Изображения страниц

stantine & 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 fun 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 that 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. All these powers fuffer'd an Eclyple, were destroyed by the Christian Emperours , &.. tumbled to the ground like Figs by a great wind...

3. Every mountain & Every me were reat moved out of their places, i.e. the Temples Ji the Idols, the Cities, the places peculiarly i consecrated to the devotion of certain Pagant divinities were changed, & superftition therin was abolisht. The hand of God fell heavily. on the Gods of the Romans , as formerly ito did on the Gods of the Egyptians. . I '',

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

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 distrefies, the frights that the invisible Empire of Demons suffer'dat the fall of Paganism. All that the Devil suffer'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, when he thought he had entirely ruin'd the Empire of J. Chrift by the persecution of Dioclefian, behold him bimTelf cast down on the Earth. ?Tis easy to judg that the Horrours & Commotions of the evil Spirits 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 & ruin'd 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 Theodofix's the great, under whom Paganism 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


[ocr errors][merged small]

Chap. 6.' of the Prophecies.
Pagans, who said , The Gods had abandon'd
the Empire, fince their Altars had been beaten
down. But God was providing for great
events , & it was necessary the temporal
Empire Thould fall, to make way for the Spiri-
ţual Empire of Antichrist.

[merged small][ocr errors]

An explication of the four first Trumpets , which

are the five degrees of the Fall of the Roman
Empire, or the Soveraignty of Rome.
THe 7th. Ch. is a vision that interrupts the The my-

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

realed - the process of this discourse that 144 is a sacred in the 7th,

Chi number, appointed to signify the Church; a number that arises from twelve multiplied by it felf. For the present it is sufficient to observe, that God takes the time between the sixth seal & the first Trumpet to cause his elect to be sealed, becaufe more unhappy, 152 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,

E 4


were ch their bo dark brhe Clan Tempt

be swallowed up in Superstition & Idolatry; & that in such a manner that the number of the faithfull should be almost as nothing, The 144 thousand , fignify the Church, the pure Church under Antichrists reign. Now 144 thousand are almost nothing in comparison of that innumerable multitude that is in the reign of Antichrist. This little number therföre was to be sealed , to the end that the destroying Angell of Spiritual Egypt might pass over them, & spare them. And they were to be sealed before the seven Trumpets founded, because the ruin of the Church was to happen under these seven Trumpets. Thus you have the whole mystery of the gth. Ch.

In the beginning of the 8th. Ch. after the opening the seventh seal, there was silence for about half an hour, plainly by way of allusion to what was done in the Temple, where while the incense was offering, the musick ceased , & all was in silence. The seven Trumpets are given to seven Angels : Every thing is made ready for the sounding of these Trumpets. , The first Angel founded, & there followed

Hail, Fire mingled with Blood, @ they - were cast on the Earth, 8 a third part of the

Trees was burnt up, & all green grass was burnt up. . .

The seven Trumpets continue to concern the Roman Empire as the seven seals had done. The first Trumpet begins where the sixth fcal ended. The sixth seal brings the Roman

8 Empire

[ocr errors]

- WC

Empire to the total fall of Paganism, which happen'd under the two Theodofius's, Father & son. The first Trumpet then must begin the first at the same time. Hail mingled with Fire , 8 Trumpet Blood falls on the Earth. 'Tis a lively & good und

begins representation of the inundations of those Theodosius barbarous people, who in the reign of Theo-ger, dofins the younger, came out of Thrace under fignifies

the first the conduct of Alaric, & ravaged first of all irruptions Macedonia, Thessaly , . Greece, Achaia , of the Base

barians. Corinth, Argos, Sparta, Epirus & Italy it self." Afterwards & about the same time, the Vandals, the Alanes, the Marcomans, the Herules, the Sueves, the Allemans pofseffed & desolated Gaul, Spain & Afrique. 'Tis a Hail mingled with fire & blood. For these barbarous people fell on like a storm of hail, with violence & in a sudden manner. They carried fire every where , & bathed the Earth with blood. We may fee Hail used for the like !f. 28. 2.

& 30, 30. inundations of strange people in divers places & 32. of the Prophets; So is the coming of Sal. manassar & his Assyrians expressed by the Prophet Efay. And the third part of the Trees was burnt. It must be observed that this The third third part appears again in all the Trumpets ; part figai

?fies the & this third part certainly signifies the Roman Roman Empire. The reason of it is evident. 'Tis Em pirc, because this Empire did pofsefs, & doth still, the third part of the World. Geographers divided the world into three parts, Europe,

Afia , & Africa. The Roman Empire took up one of these three parts, viz. Europe. So that when the Prophet faith that the several


« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »