« PreviousContinue »
professed the Name of Christ, and to put them to death; and this power was yielded to them universally, in all kingdoms and coun. tries, under their dominion.
XIII. 8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. And all that dwell upon the earth, under the Roman dition, shall be forced to burn incense to their Cæsars, and to worship them as gods, even all they, whom God hath not, by his especial favour, decreed and designed to eternal life, from eternity, purchased by the death of his Son Jesus Christ.
XIII. 9 If any man have an ear, let him hear. If God have given to any man an understanding heart and a hear. ing ear, let him well consider of these great and mystical things, which are spoken of this Empire.
XIII. 10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. For, as this Roman Empire shall long tyrannize over the world, and lead many thousands into captivity; so itself shall be dealt with, at the last; and, as it hath been guilty of much innocent bloodshed; so it shall accordingly be served again, and shall perish by the sword of an enemy: but, in the mean time, there is much patience required of God's Saints; and much faith, to expect and attend the accomplishment of these things, which must, though late, yet, in their just time, be fulfilled.
XIII. 11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And, besides this Secular, I beheld a Spiritual Tyranny ; arising from small and weak beginnings, to a great height of pride and impiety; the semblance and outward shew whereof was meek and lamb-like, as tending to the advancement of the Name of Christ; but the doctrine, and practice, of it was proud and cruel.
XIII. 12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he taketh upon him to exercise all imperial power; making indeed but a mere shadow of the Empire: yet outwardly pretends to draw all the earth to the subjection and obedience of that Monarchy, whose deadly wound was healed. See verse 3.
XIII. 13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men: And this Spiritual Tyranny doth advance itself continually, by boasting of great miracles, that are daily done by the abettors thereof: so that, as Elijah, in his time, by calling down fire from heaven, did approve the truth of bis doctrine and mission from God; so doth this tyrannical state go about to justify their teaching and usurpation, by strange and wonderful miracles:
XIII. 14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth, by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the
beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And this Spiritual Tyrant deceived the inhabitants of the earth, by those miracles which he had power to do, in the presence of the subjects of that great Expire; and caused the people to renew and receive a new restored form and image of that long vacant Empire of the West, which had received that deadly wound by the sword of the Huns, and Goths, and Vandals.
XIII. 15 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 image of the beast should be killed. And he had power to put a new life into that new restored image or shadow of the ancient Empire; that it should be able to do the wonted actions of life, and make laws for its own government and the establishment thereof; and, joining the force of his decrees with the edicts of that meanly-revived Empire, should constrain all men, under pain of death, to yield their homage and subjection to that monarchy of his own erecting.
XIII. 16 And he caused all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, and in their foreheads. And he caused all, both small and great, rich and poor, to make open profession of themselves, to be the subjects and vassals of the Roman Empire; and, both in their countenance to declare it, and with their hands to fight for it.
XIII. 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. And he excommunicated all that would not subject themselves unto it; inbibiting them from all liberty of trade and traffic, or any affairs of secular commerce; which did not profess their reverence and obedience to that his Latin Empire, and the honourable titles given thereunto.
XIII. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Sir hundred three score and six. Here is a proof of the wisdom and sagacity of any reader: let him, therefore, that hath skill and knowledge, reckon the number of the numeral letters, which are in the name of this Empire; for they make up the name of a man, even of one of the first princes, viz. Latinus, which swayed this government; and the numeral etters of his name make up the number of six hundred sixty and six.
XIV. 1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, ind with him a hundred forty and four thousand, having his Fa'her's name written in their foreheads. Now, after that I had seen these fearful representations of the Two Great Enemies of God's Church, I had a comfortable sight shewed unto me of Christ the Blessed Protector thereof: who was repreVOL. IV.
sented to me, as a Lamb standing upon his holy mount Sion; and with him those his chosen servants, in infinite numbers, which had formerly received the mark of his gracious protection, and who had faithfully professed the truth of his religion.
XIV. 2 And I heard u voice from heaven, as the voice of many walers, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And I heard the heavenly voice of God's Church, unanimously praising and magnifying the Name of God, for his wonderful mercies to them; with such loudness and strength, as if it had been the sound of many waters, or of a mighty thunder: and I heard the joyful melody, that they made in the expressing of their thanksgivings unto God:
XIV. 3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. And these holy choristers sung, not the old song of their forefathers, which praised God for the redemption which was to come; but sung new songs of thanksgiving for their redemption already atchieved, in the presence of God and his Angels and glorified Saints: and none of the carnal and unregenerate men of the world could know what that joyful song meant; none having ever found the sweetness and comfort of these mercies of God in Christ, but only his chosen and redeemed ones whom they concern.
