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him as having seven heads and ten horns; the very heads and horns, which the dragon induces him to use against the woman, mentioned in the preceding chapter.
The third chapter further teaches us, by whose instigation as a second cause, the minister of the dragon, or the beast of the bottomless pit, is induced to take up arms against the woman and the troo witnesses. His instigator is another beast, quite distinct from himself, though very intimately connected with him: a beast, which comes up out of the earth, or Roman empire; which has two horns like a lamb; which speaks as a dragon; and which exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, not in a hostile but in a friendly manner, for he causeth the whole earth to worship his colleague and supporter the first beast.
4. The fourth chapter of the little book* describes the state of the true Church during the prevalence of the western Apostasy; predicts the Reformation; and divides some of the most prominent events of the seventh trumpet, which are detailed at large hereafter under the seven vials, into two grand classes, the harvest and the vintage of God's wrath, teaching us that the winepress shall be trodden in a certain country the space of which extends 1600 furlongs.
We learn then from the four chapters of the little book, both what the beast of the bottomless
* Rev. xiv.
pit is, namely a certain beast with seven heads and ten horns; by whose instigation he acts, namely by that of a second beast with two horns; and whose minister and tool he is, namely that of the great red dragon. We moreover learn, that making himself a tool of the dragon, and acting by the instigation of the second beast, the sevenheaded and ten-horned beast of the sea and the bottomless pit (for the beast of the sea and the beast of the bottomless pit are one and the same power*, the sea describing his natural and the bottomless pit his spiritual origin) should wage a war of 1260 years against the woman and the two witnesses who have the name of God written in their foreheads; but that nevertheless the Apostasy should receive a great check by the preaching of the Gospelt, and afterwards should be totally overthrown in the time of God's vintaget.
The way being thus cleared by this general statement, I shall proceed to consider the contents of the little book at large in five different sections, according as it naturally divides itself. 1. The prophesying of the witnesses; 2. The war of the dragon with the woman; 3. The ten-horned beast of the sea; 4. The two-horned beast of the earth; 5. The collateral history of the true Church,, and the harvest and vintage of God's wrath,
* Compare Rev. xiii. 1. with Rev. xvii. 3, 8.
+ Rev. xiv. 6.
Rev. xiv. 18, 19, 20.
Concerning the prophesying of the two witnesses.
In the present section I shall attempt to explain the first chapter of the little book, which contains the history of the persecution of the two witnesses by the beast of the bottomless pit.
"And 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. But the court, which "is without the temple, leave out, and measure "it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles; and "the holy city shall they tread under foot forty "and two months."
This prophecy commences with the year 606; which is the first year of the great Apostasy, and which synchronizes with the earliest blast of the first woe-trumpet in the East*. The temple, the altar,
* I may here add to the arguments, by whick I have already shewn that the year 606 is most probably the true date of the 1260 years, the following one. Unless this year be pitched upon, we shall find it impossible to make the beginning of the first woe-trumpet in the East synchronize with the beginning of the same woe-trumpet in the West. But we know that the first woe-trumpet begins to sound in the East in the year 606; whence I see not how we are to avoid concluding, that it begins likewise to sound in the West in the same year. Accordingly we find this same year to afford us the most probable
altar, and they that worship therein, are those few
date of the rise of the western apostasy and the commencement of the 1260 years; for in this year the Roman beast delivered the saints into the hand of his little horn. I can scarcely believe, that so many coincidences, all leading us to the year 606, are purely accidental.
* The holy city here mentioned cannot mean the literal Jerusalem, because the treading of it under foot is to continue only 1260 years, and during the reign of the Papal horn; whereas the treading under foot of the literal Jerusalem has already continued upwards of 1700 years, and commenced long before the reign of the Papal horn. The prophecy therefore of our Lord in Luke xxi. 24. which relates to the literal Jerusalem, cannot have any connection with the prophecy of St. John in Rev. xi. 2, which relates to the period of the 1260 years. See the preceding 2d Chapter of this Work.
who in practice were Gentiles, and who were unworthy the notice of a being of infinite purity*.
"And I will give power unto my two witnesses, " and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred "and three score days clothed in sackcloth. These "are the two olive trees, and the two candle"sticks, standing before the God of the earth.
* Measuring the servants of God is equivalent to sealing them (See Rev. vii. 3.). Hence the commission of the Suracenic locusts extended only to those, who had not the seal of God in their foreheads; they were not able to approach to Piedmont and Savoy, the country of those that were sealed. The unmeasured tenants of the outer court, and the unsealed men throughout the Roman empire, are alike the votaries of the Apostasy: while they that were measured, and they that were sealed, are the saints who refused to be partakers of its abominations. Mr. Mede is perfectly right in his idea of the outer court; but I cannot think with him that the inner court means the primitive Church previous to the revelation of the man of sin, because the whole allegory is included within the 1260 years, and consequently those symbolized by the inner court and those symbolized by the outer court must necessarily be contemporary. They of the outer court indeed are the very men who persecute the witnesses of the inner court (See Comment. Apoc. in loc.). The sealing of the servants of God takes place under the sixth seal and during the reign of Constantine, because the apostasy, considered individually, commenced about that time. It separated the wheat from the tares, and was preparatory to the subsequent grand-division of the witnesses from the gentiles of the outer court. A new race of gentiles began to insinuate themselves into the holy city at the time when the servants of God were sealed, or when the Apostasy commenced individually: but the outer court was not formally given unto them by the secular power, till the saints were given into the hand of the little papal horn in the year 606, and till the Apostasy became dominant,