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phecy. As where the Souls of the Martyrs cry out from un. Apoc. vi. 9. der the Aliar. Where the Angel stands upon the Golden Altar Apoc. viij. 3. which is be ore God, and offers incense. Where a voice is heard Apoc. ix. iz. from the four horns of the Golden Altar which is before God." Where the Temple is to be survey'd, and the inner Court there. Apoc. xi. 1, 2, of to be measur'd; as being pure and clean : but the outer... Court to be rejected, and deliver'd to the Gentiles to be eroden under foot by them. Where the Temple is said to be opened, in Heaven, and the Ark of the Testimony feen therein, and An- & pels coming out of it with Vials of wrath. Where the Harpers 15, 16, 17. are tuning a Hymn of Praise on the brink of the Sea of Glas, Apoc, xv. 2. or of the Molten Sea of the Temple. Where, lastly, to name no more instances in a plain case, a great Voice proceeds from the Apoc. xvi. 17. Temple of Heaven, from the Throne , saying, It is done : and concluding the main of the fad Visions of this Book. But it will be here much to our present purpose to ob. ferve the Business and Employment of the four Animals, and the twenty four Elders in the present Scene. And this we may easily understand, by the clear account of it given us at the conclusion of the fourth Chapter; viz. They are a fort of Divine Chorus, prepar'd to Praise and Celebrate the greatest and most glorious Mysteries of God's Providence, in the principal Dispensations and Manifestations of it foretold. in this Book : and this in a moft regular manner, and agree. able harmony. The 24 Elders, according to the Nature of their Sacred Function, going before the four Animals, or Body of the Faithful, in the Christian Church ; and guid. ing them in their several humble, folemn, and devout Adorations; and singing. before them Divine Hymns of Praise and Thanksgiving to the Almighty, and to the Lamb, upon all the grand Occasions prefented to them. And the four Animals saying joyful Amens, and confirming all with their folemn Aderations also. And it deserves particularly to be remark’d, that agreeably to the Description of the Office and Nature of this Divine Chorus here, we afterward meet Apoc. v. 8,&c. with the exercife of it, upon all suitable opportunities, in the & xi. 16,17,18.
& xix.it rest of the Prophecy afterwards. Only it must be taken notice of, that sometimes the Hymns of Praise are ascrib'd not
Apoc. vij. 11, to the 24 Elders and 4 Animals themselves, but either to those 12.
Angels that surrounded them; or to those which were suppos'd Apoc. xij. 10, actually in Heaven already, and thence to praise God for his
12. Providence; and once to those who were deliver'd from the Apoc.XV.2,3,4. Dominion of Antichrist, and so themselves praise God for such
their Deliverance, and for the hopes of the larger spreading of his Son's Kingdom. The particular Reasons of which Variations I shall not here stand io enquire into; but only in general esteem them all in common as plain Characters of Extraordixary and Eminent Dispensations of Providence, for the weakening of the Enemies of Christ, and the advancing of his King. dom in the World.
Corollary. Since thefe Sacred Hymns are such notable restiera, and Characteristicks of the greatest Triumphs of Christ, or of the most signal and happy Mutations foreiold in this Book; it will be here not improper to take notice of them all particularly, and that at present (before we have stated the Series of the feve. ral.Vifions) in that Order in which they lye in the Book it felf; that So hereafter, when we have proposed our Interpretation of the several Prophecies, we may have recourse to these grand Characters of the main and most glorious of the happy Providences, and fee whether, according to that Interpretation, they do belong to the Principal of them all along, as they certainly ought to do.
The firft Hymn therefore in order is that spon occasion of the Apoc. v. 8, &c. Lamb's obtaining the great Privilege of Opening the Sealed
Book, or of knowing and revealing the deep and hidden ivy
steries therein contain'd. The second Hymn is upon occasion Apoc. vii. il, of the Deliverance and Exaltation of the Innumerable Com.
pany with Palms in their hands; and is not, as the former, jung by the 24 Elders, and the 4 Animals themselves, but by
a Chorus of the Angelick Host that surrounded them. The third Apoc. xi. 16, Hymn is upon the Sonnding of the seventh or last Trumpet, when 17, 18, the Kingdoms of this World are declar'd to be become the
Kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ, and that He is Apoc. xii. 10. to reign for ever and ever. The fourth Hymn or Form of 11,12. 2. Exultation is a Voice in Heaven upon the ejection of the Dra.
gon thence, when the Man-child lately born was caught up to Apoc.xv..2,3,4. God, and to his Throne. The fifth Hymn is of those who had
conquered the Beast, and his Image, and rejoyced to see the Commencement of Christ's Kingdom, and to find the Vials approaching, which would gradually destroy all the remainder of Christ's Enemies, and compleat the intireness of his Kingdom: and seems to be parallel to the occasion of the third Hymn above-mention'd. The fixth and last Hymn is upon occasion of Apoc. xix. 1--7. the final Destruction of Babylon; when the Kingdom of Christ is compleated, and the Marriage of the Lamb ready to be cea lebrated: and, excepting the first, seems to be the most univer. Sal, and most folemn of all the reft ; and exactly suitable to that highest occasion, the concluding and victorious Triumph of Christ over all bis Enemies; and the establishment of his fole and universal Kingdom in the World for ever.