XIV. 4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever: he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
These are they, who are neither defiled with bodily fornication with women, nor with spiritual fornication with idols; but hare kept themselves chaste and clean from both those pollutions: these are wholly addicted to the sincere worship and service of Christ : these are bought with a price, even that inestimable price of his blood; being specially dedicated, as the holy firstfruits of mankind, to God and to Jesus Christ his Son.
XIV. 5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God. These are so justified from their sins by the blood of Christ, and so sanctified from their corruptions by his Spirit, as that there is no wickedness nor falsehood in them; and that, being clothed with Christ's Righteousness, they appear without spot or blemish, before the throne of God.
XIV. 6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, have ing the everlasting gospel to preach' unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people; Then I saw another mighty and glorious messenger of God, who, for the more speed of delivery and safety from all oppugnation, flew with the message of that true and sincere Gospel of Christ which had been long suppressed and opposed by men, the truth whereof is everlasting ; having charge, that it should be broached
and published to all nations, and kindreds, and tongues, and people, by the faithful dispensers thereof;
XIV. 7 Saying with a loựd voice, Fear God, and give glory" to him ; &c. Teaching them all the world over, that, forsaking all their super. stitions and sinful will worships, they should fear God only, and give glory to him; &c.
XIV. § And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. Then, upon the free and sincere preaching of the Gospel, there followed another messenger from God, which cried, saying, It is fallen, it is fallen; the mystical Babylon, the great city of the world: because she hath drawn all nations, to drink of the cup of her spiritual fornications; and, thereby hath caused them to drink of that cup of God's wrath and vengeance, which belongs to those grievous offences.
XIV. 9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, Then followed a third messenger from God, with further tidings of judgments, upon those, which do wilfully maintain the pride, and tyranny, and wicked errors of the Antichristian state, saying, If any man do, after these clear publications of the Gospel, give divine worship to any created power, whether civil or spiritual, and shall make profession of his servile and idolatrous prostitution thereunto, (See chap. xiii. verse 8.)
XIV. 10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb. The same man shall drink of that inconceivably bitter cup of God's wrath and vengeance, without any mixture at all of mercy and re. mission: and he shall be infinitely and eternally tormented, with that fire and brimstone of heil; and both the holy angels of God, and Christ the meek and merciful Saviour of Men, shall see them without pity, so tormented forever. So also verse 11.
XIV. 12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And now, upon the sight of these torments indicted upon wicked and idolatrous men, God's children shall well find the fruit of their patience and constant profession of the true faith of Jesus Christ, and their conscionable obedience to the commandments of God; in that they see themselves free from this grievous vengeance, and possessed of joy and happiness.
XIV. 13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, IVrite, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them. And I heard a voice from heaven, bidding me to write these words
followiny, as worthy of perpetual remembrance and considera. tion; Blessed are the dead, which have now laid down their life for Christ; and such as are found in Christ, when they go hence: no less blessed are they, than those holy martyrs of the primitive times: yea, saith the Holy Spirit, they are doubtless blessed, because they both are freed from those calamities which attended their life, and do likewise receive the comfort and benefit of all the good works which they did here below.
XIV. 14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of Man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And I looked, and I beheld a present representation of address unto a terrible judgment: for there appeared Christ, the Eternal Son of God, as in his glorious Humanity, sitting upon a white cloud; to shew the integrity and glory of his presence: having on his head a golden crown, representing his majesty and power; and a sharp sickle in his hand, implying his readiness to cut down the ripe sinners of the world, and to execute his just severity upon them. So also verses 15, 16, 17, 18.
XIV. 19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God." Then the angel did, accordingly, by the sickle of his powerful er. ecution, cut down the sinful generation of mankind; and did cast them down into hell, the place of torment appointed for all the wicked enemies of God.
XIV. 20 And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and sir hundred furlongs. And the execution was wonderfully great and fearful; insomuch as the blood of the slain was so deep, as that it reached up to the very bridles of the horses, for the space of two hundred miles in length : so great and general was the destruction of those, who did wilfully follow the enemies of Christ.
XV. 1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven ungels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. And I saw another wonder in heaven, great and marvellous: for, in way of preparation to that Last Judgment and Execution, I saw Seven Angels, which had power to inflict the Seven Last Plagues upon the enemies of Christ; in which is the accomplishment of all thote judgments, which he meant to bring upon the kingdom of Antichrist, before his utmost confusion.
XV. 2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass 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 I saw, as it were, a sea of crystal, mixed with some tincture of redness, as of the colour of fire; by reason of the persecutions