account, and measure it not ; for it shall be given to the Gentiles, 3 and they shall trample upon the holy city forty-two months. And

I will give to my two witnesses commission, and they shall prophe

esy during that time, or a thousand two hundred and sixty days, 4 clothed in sackcloth. These are* the two olive-trees, and the 5 lamps, who stand before the God of the earth. And if any one

will injure them, fire shall come out of their mouth, and devour

their cnemies: and if any one willt injure them, so must he be 6 put to death. These have power with God by their prayers, to

shut heaven, so that no rain shall be showered down in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over the waters, to turn

them into blood, and to smite the earth, as often as they will, 7 with every plaguc. And when they shall have finished their tes

timony, the savage beast which ascendeth out of the abyss, shall

inake war against them, and shall conquer them for a while, and 8 kill them. And their corpses shall lie in the street of the great

city, which is spiritually called, on account of its lewdness and per..

secutions, Sodom and Egypt; where also our Lord was crucified 9 over againt. And persons of various people, and tribes, and

tongues, and nations, shall look on their dead bodies three days

and a half, and shall not permit their corpses to be laid in the 10 graves. And they who dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over

them and be glad, and in their exultations shall send gifts to each

other ; because these two prophets who tormented those who 11 dwelt upon the earth by their faithful rebukes, are silenced. And "I saw that after three days and a half, the Spirit of life from God

entered into them, and they stood upon their feet : and great fear 12 fell upon those who looked upon them. And they (the witnesses)

heard a great voice saying unto them from heaven, Come up

hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud, and their 13 enemies looked on them with surfirise and fruitless rage. And in

that hour there was a great carthquake; and a tenth part of the city fell, and seven thousand men were killed by the earthquake;

and the rest were terrified, and gave glory to the God of heaven. 14 The second woe is past, and behold the third woe cometh quickly. 15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in

heaven, saying, The kingdoms of the world are become the king

doms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever 16 and ever. And the twenty-four elders that sat before God on

their thrones, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, saying, 17 We give thanks unto thee, O Lord God Almighty, who art, and

· who wast, and who art to come ; because thou hast taken thy 18 great power, and hast reigncd. And the nations were angry r;

and thy wrath came; and the time of the dead, when they should be judged, and a reward should be given to thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and to them that fear thy name, small and great ; and when thou shouldest destroy those that destroy the earth, by their vices and cruelțies.

* Like Joshua and Zerubbabel, Zech. iv. 3, 11, 14.
+ “ Whosoever shall wish to hurt them"- W.
# Or, as it were, in effigy, in his spiritual members.

REFLECTIONS. Long hath the court of God's temple been trodden under foot by the Gentiles, and a party of very corrupt and degenerate Christians (if they at all deserve the name, though they proudly arrogate to themselves the title of the Catholic church) been introducing and countenancing all the fopperies and absurdities of pagan superstition, as well as more than the horrors of pagan cruelty, so as indeed to have disgraced, not the gospel alone, but human nature itself. A wise and gracious providence hath raised up witnesses for the truth in all ages; and it is a signal honour to bear a faithful and courageous tes. timony against these enormous corruptions, though it were unto bonds and imprisonment, and even at the expense of life. Those noble and heroic confessors God hath remarkably supported; and even when they had been in a state of mourning and oppression, they have borne their testimony and prophesied ; their prayers have been remembered before God, and many have been smitten, who injured and oppressed them. But, notwithstanding this, the beast hath con. tinued his war upon the saints, and their oppressions have increased, until, in many places, they have been cast down, and trodden in the dust, and their blood hath been poured out like water on the earth, Thus hath that great city, the metropolis of the world, once faithful and celebrated, become even as Sodom and Egypt, or even as Jerusa. lem, where Christ himself, our divine master, was crucified. Thus have the enemies of the truth triumphed over the servants of the Lord, and have erected trophies of their victory. But thanks be to God, their triumph shall not be perpetual ; Christ our Redeemer will revive his expiring cause, in a manner as glorious and wonderful as a resurrection from the dead : he will glorify the remnant of his people; he will cause the carth to tremble, and shake down the towers of the enemy; and when the first and second woe is past, will bring upon them a third and more terrible woe. In the faith of this triumpbal cvent let us rejoice; and though in our day we see not this glorious scene, let us consider it as approaching, when the seventh angel shall sound, and when all the kingdoms of the carth shall become the kingdoms of the Lord, and of his Christ. Let our prayers do all that the most carnest prayers can do, towards promoting this great event. O Lord God Almighty, who art, and art to come, we beseech thee to take 10 thyself thy great power and reign; for the proudest of the enemies who oppose thy kingdom, reign and even live, only by thy permission., Overbear, by thy superior rebuke, the rage of the angry nations; and give patience to thy afflicted servants, that if they should wait even till the dead be judged, they may never resign the hope of the reward which thou wilt at length confer upon them : not only on the prophets, and most eminent and distinguished of the saints, but on all them that fear thy glorious and tremendous name ; on the small, as well as on the great ; when the destroyers of the church, and of the earth, shall be destroyed together. Amen.

