« ElőzőTovább »
by perfecution and oppreffion, but tho' clothed in fackcloth, and living in a mourning and afflicted ftate, fhould yet prophefy, fhould yet preach the fincere word of God, and denounce the divine judgments against the reigning idolatry and wickedness: and this they should continue to do, as long as the grand corruption itself lafted, for the fpace of a thousand two hundred and threefcore days. It is the fame fpace of time with the forty and two months before mentioned. For forty and two months, confifting each of thirty days, are equal to a thousand two hundred and threefcore days, or years in the prophetic file: and a thousand two hundred and threefcore years, as we have seen before in Daniel, and fhall fee hereafter in the Revelation, is the period affigned for the tyranny and idolatry of the church of Rome.
A character is then given of these witneffes, and of the power and effect of their preaching. Thefe are the two olive trees, and the two candleflicks ftanding before the God of the earth, (ver. 4.) that is, they are like Zerubbabel and Jeshua, (Zech IV.), the great inftructers and inlightners of the church. Fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies, (ver. 5.) that is, they are like unto Mofes and Elijah, (Num. XVI. 2 Kings 1.) who called for fire upon their adverK 4
faries. But their fire was real, this is fymbolical, and proceedeth out of the mouth of the witneffes, denouncing the divine vengeance on the corrupters and oppofers of true religion; much in the fame manner, as it was faid to Jeremiah (V. 14.) I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them. Thefe bave power to fhut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy, (ver. 6.) that is, they are like Elijah, who foretold a want of rain in the days of Ahab, (1 Kings XVII. 1. Jam. V. 17.) and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and fix months, which, myftically understood, is the fame fpace of time as the forty and two months, and the thousand two hundred and threefcore days, which are allotted for the prophefying of the witneffes. During this time the divine grace, and protection, and bleffing fhall be withheld from thofe men, who neglect and defpife their preaching and doctrin. They have alío power over the waters to turn them to blood, and to fmite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will, that is they are like Mofes and Aaron, who inflicted these plagues on Egypt; and they may be faid to fmite the earth with the plagues. which they denounce, for in fcripture-language. the prophets are often faid to do thofe things, which they declare and foretel. But it is most
highly probable, that these particulars will receive a more litteral accomplishment, when the plagues of God and the vials of his wrath (Chap. XVI.) fhall be poured out upon men, in confequence of their having fo long refifted the teftimony of the witneffes. Their caufe and the cause of truth will finally be avenged on all their enemies.
Next after this defcription of the power and office of the witneffes, follows a prediction of those things, which fhall befall them at the latter end of their miniftry: and their paffion, and death, and refurrection; and afcenfion are copied from our Saviour's, who is emphatically ftiled (III.14.) the faithful and true witness; but with this difference, that his were real, theirs are figurative and myftical. And when they fhall have finished, orav TEXETWO, when they shall be about finishing their teftimony, (ver. 7.) the beast that afcendeth out of the abyss, the tyrannical power of Rome, of which we fhall hear more hereafter, fhall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. The beaft indeed fhall make war against them all the time that they are performing their miniftry; but when they shall be near finishing it, he shall fo make war against them, as to overcome them, and kill them. They shall be fubdued and fuppreffed, be degraded
from all power and authority, be deprived of all offices and functions, and be politically dead, if not naturally fo. In this low and abject state they shall lie fome time (ver. 8.) in the street of the great city, in fome confpicuous place within the jurisdiction of (7) Rome, which spiritually is called Sodom for corruption of manners; and Egypt for tyranny and oppreffion of the people of God, where alfo our Lord was crucified fpiritually,
(7) Mr. Mann, the late learned Mafter of the Charterhouse, in fome manufcript notes upon Vitringa's book on the Revelation, communicated to me by my friend Dr. Jortin, hath the following to prove that not Jerufalem, but Rome was intended in this place. Rev. XI. 8. The great city which Spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord was crucified. I. Jerufalem in ver, 2. of this very chapter, is called the holy city: can "it be in fo few periods in"tended under the names of "Sodom and Egypt?
"The holy city or Je"rufalem ver. 2. was to be "wafted and trod under foot "by the Gentiles for 42 "months: the two witneffes "were to prophefy the fame "fpace of time: how then "fhould their carkaffes lie in. "the street of Jerufalem fo wafted? 3. "Jerufalem in this book
tually, being crucified afresh in the sufferings of his faithful martyrs. Nay to how the greater indignity and cruelty to the martyrs, their dead bodies fhall not only be publicly expofed, (ver. 9.) but they shall be denied even the common privilege of burial: and their enemies fhall rejoice and infult over them, (ver. 10.) and shall fend mutual prefents and congratulations one to another, for their deliverance from these tormenters, whofe
"Sodom, Ifa, I. 10. and III.9." yet indeed without making
hoc novum Scripturis divinis, figurate uti tranflatione no"minum, ex comparatione cri"minum. So Rome might be "called Sodom for lewdnefs, "and Egypt for the oppreffion "of God's people.
2. "Object. The fecond "characteristic, where alfo our "Lord was crucified, determines the place to Jerufa "lem beyond all poffibility of " doubting.
"Anfw. Mills fays, "The Text should be read, « Οπε ὁ Κύριος ἀυλῶν ἐςαυρώθη, "where their Lord was cruci"fied, or had been crucified;
fpiritually crucified, where "they are fpiritually flain? "St. Paul to the Galatians uses "this expreffion figuratively
3 or 4 times: The Ep. to "the Hebr. VI. 6. uses it figu"ratively, and perhaps in the
very fenfe it may bear here. "Tho' it is capable too of another, which is authorized by Chrift himself, for Matth. "X, and XXV. and Acts IX. 4, 5. he declares himself to "fuffer, what is done to his "followers. In that Great