Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

realis

[ocr errors]

fecution,

hot judg @ avenge oxr blood on them that dwell
on the Earth?

See here what clearly signifies a Period in The fifth which the Church fuffers a cruel persecution;

Dioclefa-
& 'tis that which was caused by Dioclefian an's per:
& his successors , the most bloody that ever
was , longer & more cruell than the nine
others taken together. For faith Orofius, Sulpitius
during ten years they ceased not to burn Orofius.
the Churches , to proscribe the innocent, Scaliger
& to make Martyrs by Massacres & Punish- dat Teing.
ments. In Egypt alone were Massacred 144

1.5.
thousand men, & 70 thousand were banished.
Thence comes the name of £ra Dio-
cletiana &Æra Martyrum , an Épocha famous
in the history of the Church.

After this comesthe sixth seal, under which
we have faid we must find the fall of Paganism.
Indeed a little time after Dioclefiani , Conie
Aantine afeended the Throne of the Emperours,
& made the Christian Religion reign. He &
his Successors ruin'd Paganism. This fall of
the Pagan Religion is thus represented to us.

And i bebeld when he bad opened the fixel rosa feal, & lo there was a great Eartb-quake, 5 the Sün became black as fack-cloth of bair, 1 the Moon becamered as.blood. And the Stars of Heaven fell to the Earth

V. 13 sven as a pig-tree casteth her untimely

figs, when She is soaken of a mighty Wind.

And the beavens departed as a fcroll when it is rolled togetber , & every mountain 8 iliand were moved out of their places. And the Kings of tbe Eartli , & the great v. 153

enig

E2

[ocr errors]

The fixth

men , @ the rich men, a the chief captains,
& the mighty men
& every bond-man

, every free-man bid themselves in the dens ES

in the rocks of the mountains. Vi 16.

And said to the mountains & rocks , fall on

& hide us from the face of him that fittetl on the Tbrone ** from the wrath of the

Lamb.
Virgi For the great day of his wrath is come ,

who shall be able to stand?

All these images are borrowed from the Trumpet last judgment, wherfore they are usually, the fall of applied to it. Because indeed this fall of Paganism. Paganism. is the most terrible judgment that

yet ever fell since the beginning of the World on the Devil's Empire. We must know that in the whole Revelation we see these three heads reigning, the Dragon, the Beast, the

false Prophet. The Dragon is the Devil, the Beast'is the Roman Empire, the false Prophet is the Pope. The Dragon hath two Empires, the First is pure Paganism, & purely Pagan. The second is Antichristian Paganism mingled with Christianity. See here the fall of the first Empire, that is the purely Pagan Empire of the Dragon.

1. There is a great Earth-quake. In the style of the Prophets, & particularly of St. John; an Earth - quake always signifies a Change of the face of affairs in the world, because Earth-quakes overturn the Earth , & make it Change its face. Now what change of the face of affairs in the world can be imagin'd greater than that which happen'd under Con

Banting

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

ftantine & his successors. The Church had been beat down, massacred, it was bathed in its own blood, & all on a sudden behold 'tis the Mistress of the world. It is become rich & powerfull, it builds stately Temples, it overturns the Temples of Idols

2. The sun becomes black as fack.cloth. We must hold it for certain that the Sun, the Moon & the Stars in the Revelation always signify the Sovereign, the Dignities & Powers of the Empire treated of. We shall afterwards fee this every where. Here the Empire treated of is thắt of the Red Dragon , viz. The Devil. So that the Sun is the Soveraign of that Empire who is the Devil himself. The Moon is the Pagan Religion, which borrowed all its power from the Devil, as the Moon takes all its light from the Sun. The Stars are the Pontifexes & Priests of Paganism. Allthese powers fufferid an Eclyple , destroyed by the Christian Emperours , & tumbled to the ground like Figs by a great wind.

3. Every mountain & Every Ye were reat moved out of their places, i.e. the Templesi the Idols , the Cities, the places peculiarly i consecrated to the devotion of certain Pagant divinities were changed, & fuperftition therin was abolisht. The hand of God fell'heavily on the Gods of the Romans , as formerly it did on the Gods of the Egyptians...!

4: Lastly, The Kings & all men of every age & condition are exceedingly terrified, run up & down, & down, flee, bide themselves

&

were

1

endeavour to escape the judgment & the wrath of God. One might have seen above a hundred times more than what the Prophet here faith, if one could have seen the commotions that then happen'd, the terrors, the distresses , the frights that the invisible Empire of Demons suffer'd at the fall of Paganism. All that the Devil sųffer'd at the coming of J. Christ into the world was nothing in comparison of this. He reigned notwithstanding; he was master of Empires, Crowns, Temples , Altars. But all on a sudden , & at that very time

time, when he thought he had entirely ruin'd the Empire of J. Chrift by the persecution of Dioclefian , behold him him, lelf cast down on the Earth. 'Tis easy to judg that the Horrours & Commotions of the evil Spirițs were unconceivable. And moreover, who can doubt but that this great body of Pontifexes Priests & Pagan Ministers felt a prodigious commotion , when Constantine, turn'd Christian, & his successors beat down & ruind all the Temples of the Idols. History tells us enough of this; & tho it said nothing, it would be very easy to apprehend that the images here made use of are not too lively to represent the commotions of the Heathens & of Paganism. This Period brings us to Theodolins expired; but after whom also the glory & quiet of the Empire was quite loft, as we shall see hereafter. The greatness of the Roman Empire & Paganism fell at the same time. This was a great matter of triumph, to the

Pagansa

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Pagans, who said , The Gods had abandon'd
the Empire , fince their Altars had been beaten
down.' But God was providing for great

& it was neceflary the temporal
Empire Thould fall, to make way for the Spiri-
ţual Empire of Antichrist.

events

CHAP. VI.

An explication of the

four first Trumpets, which are the five degrees of the Fall of the Roman Empire, or the Soveraignty of Rome.

sealed

Ch.

[ocr errors]

"He 7th. Ch. is a vision that interrupts the The my

course of the seven seals. Here God the causes his Elect to be sealed, & their number thousand amounts to 144 thousand. We ihall see in

persons the process of this discourse that 144 is a sacred in the 7th, number, appointed to signify the Church; a number that arises from twelve multiplied by it felf. For the present it is fufficient to observe thar God takes the time between the sixth seal & the first Trumpet to cause his elect to be sealed, because more unhappy, fad , & much more fatall times were at hand than the foregoing ones. In the ages of the Heathen Emperours & under the Seals there were cruell persecutions, men had suffer'd much in their bodies. But under the Trumpets mult come the dark Kingdom of Antichrift, wherin the souls of the Christian - Church must be attack'd with Spiritual Temptations,

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »