (i.e. the Euphrates) "shall dry up: and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the sceptre of Egypt shall depart away." That is, just as the Red Sea was made to afford a path to Israel in the Exodus, and as the Euphrates was dried up to facilitate the taking of Babylon; so should every similar obstruction be removed in that great and notable day of the Lord. And again, as Pharaoh and the Assyrian were vanquished; so also should these their spiritual representatives be, and the true believers be gathered into their spiritual Jerusalem.

Isaiah again (Chap. xi. 15,16), to the same effect: " And the lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with His mighty wind shall He shake His hand over the river" (i. e. the Euphrates), " and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dryshod." He adds, " And there shall be an highway for the remnant of His people, which shall be left from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt." That this context belongs to the coming and universal Rule of Christ, there can be no doubt: and, it should be borne in mind, this deliverance was to be " after the manner of Egypt." (Comp. Chap. xix. 23—25 ; xuii. 14, seq.; Li. 9, seq., with Chap. xi. 11, seq., the first recovery of a Remnant being from Babylon).

It must be evident therefore from these places, that the drying up of the Euphrates to prepare the way for the kings of the East, according to St. John, refers primarily to the fall of Babylon by Cyrus : but secondarily and mystically, to that of mystical Babylon,—i.e. heathen Rome,—which forms the great topic of the Apocalypse. The pouring out of our sixth Vial is therefore, the prelude to this; and was intended to intimate, that this was now about to take full effect. But, before this should be completed, we are led to

REVELATION, CHAP. XVI. 433

consider the last and great effort to be made by the enemies of Zion. For this purpose, spirits of Devils are sent forth to stir up the whole heathen world, and so to combine its forces as to ensure the best prospects of a complete victory. Verses 13, 14, have already been considered (p. 331, seq.). We pass on therefore, to the rest of the context.

The Church is next (ver. 15) admonished of the promise of Christ (Matth. xxiv. 43, &c.), "Behold, I come as a thief" &c. And let it be observed, this coming was to take effect, in the first instance, even during the life time of some then present, as already shewn (pp. 107, seq. above). This did so take effect: still a second coming was also promised, which should desolate the Desolator himself; and this was to deliver the persecuted Saints from the power of the Beast. Circumstanced then as the believers at this time were, the assurance here given could not but have made those blessed, who dwelt upon the prophecies of this Book. Many did, no doubt, so dwell upon them, and hence feared not to hazard their lives to death.

"And" continues St. John, "he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon" (ver. 16). The primary agent to be understood here is the Dragon. " I saw," says St. John (ver. 13), "three unclean spirits...come out of the mouth of the Dragon." (ver. 16), " And he," i. e. " the Dragon gathered them," &c. In Chap. xix. 19, we have the parallel to this in, " / saw the Beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him that sat on the horse" (i.e. Christ), "and against his army" (i.e. the Saints of God. Dan. vii.). The Beast here is, as before, the agent of the Dragon; sitting in his seat, and executing his purposes. Satan is here therefore, the agent primarily meant.

We are now to ascertain what is meant by the term " Armageddon."1"1 There can be no doubt perhaps, that allusion is here made to something to be found in the Old Testament. The word then, is apparently compounded of the Hebrew Har (in) mountain, and either Makkedah, or Megiddo ; some Greek MSS. giving one of these; others, the other. It is perhaps of little moment which
we take, as the event had in view in either case, might

434 REVELATION, CHAP. XVI.

very properly be adverted to. If we take the latter, Judges v. 19, seq., will supply us with a victory in every respect suitable to the requirements of this place. " The Kings came," it is said, " and fought; then fought the kings of Canaan in Taanach by the waters of Megiddo....They fought from heaven ; the stars in their courses fought against Sisera." (Comp. Rev. viii. 7; xi. 19; xvi. 21.) We then have the victory obtained over the tyrant by a woman,— shadowing out perhaps, our " Woman in the wilderness."— "Blessed above women shall Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite be," &c. The conclusion to this beautiful song is, " So let" (shall?) "all thine enemies perish, O Lord,"" &c. which should perhaps be read, " So shall all thine enemies,"" &c. (See my Heb. Gram. Art. 231, 11, and my Examination of the Gram. Princip. of Professor Ewald, p. 89. Seeleys, London. 1847).

We have moreover a prediction of the event had in view here by St. John, with a reference to the very battle now before us in Ps. Lxviii. 12: viz. "Kings of armies," it is said, " did flee, did flee; and she that tarried at home divided the spoil.'1'' And, verse 18, " Thou hast ascended on high, tliou hast led captivity captive' Sec., as referred to our blessed Lord's victory and ascension, by the inspired authority of the New Testament. Deborah too, a mere woman, had the principal command in this notable battle. " It is not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord" (Zech. iv. 6); and so it also was with the Woman in the wilderness, the weakest of beings, and apparently the easiest to be overcome: still, neither could the floods of the ungodly poured after her, nor the collected armies of the heathen, vanquish her.

But, if we have recourse to the other reading, viz. Mak-kedah, we shall find that the place so to be referred to, will not be unsuitable to our context. We are told then, Josh. ix. 1, seq., that all the kings of Canaan, "in the hills

is There is a passage in Zech. xii. 11, which speaks of a great mourning, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon, but this primarily relates perhaps to the death of Josiah. See 2 Chron. xxxv. 24, seq., and Lam. iv. 20, &c., while both refer mystically to the times of Christ.

 REVELATION, CHAP. XVI. 435

and valleys, and in all the coasts of the great sea... gathered themselves together, to fight with Joshua, and with Israel, with one accord." "And" (Chap. x. 10, seq.), it is said, " the lord discomfited them before Israel, and slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon,...and smote them to Azekah, and unto MaJckedah. And," it is added, " the lord cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto AzeTcah, and they died," &c. And, be it observed, this event is alluded to in the context of the Revelation before us : "And" it is said (ver. 21), " there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent,'''1 &c. Whatever be the true reading here therefore, both the places referred to will suit the words of St. John. We have indeed no mention of any particular mountain here ; but, as both these battles took place in the mountainous parts of Canaan, and the hills are mentioned in the latter, the intention of St. John probably was, to bring either one, or both, of these places before us.

We must, I think, pass over verse 17 for the present, because what follows it to the end of the Chapter, appears to belong to the sixth, not to the seventh Vial. The same judgments apparently,—though worded a little differently,— will be found under the sixth trumpet (Chap. ix. 13, seq.), while the seventh there, as well as the seventh Vial here, announces the close of the war, and the victory gained. The armies too of the sixth Trumpet can be no other, as it should seem, than those said under our sixth Vial about to be collected at Armageddon. The thunders, lightnings, with the earthquake such as was not since men were upon the earth, so that the cities of the nations fell, and great Babylon was divided into three parts, and received the cup of the wine of God's wrath, and that every island fled away, as did every mountain, with the destructive falling of hail, just now alluded to, are evidently the judgments of the latter period of Daniel's seventieth week, differing in nothing essential from those of our sixth trumpet. If we turn back to the opening of the sixth Seal, we shall find these very judgments there also recounted, intended, as it should seem, to shew us, that identically the same events are meant (Chap. vi. 12, seq.). "/ beheld," says St. John, "when He had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earth-

436 REVELATION, CHAP. XVI.

quake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig-tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together ; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places," &c., i. e. as remarked in that place and elsewhere, not that any physical passing away, rolling up, or the like, is meant, as to the heavens, mountains, and islands; but that old things, in a moral and religious sense, should now so pass away that all things should become new, not unlike even to a new creation, in this higher and better sense.

In like manner, when we are told (ver. 19) that "the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell" we are not perhaps to understand, that all this was literally to take place. The division, in the first instance, might have been intended to imply, that even a portion of those consigned to destruction, repented and were saved: and the fall, in the second, was, as Gentiles and enemies to God's revealed truth, so as to be no more found. Nor again, are we here to imagine that any such hail should fall as was witnessed at Makkedah, and probably at Megiddo. The system under which these took place, consisted of much that was tangible and earthly ; and, as such, it shadowed out something of another sort, which should be not less certain and effectual. What these things were, we shall see presently.

We may now return to verse 17. And there we are told, that, upon the seventh Vial being poured out, " there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, it is done?." That is, as at the sounding of the seventh trumpet, the battle has been fought, the victory obtained. The Woman, formerly compelled to take refuge in the wilderness, has prevailed: the Enemy's head has been effectually bruised, even " the heads over many countries18." The promises made to the Fathers have been fulfilled. Abraham has, in his seed, become the heir and possessor of the world; the heritage of the Gentiles is now his: and this is an everlasting one, and one that shall be given to no other

18 See Chap. x. 7, above. 18 See on Chap. xiii. 3, above.


REVELATION, CHAP. XVII. 437

people19. It remains now therefore, that we consider the judgment executed on the vanquished.

"And there came," continues St. John (chap. xvii. 1), " one of the seven Angels which had the seven vials... saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters.''''..." So he carried me...into the wilderness" (i.e. into which Zion had fled for refuge) : " and I saw a woman sitn (as if enthroned there) " upon a scarlet-coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.'1'' That this Beast is Daniel's blaspheming Little Horn, there can be no doubt (see Rev. xiii. 1, with the notes). In Daniel this beast was to make war with the Saints of the Most High, and for a season to prevail. Here we find the Woman (his Agent) riding on this beast, and " drunken with the blood of the Saints, and with the blood of the Martyrs of Jesus20.'1'' "And upon her forehead," it is added, "was a

19 Dan. ii. 44.

20 Now, if this persecuting power be the Little Horn of Daniel, heathen Rome must of necessity be meant, and the Martyrs before us, those of Jesus, who fell in the general persecutions by that Power. We have shewn that this Little Horn is that Power. These Martyrs therefore, must be those who suffered under it. Various objections have however, been made to this by Gibbon and others. One, that these must have been few in number (on which Dodwell has written a dissertation), and much fewer than have fallen under the persecutions of Popery. I answer : It is in the power of none to affirm with certainty, that these were few. Very scanty accounts indeed of these martyrdoms have come down to us; but it will not hence follow that they were few. Eusebius,—whose large work on this subject is unfortunately lost,—speaks of them as being innumerable (Eccl. Hist. Lib. ix.): and to this their duration, and the immensity of space in which they occurred, affords good testimony. But, if we allow that they were fewer than those, which have signalized the anti-christianism of Popery; how can this affect our question? The Prophet Daniel tells us that some of the saints should be given into his hand for a certain period (Chap. xi. 35); in another place, that he should cast down some of the stars to the ground, and stamp upon them (Chap. viii. 7). But by stars would seem to be meant, the most eminent of these saints. To the same effect says our blessed Lord; " Some of you shall they cause to be put to death" (Luke xxi. 16), which would seem to imply, some of those who sustained the office of teachers (see p. 220, above). And, if we look over the accounts of these martyrs as given by Eusebius, &c. we shall find, that generally they were so. The nature of the case too is such, as to make this probable. Those termed ringleaders, in anything obnoxious to every sort of government, are always those who suifer first. There is nothing therefore in these objections deserving of the least credit: they rather serve to point out a want of consideration in those who make them. The persecutions of Popery may indeed, be taken as a good exemplification of the spirit, and no doubt of the extent, of these more early ones.

 

438 REVELATION, CHAP. XVII.

name written, mystery, babylon the great, the" (mystical)

" MOTHER OP HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH."

We have here therefore personified, a mystical Babylon, following up the character of the literal one. For it was in the plains of Shinaar (Gen. xi. 2, seq.), that idolatry originated. Literal Babylon was its real mother. Actuated therefore, by the spiritual head of this, viz. the Dragon, that old Ser-_ pent the Devil, she had continued to persecute God's people, first under the Theocracy, and then, in her mystical character, she kept this up even in a most extraordinary manner against the followers of the Lamb, in the agency of Babylon's successor, heathen Rome. Let us now see how this further appears.

" And the angel said unto me" continues St. John (ver. 7), "/ will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns. Here is the mind," says the angel, " which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth'1'' (see p. 385, above). "And there are," adds the angel (ver. 10), "seven kings; five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come ; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space." By "seven Kings," appears to be implied, the whole series of Rule constituting this Power, just as it is by the ten horns, and the Little Horn that sprang up after and among these (in Daniel, chap. vii. 7, 8, 20, 21, 24, &c.) : and again, by the legs of iron, and feet and toes of iron mixed with miry clay (Chap. ii. 33—36, 40—46). By the number "seven" too, as we have seen, a full and complete number, period, or series, may be well expressed, as it also may by seventy.

John continues, " Five are fallen," i. e. at this period of the vision, and within the lifetime of St. John, the series

REVELATION, CHAP. XVII. 439

of this Rule had now run out to this extent. This then is what St. John means when he says, " And one is:" that is, is now existing; not necessarily some one Emperor, but some aliquot part of the series, which may thus be termed one. But if we are to take some one Emperor, then that one, who St. Paul says should be taken out of the way before his "Man of sin" should appear, would seem to be meant (see p. 210, above). Besides, the seventh, signalized by being made the eighth, must be the last, i. e. the same with the Little Horn of Daniel, which is, in like manner, made the eleventh to the preceding ten. But more on this presently. And, if this may be relied upon, John must necessarily be speaking of a period prior to that of Domitian : because, during this Emperor's rule, the persecutions commenced; the Man of sin had actually now appeared in him.

The Angel continues (ib.), " And when he cometh, he must continue a short space." Much the same is said above (Chap. xii. 12) of the Dragon, the principal in this work of persecution: viz. " Because he knoweth that he hath but a short time." In this same Chapter too, this Principal in the persecutions is also said to have " seven heads, and ten horns" (ver. 3) : and (ib. ver. 6) that 1260 days should measure the period of the persecution to be suffered by our Zion in the wilderness: which again (ver. 14), is said to be "for a time, and times, and half a time:'''' identifying thus both the period and its events, with those predicted by Daniel's Little Horn (chap. vii. 25; xii. 7), as already noticed. We have moreover this period with its events, given (Rev. xi. 7, seq.) in these terms : viz. " And when they," i. e. God's witnesses, " shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them...and" (ver. 9) "they of the people...and nations shall see their dead bodies" (i. e. supposed to be dead) " three days and an half." It is added, " And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet," &c. Then comes the "great earthquake" (ver. 13), which we have just been noticing, under which it is here said, " the tenth part" (but above, " the third,") "part of the city fell." It is added, " and the remnant"" (i. e. of this number) " were affrighted, and gave glory to God:" i. e. as before, all did

440 REVELATION, CHAP. XVII.

not perish, because they now saw that to turn to God was their only means of safety. There can be no doubt here therefore, that this ascending Beast is the same with the Principal of Daniel's Little Horn : nor can there, that the periods just noticed, and so variously described, must be one and the same, and this the last portion of Daniel's seventieth week: nor further, that all should take place soon after the whole of this was committed to writing by St. John; i. e. in his own words, "which should shortly come to pass" (Chap. i. 1, 3, 19, &c. See the notes there). We have this seventh king therefore and the last of the series, that which should make war upon the Saints, and finally close this impious series of rule.

In verse 8 (i. e. Chap, xvii.), we are also told, that this beast "shall ascend " (i. e. future to the time of John's receiving this) " out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition'1'' (i. e. at the close of the period termed the end). It is also said here, that he is " the beast that was, and is not, and yet is:" which seems at first sight to be very obscure: the meaning of which however evidently is, " the beast which was, but remains not21, nevertheless he now is;" i. e. at this period of the vision; still he continues not, but goes eventually into perdition. I conceive this to be the meaning lying under this obscure and highly mystical relation.

The Angel adds (ver. 11), "And the beast that was, and is not" (i. e. but continues not), " even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth" (ultimately) " into perdition." This beast therefore, which is one of the seven, in our whole series above, is now counted as the eighth. The reason is probably this, because he acts here the most prominent part; is indeed the evil hero of the whole, and therefore is entitled to particular consideration. Quite of a piece with this is the place in Daniel (Chap. vii. 7, seq.), where we are told that the fourth beast, the last and most dreadful, had ten horns : i. e. as in the ten toes of the first vision, symbolizing the series,—in round numbers,—of a certain Rule, or Dynasty, so did the ten horns of Daniel vii. 7 (see p. 152, seq. above) : while the part of the Roman rule so symbolized, was identical with that, implied by the legs of iron in the

21 The verb often signifies, remain.

REVELATION, CHAP. XVII. 441

first. But, while the Prophet was viewing these ten horns, another, and Little Horn, grew up among, and after them; and to this the performance of the marvellous events foretold were assigned. The Rule therefore, that had at first been generally embodied in these ten horns, was now laid particularly upon this eleventh, and little one. And again, in order to make him a fit successor to the universal Rulers who had preceded him, he is made to increase towards the East, the South, and the Pleasant land; and thus to become possessed of the Rule of the three situated in these parts, and who were accordingly to fall before him (see p. 157, seq. above). So also here (Rev. xvii. 11), this Power generally viewed at first as one of the whole series of seven, is now singled out for particular notice to the reader. The beast therefore now before us, and about to go into perdition, is of necessity the same with that of Daniel just mentioned, and which was in like manner to perish. The same is the case too, with the feet and toes of miry clay, in Daniel's first vision : and here again, we shall presently find another coincidence, sufficient to dispel all possible doubt on this subject.

The Angel proceeds, " The ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive'1'' (i. e. shall receive) "power as kings one hour with the beast." We have seen, under Daniel's first vision, that the toes of the image are indirectly styled kings (Chap. i. 42, 44). These must therefore be ten. The Beast here, which carries the mystical Babylon, has likewise ten horns, and these are explained by the Angel as symbolizing ten kings, each of which is to receive as a king, power for a certain season,—here termed an hour23,—with the beast: i. e. as his Ministers or Agents. Now here, as just noticed, by these ten kings appears to be signified,—in round numbers,—the whole series of this persecuting Rule, for these reasons: viz. I. They had received no kingdom as yet, i. e. at the time when John was honoured with this vision: i. e. as already observed24, before Domitian was in power: but were,—as constituting St. Paul's Man of sin,—shortly to appear. II,

22 On the use of this term, see p. 332, above.

23 See p. 236, &c., above.

24 p. 439.

442 REVELATION, CHAP. XVII.

If they were to receive power with the beast, each for a certain season, then could not the whole of this reach beyond the period determined for his fall: i. e. the close of Daniel's seventieth week. And again, as each of these was so to have his hour with the beast, they must of necessity succeed one another in time, so that the last should fall with the beast himself. And III. If these ten horns, or kings, were so to succeed Daniel's ten horns, for they occupy the place of the eleventh, or Little Horn, then must they symbolize the rule, and mark the period, of this eleventh Little Horn : and accordingly, they must fall with the beast, as before. And, for the same reason, they must synchronize with the ten toes, or kings, of Daniel's first vision, and must also perish from the stroke of the stone which destroyed them. We have therefore, in every case here, the same Power, events, and times, before us.

It may nevertheless be supposed, that this number is to be literally understood, for in some parts of this angelic explanation, the literal sense is evidently intended; and, if so, then the ten persecutions, or ten persecuting Emperors, may have been meant. But, as I doubt whether such an exact number of Persecutors can be shewn to have acted on these occasions, I have preferred taking the analogy of the parallel Scriptures.

"These," the Angel continues, " have one mind" (i. e. as actuated by the Dragon), " and shall give their power and strength to the beast. These," he adds, "shall make war with the Lamb." And again (ver. 16), " These shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire." I. e. they shall,—whatever they may think,—really act the part of those who hate her, and be the cause, under the controlling power of the Lamb, of her utter destruction25. "For God," it is added, " hath

25 Of this sort are the places, "/ came not to send peace on earth, . . . but a sword," &c. Matt. x. 34: i. e. not that I am the cause of this; the true cause is, the sin of the world : so here, these shall be the cause of the result mentioned. The principle of which is admirably expressed by our Poet, " teach bloody instructions, which being taught, return to plague the inventor."—Glassius, Logioa Sacra, will supply examples (p. 2105. Edit. 1743).

REVELATION, CHAP. XVII. 443

put in their hearts to fulfil His will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled." I. e. until the time of the end, when the victory over them shall be won (see on Chap. x. 7; xi. 14, &c. above).

In Dan. vii. 21, "The same" (i.e. little) "horn made war with the Saints.'''' What therefore this Little Horn does there, the ten horns of the beast do here, i. e. " these make war with the Lamb." The same power and events must therefore, be meant in each place. Again (Dan. ib. 25), " They," i. e. the Saints, " shall be given into his hand until a time.",.." But the judgment shall sit... to consume and to destroy it" (i. e. his dominion) " unto the end." Here, "And the Lamb shall overcome them." In Daniel again (ib. ver. 28), " Hitherto is the end of the matter i" i. e. when the kingdom is given to the Son of Man. Here (Rev. ib. 17), " Until the words of God shall be fulfilled :" i. e. shall have come to their destined end. So also (Dan. xii. 7), " When He shall have accomplished to scatter'1'' (i. e. to spread abroad, as shewn above, p. 345) " the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished." In the same sense also (Chap, xvi. 17), " it is done." And again (Chap. x. 6, 7), -"There shall" (now) " be time no longer; but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel" (corresponding to our seventh vial)... " the mystery of God shall be finished, as He hath declared to His servants the prophets."

The Angel next tells us, in no mystical terms, what Power it was that this woman, sitting on the beast, symbolized. His words are, " The woman which thou sawest is that great city which" (now, i.e. at this time) "reignetli over the kings of the earth." The same universal dominion is implied (ver. 15), where it is said, "The waters, which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues." That Rome as it stood in the days of St. John is had in view here, it is impossible to doubt: the thing is said too plainly either to be misunderstood, or evaded.

Having then, so far seen the purposes of God respecting His Church revealed, by means of the three great Visions of the Seals, Trumpets, and Vials, implying, as it should

444 REVELATION, CHAP. XVII

seem, in due order, the laying open to the Church of the power to be put forth in its defence ; the proclaiming of this to the nations; and the fury to be poured out upon the gain-sayers; we are now to contemplate more particularly, I. The judgments to be executed upon the enemy, both as to his literal and mystical kingdom: then, II. The victory of the Lamb and His people. We then, III. Have a short recapitulation of the whole; and lastly, an exhibition of the Church established under the New Covenant, in the plenitude of its purity, glory, and power.

Chapter VI.

ON THE CLOSE OF THE WHOLE.

sect. I.—On the Judgments inflicted on the Great Whore.

"I SAW," says St. John (xviii. 1, seq.), " another angel come down from heaven... and he cried mightily ...saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird." The great work is therefore here exhibited as "done" (comp. Chap. xvii. 17): and the object of these declarations appears to be, as in other instances, to direct the reader to the predictions given of this event by the Prophets.

In Isaiah then, xiii. 4, seq., we are told, that " the lord of hosts mustereth the host of the battle. Behold" it is added (ver. 9), "the day of the Lord cometh." (ver. 10) " The stars of heaven, and the constellations thereof, shall not give their light1: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And 1 will punish the world " (universe) "for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity : and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease...I will make a man" (liable to death, i.e. the man Christ Jesus) " more precious than fine gold, even a man" (DIN, mean man, though he seem) " than the golden wedge of Ophir."

The contrast here consists in causing " the arrogancy of the proud to cease," &c., and in making most precious One, who to men would seem vile, and of no repute. The Prophet goes on (ver. 19, seq.), "And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees1 excellency', shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall never be inhabited...But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures" &c. Again (Chap. xiv. 3, seq.), " In the day that the lord shall give thee" (i. e. the true Zion)

1 Comp. Matt. xxir. 29, and its parallels.

446 REVELATION, CHAP. XVIII

" rest from thy sorrow,...thou shalt take up this proverb against the Icing of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!" (Rev. xvii. 4.) " Decked with gold and precious stones,...having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations." Again, Jer. li. 7, " Babylon hath been a golden cup in the lord's hand, that made all the earth drunken" &c.). So again (Isai. xiv. 23, seq.), " / will make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water; and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the Lord of hosts." And (ib. ver. 26) to shew that Babylon alone, as a city, is not intended here, it is added, "This" (as ib. xxxiv.) "is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth : and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations."

It would be endless to adduce all the places of Holy Writ which bear upon this subject: many have already been given, and some will be hereafter. It will suffice to say here, that all quoted above on the fall of the Antichrist, or enouncing the victories of the true Church, bear indirectly, at least, on this subject: as also does every one of the instances in which it has been predicted that Edom, Moab, Ammon, Philistia, Tyre, Zidon, Damascus, Assyria, Nineveh, Gog, Magog, and the like, should fall. These were all, in one way or other, enemies to the Church of God in Jewry: as such they were judged and punished literally by the Almighty : and then, their enmity and their fall are urged as examples,—perhaps rather as vouchers,—of the fall, in a mystical or spiritual sense, of the judgments of those, who should in after times, so conspire for the destruction of the Empire of the Son of Man.

We should bear in mind, that it is not so much the fall of a temporal Babylon, Egypt, Moab, Edom, or the like, that is here had in view, although this literally took place, as it is of a mystical one ; in other words, of the power of Satan as opposed to that of God. It has already been remarked, that the Bible has for its great object, the teaching and furtherance of true religion; not merely the work of creation in a philosophical sense, the history of the world, nor the once national distinction of the Jews (see pp. 1C)—15, 16, 17, &c. above): nor again, was the system of Moses set up, because it was the best that could be devised, but because it was the best for those times, and for the purpose of creating

REVELATION, CHAP. XVIII. 447

an irrefragable system of evidence as to the truth of Revelation, and of shadowing out a better dispensation ; and, at the same time, of affording the best means for understanding this. Hence, the numerous shadowy allusions in its sacrifices, Sic. termed types, and in many other things that took place under it. Hence too, its very language assumed an allusive turn, and abounded in figures; and accordingly, while speaking of one thing, it often meant another, of another or spiritual nature: which is not however, the same thing as a double, triple, &c. interpretation of prophecy: by which is meant, that some event predicted will receive a partial fulfilment more than once, and ultimately the complete one. Thus it is foretold by some of the Prophets, that Babylon should fall. Babylon literally fell accordingly. But, under this, as under the sacrificial types, Sic. something else was intended to be understood; and here only,—not as in this literal fall,—something bearing wholly and exclusively on the religious provision made for the salvation of all men ; i. e. the establishment of the universal and everlasting Covenant made with Abraham. Nor was the literal fall of Babylon, or of the other states similarly denounced, limited to time generally. Babylon did not so fall when taken by Cyrus; it stood for many ages after. The same may be said of Egypt, &c., although this taking of Babylon, &c., was made thus to foretell the fall of a mystical Babylon, and which was strictly limited in time.

To proceed: it is said (ver. 2), " Babylon the Great is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit,'1'' &c. Which, when applied to the mystical Babylon, i. e. heathen Rome, must be understood as implying, that all within this Babylon, i. e. not within the kingdom, or Church, of the Son of Man, are circumstanced just as the foul spirits, &c. are said to be here.

Again (ver. 3), "All nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication,'''' &c. must mean, that because the nations have partaken in the mystical abominations of this Babylon, therefore has the wrath of God been poured out upon them, and brought about their fall also. Again (ver. 4), " Come out of her my people" does not merely mean, depart from her locality,—as it was the case in the fall of Jerusalem, the spiritual Sodom and Egypt of the Apocalypse;

448 REVELATION, CHAP. XVIII. 

—but from her Satanic services, and those synagogues of Satan, for which she was so remarkable, and was now accordingly, "the cage of every unclean bird." Again (ver. 6), "He-ward her even as she rewarded you," &c. (see Ps. cxxxvii. 8, 9). Not, take a similar vengeance on her; "for vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, I will repay;" but declare and pronounce this to her, and concerning her2: thus heap coals of fire on her head, not to consume her, but " to purge away her dross,'" and " to take away all her tin;" and thus demolishing her strongholds of sin, let your spiritual victory be as complete as was that of Cyrus.

In verse 20, again, " Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets: for God hath avenged you on her. And"" (ver. 24) " in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth." But this could not be said either of temporal Babylon, Rome, Edom, or any other place; while it may with truth of the mystical Babylon, or mother of harlots, and of every abomination. It was this, under the guidance and headship of that old Serpent the Devil, that had shed the blood of Prophets and of saints, and of all that had been slain upon the earth : and, upon her it was, that God had now taken vengeance. The kingdom being now moreover given to the Son of Man, all people, nations, and languages, were to serve Him; and this even to the end of time: the victory now obtained, the vengeance taken, and the deliverance of the saints achieved, shall for ever, and in like manner," be effected again, and again, for every such real saint, even until another and higher state of being shall make this unnecessary. And in this way, as it appears to me, is every other particular in this chapter to be understood. It is the spirit of prophecy with which we have now to do; the service of the letter alone we may safely leave to those, who can rely on rites and ceremonies,—Jews, spiritual Babylonians, Romanists, Romanizers, and the like,— who have no relish for either part or lot in the better portion. And, in like manner, it is the spirit of revealed religion alone, which is here the one thing needful, both for interpretation and realization.

When again it is said (ver. 23), that " the light of a can-

2 See my Letter to Dr. Pusey on the Keys, pp. 11, 57, seq.

REVELATION, CHAP. XVIII. 449

die shall shine no more at all in thee:" and (Chap. xix. 3) that " her smoke rose up for ever and ever:" we are not to suppose, in the first case, that heathenism should now be so effectually put out, as never to exhibit anything like light; nor, in the second, that any thing like smoke should ascend, or that any actual burning should go on. All that appears to be meant is, no more should Satan,—as he had hitherto done,—deceive the world with a false light, and an assumed power of Deity : the means had now been afforded whereby all should have it in their power, both to detect and cast away the false, and to obtain that which is true. And, as to her smoke for ever ascending3, nothing more seems to be meant than that, as a complete overthrow of the system of spiritual wickedness had now been effected, so should this victory for ever supply the means of wholly annihilating every effort on her part to rise, and again to usurp the power which she hitherto had done.

Sect. II.—On the Celebration of the Victory won.

the victory being now complete, and the opposing Babylon for ever ruined, we have to contemplate, from verse 1 to verse 11, the hymn of victory as sung by the saints. This is the third time that this victory has been brought before us, and in each case with a hymn addressed to its Author: viz. I. Chap. vii. 12—17, inclus.; II. xi. 15—18 ; and III. here. And it is obvious, that, as the subject-matter is the same in each case, so must the victory in each be identical. Let us consider a few of the particulars.

In the first of these places then (Chap. vii. 12, seq.),

3 Allusion is evidently made here to Isaiah's fall of Edom (Ch. xxxiv. 10), and there, although an utter overthrow is still visible on the face of that country, yet we have none of the pitch, brimstone, and fire, mentioned by the prophet, nor has the rolling together of the heavens as a scroll, ever taken place. The truth is, as already remarked, Isaiah had ultimately in his eye the fall of a mystical Idumea, or Babylon, just as John has here, although the temporal fall of this place was his primary object. And in this sense, the denunciation is pennanent: sin and sinners being its object; and hence it will extend, even to the judgment of the unknown world. Prophecy, even when particular, and is thus mystically applied, becomes doctrine, and admits of everlasting application.

 

150 REVELATION, CHAP. XIX.

we have a company of an indefinite number out of each of the tribes of Israel, i. e. of the holy Remnant, joined with " a great multitude of all nations, kindreds, and people;" these stand before the throne, and offer up their song of praise. And, that this is meant of the Church on earth, not of the spirits in heaven, appears evident from what follows (ver. 15, seq.), " He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more...For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.'" Things which could be said with no propriety,—and indeed never are said,—of the spirits in heaven, as shewn on this place above. It is true indeed, John sees his vision in heaven (or rather in the clouds of heaven, see p. 237) ; but then, it will by no means follow, that all he relates must have actually taken place at all, much less in the heavens of spirits, as already remarked on Chap. xii. p. 367, seq. above, &c.

Our next place is Chap. xi. 15—18, inclusive. Here then, the great theme of the Song is, " The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ: and He shall reign for ever and ever. We give thee thanks, 0 Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned." The reign here must necessarily be that of the Son of Man, as foretold in Daniel, and noted above. The power put forth here therefore, and the rule so acquired, could be no effort of this sort so made, or of victory, obtained in the heaven of spirits: this would be to suppose a most strange thing. The following context makes all clear, viz. ''The nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the'1'' (spiritually) "dead that they should be judged...and that thou...shouldest destroy them" (i.e. on earth) "that destroy the earth." The time come here, is not therefore the final day of judgment; it is that of the judgment of the great whore, (Dan. ix. 27), in which " the consummation, and that determined should be poured upon the Desolator:" here, on " them which destroy the earth," which is virtually the same thing.

This could therefore, be no victory obtained over rebellious angels above: it was that obtained over the great red Dragon on earth, together with his ministers, whether spirits

REVELATION, CHAP. XIX. 451

or men. And here as before, although the judgment spoken of is primarily that of the great whore, it is ultimately a voucher and a picture of the final one; and that, which the preaching of the Word has ever in view, as the wages of sin. And, if it be said here, that " there were great voices in heaven ;" still, as the Church is often meant by this term, and is below termed a new heaven; and further, although it may be allowed that even the angels joined in this song, the probability is, that the Church is in the main meant.

In our third hymn (xix. ver. 3, seq.), " Alleluia, praise ye the Lord" forms its perpetual chorus. " A voice," it is said, " came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great." This must be the voice of one of God's ministers, whether angelic or otherwise: and it is addressed, not to the inhabitants of heaven, but of the earth. It could hardly be said of the glorified spirits, all "ye that fear Him both small and great:" because, by "ye that fear Him" should seem to imply, that the persons so addressed were situated among others who did not fear Him; while the distinction of small and great, could scarcely have been made with reference to glorified spirits. And again when it is said, " / heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth:" we have the best reason for believing, that congregated multitudes of the Church are meant, rather than those of the heavenly hosts. The expression " many waters," means generally, as we have seen, peoples, nations, and languages; which could hardly therefore, have been used with reference to the heavenly hosts. The same is the case in our first song (vii. 12, seq.).

The terms again, "the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth" identify the subject of this song with that of our second: and consequently, the reign of the Son of Man is that of the Lord God Omnipotent. Again here, " Salvation...unto the Lord our God.. .for He hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth" &c.; in our second song is, " the time is come that they should be judged. ..and that thou shouldest destroy them that destroy the earth" The subject-matter is therefore the same, in each of these songs; it is that which glorifies the power and grace of Christ, in His having now subdued the

452 EEVELATION, CHAP. XIX.

great enemy of souls, and in His offering salvation full and free to every lost child of Adam. It is, I say, that one great victory achieved once for all in the fulness of time, according to, and exactly corresponding in all its parts with, the promises made to the Fathers. This song too, like every other in this Book, is perfectly of a piece with all those of the sweet Psalmist of Israel; and is therefore, properly the song of the redeemed Church below, and of every truly converted individual within it.

Sect. III.—On the Results of this Victory.

we have next (ver. 7), the marriage of the Lamb with His spouse the Church. "Let us be glad" (i. e. we who receive the benefit of this, and are hence made a spiritual seed), " and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready:" which will bring to mind David's XLVth Psalm.

It is to be observed here, that we have,—as in the Apocalypse,—first the warfare to be sustained ; then the victory ; then the throne for ever established; and lastly, the marriage of the Conqueror (ver. 9, seq.). " Kings' daughters" it is now said, "were among thy honourable" (lit. precious) " women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir :" i. e. the person chosen out of these to be so. That this was to be considered as a king's daughter, is evident from what follows: viz. " The hinges daughter is all glorious within'1'1 (i. e. in the inner part of the Palace) : " her clothing is of wrought gold," i. e. "Ophir." " She shall be brought unto the king...the virgins her companions...shall be brought unto thee" It is added (ver. 16), ''Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth" i.e. as nursing fathers of thy spiritual family.

As we are here placed under the New Covenant, which gives to the children of Zion the whole earth as their Canaan, the system is represented as entirely new, as it elsewhere is by a new creation: and hence it is, that a new marriage is made to take place : not indeed that the elder one is thereby annulled. Under that, Canaan alone was peopled: under this, the whole earth is; and, from this union, it is now to receive its princes. By " the virgins," is perhaps meant the

REVELATION, CHAP. XIX. 453

converts out of all nations, for these are called virgins (Chap, xiv. 4): who, being brought to the King as attendants on the Queen, are adopted into the family, and thence considered as the seed or generation which should be counted to the Lord (Ps. xxii. 27—31, &c.)- The " Daughter of Tyre," too,—formerly denounced,—is now here with a gift; even as the rich among the people (i. e. nations generally. Comp. Ps. Lxviii. 29, seq.), where we likewise have these glories preceded by a warfare, and followed by a victory.

We have moreover, in Ps. Lxxxvii., some obscurities, which the foregoing will tend to elucidate. " His foundation,'1'' it is said, " is in the holy mountains.'1'' Its foundations, i. e. of the Lord's house (see Isai. ii. 2) are on the mountains of holiness, i. e. wherever this holiness may be found. It is added, " The Lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.'1'' That is, It is His Zion that is his peculiar treasure : not Jacob, nor his dwellings, in any other sense. Let this be carefully borne in mind. The system is spiritual in its essentials, while in its accidents it is but too often made carnal.

The next verse (3) makes this, which has its foundations so placed, a City, and this the City of God; of which more presently. We next have Rahab (Egypt), Babylon, Philistia, Tyre, and Ethiopia, among those who now know God. " And of Zion" (read Even of Zion, i. e. as now established in these several places) " it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and" (read for) " the Highest Himself shall establish her:" i. e. His spiritual Zion on the holy mountains, so as never to be moved. " The Lord,'1'' continues the Psalmist (ver. 6), "shall count" (rather "recount,'1'' i.e. narrate as it were severally), " when He writeth up" (i. e. registereth, i.e. in the book of life) "that this man" (i.e. each one so registered) " was born there," i. e. received a new birth in the Zion so founded, established, and extending, throughout the world, by virtue of the marriage now brought before us.

This again, will bring us to the doctrine of St. Paul on this head (Eph. v. 23, seq.), " The husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the Head of the Church: and He is the Saviour of the body:" i. e. of this great Body. " Therefore as the Church is subject unto Christ, so let wives be to their own

454 REVELATION, CHAP. XIX.

husbands....Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it."..." That He might present it to Himself a, glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should le holy and without blemish. This is a great mystery; but I speak concerning Christ and His Church.'''' That is, I place you believers in that state of union with Christ, which Holy Scripture does in constituting you, under this mystery, His very members, flesh, and bones. See therefore that you live accordingly. Of this again, the whole Song of Solomon is a mysterious, varied, and most lovely, display.

If we now turn to Matth. xxii. 2, seq., we shall have our Lord's application of this to Himself, and to those who should be His followers, coupled with the fall of the Jews, and calling in of the Gentiles. " The kingdom of heaven" says he, " is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for Ms son, and sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come."..." And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them." Thus did the Jews: they not only refused to come, but they put those to death who invited them, whether they were Prophets or Apostles. Their fate is denounced in these words, "But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth ; and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city."—Which accordingly took place.

"The wedding is ready" continues the king, "but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out... and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good; and the wedding was furnished with guests." It is remarkable here, that all, both bad and good, are at once invited and brought in to the banquet. But are all equally welcome there ? Let us see.

It is added, " When the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding-garment: and he saith unto him, Friend, how earnest thou in hither not having a wedding-garment ? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot... and cast him into outer darkness." This might seem harsh treatment: but the truth is, it was fully merited. In all such cases in the East,

REVELATION, CHAP. XIX. 455

the garment to be worn at the feast, is given by the host to each as he enters the house. To refuse to accept and wear this, is therefore an insult to him who had provided it: and justly is the intruder, in such case, cast out, and treated with the punishment due to insulted dignity.

The Apocalypse, in accordance with this, proceeds: "And to her," it is said (ver. 8), " was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white:" in other words, fine linen clean and white, was given to her, in order that she might appear without spot or blemish before her Lord. (Eph. v. 25), " Christ loved the Church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word." These are the means; blamelessness before God is the end. It is added by St. John, '[For the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.'1'' So again (Rev. iii. 18), "/ counsel thee to buy of me...white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear," alluding to Gen. iii. 21, where it is said, " The lord God made coats of skins, and covered them'1'' (comp. Rev. vii. 13, seq.; xvi. 15); thus mystically intimating at once their natural nakedness, and the means whereby this should be done away.

To refuse the wedding-garment was therefore, to refuse the great means of acceptance offered by the host. In the Church, righteousness is that of Christ. It is obtained by putting Him on by faith, as a garment: and this is there offered to all without money, and without price: and it is accounted to all by faith (see Rom. iv. 3, 5, seq.). " To her was granted" &c. is said of the Church of Christ in the aggregate, and thence to every member in particular. Well then, may this holy family sing, " Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him:" because He has graciously united us to Himself, made us the mystical members of His own body, by the victories he has now won, and within the kingdom which He has so established. This then, as before, must all belong to the Church on earth ; not to the glorified spirits in heaven.

"Blessed are they" continues John, "which are called" (i. e. have obediently accepted the call) " unto the marriage-supper of the Lamb." Blessed indeed who have thus been received, adopted, justified, and sanctified, through the wash-

456 REVELATION, CHAP. XIX.

ing of water by the word, and the renewal of the Holy Ghost; made sons of God, and placed on the path that leadeth to life eternal. " These" it is added, "are the true sayings of God:" i. e. these contain all His provisions, made to effect all His purposes. Theirs it is (ver. 10) to lay open "the testimony of Jesus" and "is the spirit,'1'1 soul, and substance, "of" all "prophecy4."—John now offers worship to his informant who refuses to accept it, saying, " / am thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus :" that is, in whom the Spirit, the Water, and the Blood, agree (1 John v. 8). Again (ib. 6), "It is the Spirit that leareth witness,'1'' i. e. giveth this testimony. And (ib. 10), " He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness'''' (testimony) " in himself." This is the blessedness which such enjoy : all has resulted from the free and unmerited grace of God; of themselves they are nothing : and hence, however exalted in any respect whatsoever, they cannot receive worship one of another. The same is true of the highest Archangel. To suppose the contrary, is to exalt the creature at the expense of the Creator, and plainly to evince the spirit of Antichrist. The victory is therefore, now complete; the song of praise has been sung, the banquet spread and enjoyed : and we have now to consider a short recapitulation. I. Of this warfare of the Son of Man, in order, as it should seem, to give it the greater prominence in our estimation. Then II. The fall of the enemy; and lastly, The positive establishment of the Church, and in this, the everlasting glories conferred

4 To the same effect our blessed Lord (Luke xxiv. 27, seq.), " And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself." The consequence of which was, " They said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us while He.. . opened to us the Scriptures?" Again (ib. ver. 44.) " These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which are written in the Law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning me." " The words," here alluded to are probably the following (Oh. xxi. 22), " These be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled," And the testimony which all these bear is, to Christ. And again (ib. xxii. 37), "The things concerning me have an end:" i.e. a destined accomplishment: and these were the days in which this was to come to pass.

 REVELATION, CHAP. XIX. 457

upon believers, in the universal establishment of the Covenant of Grace.

Sect. IV.—Presenting a short Recapitulation of the Warfare and Victory.

Another Chapter ought to have begun here (ver. 11). Nothing can indeed exceed the carelessness with which these divisions have been made. Let readers bear this in mind, and attend the more particularly to the context. John begins, as is usual with him on the commencement of a new vision, and as already noted: " / saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness doth He judge and make war" From what is further said of Him here (to ver. 14), it is evident that our blessed Lord is meant; and that this is very little more than a repetition of what we have seen, upon the opening of the first Seal (Chap. vi. 2). The thing intended is therefore, in the main the same, as is also that given under different figures in the other two visions: all the woes inflicted in these were evidences of the wrath of the Son of Man, as intended to effect the subjugation of His enemies. " In righteousness doth He judge and make war,"1"1 &c. (ib.) Comp. Isai. xi. 4, seq., which is probably the place had in view by St. John. Also Chap. iii. 14.

" His eyes were as a flame of fire" (ver. 12). See Chap, i. 14, and the notes on it. " He had a name written, that no man" (formerly) "knew but himself.'1'' See Chap. ii. 17; iii. 12. Allusion is here apparently made to Gen. xxxii. 29, and Judg. xiii. 18. In the first it is said, "Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name ?" In the second, " Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret1" ?" The Person who wrestled with Jacob, could have been none less than Christ; for he wrestled with God, and was thence named Israel', Prince of God. In Judges (just cited)

5 Lit. Wonderful, an adjective, formed, apparently from Is. ix. 6. The Masorets however tell us, that the N is redundant, "which I am disposed to treat as visionary. Nothing can be more likely, than that Isaiah had the place in Judges in his eye when he wrote this, and that he intended to throw light upon it.

 

458 REVELATION, CHAP. XIX.

the person appearing is said to be "an angel of the lord:"" while (ib. ver. 28) he is spoken of as being the Lord Himself: which must mean the Person of Christ. As to His " new name''' (Rev. ii. 17 ; Hi- 12), the meaning probably is, that it should be of Gentile origin, viz. Christ (the anointed, in Greek) ; and hence, when used mystically, implying this privilege in all who are truly His. " No man knoweth" says St. John (chap. ii. 17), " saving he that receiveth it:" i. e. in its saving influences. To the same effect (Chap. iii. 12), "/ will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem"..." and I will write upon him my new name." We are told, Acts xi. 26, that " the disciples were called Christians'1'1 i. e. by this new name, "first in Antioch." Which some have thought,—and perhaps with good reason,—that is meant, they were so called oracularly, i. e. by Divine revelation. There was now no reason why Hebrew terms should have the preference. The " new Jerusalem'1'' is clearly the Christian Church: the new name, as far as name is concerned, is Christ and Christian. These the nations have adopted far and wide: and they are everywhere known to imply the Person of Christ, and thence his character in those who use them.

"He was clothed'1'' (ver. 13) "with a vesture dipped in blood" (see also ver. 15), all of which has been sufficiently considered in the notes on Chap. xiv. 19, 20. The same victory must therefore, of necessity, be had in view in each case. (Ib.) " His" (now known) " name is called the Word of God." So John i. 1, a usage almost peculiar to him, and necessarily designating the Person of Christ. " And the armies," it is said (ver. 14), "which were in heaven" (here necessarily in His warfare on earth, and constituting His spiritual soldiers or Church), "followed Him upon white horses, and clothed in fine linen, white and clean:'1'' which, as we have already seen (Chap. iv. 4 ; vii. 9,14 ; xix. 8), is the righteousness of saints on earth; not of glorified spirits in heaven. And again (ver. 15), " Out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations; and...rule them with a rod of iron" &c. Which must mean Christ's judgments on the wicked on earth. The scene is therefore clearly on earth, and not in heaven, in every case here: and these are but repetitions of the same events.

REVELATION, CHAP. XIX. 459

The battle is now supposed to be over: the fowls of the heavens are therefore invited (comp. Ezek. xxxix. 17, seq., which clearly relates to these times) to come and feast on the flesh of the slain. We have already had this war and victory before us in Chap. vi. 12—16 ; xvi. 16 ; xvii. 13, 14. And we are told in the latter place (ver. 17)) that this war should be continued "until the words of God should be fulfilled.'1'' Again (xix. 20), "the Beast and the false prophet that wrought miracles before him1'' (comp. Chap. xvi. 13, 14), "with which he deceived them that had received the mart; of the Beast, and them that worshipped his image" (see also Chap. xiii. 12— 15), cannot but identify the events of this context, with those occurring in those places ; and hence shew, that these are identically the same. These enemies are now given (see Dan. vii. 11) to the burning flame.
 

Excursus.—On the extraordinary Troubles of the last days of the Roman Empire.

As it is indispensable some account should be given of the last days of the heathen Roman Empire, for the purpose of affording the testimony of History to the events foretold by the Prophets, and indirectly brought before us by St. John; I have deemed it right to take the relation of Mr. Mede of these events, and particularly as he appears to me to have given them in as few words as this could be done.

"I will begin," says he", (Comment, upon the Revelation, Fourth Seal), " at slaughter; and I omit the things which this age suffered from a forrain enemy, truly most grievous things; the barbarians with rapines and murders wasting almost the whole Empire, under the Emperours Gallus and Volusiams. ...We look for intestine and domestique. Ten therefore, more or less, Emperours and Caesars, which are counted lawful, within the compass of this seal...i.e. the space of three and thirty years, or a few more, did the sword, not of their enemies, but of their own subjects take away. In the same space, under the Emperour Gallienus alone, those thirty tyrants which Pollio mentioneth...rose up in divers parts of the Roman Empire: and almost all these" (were) " slain

6 I quote the Edition of 1648.

460 REVELATION, CHAP. XIX.

either by their own, or by one another, or were put to death by the lawful Emperours."

..." The Emperours themselves, and first Maximinus, and last of all Galllenus, how cruel were they? Maximinus... was so cruel, that some named him Cyclops, others Bu&iris, others Sciron, some Phalaris, many Typhon or Oyges, The Senate so feared him, that they prayed in the Temples publikely and privately, as also the women with their children, that he might never see the city of Rome. For they heard that some were crucified, others enclosed in beasts newly killed, others cast to wilde beasts, others bruised with cudgels, and all these without regard of dignity.... He slew all that knew his descent, to hide the baseness of his birth; yea and some of his friends, who for pity and affection had often given him many things ; neither was there a more cruel beast upon earth....Without judgment,...accusation, defence, he slew all (of the faction of some great one), took away the goods of all, and could not satisfie himself with the slaughter of above four thousand men.

" Hear also what Trebellius Pottio saith of Gallienws. Ingenuus, saith he, being slain, who was named Emperor of the Mcesian legions, he bitterly shewed his cruelty upon all the Mcesians, as well souldiers as citizens... and was so sharpe and cruel, that he left most of the cities void of the male sex. The same author upon the life of Gallienus, adds, The Scythians saith he, invading Cappadocia, and going through it, the souldiers thought again of making a new Emperour: all of whom Gallienus after his manner slew. He addeth in the end, He was too too cruel to the souldiers, for he slew 3000 or 4000 every day....That no evil might be wanting, saith he, in the times of Gallienus, the city of the Bizantines, renowned for sea-fights...was so destroyed by the souldiers of Gallienus, that there was not a man left. For the revenge of which destruction, Gallienus being again received in Bizantium, he slayeth all the souldiers unarmed," &c.

" So much for slaughters ; I come to Pestilence." " Zo-naras is my author...that under the Emperors Gallus and Volusianus the pestilence arising from Ethiopia went through all the provinces of Rome, and for fifteen years together incredibly wasted them. Neither did I ever read of a greater plague (saith an eminent man in our age) for that space of time or land."

REVELATION, CHAP. XIX. 461

" There remaineth yet famine, of these three calamities ; which surely, that it could not be wanting to this age, although none of the ancients had brought it to light, any man may thence gather, that almost all the Empire through these times was so polled and consumed by the rapines and wastes of the Scythians, that no nation, if credit be given to Zosimus, of the Romane domain remained free from them; almost all the towns were deprived of walls; and being deprived of them, the greatest part were taken. How could it then be, but that the fields should be forsaken,...plowing neglected, and whatsoever provision there was spoiled ?

" And that in truth it came to pass, is manifest by the Epistle of Dionysius Alexandrinus, who then lived, to his brethren; wherein he testifieth, that that fearful pestilence which we mentioned before, succeeded the war and famine. After these things, saith he, that is, the persecution which was under Decius (for he meaneth that which went before the pestilence),.. .both war and famine followed, which we suffered together with the heathen: and a little after. But when, saith he, both we and they had a little respit, that pestilence came upon us, a thing more terrible to them than any terror, and more lamentable than any calamity : and to us an exercise and trial inferiour to none of the rest. Cyprian con-firmeth it in his Apology to Demetrianus. When, saith he, thou saiest that very many complain, that it is imputed to us that wars arise oftener, that the pestilence and famine do rage, and that it is such stormy and rainy weather,1" &c.

Mr. Mede says under his fifth seal, " The fifth seal shall begin from the Empire of Aurelianus, in the year 268, at what time the fifteen years' pestilence is extinguished, which was the longest of all the calamities of the former seal. Now the most notable...is that persecution of the Christians began by Dioclesian, continued by others, the most bitter by much of all which ever were. Former ages saw nothing comparable to this. It was longer and more cruel (they are the words of Orosius) than almost any fore-passed. For there was a continual burning of Churches, proscribing of innocents, slaughter of martyrs, for ten years' space. Forthwith, in the beginning of that ten years, within thirty days, about 17,000 men are reported to have been butchered ; neither did the fury of the persecutors asswage in the progress of time. In Egypt

462 REVELATION, CHAP. XIX.

alone (how small a part of the Empire of Rome!) if credit be given to Doctor Ignatius, patriarch of Antwch (as Scaliger hath it), there were butchered 144,000 men, and 700 banished, whence the Dioclesian ^Era took its name among the ^Egyptians, and that to this day it should be called the Martyrs' -J?ra." So far Mr. Mede.

Those who wish to prosecute this inquiry, will, of necessity, have recourse to the original writers, such as the early Fathers, Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Origen, Eusebius, and others; but as Mr. Dodwell has written a very elaborate Treatise on the subject, among his Dissertationes Cyprianicce, entitled, De paucitate Martyrum, which may be consulted with great advantage, I shall deem it sufficient here to offer a few remarks on certain parts of this.

It will be seen from the extract given above from Mr. Mede, that he makes the vast number of martyrdoms of those times, a consideration of great importance to the confirmation of his scheme and conclusions. Mr. Dodwell, on the other hand, believing these numbers to have been greatly exaggerated, labours much, and puts forth very considerable ability and learning, to shew that they were but few. The probability seems to be here,—as in all such controverted cases,—that the martyrs were neither so numerous as some have been disposed to make them, nor so few as Mr. Dodwell would have them to be.

Mr. Dodwell's arguments are grounded on the best probabilities he could arrive at, by adducing and discussing the very scanty accounts which have come down to our times: which, in the absence of a sufficiency of positive documents, was all that he could do. If indeed, the great work of Eusebius on this subject had come down to us, the case would have been different. It is my intention now to shew, that Mr. Dodwell has in one very remarkable instance failed to do justice to his authority. The place I propose to examine, is the sixty-second Section of his Dissertatio de paucitate Martyrum.

