fhould not worship devils, dasond demons or fe


cond mediatory Gods, as it hath largely been fhown before, faints and angels, and idols of gold and filver and brass and ftone and wood. From hence it is evident, that these calamities were inflicted upon the Chriftians for their idolatry. As the eastern churches were firft in the crime, fo they were firft likewife in the punishment. At first they were vifited by the plague of the Saracens, but this working no change or reformation, they were again chastised by the ftill greater plague of the Othmans; were partly overthrown by the former, and were entirely ruined by the latter. What churches were then remaining, which were guilty of the like idolatry, but the western, or thofe in communion with Rome? And the weftern were not at all reclamed by the ruin of thereaftern, but perfifted ftill in the worship of faints, and (what is worse) the worship of images, which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: and the world is witnefs to the completion of this prophecy to this day. Neither repented they of their murders, their perfecutions and inquifitions, nor of their forceries, their pretended miracles and revelations, nor of their fornication, their public stews and uncleanness, nor of their thefts, their exactions and impofitions on mankind: and they

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


they are as notorious for their licentiousness and wickedness, as for their superstition and, idolatry. As they therefore refufed to take warning by the two former woes, the third woe, as we fhall fee, will fall with vengeance upon them.


I AND I faw another mighty angel

come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud, and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the fun, and his feet as pillars of fire.

2. And he had in his hand a little book

open and he fet his right foot upon the fea, and his left foot on the earth,

[ocr errors]

3 And cried with a loud voice, as when

a lion roareth: and when he had cried, :

feven thunders uttered their voices.

4 And when the feven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven faying unto me, Seal up thofe things which the feven thunders uttered, and write them not.

5 And the angel which I faw stand upon the fea, and upon the earth, lifted up his hand to heaven,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

6 And

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]



6 And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven and the things that therein are, and the earth and the things that therein are, and the fea and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer :


7 But in the days of the voice of the feventh angel, when he fhall begin to found, the mystery of God fhould be finished, as he hath declared to his fervants the prophets.

8 And the voice which I heard from heaven fpake unto me again, and said Go, and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the fea, and upon the earth.

9. And I went unto the angel, and faid unto him, Give me the little book. And he faid unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth as fweet as hony.

10 And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth fweet as hony: and as foon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.

11 And he said unto me, Thou must ! prophefy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.




St. John, in the conclufion of the laft chapter, having touched upon the corruption of the western church, proceeds now to deliver fome prophecies relating to this lamentable But before he enters upon this fubject, he (and the church in him) is prepared for it by an auguft and confolatory vifion. Another mighty angel came down from heaven, (ver. 1.) described fomewhat like the angel in the three laft chapters of Daniel, and in the first chapter of the Revelation. He had in his band (ver. 2.) a little book, Bieλapidiov a little book or codicil different from the Bixio or book mentioned before: and it was open, that all men might freely read and confider it. It was indeed a codicil to the larger book, and properly cometh under the fixth trumpet, to describe the state of the wef tern church after the description of the state of the eastern and this is with good reafon made a separate and distinct prophecy, on account of the importance of the matter, as well as for engaging the greater attention. He fet his right foot upon the fea, and bis left foot on the earth, to fhow the extent of his power and commiffion: and when he had cried aloud, (ver. 3.) Seven thunders uttered their voices. St. John would have written down (ver. 4.) thofe things which the feven thunders uttered, but was forbidden to do

[ocr errors]


do it. As we know not the fubjects of the. feven thunders, so neither can we know the reasons, for fuppreffing them: but it may be conceived, that fome things might be proper to be revealed to the apostle, and yet not to be communicated to the church. By thefe feven thunders, (6) Vitringa. understands the feven great croifades or expeditions of the western Chriftians for the conqueft of the holy land, and Daubuz the feven kingdoms which received and established the proteftant reformation by law. But doth it not. favor rather of vanity and prefumption than of knowlege and wisdom, to pretend to conjecture: what they are, when the Holy Spirit hath purpofely concealed them? Then the angel (ver.; 5, 6, 7.) lifted up his hand to heaven, like the, angel in Daniel, (XII. 7.) and fware by him that liveth for ever and ever, the great creator of all things, or xeovos en esa T, that the time fhall not be yet, but it shall be in the days of the feventh trumpet, that the mystery of God shall be finished, and the glorious ftate of his church be perfected, agreeably to the good things which he hath promised, as euntyenice, to bis fervants the prophets. This is faid for the confolation of Chriftians, that tho' the little back defcribes the



(6) Vitring, in locum. p. 431. Daubuz. p. 469.

(7) Mr.

« ElőzőTovább »