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vented from hurting any earthly element till the one hundred and fortyfour thousand were sealed ; and as the locusts were not permitted to kill, but only to hurt, during the reign of terror allotted them ; so these four angels have been kept back from making their revelation till the precise moment for bringing it forth. This moment, however, may not be literally an epoch in the history of the world : it may be designed to point out a certain stage of development; the exposure of a certain error being necessary, before its opposite truth can be fully exhibited.*
• To slay the third of men ;' that is, men in the third, or spiritual sense, ($ 191.)—We presume these men to be the inhabiters of the earth against whom the three woes are pronounced, (Rev. viii. 13,)—unsealed principles or elements of the earthly system, not intended to be preserved. The word translated slay signifies simply to kill, as distinguished from slaughtering a victim for sacrifice. To kill is to destroy—to deprive of life—perhaps, in matters of doctrine, to show the elements of a system to be altogether literal, without the spirit or essential of life. The issuing of the four angels with their forces being equivalent to a revelation, the tendency of the revelation is to destroy especially certain erroneous principles, manifesting them to be without life, or without the principle of life. The elements of the pit system were not permitted to destroy ; they were only to torture—to elicit truth ; but the elements of the Great River go further—they are permitted to kill; the verb translated in the fifth verse to kill, being the same as that in the fifteenth verse rendered to slay—as if to direct us to compare the prohibition in the one case with the express design in the other.
And the number of the army of the horsemen (were) two hundred thousand thousand,'—Gr. two myriads of myriads—or twice ten thousand times ten thousand, equal to two hundred millions: a number very far beyond that of any literally invading forces ever yet known, horse and foot included; and perhaps equal, at the time of the prophecy, to one third or one quarter of the whole population of the globe. We suppose this number to represent something infinite or countless. There may besides be a further meaning in the duplex sign, two. Calculating one horseman to every six individuals of a family, one hundred millions of horsemen would require a population of six hundred millions of men, women, and children, to permit them to be drafted. This number alone therefore appears sufficiently countless ; why then should it be doubled ? Why should the sign of an infinite number be represented
* This hour, day, month, and year, has been computed as three hundred and ninety-one years and fifteen days, a period said to correspond with the progress of the Turks from the time of the Crusades, A. D. 1281, to their taking of Carmeniac from the Poles, 1672, (Bagster's C. B.) But we leave the benefit of this calculation to those who take a different view of the design of the Apocalypse from that here proposed.
twofold? And why should the emphatic declaration be added—“ I heard the number of them ?" There seems to be also a correspondence between the number of twice ten thousand times ten thousand, and the number of the angels round about the throne, Rev. v. 11, “ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands.” We suppose these horsemen to represent doctrinal powers or elements of a system, figuratively styled the great Euphrates: these elements being designed to act upon those of the earthly system spoken of as the third of men. The twofold character of the number of these destroying elements we may suppose to represent the twofold action of both the letter and the spirit. That is, whatever this Euphratean system may represent, its elements, both in a literal and spiritual sense, tend to show the fallacy of the principles of the earthly system. So we suppose the cloven tongues of the Holy Spirit to represent the twofold action of the literal and spiritual meaning of the language of inspiration.
There can be no doubt but that the two hundred millions of horsemen represent the same power as that figured by the four angels; the sudden change of this number four into such a multitude, being somewhat similar to that met with in the account of the evil spirits, Mark v. 9, first spoken in the singular number, and immediately afterwards represented as a legion, several thousands, or a multitude. The term 2.8yɛav, indeed, is supposed by some to be the name of a prince or commander of a multitude, (Rob. 'Lex. 406.) So these four angels may represent four chiefs of the two hundred millions of horsemen. The difference as a figure is not material ; it is only the difference between speaking of a certain assailing power as the leader of a band, or as a band with its leader. We may suppose the quadruple figure of the four angels to represent all the leading features of a system ; as the four corners of the earth are put for all the earth, ($ 172.)
V. 17. And thus I saw the horses in Και ούτως είδος τους ίππους εν τη οράthe vision, and them that sat on them, και τους καθημένους επ' αυτών, έχον. having breast- plates of fire, and of jacinth, taş Júpaxus nupirovę xoù voxırJirovs xað and brimstone: and the heads of the horses (were) as the heads of lions; and Irloideas, xoè ai nepadai târ innor us xeout of their mouths issued fire, and smoke, φαλαι λεόντων, και εκ των στομάτων αυτών and brimstone.
εκπορεύεται πυρ και καπνός και θείον, $ 221, · And thus I saw,' &c.-We have supposed the Apocalypse to be a revelation, through the instrumentality of a vision or waking dream; but here we have a specific application of the term to it; “I saw in the vision,” iv in sport. The same term occurs only in one other passage of the New Testament, Acts ü. 17,“ your young men shall see visions,” In the Septuagint it is of frequent occurrence. The predictions of the prophets are called visions—" prophetarum predictiones vocantur opdoes," Lex. Suiceri. The Hebrew word rendered in our common version burden, is expressed by this term in the Greek, Is, xix. 1, opérers aigúrtov, and xxx. 6, the burden or vision of the beasts of the south, (Concord. Tromii.) It is applied, Zech. x. 2, to the false dreams or visions of soothsayers and divines, oi Jávras ógáveis YevdEīS—" the diviners have seen a lie," or false vision. The term may have been first applied amongst the Greeks to pictures supposed to be presented to the minds of those who professed to interpret the will of the gods, and whose pretensions to visions probably took their rise from a traditionary knowledge of the mode in which the Hebrew prophets were instructed. The apostle John no doubt used the word as it was commonly understood in his time, viz., as a waking dream: the mental vision of one whose thoughts are entirely abstracted from earthly objects, and in this situation contemplates a symbolic exhibition, to be interpreted by its own rules.
• The horses in the vision, and them that sat on them.'—These were war-horses, and their riders warriors, representing doctrinal powers engaging in what we may call a contest of principles. The white horse and his rider, (Rev. vi. 2,) we have supposed to represent the redeeming power, going forth to overcome the legal elements opposed to the salvation of the sinner; the great champion not only going forth himself, but controlling the action of subordinate powers, to carry his purpose into effect. As, in a literal sense, the wars between nations are subordinate to the
purposes of God for carrying out his designs, so the war between the elements of the Euphratean system, and the elements of the earthly system, is something subordinate to the action of the Rider of the white horse. If the two hundred millions of horsemen be not conducted by this champion, their action is something under his control. They are employed to destroy certain erroneous principles, in order to prepare the way for bis coming, and his final victory. As in the invasion of a country by a foreign power, one portion of the inhabitants may contend with another portion, and thus facilitate the conquest on the part of the invader ; so, preparatory to the victory of Gideon, in the host of the Philistines every man's sword was set against his fellow, Judges vii. 22.
As the bottomless pit was a portion of the earth, so the Euphrates is also an earthly river; and as the blinded inhabitants of the earth may have taken their pestiferous abyss for a well of living water, so, with the same blindness, they may have depended upon this great earthly river as a river of the water of life. The true character of the elements of this great Euphrates is now developed, and the inhabiters of the earth proved to be destroyed by the very power to which they trusted. This delusive system of atonement being unfolded, an infinite number of legal principles are seen to proceed from it. These principles, like those who seek to justify themselves, resembling the war-horse in his eagerness for the conflict, heedless of the consequences : as it is said, Jeremiah visi. 6, “No man repented him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done ? Every one turned to his
course, as the horse rusheth into the battle.” At the same time these principles are just those upon which it is to be shown that sinful man can have no power to provide a propitiation for himself. If he perform all required of him by the law, he does no more than his duty ; consequently, if he come short in the performance of a single requisition, he can subsequently do nothing more than his duty to atone for that single transgression. On legal or judicial principles, a whole eternity of obedience cannot atone for a single hour of rebellion. The angels that excel in strength, that do the commandments of God, hearkening unto the voice of his word, (Ps. ciïi20,) can do no more than their duty. They cannot, therefore, atone for the shortcoming of others; and the same may be said of every created being-yea, the heavens are unclean in the sight of the Most High! How much more abominable and filthy is man, who drinketh in iniquity like water! Such is the axiom of the divine law; and such the action of every principle emanating from it. A system of atonement therefore involving these principles, must have in effect the operation of overthrowing every earthly element of self-justification.