The point disputed here is, a passage adduced by Aringhus, from Cyprian's ExJiortatio ad Martyrium, in which it is said (Dodwell's edit. p. 181), " numerari non possunt mar-tyres Christiani." Cyprian's proof is, Rev. vi. 9—14, both as to their being innumerable, and having come out of great

REVELATION, CHAP. XIX. 463

tribulation. It should be observed, that he had quoted several instances of martyrdom, occurring under the partriarchal and Jewish dispensations; and that he now speaks of those under the Christian. Mr, Dodwell's first argument is, that if these in the Revelation are to be compared with those under the Old Testament, they cannot be said to be innumerable. Which every one must see in a moment, is fallacious. His next argument is, that the holy martyr Cyprian speaks here, not of the martyrs who suffered in the persecutions under the Emperors, but of those who should suffer during the whole of Gospel times (" Sed potius eorum qui Evangelii totius temporibus futuri essent," are his words). But who, 1 ask, does not see, that this is a wholesale assumption on the part of Mr. Dodwell ? and one which takes it for granted that St. Cyprian understood the Apocalypse, just as Mr. Mede does ? The truth is, St. Cyprian reasons here, as he does on the martyrdoms of the Old Testament, from this event as from a fact, and as if these persons had so come out of great tribulation, and had washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb. The consideration indeed, he urges for future instruction and encouragement: for this is the object of his Tract: while it is certain he gives us his opinion ; not a conclusion on the theory of Mr. Mede.—But the assumption of Cyprian is also untenable. It does not appear,—nor can it be made to appear,—that this innumerable army of the Redeemed, although coming out of great tribulation, were all martyrs. Mr. Dodwell cannot therefore, nor yet St. Cyprian, be here wholly relied on.

That the number of martyrs was in every case greater than Mr. Dodwell is willing to allow, appears therefore likely. Nor can his next Dissertatio de Martyrum fortitudine be understood, as far as I can see, on any other supposition. And again, if the persecuting Emperors really were, as indeed the Roman historians themselves represent them, and as reported by Mr. Mede, — no matter what Dodwell, or Gibbon, may say to the contrary,—men who could indulge to the extent many of them did, in the murder and proscription of their own citizens and friends; Is it to be supposed they would be more lenient towards others, whom they looked upon as atheists, and as hateful to both gods and men? Every one who has looked into the

464 KEVELATION, CHAP. XX

histories of the Papal persecutions,—where similar power and a similar spirit prevailed,—very well knows to what an extent these were carried. And I ask, Is it to be supposed that the very worst times, under Rulers the worst imaginable of heathen Roman domination, would in such case be less ferocious and bloody 2 The authoritative accounts we have of these, do certainly present us with scenes so shocking, as to be scarcely credible : which is sufficient to prove the animus of these men. Add to this the power they possessed ; and the probability must be strong, that the martyrdoms suffered could not be few7. But, as remarked elsewhere, it is not necessary to our question that they should be innumerable. That many should fall, is the declaration of prophecy: and that many did so fall, every particular connected with this question, conspires to prove : and this is enough for us.

There were to be expected too within this period, according to our Lord's prediction (Luke xxi. 10, ike.), besides wars and rumours of wars, "great earthquakes in divers places, and famines, and pestilences, and fearful sights, and great signs from heaven." Of the famines and pestilences we have had some account: of the earthquakes, &c. take the following. In the eighth year of Trajan's reign a dreadful earthquake overturned, in Asia, the cities of Elea, My-rine, fitame, and Cumce, in Greece, those of Opus and Oritce8. Again, in about two years after, the Pantheon in Rome was burnt by lightning, and some cities in Galatia were destroyed by an earthquake9. Soon after this Antioch was nearly ruined by one of the most dreadful earthquakes mentioned in history10. Again, in the reign of Gordian (about a.d. 240), there happened a dreadful earthquake, which overturned a great many cities, and destroyed an

8 Mr. Dodwell speaks in one place ($ xc.) of deaths from ten to twenty in a day as inconsiderable, but frequent! of those from thirty, sixty, and a hundred, rare! Besides he thinks, that a number far less than one hundred quite sufficient to blunt the edge of one sword, and to tire one executioner: for not more than one was allowed! See also the close of § xcii. a specimen perhaps of the feeblest advocacy that mortal man ever advanced, in favour of tyranny the most cruel!

9 Univers. Hist. Vol. xv. p. 127. 9 Ib. p. 135, seq.

10 Ib. pp. 138, 402.

REVELATION, CHAP. XX. 465

infinite number of people11. Again (about a.d. 260), in the times of Gallienus, the empire was in many places afflicted by other calamities. The sun was overcast with thick clouds, and great darkness continued for several days together, attended with violent earthquakes and dreadful claps of thunder, not in the air, but in the bowels of the earth, which opened in many places, and swallowed up great numbers of the people. The sea swelling beyond measure, broke in upon the continent, and drowned whole cities. The plague raged with great violence in Greece, Egypt, and especially at Rome, where it swept off, for some time, five thousand persons a day. To these were added, the incursions of the Goths into Greece, and of the Scythians into Asia12. Which will perhaps be sufficient to shew, that all so foretold was fulfilled to the very letter.

Sect. VI.—On the Fall of the Antichrist.

the next Chapter (xx.) presents us with a more particular account of the restraints and final overthrow of the great Enemy, the Instigator of this whole warfare with the Lamb and His saints: which commences, as it should seem, with the period of the Apostolical preaching (see pp. 328—331, above). This may be looked upon therefore, as a sort of counterpart to the last ten verses of the preceding Chapter, which details the victorious progress of " the Son of Man." The first three verses here, tell us of the binding of Satan for " a thousand years," and of his being, after the expiration of that period, let loose for " a little season."

We have already seen on Chap. ix. 13; xii. 7, seq., above, that Satan was cast down from heaven; i. e. out of the visible Church of God by the Redeemer; in other words, that he was so bound by the stronger man, and his house and goods so spoiled, that he could by no means injure, in a spiritual sense, the commissioned messengers of Christ. We evidently have here, under other terms and figures, a reca-

11 Ib. p. 402.

12 Ib. p. 435. See also Milman's Gibbon, Ch. x. on Decius. Also pp. 420, 433. Vol. m. p. 437, &c. Also Aurelius Victor (Index Terras motus, &c.).

466 REVELATION, CHAP. XX.

pitulation of that event. "/ saw," says John, "an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit, and a great chain in his hand, and he...bound him" (Satan) " a thousand years13." The next verse tells us, " that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season." In Chap. xii. 12, this latter period is termed "a short time." And from what follows, viz. that of the persecutions, this must come after the Apostolic period.

Satan is therefore, at this period, bound with respect to the nations: and hence it was, that no violent opposition from these was experienced by the Apostles. But, after this period he was to be loosed for the purpose, as it should seem, of stirring these up to try and to purify the Church. The Angel who now binds Satan is, no doubt, our blessed Lord, for He it is (Chap. i. 18) that has the keys of hell and of death, and who places him under the feet of His Apostles (Luke x. 19). The fallen star (Chap. ix. 1), to whom the key of the bottomless pit is given, is evidently Satan ; for we are told that, to him it was given to make war with the saints; and for this purpose,—as we have seen in its place,—were the powers of hell allowed to come forth: but this belongs, of necessity, to the period of his loosing.

We are in this first instance therefore, within the period of the Apostolical mission and power. It is said accordingly (ver. 4), " And I saw thrones, and they " (i. e. impersonally, meaning here the Apostles), " sat on them, and judgment" it is added, " was given unto them." So our blessed Lord, Matt. xix. 28, " Verily I say unto you, That ye which

13 It has elsewhere been shewn, that St. Peter (Ep. 2. Ch. iii. 8), speaking of this very period, also calls it " a thousand years," and makes it equal to "the day of the Lord" (ib. ver. 10). Some, it should seem (verr. 4, 9), had retorted upon the Christians the fact, that up to this time no coming of the Lord had taken place; and hence they assumed that none would. Peter therefore, in order to make this day of the Lord an indefinite period of some considerable extent, compares it with another, equally indefinite,—but literally expressive of greater length, viz. a thousand years—after the expiration of which, he goes on to tell us, a new heaven and new earth; in other words, a new creation, i. e. spiritually considered, looked for by him and his brethren, should actually be given.

REVELATION, CHAP. XX. 467

have followed me, in the regeneration" (i. e. of the world in its new creation), "when the Son of Man shall sit in the throne of His glory,"" (all power being now given to Him, de jure, in heaven and earth) " ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging 'the twelve tribes of Israel." See also Luke xxii. 29, 30). Hence the term " thrones " in our text: not the one throne of Daniel, vii. 9, nor the thrones of the fallen states there had in view: these are quite different things. The judgment now given to them moreover, can refer, as far as the Scripture is concerned, to none but those so spoken of by our Lord, as just cited. See also 1 Cor. vi. 2, to the same effect.

" I saw," adds John, " the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus." This is evidently a repetition of what we saw (Chap. vi. 9) under the opening of the fifth seal, and has therefore in view the martyrdom of those who fell during the Apostolic, and immediately succeeding, times, as shewn in that place. John proceeds, " And which had not worshipped the beast," &c. (See Chap. xiii. 15), which clearly carries us beyond these times, and into those of the general persecution. "And they lived,'''' continues John, " and reigned with Christ a thousand years." If the Apocalypse includes here, something to take place after the Apostolic times—which I think is evident,—then he styles the whole period, termed the day of the Lord, " a thousand years;" which indeed St. Peter might have meant in the place just now quoted: for full judgment was not awarded to the martyrs of both periods, until the close of the last. These may therefore fairly be said to have " lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years14."

14 If objection be made to this apparently arbitrary change of the extent of this period, my answer will be: These periods being not chronological, but wholly mystical, must of necessity be accommodated to the events which they involve. We have had above (Oh. ix. 15) an hour, day, month, and year, all evidently marking the same period, viz. that of the general persecutions; and therefore, the last half of Daniel's seventieth week. So also (Ch. xvii. 12), where "one hour" must be a part of the same period: while in other places, " The day of the Lord," "the acceptable year of the Lord," and the like, evidently mark our whole period. The places in which this year is divided into summer and winter ; this day into evening and morning, have already been pointed out, as has the division of Daniel's seventieth week into 83 days, &c. Any abrupt change therefore, of one of these for another, need not be considered strange in language such as this.

468 REVELATION, CHAP. XX.

We have seen that the Apostles were now constituted Judges of the tribes of Israel; we are further taught, that they also reigned as kings during its continuance. So Chap. v. 10, " Thou...hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign upon earth," i. e. spiritually. Again, Rom. v. 17, " They which receive abundance of grace...shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ,"" i.e. all of them, converts as well as Apostles, over sin and death: and upon sinners can all the saints declare judgment, not execute it. Again, 1 Cor. iv. 8, " Ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you." It is evident from the preceding verse, that these Corinthians had set up a spiritual kingly rule, —which as Christians they had received,—and, had at the same time, excluded the Apostles who conferred it on them. " Would to God," says St. Paul, "ye" (truly) "did reign, that we also might reign with you:" i. e. as it is just we should. Hence too, Rev. iii. 11, " Hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown:" i. e. so deprive thee of thy spiritual kingdom in Christ, that thou lose thy reign in life with Him. Besides, if the saints were now in a situation to judge of the world, they were in one to exercise a spiritual kingly power: for, to judge in this way is a royal prerogative, and this of those only who personate Him under His sign manual and seal. These were now the Apostles primarily, as ministers; their converts secondarily, each being spiritual kings and priests unto God.

" The rest of the dead " (ver. 5) " lived not again until the thousand years were finished." By " lived not again" is meant, partook not of the first resurrection as taught and experienced within these, i. e. the period appointed for the regeneration of the world, (see Matt. xix. 28). " This," it is accordingly added, " is the first resurrection." That is, Mankind generally received now, for the first time after the fall, that newness of life which secured to them an immunity from the second death; and hence it is said (ver. 6), " Blessed and holy is he " (i. e. every one, now, and in all succeeding time) " that hath part in the first resurrection, on such the

REVELATION, CHAP. XX. 469

second " (i. e. eternal) " death hath no power: but they shall be priests of God, and of Christ:" all which is clearly the enunciation of doctrine, and will therefore be always applicable, as the circumstances of the case shall admit. It applies primarily perhaps, to the Saints of the whole of this particular period, for the reason just assigned: and hence, as the blessedness had in view was future to much of John's time, it is added, " and" they " shall reign with him a thousand years."

And again, if this be extended into all time, then must this thousand years apply to every believer in his day. And, in this case, the first resurrection may be taken to imply, that Christianity alone, which was taught and received at this regenerating period, (comp. Gal. i. 8, 9), not that which may be deduced by any sort of development, however clever or flattering it may appear. Those moreover, who " lived not again,"" (i. e. were not raised as from the dead) " until the thousand years were finished" (not implying that they should after this), will be limited to our first period, and signify the Jews, and others15, who chose to remain in a state of spiritual death. To the same effect it is said of Jerusalem (see on Chap. xi. 2, above) that it should be trodden under foot forty and two months16, but not implying, that it should afterwards be restored.

St John now returns to his more particular enouncements, and tells us (ver. 7, seq.) that, when the thousand years should have expired, Satan should be loosed, i.e. for a little season. What that season was, has been shown above: that in

15 Tertullian tells us, Prcescript. Hceret. § xx. as to the planting of Christianity in the Apostolic times, " Ecclesias apud unamquamquo civitatem condiderunt, a quibus traducem fidei et semina doctrines cseterse exinde Ecclesise mutuatee sunt, et quotidie mutuantur." And the fact is, we read of Paul going to the larger cities or towns, as Eome, Ephesus, Athens, and the like, Bereea, Derbe, &c., which affords perhaps the best interpretation to his expressions quoted above,... " the Gospel is come unto you, as it is in all the world"..." and has been preached unto every creature under heaven." Col. i. &c. It was under the milder Emperors, according to Lactantius, that it made its way into the villages, and other less frequented places. See p. 215, above, Note.

16 See p. 39, above, with the Note.

470 REVELATION, CHAP. XX.

which power was given to the persecuting Little Horn, or Antichrist, to make war upon the Saints: that is, after the Apostolic period should have closed. John adds, " And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in" (all) " the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog1''', to gather them together to battle : the number of whom is as the sand of the sea," He continues (ver. 9), " And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city" (i. e. the true Zion of God) ; "and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.'1''

It is impossible not to see, that the war now to be made upon the Saints, is that assigned by Daniel to the Little Horn, or, that the devouring fire here, made to destroy the adversary, is the burning flame to which his body was, according to Daniel, to be given. This war then, was to continue for the space of a time, times, and the dividing of time: according to the Apocalypse,—as above,—for forty-two months, in other words, " twelve hundred and sixty days," or again, " three days and a half: i. e. the latter half of Daniel's seventieth week, (taken in the former cases as a week of years) when the Apostolic period should have closed, and Jerusalem with its Temple have fallen. This compassing about of the camp of the Saints must therefore, happen after the close of the first " thousand years " mentioned above, and upon Satan's being loosed from his chains. This did accordingly so happen, soon after the fall of Jerusalem and the close of the Apostolic period. That Apostolic period therefore, and that binding, must of necessity have synchronized, and have constituted the Apostolical Millennium16, as also shewn above.

17 On Gog and Magog, see p. 293, seq. above. According to He-Todotus (Lib. i. cc. cm. cvn), as Scythians they invaded Palestine, and penetrated as far as Ashkelon, where they destroyed a very ancient temple of Venus. But he says nothing of Cyaxares being their leader at this time.

18 Nothing can be more pitiable than the sophistry of Gibbon on the subject of the Millennium. It is true indeed, too much opportunity has been afforded for this, both by ancient and modern expounders of the Scripture. Of the ancients it may be said in extenuation, their circumstances were, after the Apostolic period, such as to make it anything but probable they would understand the Revelation of St. John. Their ablest men had been philosophers, and hence had been trained in a system, but little calculated to help them in interpreting this book. Jewish tradition had moreover, from the first, made inroads upon the Church. The moderns ought to have done better: and they would, had Biblical learning been cultivated under half the encouragement afforded to profane. " As the works of Creation," says Gibbon, " had been finished in six days, their duration in their present state, according to tradition.. . was fixed to 6000 years. By the same analogy it was inferred that this long period.. . would be succeeded by a joyful sabbath of a thousand years." Which is purely Jewish. Gibbon tells us too, that " it appears to have been the reigning sentiment of the orthodox." But this is not wholly true. It was the favourite sentiment of the heterodox; and from them, it is still that of the Mohammedans. On this see Part ni. of our Preface.

It should moreover be borne in mind, that many of the early Fathers died, before the period for the full establishment of the Church had arrived. Let this be added to their other disadvantages, and no one will wonder, that they erred on this particular subject; while on every other intimately connected with it, they were perfectly correct.

REVELATION, CHAP. XX. 471

We have here again a mere repetition of what we have seen in Chap. xvi. 14, under the sixth Vial: in Chap. xiii. 5, seq., Chap. xi. 7, seq., and again in Chap. ix. 1, seq., under the fifth and sixth trumpets. In Chap. xvi. " The spirits of devils, working miracles, go forth unto the kings of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God." So here, Chap. xx. 8, and Chap. xiii. 5, seq., we have Daniel's Little Horn (vii. 8, &c.) with a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies. This power too was to continue forty-two months: our (xx. 3) little season and (xii. 12) short time. In verse 14, here, we have these messengers of Satan in the heathen priesthood, made to deceive them that dwelt on the earth, by means of false miracles, as foretold by our Lord. In Chap. xiii. power is given to the Beast to make war with the saints, and to overcome them for a certain season; here (ver 9), " to compass their camp about,'''1 &c. In Chap. xi. 7, " When the witnesses" (i. e. the Apostles and their coadjutors) " have finished their testimony, the beast ascends out of the bottomless pit, wages war with them, and kills them: (ver. 9) they are considered as dead for " three days and a half." That is, the Apostolic period being finished, Satan stirs up the nations, subject to the

472 REVELATION, CHAP. XX.

power of the Little Horn, so that they encompass the camp of the Saints, that is, God's true Zion, for the purpose of destroying it. But (Chap. xi. 5, just as in Chap. xx. 9) "Fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies:" alluding to the case of Elijah (2 Kings i. 10—13); for a witness similar to these was he. We are moreover, instructed here, that this should take place after the Apostolic period. Satan's being bound therefore, " a thousand years,"—but now loosed,—must have been during this period : i. e. during the first half of Daniel's seventieth week. See on Chap. ix. 1, seq., and page 315, seq., above.