contains the most remarkable Revolutions and
That the Revolutions and Mutations referr'd to in this Book, must be not small and inconsiderable, but great and concerning; nay, generally the principal of the several Ages, common Reason will make us allow, and every one of course does naturally expect; so that I Thall not need to produce any farther proofs of it: and the bare view of the ensuing particulars will hereafter discover the same all along from the loftiness of the Prophetick expressions on all occasions. And that the Series of the Apocalyptick Visions begins so carly, and reaches so far, is clear from the Arguments following.
1. The Original Date, or Epocha, of these Visions, as we have already noted, is express in the Visions; And from St. John's own words the Events were to begin immediately upon the seeing of the Visions themselves; for they were things which muft portly come to pass: Those are pronounced blesed who Apoc. i. 1. &
search xxij. 6.
fearch into and understand this Prophecy, because the time is Apoc. i. 3. affirm’d to be at hand. Nay, what is particularly remarkable, Apoc. Xxij. 10. the Visions are directly order'd not to be jeald up, because the
time is again expresly affirm'd to be at hand. And if all these repeated assurances be not sufficient to perswade us that the Prophecy was very soon to begin to be fulfilled I do not easily know what Expressions can be sufficient in such a Case.
2. This same Original Date or Epocha is evident from the
nature of several of the Visions themselves. The first Seal Apoc. vi. I. introduces our Saviour on a white Horse, beginning his Con
quests over his Enemies. The Courts of the Temple, reApoc. xi. 1. sembling the States of the Church, begin with the inner Court
wherein the Temple it self stood; and take their rise from the Holy of Holies, or the Throne it self; and that inner Court
therefore must represent the purest state of the Christian Apoc. xij. 1. Church at its first beginning. And the Woman with Child is
evidently an Emblem of the earliest and primary Pains and Struggles, with which the first propagation and settlement of the Christian Church were to be attended, before its prevailing over the World.
3. The fame Original Date or Epocha is evident from the
double Change at least, in the form of the Roman Government Apoc. xvij. 9, then to come, 'ere the tên Kingdoms were to arise; and from the 10, 11.
great Power and Dominion of the Dragon himself, and his
persecution of the Woman with Child, long before the rise Apoc. xij. of those ten Kingdoms. For since History informs us, that See Open Codi- the - Rise of those ten Kingdoms was in the fifth Century, it cil, Vision 4. "is thereby evident that a considerable part of this Prophecy infra.
'must have been over before that time; and so it must have had its Original Date, as early as is here assigned by us. And that the last Period of this Prophecy, will not be till the fet. ting up of Christ's Kingdom, and the Day of Judgment; the remaining Arguments will as certainly demonstrate. For
4. The very entrance of the Prophecy shews its great End Apoc. i. 7. and Period. Behold be cometh with Clouds, and every eye Mall
see him, and they also who pierced him : And all the Tribes of the Land Mall mourn because of him : even so, Amen. 9. d.
This is the Scope and End of the Series of the Visions of this Book; this is their common Conclusion and Period; the Coming of our Saviour in the Clouds of Heaven to set up his glorious Kingdom in the World; and particularly to convert the Jews who crucify'd him..
5. This fame End is also evident from the nature of several of the Visions themselves. The Conclusion of the sealed Book as well represents our Saviour on a white Horse, compleat- Apoc. xix. 18. ing and finishing his Conquests, as we saw the entrance of it introduc'd him in the same manner to begin them. The outer Court troden down by the Gentiles reaches till the time of Apoc. Xl. 2. the cleansing of the Sanctuary, on the Commencing of Christ's Kingdom: And the stay of the Woman in the Wilderness comes Apoc.xij.6, 14. down to the same time. Now 'tis plain, that we are not yet at these points of Time. And therefore, since a considerable part of the Revelation belongs to the interval after that time, it must follow, by all Accounts, that the Apocalypse cannot reach much short of thc End of the World, and the Day of Judgment...
6. This is evident from those Prophecies of Daniel, which run Parallel with this Book : they plainly terminating at the final setting up of Christ's Kingdom, and its Conclusion at the Day of Judgment. I bebeld, says Daniel, till the thrones were Dan, vij. 9, 10. fet; and the ancient of days' did fit; whose garment was white as now, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.
A fiery stream issued, and came forth from before him : thousand thousands ministred unto him, and ten thousand times ten thou. Sand stood before him : the judgment was set, and the Books were
7. This is most of all evident from the conclusion of the Book it felf; which ends with the most particular and solemn description of the Day of Judgment that is in the whole Bible, and makes that conclude the Series of its Prophecies. And I saw a great Apoc. XX. IIo white Throne, and him that fat on it; from whose face the Earth co. and the Heaven fled away, and there was found no place for them.
And I saw the dead small and great stand before God, and the