Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

/

[ocr errors]

L'ord i fisca!!! la consertone la

Inick!". Ilie die ile u tim / 256

APOCALYPSE.

[Pt. III. 5 5. bottomless deep; for why, otherwise, were they bounden? They appear to have been engaged in such destructive warfare aforetime, at the river Euphrates; but their progress had been arrested, their activity restrained ; now they are again loosed to devastate the Church. But what are we to understand by Euphrates? In Scriptural language, “ War upon Eu

phrates," is against the King of Assyria ", whose capital city Babylon, on that river, was the grand seat and receptacle of idolatry, the formidable enemy, the insidious corrupter, and at length, by the Divine ap

pointment, the scourge and corrector of the Ancient Y Church t.

The Jews, corrupted by the arts, and then subdued by the arms, of Babylon, were detained in a long captivity ; from which they returned to their native soil, so entirely weaned from idolatry, that, prone as they had been to this strange

propensity, before their sufferings in that idolatrous tha

city, “ they were strongly and cautiously, and even “to superstition, set against it afterwards I.” Ido

latry never again reared its head in the Church, till en Escort the Church had been for some ages Christian. That yer time was now come: for under this Trumpet, the

Church is described as idolatrous and desperately

• 2 Kings xxiii. i Esdras i. 25-27.

+ Jer. li. Prid. Con. book ii, art. Babylon. Whitby's note on 1 Pet. v. 13.-Upon Euphrates, at the time this prophecy was delivered, stood the ruins of Babylon, whose ancient walls inclosed a park; the country surrounding, was still called Babylon, and the

Nestorians soon afterwards had a patriarch of Babylon, which, as
Jiké Gibbon observes, was an appellation successively applied to the great

cities which rose in the neighbourhood of Babylon; to Seleucia, Ctesi-
phon, and Bagdat. This shews how conuected was the name of Baby-
lun with the reigning city on Euphrates.
Prideaux, Con. i. 389. 425, 515.
c!

wicked;

wicked ; as will appear evident by referring to the 20th and 21st verses. And it is not surprising that tohnyal, corrections, should issue from this quarter, where they appear to have been kept in readiness, even from the times when they had been so successfully applied to the punishment and correction of the Church. These ministers of wrath had been permitted to lead the Assyrian troops against the idolatrous Jewish church, and to carry it into captivity. But on the repentance of the sinners, their · agency was restrained. They now come forth with a new commission against the idolatrous Christians ; not to lead's into captivity, but to slay one third of them. And, L-/ as is the punishment, so is also the effect of it, different erak? from that of the former chastisement; the offenders ... are not all slain, and the remaining church is not reclaimed from its idolatry.

The above is a general view of the character of this Trumpet : but since the swarm of invaders under the fifth Trumpet, and the army of assailants under the sixth, appear to have a certain assimilation, as well as a certain difference, of character, which, compared together, may cast useful light on both; let us bring them into one view.

[blocks in formation]

SIXTH TRUMPET.

FIFTH TRUMPET. 1. A swarm of scorpion 1. An army of myriads locusts.

of cavalry. 2. The leader, a star 2. Their leaders, four fallen, a fallen angel, the angels, who had been destroyer.

bounden at Euphrates, but are now loosed at the command of one voice, and

that from the altar. 3. They arise from the 9. They come from Eupit of the bottomless deep, phrates, where they had under cover of darkening been bounden. smoke.

4. Their commission is - 4. To slay the third part not to slay, but to tor- of the men. ment, the unsealed, who wish to die, but cannot ; and these are the unsealed only.

5. Their continuance, 5. Their appointment for five months.

the hour, day, month,

year. 6. Their character: 6. The horses of the They have tails and stings troops of cavalry have tails and power as scorpions; of serpents with heads on are like war-horses in ap- them, with which they inpearance; have crowns as jure. The heads of the of gold; faces as of men; horses like heads of lions. hair as of women; teeth as From their mouths issue of lions ; breast-plates as fire, smoke, and brimstone, of iron; come in smoke; by which they kill. And with the noise of war- the riders have breastchariots; wound with plates of fire, smoke, and sting and tail.

brimstone.

7. Their

[ocr errors]

FIFTH TRUMPET.

SIXTH TRUMPET. 7.

7. Their attack is of the
nature of a winyy, or stroke
of correction upon the ido-
latrous and wicked, but
produces no repentance or
amendment in those who

survive the calamity.
I proceed to offer some observations on these passages,
thus brought to comparison, in the order in which they
stand ; referring to the numbers prefixed to each.

1. A swarm of locusts and an innumerable army
of hostile invaders, are in Scripture used metaphori-
cally for each other * Yet there must be some diffe-
rence in the present instance; otherwise they would
both have been described under the same name,
whether it be of locusts, or horses for war. This
difference is pointed out afterwards; the locusts are
said to be like war-horses ; (v. 7.) The other are war-
horses. The attack under the sixth Trumpet has
therefore more real warfare in it, than that of the
fifth ; which only resembles warfare, being metaphori-
cally such. like

Ovale 10
2. The leaders of both invasions are of the same
description, angels; under the fifth Trumpet, one
fallen angel ; under the sixth, four ; certainly wicked
angels, why otherwise had they been bounden?
The difference is four instead of one, which seems
to imply t, that the devastation is to be more dread-
ful and complete.

3. The angel of the fifth Trumpet leads his in-
vaders from the grand seat of all impurity, from the

[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

X

depths of hell *. The assailants of the sixth come from Euphrates; where had stood Babylon, the grand source of corruption to the ancient Church, and which was the instrument applied by the Almighty to punish, and to restore her. This passage compared with the two concluding verses of this sixth Trumpet, will shew, that, under this invasion, idolatry, as well as other kinds of wickedness, is to be punished; which does not seem to be the case under the fifth Trumpet, where there is no allusion to this sin.

4. The swarm of locusts is commissioned tò torment, not to kill ; and the unsealed only are the objects of their rage. The armies of cavalry kill onethird part

of the Christian world : and there seems no return to life, as in Zech. xiii. 8. they are totally cut off from God's people t.

5. The swarm of the fifth Trumpet is appointed for a certain period of continuance; after which, its ravages may be supposed to end. The armies of the sixth for a certain determined time of commencement, against which they were kept ready : ήτοιμασμενοι εις την espace. This sense of the construction will appear mani. fest by consulting similar passages in the Greek, viz. Job xii. 5. Psalm xxi. 31. Prov. xxiv. 27. Ezek. iv. 7. 2 Tim. ii. 11. Yet, by the addition of the words, day, month, year,” more may be implied than the commencement, to express which, the word hour alone would have been sufficient. But even if a continuance be implied, it is not a determinate one, like that of the fifth Trumpet; the duration may be long, but the time is not ascertained. 6. The locusts of the fifth Trumpet are like horses

The assailants of the sixth are horses. One

X for war.

[ocr errors]

• Compare ch, xx. 2.

+ See uotes, ch. iii. , vi. 8.

set

« PreviousContinue »