that in the reign of Gallienus the peftilence was fo great that five thousand men died in one day. When the countries lie thus uncultivated, uninhabited, unfrequented, the wild beafts multiply, and come into the towns to devour men; which is the fourth diftinguishing calamity of this period. This would appear a probable confequence of the former calamities, if hiftory had recorded nothing of it but we read in hiftory that (3) five hundred wolves together entered into a city, which was deserted by its inhabitants, and where the younger Maximin chanced to be. It is well known, that the Heathens maliciously ascribed all public calamities to the Chriftians, and among them we find objected (4) the wars which they were obliged to wage with lions and wild beasts; as we may collect from Arnobius, who wrote foon after this time. The color of the pale horfe is very fuitable to the mortality of this period;


(9) Sola peftilentia, et morbis, atque ægritudinibus notus eorum principatus fuit. Eutrop. Lib. 9. Cap. 5.

(1) Hac fola pernicie infignes Gallus et Volufianus Oros.Hift. Lib. 7. Cap. 21.

(2)Peftilentia tanta exftiterat, ut uno die quinque millia hominum perirent. Trebell. Pollio in Gall. p. 177. ibid.


(3) Lupi urbem quingenti fimul ingreffi funt, in quam fe Maximinus contulerat - quæ deferta a civibus venienti Maximino patuit. Julius Capitolin. in Max. Jun. p. 150. ibid.

(4) Quando cum feris bella, et prælia cum leonibus gefta funt? Non ante nos? Arnob. adverf. Gentes. Lib. 1. p. 5. Edit. Lugd. Bat. 1651.

(5) See


and the proclamation for death and destruction is fitly made by a creature like an eagle that watches for carcafes. This period continued from Maximin to Diocletian about fifty years.

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And when he had opened the fifth seal,

I faw under the altar the fouls of them that

were flain for the word of God, and for
the teftimony which they held..

10. And they cried with a loud voice,
faying, How long, O Lord, holy and true,
doft thou not judge and avenge our blood
on them that dwell on the earth?

II And white robes were given unto every one of them, and it was faid unto them, that they should reft yet for a little feafon, until their fellow-fervants alfo, and their brethren that should be killed as they. were, fhould be fulfilled.


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The following feals have nothing extrinfecal, like the proclamation of the living creatures, to determin from what quarter we must expect their completion; but they are fufficiently diftinguished by their internal marks and characters. The fifth feal or period is remarkable for a dreadful perfecution of the Chriftians, who are reprefented


fented (ver. 9.) lying under the altar, (for the fcene is ftill in the tabernacle or temple) as facrifices newly flain and offered to God. They cry aloud (ver. 10.) for the Lord to judge and avenge their caufe; that is, the cruelties exercifed upon them were of fo barbarous and atrocious a nature, as to deferve and provoke the vengeance of the Lord. White robes are given unto every one of them (ver. 11.) as a token of their juftification and acceptance with God; and they are exhorted to rest for a season, till the number of the martyrs be completed, when they shall receive their full reward, as we shall fee hereafter. Where Mr. Lowman (5) observes very well, that "this representation feems "much to favor the immediate happiness of departed faints, and hardly to confift with "that uncomfortable opinion, the infenfible "ftate of departed fouls, till after the refur"rection." There were other perfecutions before, but this was by far the most confiderable, the tenth and laft general perfecution which was begun by Diocletian, and continued by others, and lafted longer, and extended farther, and was fharper and more bloody than any or all preceding; and therefore this was particularly


(6) Eufeb.

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(5) See Lowman on the Rev. p. 51.

F 2

predicted. Eufebius and Lactantius, who were two eye-witnesses, have (6) written large accounts of it. Orofius (7) afferts, that this perfecution was longer and more cruel than all the paft; for it raged inceffantly for ten years by burning the churches, profcribing the innocent, and flaying the martyrs. Sulpicius Severus too (8) defcribes it as the most bitter perfecution, which for ten years together depopulated the people of God; at which time all the world almost was stained with the facred blood of the martyrs, and was never more exhausted by any wars. So that this became a memorable æra to the Chriftians, under the name of the æra of Diocletian, or as it is otherwife called the æra of martyrs..

12 And I beheld when he had opened the fixth feal, and lo, there was a great earthquake, and the fun became black as fackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

13 And the ftars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig-tree cafteth her untimely figs when he is fhaken of a mighty wind:

(6) Eufeb. Ecclef. Hift.Lib.8. cum fupplemento. Lactantius de Mortibus Perfecut. Cap. 7. &c.

(7)--quæ perfecutio omnibus fere ante actis diuturnior atque

14 And

immanior fuit. Nam per decem
annos incendiis ecclefiarum,
profcriptionibus innocentum,
cædibus martyrum, inceffabiliter
acta eft. Oros. Hift. Lib. 7. Cap.

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14 And the heaven departed as a scrole when it is rolled together: and every mountain and iland were moved out of their places:

15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bond-man, and every free-man hid themselves in the dens, and in the rocks of the mountains;

16 And faid to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us and hide us from the face of him that fitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:

17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who fhall be able to stand?

The fixth feal or period produceth mighty changes and revolutions, which according to the prophetic ftile are expreffed by great commotions in the earth and in the heavens. The

very fame images, the very fame expreffions are employed by other prophets concerning the mutations and alterations of religions and go


martyrum cruore orbis infectus eft:--Nullis unquam magis bellis mundus exhauftus eft. Sulp. Sever. Hift. Sacr. Lib. 2. p. 99. Edit. Elzevir 1656. F 3 (9) Eufeb.

25. p. 528. Edit. Havercamp. (8) Acerbiffima perfecutio, quæ per decem continuos annos plebem Dei depopulata eft; qua tempeftate omnis fere facro

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