From all which it must appear, as clearly perhaps as words can make it, that the thousand years mentioned above, must have constituted the Apostolic period or Millennium, and have continued up to the fall of the Temple, and the commencement of the persecutions; that the general encompassing of the camp of the Saints, the beloved City, must signify the persecutions generally, under the reign of the Little Horn; and that the fire which consumed the besiegers, can be no other than the burning flame of Daniel, to which the body of this Beast was to be consigned. And lastly, that this destruction by fire should close this warfare, and deliver up the universal and everlasting Empire, de facto, to the Son of Man. We have therefore, in this Book three distinct visions, teaching identically the same things, just as it is the case generally in Daniel, and the other Prophets; and all these bearing directly upon the Rule and Empire of Jesus; and constituting Him the spirit, essence, and object, of all prophecy. I am well aware indeed that those, whose object it is to extend Prophecy to all time, and its particulars to every secular resemblance they happen to meet with, will not condescend to particulars of this sort, notwithstanding the fact, that the usage of all Prophecy is in its favour.


Chapter VII.

ON THE DOCTRINES CONNECTED WITH THE EVENTS ALREADY CONSIDERED.

Sect. I.—On the Judgment delivered.

WE have to consider, in the next place, the doctrinal application of all this: for although events, marvellous in the extreme, form its substratum,, they do not nevertheless, constitute the whole, and perhaps not the main thing, intended to be taught. We are generally instructed then, that " The Devil that " (so) " deceived them" (the whole world) " was " (now) " cast into the lake ofjire and brimstone, where the Beast and the false Prophet" (also) " were, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever." That is, not only had the armies of the whole world, assembled against the Church, been devoured by fire; but their Instigator the Devil, their Leader the Beast, and their spiritual Guide the False Prophet, were consigned to everlasting burnings, which is the second death. We next have the source of all this, viz.—

" I saw " (ver. 11) " a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was no place found for them " (Comp. Chap. vi. 14, and xvi. 20). We have, as it should seem, the judgment given in favour of " the Saints of the Most High" according to Daniel, now before us: " The great white throne" here, cannot but remind us of " the Ancient of days (Dan vii. 9), " sitting, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool : His throne too like the fiery flame1, &c. Where John makes the

1 I cannot help thinking, that by " the Ancient of days" here, is meant Christ, i. e. the Word, whose outgoings were from everlasting, seated in His throne of judgment: by "the Son of Man," "the man Cftrist Jesus," i. e. as here exhibited in the seed of Abraham, to whom all power was to be given, Constituting Him the Christ; and, by virtue of this anointing, a King higher than the kings of the earth (Ps. xlv. 6, 7), and also superior to every order of Angels (Heb. i. 4—9, inclus.).


474 REVELATION, CHAP. XX.

throne white,—be it observed,—Daniel makes the clothing and hair of the Judge white. By the earth and heaven's flying away, is, no doubt, primarily to be understood, the entire passing away of Old things, as taught by the Apostle (Heb. viii. 13:2 Cor. v. 17, &c.), which was indeed the great object of this judgment: these words too, it is impossible literally to understand. And secondarily, perhaps the final dissolution of all things: and I am disposed to believe, that it was under events such as these, that the Old Testament taught the doctrines of a future state, which the ministry of inspired men may have made clear; but which Commentators failing to observe, have generally denied that it taught any such thing; and yet it is certain, that such a belief prevailed: while the New Testament, exhibiting no shadowy system, and intended for all—many of whom must be unacquainted with Hebrew usages—is under the necessity of speaking directly and specifically on these subjects.

Again, " / saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened" is an echo of Daniel (chap. vii. 10), and should seem primarily to refer to the events there mentioned : which, being now fulfilled, may be justly propounded as vouchers for a similar judgment yet to come. Besides, to " the books opened " there, we have here the addition of " the Book of life." The consummation of the events in question, has now had the effect of opening this to all; and of giving all an opportunity of escaping from the wrath to come; and hence, of making all responsible for their deeds, and obnoxious to a judgment " according to their works." The sea, death of every sort, with the grave, now give up their dead, which are judged accordingly: while all found written in the Lamb's book of life, pass from death to life, and come not into condemnation.

" This" it is added, "is the second death:" intended

It is certain, that no revelation was ever made of the person of the Father, as it also is, that none can be. The revelation here made, does therefore seem to me, to have been intended for a purpose infinitely great in importance: i. e. to inculcate a doctrine often found difficult to be understood, and hard to be believed, to do this in the most obvious manner; and hence to afford the means of making clear and easy a very large portion of Scripture, which could otherwise present no very consistent meaning.

REVELATION, CHAP. XXI. 475

perhaps to impress upon us, the inseparable connexion between the things of Christ here, and hereafter. In our primary sense, this will enounce the final and eternal fall of mystical Babylon ; and from the fact that these terms are taken from Daniel, I am led to hold, that this sense was primarily intended to be conveyed ; while I also am, from the additions noticed above, that the doctrine of the final judgment was also intended; and that this was given as the lesson mainly to be inculcated here, and to the end of time, in this very remarkable Book. It may not perhaps be out of place, to offer a few remarks on the contrast presented in this context, between " the first resurrection, and the second death."

Sect. II.—On the particular Character and State, in principle, of the First Resurrection: or, which is the same thing, Christianity in the abstract.

in the first place then (xxi. 1, seq.), " And I saw," says St. John, "a new heaven and a new earth^: for the First heaven and first earth were passed away; and there was no

2 In Isai. Li. this was thus foretold, in connexion with the privileges of God's true Zion. In verse 6 we have: " The heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment" (as in Rev. xx. 11, above. See also Heb. i. 11, and Nahum i. 5, &c.): " but my righteousness," it is added, " shall not be abolished:" i. e. on earth, of necessity: it would be next to absurd to suppose, that this could be said of the heaven of glorified spirits. Then (ver. 16), " I have covered thee" (i. e. the true Zion) " in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the" (new) "heavens, and lay the foundation of the" (new) "earth: and say unto Zion, Thou art" (and shalt be for ever) "mypeople." Which, —as in 2 Pet. iii. 10,—-can with no shew of propriety apply to the physical world. Again, Ps. cii. 12, seq., quite in keeping with Heb. i. 11, as referred to above. " Thou, O lord, shalt endure for ever" &c. " Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion; for the time to favour 'her, yea, the set time is come." Shewing that the time set for this had now arrived ; the Psalmist, placing himself within this period,—as it is the manner of the Prophets,—and speaking as if he then saw it. Again, placing all this under the New Covenant: " So the heathen shall fear thy name,... when the Lord shall build up Zion;" which is here exhibited by St. John as done in the New Jerusalem. Ib. ver. 18, "This shall be written for the generation to come" (i. e. not merely for the Jews) " in their generations." It is added, " And the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord:" i. e. in His spiritual Zion, not at the earthly one. So again, verr. 21, 22, "In Zion and in Jerusalem, when the people" (nations) " and kingdoms are gathered together'' (where ? in Canaan ?) " to serve the Lord." This was therefore, to he a newly created people. On this see also Isai. xli. 18—21; xLiii. 7; xlt. 8, and xLviii. 6, seq. " / have shewed thee new things from this time. . .. They are created now," &c. See also Ps. civ. 30, 31, where the same thing is evidently had in view. Again, Ps. xcvi. 10, " The lokd reigneth, the world also hath he established," &c., not physically: gee the context, ib. xciii. 1, &c.

476 REVELATION, CHAP. XXI.

more sea." We were told above, that " the " (old) " earth and heaven fled away, and'" that "there was found no place for them:" not that the physical heavens and earth had so disappeared, this would be absurd to suppose, as to the events here in question; but, that the old moral System so passed away, in order to make room for a better, termed in the mystical language of Scripture, a new creation, as already shewn. Let us now turn to the apparent source, both of this phraseology, and of the event brought before us. In Isaiah chap. lxv. 16, seq., we have: " He who blesseth himself in" (all) " the earth, shall bless himself in the God of truth : and he that sweareth in the earth " (i. e. hereafter) shall swear by the God of truth; because"—it is added,—" the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes." Which must necessarily refer to Christian times, when old things should have so passed away. " For, behold," continues the Prophet, " / create new heavens, and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind:"" i. e. of necessity, the former moral state of things; not some former physical world. The next verse explains this: " But be ye " (i. e. mine elect) " glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create : for behold, I create Jerusalem" (i. e. which is now the mother city of us all) " a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And," it is added, " / will rejoice in " (this new) " Jerusalem, and joy in my people : and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying :" i. e. expressive of spiritual destitution and sorrow: for,—be it observed,—this language is used only in a spiritual sense: tribulation the Saints may, and shall, have in the world; but in their Redeemer's Zion, they shall have perfect peace, because they are stayed on Him (Isai. xxvi. 3. Comp. John iv. 14 : vi. 35,50, 58). We

 

REVELATION, CHAP. XXI. 477

may now pass on to ver. 25 : " The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,'1'' &c...." they shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain,"" as in Chap. xi. 6, &c., which see. All of which must, of necessity, refer to the times of Christ, and imply an entirely new moral and religious state of things, such as the New Covenant teaches: not a new physical world; with this it has nothing to do.

Again, Chap. Lxvi. 10, seq. " Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love Tier " (i. e. as a true spiritual mother) : " Rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her: that ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory....Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream," Sec. (Comp. Chap. ii. 2, seq. and Chap. di. 7—11). We then have (Lxvi. 15—18), the fiery judgments of God denounced against both Jew and Gentile, who should afflict this His Zion; then (verr. 19—21, inclus.) the mission of the Escaped; i. e. her Apostles to the Gentiles: and then, "For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain" (i. e. for ever) " before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed" (i. e. in the Holy Remnant, and in their converts to be counted for a generation), " and your name remain" That is, in this spiritual Zion and new Jerusalem, the Metropolis of the Son of Man's kingdom, even to the end of time.

We have now only to turn to the New Testament to assure ourselves, that it was to this New Jerusalem and spiritual City of God, that the Apostles invited and introduced their converts; and that they also expected soon to enjoy the realization of the new heaven and new earth throughout the whole world, which Isaiah had so explicitly foretold. St. Paul says then, as noted more than once above, (Heb. xii. 22, seq.) to the converted Jews of his day, and in direct contrast with the older and worn-out system of Moses: " Ye are come unto Mount Sion, and unto the City of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem3, and to an innumerable company

3 This spiritual City is repeatedly brought before us in the Psalms. See Ps. xlvi. where verse 6, the raging of the heathen against it, as against its King in Ps. ii. 1, is dwelt upon (comp. Ps. Lxviii. 12, &c.)

478 EEVELATION, CHAP. XXI. [bk. in. ch. vn.

of Angels... and to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant." They had therefore come to a new system, the true, i.e. real, not the shadowy, Zion; the Jerusalem, whose sanctuary and King is above, but is, in the nurture she has to impart, the spiritual Mother of all Believers; the breasts of whose consolations they then sucked, under Apostolical guidance ; and all ever shall with joy unspeakable and full of glory. A little lower down (ver. 28), St. Paul styles this a kingdom: " Wherefore," says he, " we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved:" (i. e. of the Son of Man, in contradistinction to the Mosaic which should pass away), " let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably,," &c.

Again, (Gal. iv. 25, seq.) " This Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem ivhich is above is free, which is the Mother of us all." He then cites a place from Isaiah (chap. l!v. 1, i. e. of the very context quoted above); " Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not: break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband." He then determines the accomplishment of this as a prediction, in these words, " We brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise:" that is, of the spiritual and new family of Zion, now to be collected out of both Jews and Gentiles.

St. Peter, again (2 Ep. iii. 10, seq.), " The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night" (i. e. as foretold,

Again, Ps. xLviii. 1, seq. In ver. 2 here, this City is said to be " the joy of the whole earth:"... and " the City of the great King." And again (verr. 4, 5), we have the assembled heathen kings discomfited, and put to flight. In verse 8 this City is " established for ever." It is therefore, the spiritual Metropolis of the whole earth, and the spiritual residence of its King the Son of M'an, as promised in the Covenant with Abraham. Ib. ver. 3," God is known;" literally, " God shall (surely) become known," &c. which is the true force of the Niphal form JH13. See my Heb.

Gram. Ib. ver. 7, " Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish," &c. where the particle |3 (ver. 6) should be repeated, or 3 be supplied (i.e. Even as thou didst break, &c. i. e. as in the case of Jehoshaphat's fleet, 1 Kings xxii. 48. 2 Chron. xx. 37, or as such ships are often broken, so should these heathen kings be. See also Ps. Lxxviii. 68, 69 ; Lxxxvii.

REVELATION, CHAP. XXI. 479

Matt. xxiv. 43 ; and which should take place, as to the Jews, before that generation should have passed; and (ib. 34), as to the Gentiles, at a period farther off: (ib. ver. 29, as here in St. Peter) : " in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat; the earth also, and the works that are therein, shall be burned up." (Comp. Isai. xxx. 27, seq.; xxxiv. 4, seq,; Li. 6 ; ib. ver. 16; Ezek. xxxii. 7; Joel ii. 31 ; iii. 15 ; and Ps. cii. 26; Heb. i. 10, seq.). All which, as we have already seen, refers primarily and necessarily to the judgments to be poured out upon the old ungodly world ; which might, nevertheless, be intended mystically to represent the final judgment and end of all things : but with this we have now nothing to do. That it has in view the judgments now alluded to, there can surely be no doubt.

St. Peter goes on (ib. ver. 13), "Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness" It was therefore a new spiritually renewed world, for which St. Peter and his brethren looked: not for a physical one. He looked for it moreover, according to the terms of promise: and where are we to look for these except in the Prophets ? But we know, that the spirit of all these was, " the testimony of Jesus;" not any particulars relating to the physical world. And again, St. Peter and his brethren looked for this state on earth, not in heaven; and, we shall presently see, from the Revelation, that it is from heaven, and to earth, that it descends. And once more, the period here had in view, has, according to the requirements of Prophecy, as already shewn, long ago passed, and no such physical change has appeared. It is therefore, a new moral and religious world that is here spoken of: such was, as we have seen, to take place; and such, upon the establishment of the New Covenant, in a strictly spiritual sense, actually did.

We may now return to St. John (ver. 2, seq.), " And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a brid,e adorned for her husband*.'" The ",Sride" and "Husband" now mentioned,

See Vitringa, Isai. xLix. 16, seq. Gibbon here (Chap. xt. p. 303) as usual, throws away some of his most pungent sneers on what he does not understand. " The edification," says he, " of the New Jerusalem was to advance by equal steps with the destruction of the mystic Babylon: and, as long as the Emperors who reigned before Con-stantine persisted in the profession of idolatry, the epithet of Babylon was applied to the city and to the empire of Borne." Than all which, I say, nothing could be more correct; nor could anything reflect more credit on the early writers of the Church who so held this, and propounded it. The only blunderer here is Gibbon himself! He goes on, "A regular series was prepared of all the moral and physical evils which can afflict a flourishing nation; intestine discord... the invasion of... barbarians from the north; pestilence and famine, comets .. . earthquakes and inundations... alarming signs of the great catastrophe of Rome, when the country of the Scipios... should be consumed," &c. All of which, I say, had been predicted by the Prophets, and by our Lord; and had by St. John been accurately applied to Rome under the later Emperors. Gibbon himself too has given us the amount of this, in the end of his tenth Chapter in affirming, that a moiety of human nature suffered under it. He next carries us on to the notion, that this distress of nations should end in the consumption of the physical world by fire. Unhappily this notion was, and is still, entertained: but then, this has been by a mistake, not greater than that made here by Gibbon himself. Neither the Scriptures nor their writers however, were to be blamed.—The assumption of miraculous powers bythe early Christians, their ignorance, folly, and failings, are next seized upon by this infidel writer, for the purpose of ruining Christianity; as they are by many now among ourselves,—who ought to know better,—to impugn the belief that the Christian Church is now, or indeed ever has been, what the Prophets have foretold it should be. Which is to argue from the mistakes and failings of men,—absurdly enough indeed!—against the principles of the thing so mistaken and abused! It is curious too to remark, that a few highly figurative expressions of Scripture, inconsiderately interpreted, have led to the whole of this!

480 REVELATION, CHAP. XXI. .

we can perhaps have no doubt, after what has been said (Chap. xix. 7, seq.) above, represent the Church, and Christ, respectively. This city is, as we have shewn, the Metropolis of His spiritual Sons and Daughters, who have been begotten within it, "by the washing of regeneration"—" by the word," —" and" by the "renewing of the Holy Ghost'1'' (Titus iii. 5. Eph. v. 26). This new City moreover, comes down from heaven: and it is thus described in the next verse by St. John himself: " Behold," says he, " the tabernacle of God is" (now) "with men" (i. e. generally), "and He will dwell with them'1'' (their Immanuel), " and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God" (comp. 2 Cor. vi. 16. John xiv. 17, 18, 20, 23, 26, 27, &o.).

It is added, " And God shall wipe away all tears from, their eyes; and there shall be no more death" (comp. John vi. 49, 50, 51), "neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things" (i. e. of a shadowy and heathen nature) " are passed aw a.?."..."Behold, I make all things new;"..." these words," it is added, "are true and faithful'1'' (i. e. as promised regarding the establishment of the New Covenant, not the political movements of the world). Then follows the declaration virtually affirming that all is now accomplished; " it is done" (comp. xvi. 17, above) with the general Christian and Apostolic doctrine, " I will give unto him that is athirst" i. e. to every one so circumstanced. Ps. xlvj. 4 ; ex. 7. Isai. lv. 1, seq.; xxx. 25; xxxii. 2; xxxiii. 21; xli. 18; xtiii. 19. Joel iii. 18. Amos ix. 13, &c., " of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son:" while all not the spiritual seed, are here denounced as objects of condemnation (ib. ver. 8).

