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the first rank and precedence, because from him defcended the Meffiah. Dan is entirely omitted, and Ephraim is not mentioned, because they were the principal promoters of idolatry, and therefore Levi is substituted in the room of the one, and Jofeph is mentioned inftead of the other. The children too of the bond-women and of the free-women are confounded together, there being (Gal. III. 28.) in Chrift fefus neither bond nor free. Befides fome of all the tribes of Ifrael, there was an innumerable multitude of all nations and tongues, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands, (ver. 9, 10.) who received and embraced the gofpel: and as Sulpicius Severus (8) fays, it is wonderful how much the Chrif tian religion prevailed at this time.. The hiftorians, who have written of this reign, (9) relate how even the moft remote and barbarous nations were converted to the faith, Jews as well as Gentiles. One hiftorian in particular ( affirms, that at the time when Conftantine took poffeffion of Rome after the death of Maxentius, there were baptized more than twelve thousand Jews and Heathens, befides women
(8) Hoc temporum tractu mirum eft quantum invaluerit religio Chriftiana.Sulpic.Sever. Sacr. Hift. Lib. 2. p. ico. Edit. Elzevir. 1656.
(9) Socratis Hift. Ecclef. Lib. 1. Cap. 18, 19, 20. Sozomen. Hift. Ecclef. Lib. 2. Cap. 5. 6, 7, 8. &c. &c.
and children. The angels alfo (ver. 11, 12.) join in the celebration of God upon this occafion: for if there is joy (Luke XV. 10.) in the prefence of the angels of God over one finner that repenteth, much more may those heavenly spirits rejoice at the converfion of whole countries and nations. Then one of the elders (ver. 13—17.) explains to St. John fome particulars relating to this innumerable multitude of all nations. They have palms in their hands, as tokens of their victory and triumph over tribulation and perfecution. They are arrayed in white robes, as emblems of their fanctity and juftification thro' the merits and death of Chrift. They are, like the children of Ifrael, arrived at their Canaan or land of reft, and they shall no more fuffer hunger, or thirst, or heat, as they did in the wilderness. They are now happily freed from all their former troubles and molestations; and their heathen adverfaries fhall no more prevail against them. This period we may suppose to have continued, with fome little interruption, from the reign of Conftantine the great to the death of Theodofius the great, about 70 years.
7. p. 85. Verf. Pocockii. Vide etiam Epiphanii Hæres. 30. Sect. 4. &c. p. 127. Vol. 1. Edit. Petavii.
(1) Hoc tempore Romæ baptizati funt e Judæis & Idololatris ultra duodecim hominum millia, præter mulieres & pueros. Abul Pharajii Hift. Dyn. VOL. III.
A ND when he had opened the feventh feal, there was filence in heaven about the space of half an hour.
2 And I saw the feven angels which ftood before God; and to them were given feven trumpets.
3 And another angel came and stood at. the altar, having a golden cenfer; and
there was given unto him much incenfe, that he should offer it with the prayers of all faints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
4 And the smoke of the incenfe, which came with the prayers of the faints, afcended up before God, out of the angel's hand. 5 And the angel took the cenfer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and caft it into the earth: and there were voices, and thundrings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.
6 And the seven angels which had the feven trumpets, prepared themselves to found.
(2) προ τε της έωθινης θυσίας tutinum et poft vefpertinum facrificium-Philo de Victimis.
nai μeta Tη Tante ma
The feventh feal or period is of much longer duration, and comprehends many more events than any of the former feals. It comprehends indeed feven periods diftinguished by the founding of seven trumpets. At the opening of this feal (ver. 1.) there was filence in heaven about the space of half an hour. This filence of half an hour is a fign that the peace of the church would continue but for a fhort feafon. It is an interval and paufe as it were between the foregoing and the fucceeding vifions. It is a mark of folemnity, to procure attention, and to prepare the mind for great and fignal events; and not without an allufion to a ceremony among the Jews. As Philo (2) informs us, the incense used to be offered before the morning, and after the evening facrifice: and while the facrifices were made, (2 Chron. XXIX. 25--28.) the voices, and inftruments, and trumpets founded; while the priest went into the temple to burn incenfe, (Luke I. 10.) all were filent, and the people prayed without to themselves. Now this was the morning of the church, and therefore the filence precedes the founding of the trumpets. It was neceffary, before the trumpets could be founded,
p. 836. Edit. Paris. 1640.
founded, that they should be given (ver. 2.) to
(3) Socratis Ecclef. Hift. Lib.. 6. Cap. 1. Sozomen. Lib. 8.