$ 222. · Having breast-plates of fire, of hyacinth, and brimstone.'These warriors were arrayed in armour of very extraordinary materials, and this not merely in appearance. Such was the real character of these breastplates. The hyacinth is said to be a gem of a yellowish-red colour; but is described by Pliny (Rob. Lex. 773) as of a dark cerulean colour, probably the bluish tinge peculiar to the flame of burning sulphur; the hyacinth of these breast-plates being a compound of the two other materials, fire and brimstone; the composition of the armour for protection, corresponding with the materials of what is afterwards described as the weapon of offence, or means of destruction. The cuirass, or coat of mail of heavy cavalry, is not simply a means of defence ; such troops being principally employed to bear down and break the enemies' line by the weight of their charge, which they are enabled to do as much by their armour as by the use of sword and spear. So the shield or buckler of the ancients was sometimes employed as an instrument of attack, as well as of defence, being armed with sharp spikes, or pointed bosses; as, to rush on the thick bosses of Jehovah's buckler, Job xv. 26, is expressive not merely of a vain and fruitless attack, but of the madness of determined self-destruction. The hyacinth or jacinth gem is an impenetrable substance, and therefore an appropriate figure for a material of the breast-plate ; the gem being supposed to combine the qualities of the fire and sulphur with its own solidity. In the description of the means of offence, we find smoke substituted for jacinth; this smoke also combining the same qualities. But a breast-plate of fire and smoke and sulphur would be a figure hardly admissible.
We suppose fire to represent the trying power of the revealed word, and brimstone the perpetuity of the action of this fire. The employment of these breast-plates, therefore, is something equivalent to the perpetual action of the revealed word, in opposing the erroneous influence of the elements of the earthly system.
"And the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions.'—The defensive armour only of the rider is mentioned; the means of offence or attack are ascribed to the horse. These had the heads of lions. They possess the characteristic quality of lions; as animals with a human face are supposed to possess the characteristic of man—reason. The lion we have considered as representing the attribute of justice, ($ 126.) These horses are therefore elements or powers of justice ; powers by which the opposing elements of a self-righteous or earthly system are destroyed. The locusts had teeth as of lions, but as they were not permitted to kill, their teeth could only intimidate or torture. These horses with the judicial characteristic of the lion, had also the lion's power to destroy or to kill : the lion's head possessing the lion's mouth.
And out of their mouths issued fire, and smoke, and brimstone.'_That is, out of the mouths of the horses, whose heads had just been described. The horse and the rider, however, may be taken as one figure of the power and action of a principle of doctrine. The fire, smoke, and brimstone, correspond in all but the middle term with the composition of the breast-plates; smoke also combining the qualities of the fire and sulphur. The weapon of attack, therefore, whether proceeding from the mouth of the horse or of the rider, may be said to be of the same composition as that of the breastplates. The offensive and defensive arms are alike composed of these elements of trial, of perpetuity, and of the two combined. The armour of the locusts was as of iron—passively defensive only. The armour of the horsemen is of fire, and jacinth, and brimstone, actively defensive ; as the arrow, falling upon a breast-plate of iron, may be unable to penetrate it, but is uninjured by it; while an arrow falling upon a breast-plate of fire and sulphur, as well as of an impenetrable gem, may be supposed to be consumed and destroyed by these combustible materials with which it comes in contact.
Vs. 18, 19. By these three was the Από των τριών πληγών τούτων απεκτάνthird (part) of men killed, by the fire, and Inav tò tpitov tūv avfponon, éx taŭ by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. For πυρός και του καπνού και του θείου εκποtheir power is in their mouth, and in their φευομένου εκ των στομάτων αυτών, “Η γάρ tails: for their tails (were) like unlo ser- isovoia tūvinnow év tỘ orbuatı uután pents, and had heads, and with then they εστι και εν ταις ουραϊς αυτών· αι γαρ ουdo hurt.
ραι αυτών όμοιαι όφεσιν, έχουσαι κεφαλάς, και εν αυταίς αδικούσι. .
$ 223. “By these three,' or by these three plagues, 'was the third of men killed.'-The third of men, corresponding with the view we have taken of