Page images

Kindness of our Lord.


at the door, and knock: if any one hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he shall sup 21 with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me on my throne, even as I also overcame, and sit with my Father on his throne. 22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."


A. D. 96. John seeth the throne of God in heaven; the four living creatures full of eyes, and the elders worshipping before him.

[ocr errors]

REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER III. 1. While Jesus reproves the church at Sardis for deadness, he kindly represents himself as having the Spirit with all his fulness of gifts and graces, to communicate. They had indeed a name of being alive and probably thought themselves to be so; they professed the truth, and had the ordinances administered among them; but He assures them that they were dead; some in trespasses and sin, and all comparatively, being in a lifeless disordered state. When an individual or a church is in this condition, what need is there of watchfulness, and prayer for the supplies of the Spirit, that they may be revived, strengthened, and established? Let such remember then how they did once receive the truth; with what affection, confidence, and hope, they heard the gospel, and let them keep the faith and renew their repentance. Jesus warns such of their danger, and if they are deaf to his voice, he will come upon them in judgment, when they least expect it. Some, in the lowest state of a church, are found pure, who have not defiled their garments; and, clothed in white raiment, the emblem of their purity and victory, their names shall stand enrolled in the book of life, and Jesus will confess them to be his own before the Father and the holy angels, in the great day of final account.


2. We learn how much one church may differ from another as to its spiritual state, and prosperity. That at Philadelphia was more alive, zealous and faithful, than any of the neighbouring ones; though but weak as to numbers, and as to gifts. With what majesty does Jesus speak to them, as the Holy, faithful One, the Heir of David, possess ing all power. He had set before these believers an open door of access into the family and kingdom of God, to all the present and everlasting privileges of his people, which none could shut against them; and one of usefulness, in spreading the gospel, nor could its enemies prevent its success. They had kept his word, believing his doctrines, fearing his denunciations, embracing his promises, and obeying his precepts with humility and perseverance; and he would keep them in the hour of trial and difficulty. When believers are consistent, and watchful, their Lord knows how to deliver them from temptation. And what an encouragement is it to hold fast our

[ocr errors][merged small]

Vision of God's throne.

AFTER these things I looked, and, behold, 1 a door was opened in heaven and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; and saying, "Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter." And immediately I was in the 2 Spirit: and behold, a throne was placed in heaven, and one sat on the throne. And he 3 who sat was in appearance like a jasper and a sardine stone: and a rainbow was round about the throne, in appearance like to an emerald. And round about the throne were twenty-four 4

integrity, faith, and hope, and by the power and grace of Christ, to fight and vanquish all enemies, that such will be made pillars in the temple of God, not only a part of it, but a beautiful, ornamental part; on which should be inscribed the name of the city to which he belonged, the New Jerusalem; and the new name of its king and Saviour, Jesus. How lovely will such be in the heavenly state, adorned in all the beauty of holiness; and how happy to dwell in that city, where the glory of God and the Lamb is the light thereof, and where sorrow and sighing are for ever fled away.

3. In the address to the church of Laodicea, we learn how easy it is to observe and keep the form of religion, when the spirit and power of it are lost. The faithful witness, the Amen, describes their state, and in great kindness instructs, warns, and invites them. They were all in a lukewarm state, neither cold nor hot; did not renounce the name of Christ and the profession of the gospel, and yet had no affection, zeal, and spirituality. How detestable is such a state to the Redeemer! For while such professors are a dishonour to Christ, and unworthy to bear his name, they generally think most highly of themselves, are full of spiritual pride, and suppose they need nothing, when they are wretched, pitiable, and poor, and blind, and naked. What condition out of hell can be worse? And O what delusion, what madness, to fancy ourselves in such a state, to be rich, and grown wealthy! Yet pitiable asthis state is, the loving Redeemer can deliver out of it. He has gold, white raiment, and eye-salve; blessings adapted to the miseries and wants of sinners, and lukewarm professors; and if they be willing to submit to his terms they may possess them. Let them seek the Holy Spirit, to open their blind eyes that they may see their nakedness, and convinced of their want of a justifying righteousness, come to Christ for it; and for that grace, which like gold makes truly rich. What means does the Redeemer use to convince and allure men to himself. He has stood, is standing, and will stand, knocking at the door, and waiting for admission, that he may bless us. Let us regard his voice in providence, in his word, and the ministry of it, that we have fellowship with him here, and sit with him on the throne hereafter. Amen.

CHAP. IV. 1, 2. A door. An opening or entrance appeared, and I seemed to hear a voice loud as a trumpet, calling to me, and saying, &c.— I was in the Spirit. Wrapt up in the most wonderful visions by the spirit of prophecy.Throne was, &c. Though nothing is said of the form of the




The four living creatures.

thrones: and upon the thrones I saw twenty- || eagle. four elders sitting, clothed in white raiment, ¿ and they had on their heads crowns of gold. 5 And out of the throne proceed lightnings and thunderings and voices: and seven lamps of tire were burning before the throne, which are 6 the seven spirits of God. And there was before the throne as it were a laver of glass like to crystal and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four living crea7 tures full of eyes before and behind. And the first living creature was like a lion, and the second living creature like a calf, and the third living creature had a face as a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying

REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER IV. 1. What John saw in vision is literally true, that there is a way opened to the kingdom of heaven for all believers, through the rent-veil of our Redeemer's humanity. We may now approach the throne of God by faith in his blood, as it is become through his mediation a throne of grace and mercy. The terrors of divine justice, the curses of the broken law, the lightnings and thunders of Sinai, need not alarm us, while the rainbow of covenant-love encircles the divine throne. To what honour and dignity are believers raised even on earth; and what glory and felicity are prepared for them in heaven. Now they are invested with the white robe of a Redeemer's righteousness, partakers of the renovating, holy influences of the Spirit, and obtaining daily victories over sin, Satan, and the world; and they will ere long be consecrated to God for evermore as priests in the temple of heaven, and seated on thrones, wearing their golden crowns, as victors over all their enemies, through the Great Captain of their salvation.

They with the elders give thanks. And the four living creatures had 8 each of them six wings; and they were full of eyes round about and within: and they rest not day and night, saying, "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come." And when those living creatures 9 give glory, and honour, and thanks, to him who sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, The twenty-four elders fall down 10 before him who sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, "Thou 11 art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and power: for thou hast created all things and by thy will they are, and were created.

throne, or of him that sat on it, yet it is manifest that the throne of God is intended. I agree with Doddridge, in considering that all the visionary scenes recorded in this book passed in the imagination of John; and we are not to suppose that there are in heaven four living creatures, such as are after described, or twenty-four elders, &c. but that these are figurative representations of other things.

3, 4. Like a jasper, &c. The jasper is of a white and sky colour, aud the sardius red. The former might be intended to represent the purity and excellence of the divine nature; aud the red colour, his awful justice and fiery indignation against all sin. The rain-bow investing the throne, may be designed to indicate God's covenant and faithfulness. Gen. ix. 13. The prevailing colour of the rain-bow was that of the emerald, or green. This surrounding the throne of God may denote that the holiness and Justice of God, and all his dispensations, have respect to his covenant of grace and love, which he has ratified with his believing people, and harmonized with them. The sight of the rain-bow inspires confidence, as the token of love and mercy; and we may contemplate the glory of God, in his purity, holiness, and justice, combined with his grace and love, not only without dismay, but with pleasure aud delight.- -Twenty-four elders, &c. The representatives of the Jewish and christian church, founded by the twelve patriarchs and twelve apostles; and they were clothed in white, the dress of the Jewish priests, and had crowns to denote their purity, honour, and dignity,