[ocr errors]

SECTION XV. A view of the temple of God as opened ; a vision representing the multiplication and preservation of the church, which is persecuted by a great drag

on. Ch. xi. 19.-xii. 19 AND the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of

M his covenant appeared in his temple : And there were light

nings, and voices, and thunders, and an earthquake, and great xii. hail. And there appeared a great sign in heaven, an emblem of the

church, a woman clothed with the radiance of the sun ; and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars : 2 And she being pregnant, cried out in travail, and in pangs to be 3 delivered. And there appeared another sign in heaven : And, be

hold! a great fiery dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and 4 upon his heads seven crowns. And his tail drew down a third

part of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth: and the

dragon stood before the woman, who was about to bring forth, 5 that when she was delivered, he might devour her child. And

she brought forth a masculine son, who was to rule all the nation's

with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God, even to 6 his throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she

had a place prepared by God, that she might there be nourished

one thousand two hundred and sixty days. 7 And there was war in heaven; Michael and his angels made

war against the dragon and the dragon made war, and his angels : 8 nevertheless they did not prevail, neither was place found for 9 them any more in heaven. And thus the great dragon was cast

out; even the old Serpent, called the Devil and Satan, who de

ceiveth the whole world, was cast out to the earth, and his angels 10 were cast out with him. And I heard a great voice saying in

heaven, Now is come'the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ : because the ac

cuser of our brethren is cast out, who accused them before our al God day and night. And they have overcome him by the blood

of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved 12 not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens,

and ye whio inhabit them. But woe to those that inhabit the carth,

and the sea; for the Devil is come down to you, having great 13 wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. And

when the dragon saw that he was cast out on the earth, he perse14 cuted the woman, who had brought forth a male child. And

there were given to the woman two wings like those of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, unto her appointed place : where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a

time (i. e. three prophetic years and a half, or 1260 days) from the 15 face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth wa.

ter, like a river, after the woman, that he might cause her to be 16 carried away by the stream. And the earth assisted the woman;

and the earth opened its mouth, and drank up the flood which the 17 dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was enraged

against the woman, and went away to make war against the remainder of her seed, who keep the commandments of God, and retain the testimony of Jesus Christ.