So far we have pure Christianity as foretold by the Prophets and taught by Apostles, not any visionary thing to be realized in some future Jewish millennium: and, that no possible doubt may remain on this point, the following particulars have evidently been given. " Come hither,'1'' says an Angel to St. John, " / will shew thee the Bride, the Lamb's wife. And he carried me away in the Spirit," continues the beloved disciple, " to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descend ing out of heaven from God, having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; and had a wall great and
high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel."
We have therefore so far, a description of this new Jerusalem the mother of us all, as being the Lamb's wife; shewing us at once its glories and
its privileges, and the means of admission into it. The glory and light of this City are wholly divine and spiritual; they

482 REVELATION, CHAP. XXI.

are pure and heavenly: and, as " Salvation is of the Jews," communicated to the Gentiles by the ministry of that Escaped and holy Remnant of every tribe of Israel (of whom Paul was one, Rom. xi. 1—6); these are appropriately represented by the gates leading into this City, with their attending angels: and, as these were sent by the Lamb for • the purpose of lengthening the cords, and strengthening the stakes of His Zion, they are very properly termed "Angels" (i. e. Messengers). We shall presently learn, that the Apostles constitute the foundation stones of this great and glorious City. But, as this place is evidently intended to carry us back to certain predictions of the Old Testament, let us now see what these are, and how far they tend to elucidate the words of St. John.

We have already seen (p. 478 above), that in the creation of new heavens and a new earth, Jerusalem was to be created a rejoicing, and her people a joy; and again (Isai. Lxvi. 23), that after this new creation should have taken place, all flesh should come and worship before God. Isaiah must therefore have had before him, the establishment of the New Covenant, for we know of nothing else under which all flesh should so worship: and this New and heavenly Jerusalem must have been intended to represent the Church under it. If we now turn to Isaiah, Chap. Liv., we shall find a description of this holy city quite of a piece with that of St. John. The words are (ver. 11, seq.), " O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates5, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of precious stones." And again (Chap. i. 8), " The daughter of Zion is left as a cottage" (rather as a tent, i. e. to be struck and removed, as circumstances might require), " in a vineyard," &c. And (ib. i. 26), "Afterward thou shall be called The City of righteousness, the faithful city.'''' In

5 According to John, "Her light was like unto a stone most precious; even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal." So the Psalmist (Ps. xix. 8), "The commandment of the Lord is pure" (Hob. H1H i- o. having no admixture of impurity: Lat. sincera, i. e. sine cera: it is clear as crystal, and hence) " enlightening the eyes."

 

REVELATION, CHAP. XXI. 483

like manner Zech. viii. 3, " Jerusalem shall be called a City of truth; and the mountain of the Lord of Hosts the holy mountain;" i. e. " when the remnant of 'that people should possess all things," ib. ver. 12, (Comp. Isai. ii. 2, seq., and Heb. xii. 22.) In all which it must be evident, that the Jerusalem which then was, and " in bondage with her children," could not be meant; but, on the contrary, that better system to be established in " the last days,'1'' in which all flesh should so come to worship before God.

The most remarkable place however of this sort, and that which John had more particularly in view, is Ezek. XLviii. 15, seq., which we shall now consider. The Prophet then, after describing the grant and apportionment of a new land (or earth), i. e. of a new Canaan, as the covenanted heritage of the true Israel, gives us the following account of the New Jerusalem, which was to be erected within it. His words are, "And the five thousand...shall be a profane6 place for

6 As there is much obscurity in our Authorized Version of this place, I will endeavour here to give the best interpretation of it that has occurred to me. The description then given, makes this whole land to extend from north to south, in a series of squares, the sides of each of which is 25,000 reeds, and is applied the one to the other. The whole figure therefore, gives a parallelogram, the breadth of which is 25,000 reeds, and the length the sum of 25,000 reeda, multiplied by the number of all the Tribes: i.e. 12 x 25,000 =; 300,000 reeds. But nothing definite can be ascertained from this, unless it be, that Canaan, and its apportionments, cannot be meant: the whole is evidently mystical. The parts with which we are principally concerned are those ascribed to the Priests, the Levites, and the Prince, in this description. And first, 25,000 reeds in length, and 10,000 in breadth, the portion,—lying towards the north of this square,—is given to the Priests. In the middle portion of this, the Sanctuary was to be placed, touching, on its southern boundary, that of the Levites. To this succeeds the portion of the Levites, also 25,000 reeds in length, and 10,000 in breadth. Next to this,—proceeding in a southern direction,— is that of the Prince, which (the whole square having each of its sides 25,000 reeds) will be a parallelogram 25,000 reeds in length, and 5,000 in breadth: this is termed the residue: that is, the remainder of the whole square, after deducting the portions of the Priests and Levites from it. In this, and in its middle portion, is the City to be, with its suburbs, i. e. taking out a square of 5,000 reeds, there will be a remainder of 10,000 in length and 5,000 in breadth, at each of its extremities: and this, we are told, is to be the portion- of this Prince, and it is also to produce food for those of all the Tribes of Israel, who shall serve the city. The general object of which evidently is to shew, that the apportionment of Canaan under Joshua, and the Temple erected by Solomon, and afterwards rebuilt on the return from Babylon, could not have been intended; and especially, as the exact measures of this temple are given in the preceding chapters of Bzekiel, and with which those given here cannot be made to agree. As to the land, the extreme length of it, as compared with its breadth, was perhaps intended to represent that mountain of the Lord's House, to which the Gentiles should flow as a river, in the period termed the last days. Isai. ii. 2, &c.

 

484 REVELATION, CHAP. XXI.

the city, for dwelling, and for suburbs; and the City shall be in the midst thereof." From what is here said it is obvious, that this City does not represent Jerusalem with its Jewish Temple, but is described as a city of the Levites with its suburbs; which Jerusalem was not: and if it here represent the forty-eight cities assigned to the Levites, it also does the source of ministration to the whole spiritual Canaan : and then it will include the six cities of refuge, to which the (innocent) manslayer might flee, and avoid the wrath of the avenger of blood.

This City could not then, from the nature of the case, contain a Temple :—and the fact is, no mention whatever of a Temple occurs in the whole of this context. It was Levitical to all intents and purposes, and could not— as having no Priest within it—offer up any bloody sacrifice whatsoever. The Priests have here, indeed, a portion of the same dimensions with that of the Levites (verr. 10—13), and in the midst of this the Sanctuary, or Sanctuary of the House (ver. 21) was to be. But, as even this appointment is altogether at variance with the Mosaic, as is also the appointment of the whole land; it cannot be necessary to suppose, that this Sanctuary, or Sanctuary of the House, represents the Mosaic Sanctuary, although described in the same terms; but rather that Spiritual Sanctuary to be occupied under the New Covenant by its Priests; for these were now to be a Kingdom of Priests : but, if any thing peculiar is here intended,—and this seems to be the case,—then perhaps those termed above the firstfruits to God and the Lamb, i. e. the first converts made, are intended: and, as such, necessarily opposed to the Jewish priesthood.


REVELATION, CHAP. XXI. 485

We are told moreover (ver. 14), that the Levites8 "shall not sell of it" (i. e. the holy portion assigned to them, just as it was the case under the Law, Exod. xxii. 29, &c.), " neither exchange it, nor alienate the first-fruits of the land: for it is holy unto the Lord." But, as this must necessarily be taken mystically, the meaning should seem to be, that they, as Ministers of the word and ordinances, should take particular heed to this their spiritual endowment, so as not to betray their trust in any way, either by bartering away any portion for the wealth of the world, as alas ! too many are ready to do, nor alienate these by substituting for them any of the traditions of men ; because all is here holy, i. e. is spiritually so, and belongs to the Lord.

It is also to be observed, that they who should "serve

8 There can be no doubt, I think, that the Christian Church presents us not with the Temple, but the Synagogue of the Jewish Church, as reformed under the New Covenant. The work of Vitringa " de Synagoga vetere," will be read on this subject with great interest. I have shewn in my second Letter to Dr. Pusey, On the Keys, as cited above, that the Levites under the Old Testament prefigured the Ministers under the New. Vitringa has shewn, in the work just mentioned, that all the titles and offices of the Christian ministry were taken from those of the Synagogue. I have shewn too, in my Third Letter to Dr. Pye Smith (p. 125 seq.), that the first Christian Liturgies contained some portions of those of the Synagogue, and that even our own now does. It is worthy of remark too, that throughout Palestine, the Synagoues all radiated, as it were, so as to point to the Temple at Jerusalem. In the times of Mohammed, the Christians certainly prayed towards Jerusalem, as is evident from the Koran; and most likely their Churches pointed thitherward, just as the Synagogues fprmerly did, as indeed most of the Churches in Europe now do. In the East too, the name given to the Synagogue has, probably from the very first, been given to the Christian Church: e. g.  Keneseth, is the name of the Synagogue ;  to Kanisat, that of the Church. Within the Temple moreover, none but a typical service was carried on by the Priests assisted by the Levites. In this the people had no share whatever: they could proceed no farther than the outer court. It was in the synagogues,—even in Jerusalem,—that general public worship could be carried on, and was carried on throughout Palestine. The Temple, with our High Priest, is now above. We have therefore, neither Temple, nor High Priest, nor Priest, here below except Christ, and those his followers who are truly spiritual.

 

486 REVELATION, CHAP. XXI. [bk. in. ch. vn.

this City, should serve it out of all the tribes of Israel." In other words, a Remnant of all these should be found among its labourers; and such indeed was the case in the Apostles and their coadjutors, as already shewn. Another peculiarity here is (ver. 21), that the residue, that is, as unoccupied by the City itself, should be for the Prince, i. e. in this its appointment: another, that this residue of land should be for food to them who should serve the City; and a third, that the stranger should also have a portion given to him within the land assigned to any tribe, in which he should sojourn (Chap, xtvii. 22, 23). In all which we cannot but see the prediction of Moses realized in "Rejoice ye Gentiles with His people?"1 laid graphically before us. We have here therefore, a sort of tabular description of the New heaven, and new earth ; i. e. new Church, and New land, of the New Covenant. And to conclude this, we are told in terms the most general (Chap, xuviii. 35), "that the name" (i.e. the character) "of the City from that day shall be, the lord is there :" i. e. as its spiritual Sun and shield.

We are next told (ver. 16, seq.), what the measures of this City should be;—of the numbers named we need take no account: they are plainly mystical,—i. e. that it should be a square, every side being of the same dimension: that it should have suburbs of equal width on every side, as in the Levitical cities. This City therefore, as already remarked, is strictly Levitical: it has no temple: it has the Levitical endowment of suburbs: it is too a City, which should be served by some out of every tribe: and to this might be added, strangers are also now received into this inheritance with the Prince, and to be known henceforth as being of the City of the Living God, the holy place of His residence among men, and hence also bearing His name (Chap. iii. 12, above).

We have in the next place, as in St. John, its twelve gates kept by persons bearing the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. Three eastward, of Reuben, Judah, and Levi; three northward, of Joseph, Benjamin, and Dan ; three southward, of Simeon, Issachar, and Zebulon; and three westward, of Gad, Asher, and Naphtali. These names are in St. John, borne by Angels, as already remarked: in Isaiah, they are styled "Carbuncles:" and again (Chap, xxvi. 1,

REVELATION, CHAP. XXI. 487

seq.), " We have a strong City; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks." He adds, " Open ye" (i. e. ye Holy Remnant of Abraham's seed) " the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in" (i. e. every nation so characterized). These then are the gates of Zion (Ps. Lxxxvii. 2), said to be beloved of the Lord more than all the dwellings of Jacob. To these too, David has respect when he says (Ps. xxiv. 7), " Lift up your heads, Oye gates, and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in,"" Sc. The beginning of this Psalm moreover, carries us into those times in which the earth and its fulness, the world and they who should dwell therein, should be the Lord's: which are of necessity, those of the New Covenant.

The same subject is again thus beautifully touched upon by the Psalmist (Ps. xivviii. 1, seq.), " Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the City of our God, in the mountain of His holiness." He adds, " Beautiful for situation9, the joy o/"the whole earth, is mount Zion.'1'' We next have the fall of the heathen in their attempts to destroy it, just as we have seen in St. John and the Prophets above. Then as to its duration (ver. 8), " As we have heard, so have we seen in the City of the Lord of hosts, in the City of our God: God shall establish it for ever." Then, its extent: "According to thy name, O God, so is Thy praise unto the ends op the earth." And again, carrying this onwards to posterity, " Mark ye well her bulwarks; consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following,'1'' Szc. It is impossible, I think, not to see that this whole Psalm relates to the establishment of the kingdom of Christ, and this under the figure of a City, great, glorious, and enduring, as in Isaiah, Ezekiel, and St. John.

9 More literally, the beauty of exaltation, height, or the like. Heb. Arab. ,_jj, length and height. So St. John (ver. 12), "a wall great and high:" ver. 16, " its breadth and... height are equal." Isaiah, in like manner, Chap. ii. 2, speaks of the mountain of the Lord's house being established in the top of the mountains, and above the hills: comp. Ps. xxiv. 3; Lxxxvii. 1, seq. Its top indeed is in the heavens. We have already remarked, that Ezekiel's very lengthy grant of land may perhaps, have been intended to represent this mountain.

 

488 REVELATION, CHAP. XXI.

We have nothing said in Ezekiel of the foundation of this City, except only that it should be on that portion of this new land, which should be assigned to the Prince: that is, placed under the protection of the King, as its nursing father (Isai. xux. 23), and conterminous with the portion of the Levites, its Ministers, but removed at some distance from that of the Priests; which, as already remarked, is now subordinate to that of our Great High Priest, who alone officiates as such in the Temple above, but connected by a spiritual intercourse, as in Jacob's ladder (Gen. xxviii. ] 2), with this Bethel, or Sanctuary, and " Sanctuary of the house:" and this spiritually officiated in by all His faithful people. All the Tribes too give their service to this City, none as such to the Sanctuary; and it is the residue of this portion, under the Prince, which nourishes them with its produce as food. This holy oblation and Levitical City therefore, represent the ministry of the Christian Church. And the truth clearly is, as remarked above, it is to the Synagogue, not to the Temple, that the Church with all its Officers succeeds.

"The wall of the City,"'' continues St. John, " had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb :" i. e. these had twelve foundation-stones, and —just as in those of the tribes in the Priest's breastplate,— they exhibited the names of the Churches' founders. These were all Pillars and Grounds (i. e. ground-works) " of the truth" (1 Tim. iii. 15). So (Gal. ii. 9), "James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace of God that was given unto me," &c. Cephas signifies the stone, or rock: but here, James and John are as much pillars of stone as he was: in like manner, when the keys were delivered to Peter (Matth. xvi. 18, 19), they were as much delivered, according to all antiquity, to every one of the Disciples as they were to him. St. Paul again (Eph. ii. 19, seq.), speaking to his Ephesian converts, says, "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners" (ye have obtained an inheritance in the New Canaan, and among the tribes of the holy Remnant), " but fellow-citizens" (i. e. of this New Jerusalem), " and of the household of God. And are built upon the foundation''' (stones) " of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being

 

REVELATION, CHAP. XXI. 489

the chief corner-stone10" (cornp. Zech. iv. 7. Ps. cxvii. 22, with its parallels).

We have then, in the stones of fair colours, and the foundations of sapphires, of Isaiah (uv. 11) cited above, the Prophets and Apostles of our blessed Lord. Zechariah (chap. ix. 16) describes the latter much in the same way. " The lord their God shall save them in that day" (i. e. " the great day of the lord") " as the flock of His people; for," continues he, " they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon His land" (i. e. His new Canaan. Comp. Isai. Lxii. 3. Mal. iii. 17). We have here therefore, the stones of our foundation, at once precious, pure, and enduring, as those of a diadem : its glories such as will delight the eye; its worth and stability, that alone which will give real and lasting pleasure to the heart; and these again, so united with the elders of the tribes of Israel,—as in the four and twenty Elders noticed above (Chap. iv. 4, &c.),—as to make one great and well-founded City, at unity with itself, and diffusing its light and its glory throughout the universe.

Again (verr. 19—22), these precious stones are severally enumerated, shewing it to be a City whose Builder and Maker is indeed God. These need not be recited here. It is said also of the gates, that they were twelve pearls: and that every gate was of one entire pearl. That is, each exhibited the integral, and truly spiritual portion of one entire tribe: and so virtually testifying, that the true house of Israel should never fail before the Lord; but that their name and seed should endure: these were the wheat of God's garner: and What is the chaff to them (Jer. xxiii. 28) ?

We next have (ver. 18) a description both of the Wall and of the City. " The wall,'1'' it is said, " was of jasper :

10 This place will likewise enable us to understand another otherwise very obscure, in the Psalm (lxxv. 3), " The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved: I bear up the pillars of it." That this Psalm looks onward to the fall of heathenism, there can be no doubt. This dissolution then of the earth and of its inhabitants, is plainly that so often brought before us by the Prophets, and even by our Lord himself, as noticed above: it is no physical dissolution. The Pillars here therefore, are those who should sustain it after that event: and these primarily the Apostles and their fellow-labourers. On this, see Ps. xcvi. 10,-where its establishment in Christ is clearly foretold.

490 REVELATION, CHAP. XXI.

and the City was pure gold, like unto clear glass." This City too, " lieth foursquare," as in Ezekiel, "and the length of it is as large as the breadth,... the length and the breadth," it is added, " and the height of it are equal."" The measure apparently, of each side is, as measured with a reed, " twelve thousand furlongs:" in Ezekiel, "four thousand five hundred reeds:" which, according to the tables usually given, will make the fabric of St. John a little larger than that of Eze-kiel: but this is of no consequence in language such as this. In St. John moreover, the height is made equal to the length ; which ought to suggest, that no earthly city could be meant. Its amazing height too, might have been intended to intimate its proximity to heaven; and so exceeding in this respect, the famous tower of Babel erected at the outset of idolatry, and constituting it the mother of harlots (Gen. xi. 4). The same thing is perhaps intimated, in the proximity of the portion assigned to the Levites,—as just now seen,—to that in which the Saviour now ministers above, in the mediation carried on for the salvation of His people. The measure of " the wall thereof" was, we are told, " one hundred and forty-four cubits11:" i. e. as it should seem, its thickness was of this measure: its dimensions, in other respects, being otherwise given. By this is probably meant its impregnable strength. The walls of Babylon and Nineveh are said to have been of an amazing thickness; and, on that account probably, this measure was given; i. e. to assure believers, that, whatever the defences of idolatry may have been, those which are spiritual, and enclose the Church of the Living God, are infinitely stronger, and more durable. (Comp. Isai. chap. xxv. 2—5, inclusive, with Chap. xxvi. 1 ; lx. 18.)