2. By the instructive emblems in this vision, let ministers learn what they should be. They are by their office near to God, and they ought to aspire after a greater degree of holiness than their brethren. In the sacred cause of the gospel, what courage should they possess in maintaining the truth against all opposers, in rebuking sinners with all long-suffering and gentleness, whatever may be their rank. What patience should they exercise in their work; in the morning sowing their seed, and in the evening not withholding their hand; and though they wait long and see little fruit, yet let them persevere, What knowledge, love, prudence, watchfulness and zeal are required to the due discharge of the duties of the ministry. May the Great Head of the church raise up and qualify his servants for their work, and bless them in it with great success; and may they worship him that liveth for ever, who is worthy to receive glory, and honour, and power, as the Great Creator, Supporter, and Governor of all. Bless the Lord, ye his angels; bless the Lord, O my soul!



5. Thunderings, &c. Something resembling the awful appearance st Sinai Seren lamps of fire, &c. As emblems of the seven Spirits, or of the perfection and fulness of the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit communicated to good men, and who in consequence are sanctified and fitted for the hearealy state. See Ch. i. 4.

6. Laver of glass. A capacious vessel of glass, like to that which was in the tabernacle, the water in which was clear as crystal. Exod. xxxviii. §This might be intended to represent the means of obtaining pardon and purity, by the blood of Christ, and the influence of the Spirit.—And in the midst of, &c. If the throne was square, then one appeared in the midst of each side opposite to another.

7,8. The first was like, &c. That those living creatures were in some respects different from the cherubs in Ezekiel, (Ch.i. and xx.) is now generally admitted; but of what they were symbols is yet disputed. Some apply the symbols to devote the spirits of the just in heaven, as (Ch. v. 9.) they seem to be united with the elders, the representatives of the church on earth, in cel brating the Lamb who had redeemed them; others consider them as denoting the highest order of angels, the attendants on God's throne, but this is opposed by Ch. v. 8-10, where they are said to be redeemed. Hence some think that they are the emblems or symbols of all true, faithful, and zealous ministere of the gospel, who ought to possess the qualities they represent, courage, p4tience in labour, benevolence and compassion, penetration and spirituality.

[blocks in formation]


A. D. 96. The book sealed with seven seals, and which the lamb only could open; hence the elders praise him, and confess that he redeemed them.


AND I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a book, written within, and 2 without, sealed with seven seals. And I saw And I saw a strong angel who proclaimed with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the book, 3 and to loose the seals thereof?" And no one in heaven, nor on earth, nor under the earth, was able to open the book, and to look therein. 4 And I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open the book, and to look therein. 5 Then one of the elders saith to me, "Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof." 6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst between the throne and the four living creatures, and in the midst between the elders, stood a Lamb, as if it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God. 7 sent forth into all the earth. And he came And he came right hand of And when he

and took the book out of the 8 him who sat upon the throne.

Their having wings may denote their alacrity in the work of the Lord, however difficult it may be; and being full of eyes, fitly represents their knowledge, penetration, caution, and watchfulness. Isa. vi. Ezek. i, 10. These had six wings as the seraphs, and use their language.They were full of eyes. Denoting their knowledge, prudence, and foresight; "and they rest not day and night, saying, &c." They perform continued acts of worship, as was done in the temple at stated times,

9-11. When these, &c. When these cherubs begin their adorations, they are joined by the elders, who were at a greater distance from the throne, who by taking off their crowns, and casting them before the throne, acknowledge from whom they received them, and that as the creator, he that sits on the throne, is deserving of all honour, glory, and praise.

CHAP. V. 1. A book. A roll of parchment, and it was written on both sides, within and without, contrary to the usual custom; but it was sealed up with seven seals, to intimate the secrecy and importance of what was written. 2-4. Who is worthy, &c. This seems to have been designed to awaken attention.- -And no one, &c. No angel or saint in heaven, or man alive on earth, or dead and buried, was worthy to be raised, that he might open the book, &c. At this I wept much.

5. One of the elders. The symbols of the church on earth, said, "Weep not; behold the Lion of the tribe, &c." There is an allusion to Gen. xlix. 9. The root of David-the root or scion that was to spring from David, Is. xi. 1, 10. He hath prevailed, and is perfectly competent to reveal all the counsels of God to the church.

6. In the midst between, &c. John immediately saw in the vision the Lamb take his station nearest the throne, and he appeared as if he had been slain, and had seven horns and seven eyes, emblems of his perfect power and 302

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]



had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden censers full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sang a new 9 song, saying, "Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every tribe, and language, and people, and nation; And hast made us 10 kings and priests to our God, and we shall reign on the earth.” And I looked, and I 11 heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and round about the living creatures and the elders: (and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands ;) Saying with a loud voice, 12 Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing." And 13 every creature that is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and those that are on the sea, and all things that are in them, heard I saying, heard saying, "Blessing, and honour, and glory, and dominion, be to him that sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb for ever



knowledge, having the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the fullest degree, and which he ean communicate according to his own will.

7-10. Took the book, &c. In this vision the Lamb seemed to go near the throne and take the book; and on this the four living creatures, and the twenty-four elders fell down in adoration.Every one of them, &c. If we include the living creatures as having censers, and joining in the new song, then it seems to follow that they were emblems of those in heaven redeemed unto God; but this is not certain, as the elders are the immediate antecedent, and the terms, "having every one of them harps and golden cencers," may refer to them only, as well as the new song. The "censers full of odours" were emblems of the prayers of good men, and of their acceptableness to God. The new song certainly includes all the redeemed of every age and clime. -Kings and priests. The church is a kingdom of priests, consecrated to God's service and glory, and ever offering up acceptable spiritual sacrifices. -We shall reign. The christian cause shall prevail through all ages, in spite of all opposition, and at last become triumphant.

11. Many angels. If the living creatures were emblems of the superior orders of the heavenly host, these who appeared were not represented by them. Their numbers were myriads of myriads, a number incalculable.

12. Receive power, &c. All authority in heaven and on earth; all the riches of divine excellencies, of wisdom, strength, &c. ·

13. And every creature. This song to the Lamb was taken up as it were by universal nature, and every creature joiued in it.To the Lamb. This ascription of the same blessing, and honour, and glory, to the Lamb as to him that sat on the throne, is a proof of the same divine nature; and the homage paid in the next verse seems to me to be paid to both as to the one true God.


[ocr errors]

Vision of the white horse.

14 and ever." And the four living creatures said, Amen. And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshipped him who liveth for ever and ever.


A. D. 96. The opening of the seals and what followed thereon, containing a prophecy of events until the end of the heathen Roman empire.



AND I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard, as it were the sound of thunder, one of the four living creatures 2 saying, "Come and see." And I looked, and behold a white horse: and he that sat thereon had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.


And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, "Come

REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER V. 1. Futurity is known with certainty only to him who knows the end from the beginning. An impenetrable cloud covers it from the ken of all created minds, however sagacious; and whatever we know, or even can know, of the state of the world or church in future periods, must be derived from the spirit of prophecy. The book of God's decrees is sealed, and no one in heaven or earth, or hell, is able, and worthy, to open the book, and unfold its pages, besides the incarnate Son of God. Enough is communicated in the holy scriptures respecting the way of salvation, the duty and privilege of God's people, as a ground for humble faith, guidance, and encouragement; but nothing to gratify curiosity in respect to ourselves or others, as individuals. Let us not weep then because more is not revealed, but rejoice in the light imparted, and improve it to the glory of God. Especially let us remember to whom we are indebted for all as the meritorious cause and medium; to him who is both the Lion of the tribe of Judah, and the meek, holy Lamb of God in the midst of the throne. What various and apparently contrary excellencies meet and combine in our Redeemer's character! The majesty, strength, and prowess of the lion he possesses to defend his people and punish his enemies; and as Saviour, he was as a lamb without spot or blemish, fit for sacrifice, and offered himself as such when his hour was come, for the eternal redemption of all that obey

[ocr errors]

Of the red and black. and see." And another horse that was red 4 went forth and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that men should kill one another: and there was given to him a great sword.

