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vernments and why may they not therefore with equal fitnefs and propriety be applied to one of the greatest and most memorable revolutions which ever were in the world, the fubverfion of the Heathen religion, and establishment of the Chriftian, which was begun by Conftantine the great, and was completed by his fucceffors? The feries of the prophecy requires this application, and all the phrases and expreffions will eafily admit of fuch a conftruction. And I beheld when he had opened the fixth feal, (ver. 12,) and lo, there was cεloμos μeyas a great earth-quake, or rather a great concuffion; for the word in the original comprehends the fhaking of heaven as well as of earth. The fame phrafe is ufed by the prophet' Haggai (II. 6, 21.) concerning the first coming of Chrift, I will shake the heavens and the earth: and this shaking, as the apoftle faith, (Heb. XII. 27.) fignifieth the removing of those things which are skaken; and fo the prophet Haggai himself explains it, I will shake the heavens and the earth, And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will deftroy the strength of the kingdoms of the Heathen: And where was ever a greater concuffion or removal, than when Christianity was advanced to the throne of Paganism, and idolatry gave place to the true religion? Then fol
low the particular effects of this general concuffion, (ver. 12, 13, 14.) And the fun became black as fackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig-tree cafteth her untimely figs when she is fhaken of a mighty wind: And the heavens departed as a fcrole when it is rolled together; and every mountain and iland were moved out of their places. Ifaiah fpeaketh much in the fame manner concerning Babylon and Idumea; (XIII. 10. XXXIV. 4.) For the stars of heaven and the conftellations thereof shall not give their light; the fun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon fhall not caufe her light to fhine: And all the host of heaven shall be diffolved, and the heavens fhall be rolled together as a scrole; and all their hoft fhall fall down as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig-tree: And Jeremiah concerning the land of Judah, (IV. 23, 24.) I beheld the earth, and lo, it was without form and void; and the beavens, and they had no light: I beheld the mountains, and lo, they trembled, and all the bills moved lightly: And Ezekiel concerning Egypt, (XXXII.
7.) And when I fhall put thee out, I will cover the heaven, and make the ftars thereof dark; I will cover the fun with a cloud, and the moon fhall not give her light: And Joel concerning F 4
Jerufalem, (II. 10, 31.) The earth fhall quake before them, the heavens shall tremble, the fun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars fhall withdraw their shining: the fun fhall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come : And our Saviour himself also concerning the deftruction of Jerufalem, (Matt. XXIV. 29.) The fun fhall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars fall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens fhall be fhaken. Now it is certain, that the fall of any of these cities and kingdoms was not of greater concern and confequence to the world, nor more deserv→ ing to be defcribed in fuch pompous figures, than the fall of the Pagan Roman empire, when the great lights of the heathen world, the fun, moon, and stars, the powers civil and ecclefiaftical, were all eclipfed and obfcured, the heathen emperors and cæfars were flain, the heathen priefts and augurs were exftirpated, the heathen officers and magiftrates were removed, the heathen temples were demolished, and their revenues appropriated to better uses. It is cuftomary with the prophets, after they have described
(9) Eufeb. Ecclef. Hift. Lib. 8. Cap. 17, De Vita Conftant. Lib. 1. Cap. 57. Lactantius de
Mort. Perfecut. Cap. 33. &c.
(1) Eufeb. Ecclef. Hift. Lib.9.
fcribed a thing in the most fymbolical and figurative diction, to reprefent the fame again. in plainer language: and the fame method is obferved here, (ver. 15, 16, 17.) 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, that is Maximián, Galerius, Maximin, Maxentius, Licinius &c, with all their adherents and followers, were fo routed and difperfed, that they hid themselves in the dens, and in the rocks of the mountains, and faid to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us; expreffions used, as in other prophets, (If. II. 19, 21. Hof. X. 8. Luke XXIII. 30.) to denote the utmost terror and confternation; Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that fitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to ftand? This is therefore a triumph of Chrift over his heathen enemies, and a triumph after a fevere perfecution; fo that the time and all the circumftances, as well as the feries and order of the prophecy, agree perfectly with this interpretation. (9) Galerius, (1) Maximin, and (2) Licinius made
Cap. 9, 10, II. De Vita (2) Eufeb. de Vita Constant. Conft. Lib. 1. Cap. 59. Lactant. Lib. 2. Cap. 18. ibid. Cap. 49.
made even a public confeffion of their guilt, recalled their decrees and edicts against the Christians, and acknowleged the juft judgments of God and of Chrift in their deftruction..
CHA P. VII.
AND ND after these things, I faw four angels ftanding on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind fhould not blow on the earth, nor on the fea, nor on any
2 And I faw another angel afcending from the east, having the feal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,
3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the fea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the fervants of our God in their foreheads.
4 And I heard the number of them which were fealed: and there were fealed an hundred and forty and four thousand, of all the tribes of the children of Ifrael.
5 Of the tribe of Juda were fealed twelve thoufand. Of the tribe of Reuben were fealed twelve thoufand. Of the tribe of Gad were fealed twelve thousand..