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6 Of the tribe of Afer were fealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nephthalim were fealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manaffes were fealed twelve thousand. 7 Of the tribe of Simeon were fealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were fealed twelve thoufand. Of the tribe of Ifachar were fealed twelve thoufand.
8. Of the tribe of Zabulon were fealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Jofeph were fealed twelve thoufand. Of the tribė of Benjamin were fealed twelve thousand.
9 After this I beheld, and lo, a great multitude which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, ftood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
10 And cried with a loud voice, faying, Salvation to our God which fitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
11 And all the angels ftood round about the throne, and about the elders, and the four beafts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,
12. Saying, Amen: Bleffing and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and
and power, and might be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.
13 And one of the elders answered, faying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
14 And I faid unto him, Sir, thou knoweft. And he faid to me, Thefe are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and ferve him day and night in his temple and he that fitteth on the throne fhall dwell among them.
16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more, neither fhall the fun light on them, nor any heat.
17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne, fhall feed them, and fhall lead them unto living fountains of waters: And God fhall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
What follows in this chapter is still a continu
(3) Eufeb. Ecclef. Hift. Lib. 10. Cap. 1. pois es nuas vagγως πεπληρωμένοις χαιροντες Quæ cum omnia noftris tempo
ribus manifeftè completa fint, læti deinceps et gratulabundi.-
(4) Reftituta per orbem tranquillitate, profligata nuper ec
ation of the fixth feal, for the feventh feal is not opened till the beginning of the next chapter. It is a defcription of the state of the church in Constantine's time, of the peace and protection that it should enjoy under the civil powers, and of the great acceffion that should be made to it both of Jews and Gentiles. Four angels (ver. 1, 2, 3.) are ordered by another angel to reftrain, the four winds from blowing with violence on any part of the world; to show that these were halcyon days, wherein the former wars and perfecutions fhould cease, and peace and tranquillity be restored for a season. Eufebius is very copious upon this fubject in several parts of his writings; and hath (3) applied that paffage of the pfalmift in the version of the Seventy, (Pfal. XLVI. 8, 9,) Come hither, and behold the works of the Lord, what wonders he bath wrought in the earth: He maketh wars to ceafe unto the end of the earth, he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the fpear in funder, he burneth the chariot in the fire; which things, faith he, being manifeftly fulfilled in our times, we rejoice over them. Lactantius alfo (4) faith in the fame triumphant ftrain, that tranquility 3 being tos fublevavit. Nunc mærentium lacrymas deterfit. Latantius de Mort, Perfecut. Cap. 1.
clefia rurfum exfurgit.-Nunc poft tantæ tempeftatis violentos turbines placidus aer et optata lux refulfit. Nunc Deus afflic
being restored throughout the world, the church which was lately ruined rifeth again. Now after the violent agitations of fo great a tempeft, a calm air and the defired light become refplendent. Now God bath relieved the afflicted. Now he hath wiped away the tears of the forrowful.' Thefe are teftimonies of contemporary writers; and fome (5) medals of Conftantine are still preferved with the head of this emperor on one fide and this infcription CONSTANTINUS AUG., and on the reverfe BEATA TRANQUILLITAS, Blessed tranquillity. During this time of tranquillity the fervants of God were to be fealed in their foreheads. It is an expreffion in allufion to the ancient cuftom of marking fervants in their foreheads to diftinguish what they were, and to whom they belonged. Now among Chriftians baptifm being the feal of the covenant between God and man, is therefore by ancient writers (6) often called the feal, the fign, the mark and character of the Lord: and it was the (7) practice in early times, as it is at present, to make the fign of the cross upon the foreheads of the parties baptized. The fame fign of the cross was also made at confirmation;
(5) See Daubuz. p. 311.
ham's Antiquities. B. 11. Ch. 1.
and upon many other occafions the Chriftians figned themselves with the fign of the cross in their foreheads, as a token that they were not afhamed of a crucified mafter, that on the contrary they gloried in the cross of Chrift, and triumphed in that symbol and representation of it. The fealing therefore of the fervants of God in their foreheads at this juncture can imply no lefs, than that many converts fhould be baptized, and those, who before, in times of perfecution, had been compelled to worship God in private, should now make a free, open, and public profeffion of their religion; and that such an acceffion was made to the church, every one knoweth who knoweth any thing of the hiftory of this time.
As the church of Chrift was firft formed out of the Jewish church and nation, so here (ver. 4-8.) the fpiritual Ifrael is firft mentioned and the number of the thousands of Ifrael is that of the twelve patriarchs multiplied by the twelve apostles, which we fhall find to be a facred number throughout the Revelation. But the twelve tribes are not enumerated here in the fame method and order, as they are in other places of holy fcripture. Judah hath
(7) See Cave's Primitive Bingham, ibid. Ch. 9. Sect. Christianity. Part. 1. Ch. 10. 4. &c.