St. John next tells us, that this City contains no temple built with hands (ver. 22) ; "/or," he adds, " the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the Temple of it." lu other words, there is no sacrificing Priesthood visible here, even to the eyes of an inspired Evangelist. In the sacrifice

11 It might be thought fanciful perhaps to suppose, that as 144 is a multiple of 12, the union of the Apostolic and Mosaic Church is intimated in this place : the same is perhaps implied in the 144 thousand, saved, and standing before the throne, Chap. vii. 4, above: but I leave this to the reader.

 

REVELATION, CHAP. XXI. 491

of the Lamb Himself, made once for all, this has been for ever completed, so that there now remains no more sacrifice to be offered for sin, no Temple here but that of the Holy Ghost12. Jews cannot continue their rebellious service of sacrifice, their temple having been destroyed. Christians cannot visibly, for they have no earthly Temple. Romanists, who presume still to offer such sacrifices, and so set up a mock-temple of their own, virtually abjure that which is vested in the Lamb, and in the temple not made with hands. And, as already remarked, if they choose to be partakers with fallen Israel in this respect, it can only be in the outer court, which has been assigned by Omnipotence to an eternal trampling under foot (see on Chap. xii. 2, above).

The next verse (23) is to the same effect: viz. to shew us that nothing natural or earthly is known in this City of God, because " The glory of God doth enlighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.'1'' The same is implied when it is said (ver. 25), that " there shall be no night there.'1'1 That is, in its own full, true, and real character, it is subject to no earthly contingency whatsoever : its light, its sun, its joys, are wholly spiritual: they are pure, they are constant, and are enduring.

And that the Christian Church on earth is meant here, not the state of glorified spirits above, the following places are amply sufficient to prove : " The nations of them which are saved," it is said, "shall walk in the light of it:" i.e. in the spiritual light proceeding from the Lamb, the Sun of righteousness not elsewhere to be found, but which is here abundant, free, unchanging, and eternal. John adds, "And the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it." If it is said in a former place, " the nations of them

12 Lactantius has some good remarks on this point. De Vera Sa-pientia, Lib. iv. § 13, 14, "Ecclesia, quse est verum tetnplum Dei; quod non in parietibus est, sed in corde ac fide hominum, qui credunt in eum, ac vocantur fideles." Observe he here speaks as the Apostle does when he says, that believers are a temple of the Holy Ghost (1 Cor. iii. 16, 17). "Hsec est domus fidelis, hoc immortale templum; in quo si quis non sacriflcaverit, immortalitatis premium non habebit. Cujus templi et magni et seterui, quoniam Christus fabricator fuit; idem necesse o'st habeat in eo sacerdotium reternum." He then cites Ps. ex. 4, " Thou art a Priest for ever," &c.

492 REVELATION, CHAP. XXI.

which are saved shall walk in the light thereof," the meaning of which must of necessity be, that " the nations of the earth"" that walk in the light of the Gospel shall obtain salvation thereby: which, I conceive, cannot be said with any propriety of the glorified spirits in heaven; these cannot constitute nations in the true sense of that term, nor can they be said to walk: nor can salvation be obtained there by any mode of walking: much less can the kings of the earth bring their wealth and honour into it: (and, be it borne in mind, this language is not mystical: it is that of literal explanation). This would be to transform heaven into earth, and to make earthly wealth, and kingly honours, things to be obtained and prized there : which is absurd. Besides, at the very outset of this Chapter (ver. 8), this Tabernacle, in other words, great Temple, or City of God, is said to come down, i. e. in its spiritual powers and provisions,—not tangibly or visibly,—and to be among men, so that God himself should dwell with them, and be their God. And again, both here (ver. 3), and again (ver. 10), this spiritual system is also said to come down from God, and out of heaven: it cannot therefore, be in heaven.

And again, every allusion here has reference to some prediction relating to the Christian Church. In verse 23, " The City had no need of the sun,...for the glory of God did lighten it," Sac. So Isaiah (chap. lx. 19, seq.), " The sun shall be no more thy light by day,- neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.'''1 Again (ver. 11), "Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious,... clear as crystal." So also Isaiah (ib. ver. 1), "Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee."'..."And" (ver. 3) " the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising." That Isaiah in all this refers to the Christian Church, there can be no doubt: nor can there, that John has here acted as his interpreter, and has applied to Christ that which the Prophet applied to God.

Again (ver. 24), " The nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it." St. Luke (chap. ii. 32), of Christ, "A light to lighten the Gentiles," &c. (from Isai. ix. 2, &c.). " The people that walked in darkness have seen

 REVELATION, CHAP, XXI. 463

a great light; they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined." (Ib. ver. 6, seq.), "For unto us a child is born,'1'' &c. Again (ib. XLii. 6), " J will...give theefor a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; to open the blind eyes," &c. And (ib. xux. 6), " I will...give theefor a, light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.'''' (Comp. Chap. xxxv. 5 ; lx. 1—6. Acts xiii. 47, where Paul himself has applied one of these places to Christ.)

"And the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it." Isaiah generally (chap. xux. 23, seq.) "Kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their Queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee." Ib. Lxiii. 5, seq., as cited above (ver. 6), " All they from Sheba shall come ; they shall bring gold and incense," &c. " The rams" (i. e. the Princes) " of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee,... and I will" (i.e. thus) "glorify the House of my glory."... " The ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far ; their silver and their gold with them.'"..." The sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee." (ver. 1 i), " They shall call thee, the city op the lord, the zion of the Holy One of Israel." Again (ver. 16), " Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breasts of Kings: and thou" (i. e. this true Zion and City of God) "shalt know that I the lord am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty one of Jacob." So also (Ps. Lxviii. 19, 29) "Kings shall bring presents unto thee." See also ver. 31 to the end. To which many other places might be added. (Comp. Ezek. XLviii. 21, 22, as considered above.) And I remark here once for all, that, whatever Nonconformists, Republicans, or Latitudi-narians, may say or think on this point, certain it is that Kings as such, with nations in their capacity as nations, are bound by these terms of the New Covenant, to bring both their wealth, and their honour, i. e. their influence, into God's Church, and thus,—as well as by every other means,—" to glorify the house of His glory." And again, that all this has respect to the Christian Church as we now have it, no unprejudiced person can for a moment doubt: nor can such, that for this purpose John has applied it.

"And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations

494 REVELATION, CHAP. XXI.

into it:" i. e. what was said above (ver. 24) of the kings of the nations, is now said of the nations themselves, as nations : "they shall bring" (Gr. dicrovai, i.e. they, some, impersonally), i. e. either the nations themselves, or it may be, the Escaped of Israel, the Apostolic Preachers. The place cited however, directs us to the former: its words are (ver. 22), "/ will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles,...and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders. And Kings," it is added, " shall be thy nursing fathers," &c. Isaiah, chap. lxvi. 20, however, makes the Escaped to " bring the brethren of Zion for an offering to the Lord out of all nations,...as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord." By which brethren is most likely meant, the converts of the Gentiles. And if these are so brought, their silver and their gold must be brought with them. So ib. lx. 9, " To bring thy sons from far; their silver and their gold with them:" but here the Gentiles bring these. And in the next verse, " Their Kings shall minister unto thee." The next verse has, " Thy gates shall be open continually," &c. as taken by St. John in the verse preceding (ver. 25). But it is of no moment here, whether we take as the Agents, the Preachers or the Gentiles, the thing taught, viz. that nations, as such, should honour the Church with their wealth, is the same in each case. And be it carefully noted here, as above, St. John now gives us a plain declaration of his meaning, not any mystical enouncement in the terms of the Theocracy.

"And"" (ver. 25) " the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there is no night there.'1'' So also Isaiah (chap. lx. 11), "Thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night: that men" (they, impersonally as above) " may bring unto Thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought." And a little lower down (ver. 19), to identify this with the spiritual views of John, " The sun shall be no more thy light by day ; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee; but the lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light" (i. e. so that no spiritual night can be there), " and thy God thy glory." And again, to preclude all doubt on this point, it is said (ver. 20), " Thy sun shall no more go down; neither

 REVELATION, CHAP. XXI. 495

shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the lord" (i. e. Jehovah, " the Sun of Righteousness," Mal. iv. 2) " shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended" (comp. Zech. ii. 5). Nothing is more common than darkness, night, gloom, and the like, put for trouble, anguish, sorrow, &c. The everlasting presence of light here therefore, and this the light of God himself, is much the same thing as to declare the absence of all mourning; this apparent repetition therefore, implies emphasis. To the same effect St. John (ver. 4), "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for former things are passed away:" that is, in a spiritual point of view. So our blessed Lord, as already remarked (John vi. 51, &c.), "If any man eat of this bread" (i. e. of my flesh spiritually discerned), "he shall live for ever;" and, be it remembered, this is said in contradistinction to the Fathers, who ate of the manna and died (naturally, ib. ver. 49): notwithstanding which, this place must necessarily be taken in a spiritual sense. (See also on Chap. vii. 16, above, referring evidently to the same thing.)

And lastly (ver. 27), " There shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.'1'1 And this again, which may ultimately be applied to heaven,—as indeed may all that has been given above,—-yet primarily and properly, applies to the Christian Church in its spiritual character. The same is virtually said by Ezekiel of his new earth, or land (Chap. xLvii. 11), " But the miry places thereof and the marishes thereof shall not be healed: they shall be given to salt:" i. e. those not within this territory, and evincing not the spiritual character required, are doomed to excision, as it was the case with the multitude of the Jews in Ezekiel's days, and with Lot's wife (Gen. xix. 26 : comp. Luke xvii. 28) : who, notwithstanding her having pi-ofessedly left Sodom, remained in heart there, and became accordingly a pillar, and portion, of salt. So also here, many baptized with water, but not with the Spirit—circumcised, as the Jews generally were, in the flesh, but not in the heart,—may have a name to live within this

496 REVELATION, CHAP. XXI.

glorious City, while, in the estimation of the Lamb, they will be without it, and dead: registered too, it may be in its books, but not in the Lamb^s book of life, they must submit to the sentence, " / know you not."

To the same effect Isaiah, foreseeing the times when the wilderness should rejoice and blossom as the rose (chap. xxxv. 1, seq.), excludes nevertheless the unclean from every participation therein. His words are, " An highway shall be there.... The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it." (ver. 8), " No lion," continues the Prophet, " nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there" (comp. Ps. xxiv. 3—6). So again (Isai. Lii. 1), " Put on thy beautiful garments" (i. e. the fine linen white and clean, which is the righteousness of Saints), " O Jerusalem, the holy City; for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircum-cised and the unclean" And, that this Chapter has the establishment of Messiah's kingdom in view, there can be no doubt. The same is true of Joel iii. 17, " Then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers" (persons, hea-

13 One would suppose from descriptions such as these, that Christianity was intended, both in principle and experience, to bo the source of the greatest happiness. Yet Gibbon (Ch. xv. Vol. II. Edit. Milman, p. 321), accusing the early Fathers of the Church of every thing contrary to this, but covertly attacking Christianity, says, " Some of our senses indeed are necessary for our preservation, others for our subsistence, and others for our information.—The unfeeling candidate for heaven was instructed, not only to resist the grosser allurements of the taste and smell, but to shut his ears against the profane harmony of sounds," &c. Lactantius, Instit. Divin. 1. vi. c. 20 seq. is then cited by way of proof; with how much honesty let the reader judge. Lactantius says, " Omnes" (sensuum voluptates) " quoniam vitiosse ac mor-tiferse sunt; virtute superari, atque oppritni debent; vel quod paulo ante diccbam de affectibus) ad rationem suam revocari." To the same effect Lactantius throughout this whole place, in many parts of which he gives nothing more than what he had read in the Philosophy of Cicero and others. Is not this admirable for honesty and candour ? It would shock the feelings of the most unfeeling to cite the cruelties of the Roman games, as here given by Lactantius in illustration of his meaning: and yet, these are the elegant amusements of heathenism, so often lauded by this very candid writer!

REVELATION, CHAP. XXI. 497

thenish in character) "pass through her any more?"1 (see also JNahum i. 15, and Zech. xiv. 21).

But it may be said here, as it has been times innumerable, that all this is too good for the Christian Church: that no such thing is visible within it; and that therefore it must relate to the state of heaven alone, which is untrue, both in principle and fact.

First, as to principle. It is by no means our duty to compare ourselves among ourselves (2 Cor. ii. 11, &c.), in any case, much less for the purpose of ascertaining what the character of Christianity is. Our business here is not with one another, but with the Law and the Testimony (Isai. viii. 20); if we presume to do otherwise, it will be because there is really no light in us. It is from these that we must inform ourselves, both as to what we are, and what we ought to be. And these will shew us, that the means afforded are such, as indeed to make us complete in Him (Col. ii. 10), and throughly furnished unto all good works: that, as 'Such, we shall then be the very mystical members, flesh, and bones of the body of Christ (Eph. v. SO): that we are justified, sanctified, and made capable of enjoying a peace passing all (human) understanding, and eventually meet to be partakers with the saints in light. This involves the exercise of a full assurance both of faith and of hope, that God will dwell with us, and never forsake us. And not only so, but having thus sought and realized the righteousness of His kingdom, all else, even of temporal things, necessary to our welfare, shall be added unto us. Such is an outline of the enouncements of the Law and the Testimony. As men indeed, sin will still war in our members; we can never be wholly perfect here ; but then, the mark of our calling being high, it will demand, and call forth, the increased and increasing exertions both of faith and obedience : and under these, the grace of Christ is sufficient, and the promises are sure. For such as we now are, heaven itself can supply nothing better : nay, nothing so suitable for administering to the reasonable soul; that which shall be satisfying, and calculated to call forth the everlasting, and untiring feeling and expression, of thankful love.

And again, as to fact. Look we to the Apostles; it was this Grace which made them what they were: not indeed

498 REVELATION, CHAP. XXI.

that which endued them with miraculous powers, but that which was given to every man to profit withal (1 Cor. xii. 7). In this respect, their converts were as much the members of Christ as they themselves were, and members of the Body, well knit and compacted together in every part (Eph. iv. 16). They all had received the converting and sustaining grace of the Head: and hence, there was no difference in Scythian, Barbarian, Bond and Free, Jew and Greek: all were one in Christ: all had been admitted to the same saving means in the Church, and all were equally called upon to draw near with faith, nothing doubting. How many did so, God alone could know: but, that many did, the histories of those times are sufficient to prove. Many were certainly the sons of God without rebuke, and they shone as lights in the world. Many too even now are found,—without all doubt, —walking in the same spiritual light, power, and consolations. Of many, I say, we cannot doubt this: while God alone can determine who these really are. That similar grace and powers have been put forth, in many of the missionary operations of late times, it is equally reasonable to believe. The holy and consistent lives, and superlatively happy deaths so often witnessed, can, I say, leave no doubt on the mind of any one, that the Gospel, as taught and experienced by the Apostles, their converts, and the successors of these, still carries with it, both in principle and fact, all and every thing that it did in their days. And it is to these things that we are bound to look, not to the faulty characters of the many, who have never yet seen the high mark of their calling, and have never either seen or felt the powers which it possesses; and who have hence been taught in too many instances, alas! to look for these in the millennarian reveries of good, it may be, but mistaken men !

I conclude here therefore, that it is the Church of Christ, and its glories, that both the Prophets and Evangelists cited above had in view ; and that it was the business of John, in this his Revelation of Christ, to confine these in principle primarily to the Church: and ultimately to extend them, as each case may admit, to the state in which all would be realized, in a much higher degree, in a better world.


] REVELATION, CHAP. XXII. 499

Sect. III.—On the Privileges, &c. of the extended Canaan of the New Covenant.

After describing the New Heaven, Jerusalem, or Zion, and City of the Living God, its Foundations, Gates, Glories, and Privileges, St. John next brings us to that of the New Earth, Land, or extended Canaan, of the New Covenant; to its origin, character, and privileges, in the following manner: "And he shewed me" (xxii. 1, seq.) "a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God, and of the Lamb:" i. e. as its source and origin. We have, as it should seem, in this river, not only the purity and brilliancy of the crystal, but also the property of imparting a similar character to every thing within the range of its course.—But to understand the figures adopted here more fully, we must turn to the places from which they have been taken.

The Prophet Joel then, seems to be the first in order, who has brought this River before us. His words are (chap. iii. 18, which we have already seen, refers to the times of Christ),—after saying that " all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters:" i. e. in the holy Remnant of Israel,— " A fountain shall come forth of the house of the lord, and shall water the valley of Shittim.'1'' That is, the desolate valley in which Israel encamped before they entered Canaan (Num. xxv. 1. Josh. ii. 1; iii. 1). So Isaiah (chap. xxxv. 6, Sec.), " In the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water.'''' And (ib. ver. 1), "The wilderness and solitary place shatt be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose." (ver. 9), " No lion shall be there," &e. as cited above. (Comp. Chap. xu. 18—21, spoken of as a new creation. So also Chap. xuii. 19—22, "This people have I formed for myself." See also John vii. 38—40.)

But Ezekiel is the most full and particular, and corresponds more exactly with the description given by John. His prediction,—of which I shall give only a skeleton,— proceeds thus (Chap. xLvii. 1, seq), " Waters," says he, " issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward"

500 REVELATION, CHAP. XXII.

(i. e. towards the desert just mentioned)..." the waters came down from under the right" (south) "side of the house, at the south side of the altar" (Chap. xLvii. 1, seq.). The stream of these was at first only deep enough to reach to the ancles (ver. 3), they were next found to reach to the knees (ver. 4), then to the loins (ver. 4): they then were found to have become a great river, " that could not be passed over"" (ver. 5). And such indeed, was the progress of the Gospel. First, the one hundred and twenty assembled in the upper chamber on the day of Pentecost, who received and carried forth the waters of the Spirit (John vii. as above), a small indeed, but powerful stream, which soon became a sea so large that even the household of the Caesars was irrigated by it; their kingdom overwhelmed, and eventually destroyed.