And when he had opened the third seal, 5 I heard the third living creature say, "Come and see." And I looked, and behold a black horse; and he that sat thereon had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in 6 the midst of the four living creatures say, A small measure of wheat for a denarius, and three small measures of barley for a denarius; but hurt thou not the oil and the wine."

CHAP. VI. 1, 2. One of the four, &c. That μav signifies first here, and in some other places, see Ch. iv. 7. Matt. xxviii. 1.—A white horse, &c. The white horse, used in Roman triumphs, the bow and the crown which he that sat on him had, are the proper emblems of victory, triumph, and royalty; and he who thus appeared in the vision, went forth conquering and to conquer. With Lowman, I conceive this to siguify our Lord going forth by the apostles and others, and widely propagating the gospel, conquering the prejudices and passions and errors of men, and establishing his church in spite of all opposition. The scriptures inform us how the gospel prevailed in the first century. 3,4. That was red, &c. A suitable emblem of great and dreadful slaughter. This actually occurred in the calamitous and destructive wars between the Jews and the Romans, the common enemies of the christian faith. In the reign of Trajan the Jews of Egypt and Cyprus rebelled, and are said to have put to death, in the most cruel manner, four hundred and sixty thousand men ;

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

And when he had opened the fourth seal, 7 I heard the fourth living creature say, "Come

him; and even in heaven wears the marks of his sufferings, and unspeakable love, while he ever lives to make intercession. May we be made like him in holy courage, meekness, gentleness, submission, and love.


2. As the whole church is interested in the prophecy of this book, so are all faithful ministers in particular to receive what is communicated, and teach men to worship the Lamb as one with the Father. They are to preach him to their fellow-sinners, and to present their prayers and praises, and excite others to join with them in these exercises, to the Lamb that was slain, and who has redeemed them to God by his blood, and in and through whom alone their prayers can ascend like incense before the throne of God. According to the representations here given, Jesus is alone worthy to reveal and direct the dispensations of providence, and grace; and justly entitled to receive universal adoration and praise together with the Father. The holy angels, the whole heavenly host, unite with redeemed sinners in this ascription of praise to the Lamb, as "Worthy to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing." Yea, the whole intelligent universe are summoned to engage in this work; and if we have any sense of a Redeemer's love, we cannot but join our most hearty Amen to this anthem of praise.


but afterwards they were subdued, and prodigious numbers slain by the Romans. In the reign of Adrian similar slaughter took place. This seal comprised the period from 100 to 138, A. D.

5, 6. A black horse, &c. Black was an emblem of affliction and famise. Sam. v. 10. and Ezek. iv. 16, 17. A small measure, &c. Such a quantity as would suffice a man for a day, about a quart; and as a denarius was the usual wages of a day, a man could only earn what would support himself, which indicates a dearth. Lowman limits the period of this seal to the reign of the Antonine family, from A. D. 138 to 193. That during this period there was a great scarcity of grain and provisions and distress and tumults in Rome itself about it, is attested by various historians. Tertulian ascribed this to God's wrath for the persecution of christians.

7, 8. A pale horse, &c. This pale yellow colour is a mark of disease and affliction. Hades. The invisible world follows death.—Over the fourth,

[ocr errors]


The pale horse.


8 and see." And I looked, and behold a pale horse and the name of him that sat thereon was Death, and Hades followeth him. power was given to him over the fourth part of the earth, to kill by the sword, and by famine, and by pestilence, and by wild-beasts. 9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those that had been slain for the word of God, and for the 10 testimony which they had borne, And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O sovereign Lord, holy and true, ere thou wilt judge and avenge our blood on those that Il dwell upon the earth?" And a white robe was given to every one of them; and it was said to them, that they should rest yet for a short season, until the number of their fellowservants and of their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be filled up.