REFLECTIONS. Whatever concealed and unknown wonders may be intimated in some parts of this grand and awful vision, in others it contains very obvious and important instructions.-While we are beholding this emblematical representation of the Christian church, let us adore the great original Sun of Righteousness, who has decked her with his glorious beams, and will at length cause every faithful member of this blessed society, to shine forth as the Sun in his Father's kingdom. And let us be desirous of treading this changeable and uncertain world under our feet. Let us thankfully own the hand which has crowned the church with the apostles, as with a diadem ; and, taught by their precepts, anel inspired by their example, let us prepare ourselves for that sacred war to which we are called, the war against the devil, and his confederate hosts. It is, indeed, under a very formidable type, that he is here represented :—His cruelty, his subtilty, his experience in all ihe arts of destruction, are painted out with dreadful propriety, in the old serpent, the great dragon. But, formidable as his violence, or artful and potent as the confederacy of infernal spirits may be, here is a victory gained over him, which calls for the congratulation of all the armies of the Lord : the dragon and his angels are cast out ; the saints are enabled to triumph over him, feeble and impotent as they are. But in what way are they able to overcome him? It is by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony. Instructive and edifying admonition! Let this be our confidence, even the banner of the cross, the blood of the Saviour, who died upon it; and, in this signal, we shall come off conquerors too. Faith in him shall be our shirld, the word of God shall be our sword, the sword of the spirit ; and Satan, thus resisted, shall fiee before us. In vain are the floods of temptation, which he may attempt to throw out of his mouth to debauch our principles, or practices ; they shall be entirely swallowed up. And though the church be for a while in the wilderness, it shall be happily sheltered, and tenderly nourished ; there its members shall be in safety, as if they were taken up to God, even up to his throne, till the time which he has appointed for its triumph. In the mean while, however the sons of malice, under the instruction and influence of the great accuser of the brethren, may defame them: however persecution may attack and harrass theni ; let them be courageous and undaunted, not loving their lives iven 10 the death, in the cause of Christ : for, though they fall, they shall rise again to certain victory and glory ; nor shall death bring down their heads so low, as to render them unworthy of wearing a crown of life.


The vision of the two beasts, and the outrages committed by them. Ch. xiii. 1 A ND I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a savage beast

1 ascending out of the sea, having seven heads, and ten horns ; and upon his horns were ten diadems; and on his heads there were

2 names of blasphemy. And the beast' which I saw was like a

leopard, and its feet were like those of a bear, and its mouth like

the mouth of a lion ; and the dragon gave him his power, and his 3 throne, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads wound

ed, as it were to death ; and yet its mortal wound was healed.

And the whole earth wondered, and followed after the wild beast. 4 And they worshipped the dragon, who gave authority to the wild

beast ; and they worshipped the wild beast, saying, Who is like 5 unto the beast? who can war against him ? And there was given

to it a mouth speaking great things, and blasphemous : and there

was given unto it power to make war forty-two months (i.e. 1260 6 prophelic days or years). And he opened his mouth 10 utter blas

phemy against God; to blaspheme his name and his tabernacle, and 7 those that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make

war with the saints, and to overcome them: and there was given 8 to hiin power over every tribe, and tongue, and nation. And all

the inhabitants of the earth shall worship him, whose names are

not written in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain*, from 9 the foundation of the world. If any one hath an ear, let him hear. io if any one lead them into captivity, he shall be led into captivity

himself. If any one slay with the sword, he shall himself be slain

with the sword. Here is the patience and faith of the saints. 11 ! And I saw another beast ascending out of the earth, and it had 12 two horns, like a lamb ; but it spake like a dragon. And it ex

erciseth all the power of the first beast, in its presence ; and it

maketh the earth, and those that dwell in it, to worship the first. 13 beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great won

derst, so as to make fire come down from heaven to earth before 14 men : And he deceiveth the inhabitants of the earth by the signs

which it is given him to do before the beast ; commanding the

inhabitants of the earth to make an image of the beast, that had the 15 wound of the sword, and yet lived. And it was given to him to

give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast

might speak, and cause as many as will not worship the image of 16 the beast to be put to death. And he causeth all, both small and

great, rich and poor', freemen and slaves, to receive the mark on 17 their right-hand, or their foreheadst; and that no one should be

able to buy or sell, but one who hath the mark, or the name of the 18 beast, or the nuinber of his name. Here is wisdom: Let him

therefore who hath understanding, compute the number of the beast ; for it is the number of a man, and his number is six hundred and sixty-sixll. * i. e. written, or registered, from the foundation. Comp. Ch. xvii. 8. and Phil. iv. 3. † C. T. and W. “Miracles.” D.

It was customary thus to mark soldiers and slaves. ii Of all the interpretations given to this text, none pleases me so well, as that of Sir Isaac Newton; that the words Maletnog and (Romiith the man of Latium, or of Rome, are here referred to, whose numeral letters, taken together, make 666. And I suppose this number is mentioned to signify, that the appearance of that power, whose efforts were to continue 1260 years, was to happen about 666 years after the date of the Revelations, A. D. 96. And VOL. II.


« 上一页继续 »