We may now touch on Zechariah's description of this •River: " It shall be in that day," says this Prophet (chap. xiv. 9), "that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem" (for "salvation is of the Jews"); "half of them toward the former" (i. e. the eastern) " sea, and half of them toward the hinder" (i.e. the western) "sea: in summer and in winter it shall be." That is, during both such portions of a natural year. But, in this very verse, as also in those preceding it (viz. 7, 6, and 1), the period for this is termed a day, and one day. This year therefore, and day, must of necessity stand for the same period, be that what it may. When termed a day, it is divided into the evening and morning.,,." At evening time" (which necessarily implies a morning preceding it), it is said, " it shall be light." So also Daniel (chap. viii. 26), "The vision of the evening and morning...is true:" and here the establishment of Christ's kingdom is clearly foretold. In Zechariah (ver. 9), "And," i. e. in that day, " the lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and His name one." It is added, as in St. John (ver. 11), " There shall be no more utter destruction," &c. in other words, " Death shall be swallowed up in victory." Both the one year, and day, is therefore divided into two parts: the first in the one case, is Summer, in the second, the Evening. In the Jewish year, commencing at the Passover, Summer will constitute its first portion. In the second case, the Evening com-

REVELATION, CHAP. XXII. 501

mencing the day in the East, will here also be the first portion of " one day." In Daniel's seventieth week, the Apostolic period is, as we have seen, its first portion, and this constitutes the Apostolical Millennium: its second portion reaching from the fall of the City and Temple, to the establishment of Christianity under Constantine; and it is that of the persecutions, as shewn above. These then, respectively, are Zechariah's Summer and Winter, Morning and Evening. And to these again, respectively, as to their events, do their several portions correspond well. We have therefore, the same period, and portions of it, before us in every case : and in the increasing progress of this river, a lively representation of the triumphant progress of the Gospel.

Zechariah moreover, makes these waters proceed both eastward and westward. That is, he is more full than either Joel or Ezekiel, which might well be expected in a Prophet coming after their times: while Isaiah, speaking of the wilderness or desert generally, includes all that has been said by them both. In mystical language, such discrepancies as these amount to nothing: they exhibit nothing beyond the various modes had recourse to, for the purpose of signifying the same thing. We have too in Zechariah, just as in Joel, first the fountain opened to the house of David (chap. xiii. 1, seq.), in these words: "In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the House of David and to the Inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.'1'' Again (Chap. xii. 10), this is given in others terms thus : " I will pour upon the House of David, and upon the Inhabitants of" (the true) "Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication : and," it is added, " they shall look upon me" (i.e. Christ) "whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son," &c. Which can apply, of necessity, to none but that Remnant of which St. Paul was one (Rom. xi. 1—6): for within the period termed here that day, this was to be done : it was so done, and has therefore been fulfilled (comp. Acts ii. 16, seq., as applied to a place in Joel treating on the very same period). These Prophets are here therefore, perfectly of a mind with St. John.

The Apocalypse proceeds,—and this will bring us back again to Ezekiel (ver. 2) : " In the midst of the street

502 REVELATION, CHAP. XXII.

(i. e. its bed or course), " and on either side of the River, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded" (each) "her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.'1'' This River has received, as we have just seen, the title of " living waters'1"1 (Zech. xiv. 9). We here find, that both within its stream or street, and on each side of this, grow the trees of life; that is, trees forbidden to be approached, upon the committal of original sin (Gen. iii. 22, 24). These, we are told, bear twelve manner of fruits, and one of these is produced every month. We have here therefore, restored in the richest abundance and variety,—such as to suit and to satisfy all in a situation to approach them,—the strong meat of the Apostle for those who are within, and on the banks of this stream; while the leaves,—the sincere milk of the word, as it should seem, and suitable to babes,—are for the healing of the nations. St. John adds accordingly, "And there shall be no more curse." That is, to those who have been healed by these leaves, and nourished by these fruits,—partakers as they now are of the tree of life,—there shall be no more curse, either feared or experienced. In the provisions of the Gospel, this has been removed: that being considered as dead (Rom. vii. 6) which inflicted it: and Christ Himself having become a curse for us (Gal. iii. 13).

It is added, " The throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it:" that is, within the limits of this ocean-like River, shall this be found and felt in its grace, power, and comforts : and hence it is said of those so circumstanced, " And His servants shall serve Him.'''' They shall be fully taught, encouraged, enabled,—so long as they are thus situated,— to do this. It is added, to shew that He shall be with them, "And they shall" (by faith) "see His face; and" (sealed as they have been, Chap. vii. 3) " his name shall be" (i. e. as that of his children, Deut. xxxii. 5) "in their foreheads." We are then told, as above (ver. 5), " There shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light.'''' That is, throughout this once desert and waste howling wilderness, now watered and blossoming like the rose, do all these divine influences, privileges, and powers, extend. Let us now see how Ezekiel dwells upon this.

REVELATION, CHAP. XXII. 503

"Now when I had returned,'1'' says he (ver. 7, seq.), " behold, at the bank of the River were very many trees on the one side and on the other. Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert" (i. e. of Shittim according to Joel), " and go into the sea; which being brought forth into the sea, the waters" (i. e. generally) " shall be healed." Particular respect is perhaps here had,—as a theme,—to the Dead sea, or sea of Sodom, the waters of which are of a deadly character: and, as the language used is decidedly mystical, the healing of all deadly sin should seem to be implied, and particularly as many of the terms used here, give the whole a general and universal aspect. The Prophet accordingly proceeds, " And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the Rivers'1'1 (here plural, as of streams derived from this sea-like River) " shall come shall live; and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these rivers shall come thither; for they shall be healed'1'' (and hence, shall be in a situation to be fruitful and to multiply as at the first): " and," it is repeated, " every thing shall live whither the River''' (i e. every single stream of these) "cometh."

We next have the Disciples of our Lord represented as fishermen, by whose instrumentality primarily, this healing of the nations should be effected. " And it shall come to pass," says the Prophet (ver. 10), "that the fishers shall stand upon it"1"1 (i. e. upon the street of each River) "from Engedi even unto Eneglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds"1"1 (i. e. men out of every nation), "as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many."1"1 We next have John's description of the trees, on each side of this river, thus given by Ezekiel: "And" (ver. 12) " by the River upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade" (comp. Ps. i. 3), " neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall put forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and," continues the Prophet, " the fruit thereof shall be for meat"1"1 (" strong meat," as intimated above), "and the leaf thereof for medicine"1"1 (i. e. to heal the deadly disease of original sin). It must be impossible surely to doubt, that John and Ezekiel have precisely the same

504 REVELATION, CHAP. XXII.

great purpose before them ; namely, the establishment of that kingdom of Christ, in which all nations should be blessed. It is the fulfilment of the first and great Covenant made with Abram, realizing to him the name of Abraham, and constituting him the spiritual Father of many nations.

Ezekiel adds, in order to shew that still, even within the new Earth in which this River should be known to flow, there should be marsh-lands, refusing to receive of its marrow and fatness, and to bring forth fruit to perfection: "But", says he, " the miry places thereof, and the marishes thereof, shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt." John gives the following explanation of this (verr. 14, 15): " Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates of the City. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie." That is, even after this Heavenly Jerusalem should be established, and after this River clear as crystal should have flowed from beneath the very throne of God, proceeding too in its irresistible course and power, into every desert of the world; there should nevertheless be found hard and sterile lands, refusing to receive its blessings, and even now to be consigned to the curse of barrenness and salt: i. e. Men resembling dogs in their filthiness, fierceness, and avidity; sorcerers, whoremongers, murderers, idolaters, and liars; and this even to the end of time, —as taught also in our first three Chapters. It should be observed that these dogs, sorcerers, and the like, are here within the boundaries of this healing stream ; in other words, of this New Earth of the Prophet and Evangelist: yet St. John (xxi. 8) assigns to these their portion in " the lake which burneth with brimstone and fire." If then, they are visibly within this New Jerusalem, they are mystically without it. It is not the visible Church only, that constitutes the Zion of God, any more than it did under the Theocracy; and just as circumcision of the flesh only, did not necessarily carry with it circumcision of the heart, i. e. in the spirit, not merely in the letter; even so is it here, within the brightest times of the Apocalyptic Church. And this the nature of the case requires : the means here not being such as to force the will of any, and so to make man irresponsible.

REVELATION, CHAP. XXII. 505

Again (ver. 11), "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he that is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still." Which affirms at least, that no state in which injustice, filthiness, and the like, cannot exist, is even now to be expected. Much the same is implied as to others of a contrary character, when it is said : " Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right" (i. e. by this means) " to the tree of life, and may enter to" (not without this as a means) " through the gates of the City.'1'' And this,—be it observed,— is neither more nor less, than what is everywhere taught in Apostolic Christianity. And hence it is said (ver. 16), " I Jesus have sent mine Angel to testify unto you these things in the Churches" (i. e. as the perpetual truths of the Churches). And again (ver. 18), " / testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy" (i. e. henceforth, and to the end of time) " of this book, If any man shall add unto these things" (i. e. as taught here, and published in my Apostolic Churches), " God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book.'1'' " And," again, " if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy City, and from the things which are written in this book.'1'' That is,—as I understand it,—if any one shall of his own mere motive and will, and to suit the fleshly speculations of his own mind, attempt to make things appear either better or worse, than they have been taught from the first in the Church; he shall have neither part nor lot within it. He who shall thus have sown to the wind, shall reap to the whirlwind: the fruits which such shall eventually oat, shall not be those of the tree of life, but of his own doings.

We now have (ver. 10), what it was but reasonable to expect, after such enouncements, viz. the period defined, in which all. this should be verified. It is said, " Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand." But this place and other similar ones have been considered above (p. 231, seq.), as the period had in view has been, pages 99—132, 138—144, &c. We need now only remark, that, throughout the period of the New Testa-

506 REVELATION, CHAP. XXII.

ment writers, the time and things here brought before us were daily expected; the same is true of the early Fathers of the Church, who lived and died before they had fully come to pass. In these cases the expectation was just, and it was in due time realized. After this, as the Church became more worldly, less scriptural, and less spiritual (generally), the same expectation continued without the same grounds for its support, or the ability to see this. In after ages, political notions have been so mixed with this question, that its real character and bearing have been wholly obscured: of which some proof has been given in the Preface.

And again, as to the period, &c. shortly to come to pass, John himself sees the seals of Daniel's visions,—to be reserved to the time of the end (Chap. xii. 9), and indeed of all the other prophetic visions,—broken, and the whole book of Scripture laid open by our blessed Lord. He must have also seen verified many of the things contained therein, as the fall of Jerusalem, the power of Christ evinced in this, and in the marvellous spread of the Gospel, with the signs and wonders accompanying all these, before he tasted of death: for he literally did remain until Christ thus came: that very generation moreover did not pass away, until the sign of the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven in power irresistible, was seen by the Church, and felt by the Jews. Nor could the end of these things have come,—and of which those now mentioned were to testify the beginnings, until the body of the Beast,—the Persecutor,—was given to the burning flame ; till the Image representing both him and his predecessors, in their heathenish power and principles, was so destroyed and carried off, that not a particle of it remained, or should be any where found; until, I say, the instrument of the destruction of them all, should have become a stone, or rock, filling the whole earth; in other words, until the Power of the holy people should have been so spread far and wide, as abundantly to afford the testimony, that now all these things here fulfilled, even to the letter.

All being now accomplished therefore, all are invited to come,—and are called upon to call others to come,—and be partakers in the marriage-feast of the Lamb, and of His Bride (comp. Chap. xxi. 2, 9 ; xix. 7, 9), in these remarkable words (ver. 17) : "And the Spirit" (i. e. speaking under

REVELATION, CHAP. XXII. 507

the authority of the Author of this now opened and unsealed book) "and the Bride" (i.e. the Church in her ministers) "say, Come." " And," it is added, " let him that heareth" (i.e. that receiveth this invitation) (i.e. to all within his sphere, as a spiritual Priest of God), " Come." And, to make the invitation general, so as to bring in all both bad and good,—the wedding-garment, white and clean, being provided for all,—it is added: " And let him that is athirst come" (because all must feel, sooner or later, that the things of time and sense will not satisfy: comp. Isai. lv. 1, seq.), " and whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely." Not only has the sealed Book, but the sealed fountain also, now been opened (Cant. iv. 12); and this is & fountain opened for sin and uncleanness (Zech. xiii. 1). The garden inclosed (ib. Cant.) has lost its wall of partition, that being now broken down (Eph. ii. 14) : and the Gentiles admitted into the vineyard. The river of God moreover, is now universal : its streams are seen to flow where no others can, or do, even on the tops of the mountains (Isai. xxx. 25), and in the dry and burnt up wilderness (ib. xxxv. 6); and even in the deadly waters of the sea of Sodom, so that these have now been healed.

It must be superfluous surely to shew, that these waters can be no other than those foretold by the Psalmist, and the Prophets, and promised to be given as springs of living waters, by our Lord himself (John iv. 14). Of no other have the Apostles any where apprised us. They certainly knew nothing beyond Jesus Christ and Him crucified, and the unspeakably great privileges thence to be obtained. Of millennarian glories under something like a new dispensation to be set up after their times, they never utter so much as a syllable: nor have they of a restoration of Jews: while one of them,—and certainly not the least in authority,—has positively declared, quite in the spirit of the Apocalypse, that " though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.'1'' And, that this may not be too slightly passed over, it is repeated : " As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you, them that ye have received " (i. e. not which might be supposed, either by some traditionary doctrine of develop-

508 REVELATION, CHAP. XXII.

ment, or millennarian device of men, to take place at some future period, and which ye have not now received), " let him be accursed." It will perhaps be difficult to conceive any thing more plain or positive than this is. It declares fully, and this with a fearful curse ever appended to it, that it is the Apostolic doctrine alone, unmixed, undiminished, and unaugmented, even as realized in the Apostolic times, to which it is our duty and privilege to adhere; as it also is to reject as heterodox, vile, and damnable, every thing whatsoever, tending in any degree either to add thereto, or to take therefrom: or further, as denounced at the very outset of the prophecy of this Book,—arid, alas ! most extensively and awfully realized,—that, unless we look carefully to the things that remain, and that we walk in garments of white, our candlestick shall, with all its excellencies, be wholly removed.

The prophecy of this Book will therefore sufficiently account for all the heathenism, which now covers those parts of Africa, the East, and other places, where its saving truths were once received and realized ; but where the traditions of men have usurped their place. Its warnings were disregarded ; the god of this world in one shape or other was followed: and the wine, the apples, and gall of Sodom, have accordingly superseded in all these, that old wine on the lees, the milk, honey, and fatness, supplied only where Christ is known as He is, and is worshipped as He ought to be. With the true Church or Zion moreover, this is still deposited in the richest abundance. Its flavour, its power, all its properties, are just what they were in the Apostolic times : for they are those of the Spirit: and this is her's to dispense fully and freely to both Jew and Gentile: and it cannot but succeed, because He who has given it, has promised ever to accompany its faithful ministration.

Nothing very lengthy need now be added, either to explain or to recommend the course, or the results of the foregoing inquiry. I have laid before the reader the state of the case, in my Preface. I have there shewn, that the question before us has never been fully investigated, and the causes of this. No one accustomed to critical inquiries will, I am sure, ever be brought to believe, that, under the influence of such principles, a subject so truly great and critical

REVELATION, CHAP. XXII. 509

as this is, could be fairly discussed. I have also given there, a statement of the principles which I have adopted, and have, throughout this work, abundantly exemplified them. I have also given a brief account of the usages of the early Fathers of the Church on this subject, and shewn in what particulars, and why, they occasionally fell short of the truth, and how far my principles and results agree with theirs. It will be for the reader to judge, to what extent I have succeeded, or not, in all this.

That the subject has not been followed out here to any thing like the extent, or with the accuracy which it deserves, no one can be more sensible than myself. But, when it is considered, that my course has been in a path very little beaten by others, and this amidst numerous avocations, many of which demanded all my time and strength; and that, whatever I may have failed in, I have perhaps succeeded in pointing out principles of interpretation which are good, and have in the main made Holy Scripture its own interpreter; I do trust the meed of approbation, due to an honest endeavour to vindicate the truth of Holy Writ, and the Heavenly Character of our holy Religion, will not be withholden from me. I now commit my work therefore, to the patient and candid consideration of the Reader, with the prayer, that its perusal may administer to his edification, and to the glory of Him to whom all glory and praise belong. I feel in sending it forth something like the regrets experienced on parting with a long endeared friend: but, as I trust it will now supply a similar pleasure to many, I do not so greatly lament over the parting farewell.

THE END.

WORKS BY THE AUTHOR, Which may be had at the Publishers'.

The Theophania by Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea, restored from a very ancient Syriac translation.

The Persian Controversies of the late Rev. Henry Martyn, translated into English, with Notes.

A Translation of The Book of the Patriarch Job, with a Comment, critical and exegetical.

A Sermon preached at a Visitation at Bishop Stortford, with extensive Notes shewing, against Dr. Wiseman, that the Church of Antioch never held the Doctrine of Transubstantiation.

A Sermon on the Sabbath, shewing that the Patriarchal Sabbath has ever been kept in the Christian Church.

A Letter to Mr. Goulburn on the rating of Tithe-rent-charges to the Poors' Bate.

Three short Letters on the Origin of the Tithes. A Letter to Dr. Pusey on his Sermon on the Eucharist.

A (second) Letter to Dr. Pusey on the Doctrine of the Keys, the Confessional, &c.

An Examination of the Principles of Hebrew Grammar, as put forth by Professor Ewald of Tubingen.

 

What do YOU think ?

Submit Your Comments For Posting Here
..Will Be Spam Filtered and Posted Shortly..



 



 

 

FREE ONLINE BOOKS

 

Click For Index Page

Free Online Books Historical Preterism Modern Preterism Study Archive Critical Articles Dispensationalist dEmEnTiA  Main Josephus Church History Hyper Preterism Main

Email PreteristArchive.com's Sole Developer and Curator, Todd Dennis  (todd @ preteristarchive.com) Opened in 1996
http://www.preteristarchive.com