[ocr errors]


REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER VI. 1. When the book of prophecy is opened, and providential events correspond with and fulfil it, we are called to see and consider it for the strengthening of our faith and love. We cannot but feel a lively interest in the victories of our gracious Redeemer, by the preaching of the gospel, in bringing men of all nations to the obedience of the faith. His kingdom was anall in its beginning, but it gradually increased under his wise government and holy administration. He went forth at first by the apostles and the ministers who succeeded them, not with carnal weapons, but with the word of peace, love, and mercy, conquering and to conquer ; and may he still go forth in this manner, until the

ends of the earth have seen his salvation. And should men resist his truth, and refuse to submit to the overtures of his mercy, and even fight against his cause and people, let them know that he has judgments treasured up for them. He can send the spirit of discord among them, and leave them to destroy each other with the sword; or can restrain the rain of heaven, and the fruits of the earth, and cut them off by famine, or sweep them away by pestilence and death. O let us kiss O let us kiss the golden sceptre of his mercy, that we may live, and not provoke him to dash us to pieces with the iron rod of his anger.

Day of divine wrath.


And I looked when he had opened the sixth 12 seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; the moon became as blood; And the stars of 13 heaven fell to the earth, even as a fig-tree : casteth its untimely figs, when it is shaken by a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as 14 a parchment when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and 15 the great men, and the commanders, and the rich men, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every freeman, hid themselves: in the dens, and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, "Fall 16 on us, and hide us from the face of him who sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath 17 is come; and who is able to stand?"?

&c. Over a great part of the inhabitants of the earth, to kill by the sword, by pestilence, &c. It is certain that the Hebrew n, is used in the sense given. Ezek. xiv. 21.; xxxiii. 27. The images represent a period of great misery, desolation, and slaughter; and Lowman extends it from A. D. 193 to 270. Civil and foreign wars and famines and pestilences as a consequence prevailed during this whole period; and most of the emperors died violent deaths, there being not fewer then twenty emperors in the space of sixty years.

9-11. The souls of those, &c. In the vision they appeared as if in the most Holy place, near the foot of the golden altar of incense, intimating that their constancy and perseverance were acceptable to God. How long, O Lord, &c. These martyrs knew that God would avenge the shedding of innocent blood; and they inquire how long it would be before this time arrived.


2. When the mild spirit of the gospel is considered, the goodwill that it displays to mankind, the mercy which it unfolds, the holiness, justice, humility and benevolence which it inculcates, one would think that all reasonable men would embrace it, and highly esteem all those who professed it, and made it the rule of their conduct. But what is the fact? Have men thus embraced it? In every period vast numbers have rejected it, and shed the blood of the righteous for no other reason, but because they renounced their superstition, crimes, and abominable deeds. These holy sufferers were called to exercise patience, and in conformity to their Lord, to seal their testimony with their blood; but they had his comforting presence, and the sweet assurance, that though their enemies might kill the body, they could not touch the soul. The souls of martyrs were gathered into the heavenly temple, near to the throne of God, and expecting his righteous vengeance on their persecutors. And in due time vengeance was executed on them, and ever will be on all such ungodly men, whatever their rank or power on earth may be.. O fly for refuge to Jesus by repentance and faith, lest the time should come when you may seek for a refuge in vain ; lest you should say to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the wrath of the Lamb."

White robes were given as a mark of their dignity and happiness; and they are informed that they must wait a little season until others, like them, had suf fered. This shows that the period of the fifth seal would be marked by violent persecution, and that many christians would be put to death on account of their religion. This seems to represent the last and most severe persecution which the christians suffered under Maximian and Deoclesian, which lasted for ten years; and the heathens thought that they had exterminated in a great degree the christian name.

12-17. A great earthquake, &c. The world seemed as if in the pangs of dissolution; the sun became covered, the moon like blood, and the stars fell, and the whole heavens seemed as if rolled up, while mountains and islands were forcibly removed. These strong figures display the awful judgments of

« PreviousContinue »