« ElőzőTovább »
calamities of the western church, yet they fhall all have a happy period under the feventh trumpet. St. John is then ordered (ver. 8, 9, 10.) to eat the little book, as Ezekiel (III. 3.) did upon a like occafion: and he ate it up; he thoroughly confidered, and digefted it; and found it to be, as he was informed it would be, fweet as honey in his mouth, but bitter in his ftomach. The knowlege of future things at first was pleafant, but the fad contents of the little book afterwards filled his foul with forrow. But these contents were not to be fealed up like those of the feven thunders; this little book was to be published (ver. 11.) as well as the larger book of the Apocalyps; and as it concerned kings and nations, fo it was to be made public for their use and information.
ΑΝ ND there was given me a reed like unto a rod and the angel ftood, faying, Rife, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
2 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 fhail they tread under foot forty and two months.
3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thoufand two hundred and threefcore days clothed in fackcloth.
4 Thefe are the two olive-trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, hemuft in this manner be killed.
6 These have power to fhut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to fmite the earth with all plagues as often as they will.
7 And when they fhall have finished their teftimony, the beast that afcendeth out of the bottomlefs pit, fhall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
8 And their dead bodies fhall lie in the ftreet of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where alfo our Lord was crucified.
9 And they of the people, and kindreds, and tongues, and nations, fhall fee their dead bodies three days and a half, and
and shall not fuffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
10 And they that dwell the earth fhall rejoice over them, and make merry, and fhall fend gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.
11 And after three days and an half, the spirit of life from God entered into them: and they stood their feet, and great fear fell upon them which faw them.
12 And they heard a great voice from heaven, faying unto them, Come up hither. And they afcended up to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies beheld them.
13 And the fame hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were flain of men feven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to
the God of heaven.
14 The fecond woe is paft, and behold, the third woe cometh quickly.
In the former part of this chapter, from the firft verfe to the fourteenth, are exhibited the contents of this little book. St. John is commanded (ver. 1.) to measure the inner court, the
the temple of God, and the altar, and them who worship therein, to fhow that during all this period there were fome true Chriftians, who conformed to the rule and measure of God's word. This measuring might allude more particularly to the Reformation from popery, which fell out under this fixth trumpet; and one of the moral causes of it was the Othmans taking of Conftantinople, whereupon the Greeks flying from their own country, and bringing their books with them into the more western parts of Europe, proved the happy occafion of the revival of learning; as the revival of learning opened mens eyes, and proved the happy occafion of the Reformation. But tho' the inner court, which includes the smaller number, was measured, yet the outer court, which implies the far greater part, was left cut (ver. 2.) and rejected, as being in the poffeffion of Chriftians only in name, but Gentiles in worthip and practice, who profaned it with heathenish fuperftition and idolatry: and they shall tread under foot the holy city, they fhall trample upon, and tyrannize over the church of Chrift, for the space of forty and two months.
At the fame time God fhould raise up fome true and faithful witnesses (ver. 3.) to preach and protest against these innovations and corK 3 ruptions
ruptions of religion; for there were protestants long before ever the name came into use. Of thefe witneffes there fhould be, tho' but a fmall, yet a competent number; and it was a fufficient reafon for making them two witnesses, because that is the number required by the law, and approved by the gofpel, (Deut. XIX. 15. Mat. XVIII. 16.) In the mouth of two witneffes fhall every word be eftablished: and upon former occafions two have often been joined in commiffion, as Mofes and Aaron in Egypt, Elijah and Elisha in the apoftafy of the ten tribes, and Zerubbabel and Jefhua after the Babylonish captivity, to whom thefe witneffes are particularly compared. Our Saviour himself fent forth his difciples (Luke X. 1.) two and two: and it hath been observed also, that the principal reformers have usually appeared as it were in pairs, as the Waldenfes and Albigenfes, John Hufs and Jerome of Prague, Luther and Calvin, Cranmer and Ridley, and their followers. Not that I conceive, that any two particular men, or two particular churches, were intended by this prophecy; but only it was meant in the general, that there should be fome in every age, tho' but few in number, who fhould bear witness to the truth, and declare against the iniquity and idolatry of their times. They fhould not be difcouraged even by