« PreviousContinue »
is almost expired; we are approaching to the virtage, and at this day ought to say, Come Lord Jesú. come; but within a little while we fall fay, He :: come ,
he is come.
C H A P. X I.
The explication of the 14th Chapter. The vi
fion of the harvest, and the vintage: the barvest of the Reformation , made in the age last part ; the vintage is the Reformation, which shall be made this present age.
He fourteenth Chapter, is the second of those
of the Babylonian Kingdom. In the beginning of the Chapter, we find the 140 thousand marked ones, who are the same with the two witnesses,(whom we shall discourse of hereafter,) the small number of faithful ones, whom God preserved in spiritual Ban bylon,and who did not partake of her Idolatries. We find them, I say, whosing a song which none was able to learn, but they ; i, e. they taft peculiar joyes and pleasures, which the Antichristian Chriftians were notable to taste.
In the following verses an Angelappears, flying in the midst of heaven, Chap. 14.6. having the everlafting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people. This is the preparative unto that preaching of the Gospel, which must be made to all Nations,
when the Antichristian Kingdom shall be abolisht. This preaching is said to be of the everLafting Gospel, because it shalllast untill the end of
the world. All Nations shall be converted, and Part 2, their purity shall suffer no alteration, as long as the world shall last. And to fignify that the Kingdom of Antichrif shall fall, through the preaching of this everlasting Gospel , immediately after, another Angel cryes Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great City. Which proves; that in the vision that follows, the harvest and the vintage are the two parts of the fall of the Babylonian Kingdom.
In the third place, we have in this chapter an The perfee Angel who denounces the terrible judgments of theWalden God, that must fall on those who worship the Beast, fes, & folie and his image and receive his mark in their foreheadstold in the or in their hands. And at the same time, by these path Chap: words, here is the patience of the Saints, is signified à sore persecution that must-go before the fall of Antichrift; not that persecution, which we suffer at this day, and which must be the last; but that which the Church endured in the Waldenses, the Albigenses, the Bohemians, &c: For this is the pers secution which happen'd before the Reformation of
because the fall of Babylon, which is spoken of in this Chapter, begins by the Reformas tion made in the last age. Therefore the persecu. tion here spoken of, must be that which went before our Reformation: but there is no other, besides that againlt the poor Waldenses, which lasted a full ico years, before the preaching of Luther. All these things are onely a preparative unto the last vision of this Chapter, which contains a new prediction of the fall of Antichrist, with new circumstances : and 'tis this
V. 14. And I lookt, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sate like unto the
son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp fickle.
the last age 3
Part2. V.15. And another Angelcame out of the Tem
ple, crying with a loud voyce to him that fate on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle and reap, for the timet come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth
V.16. And he that sate on the cloud thruft in his fickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.
V. 17. And another Angelcame out of the Temple, which'is in Heaven; he also having a sharp sickle.
V. 18. And another Angelcame out from the Altar, which had power over fire, and cryed with a loud cry to him that had the sharp fickle, saying , Thruffin thy sharp fickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.
V.19. And the Angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gather'd the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great wine-press of the
wrath of God. V:20. And the wine-press was trodden withont
and blood came out of the wine-press, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thonsand and
fix bundred furlongs. A diftin. In this vision there are circumstances and subcircum- stance; the circumstances are these, the Angel who hances, sits on a white cloud, and his cloathing; another Itance in Angel who bids him thrust in his fickle, another this vision, Angel who appears likewise having a sickle; the
ripeness of the corn and grapes; the wine-press of the wrath of God; theblood that flows out by the space of 1600 furlongs. These, I say, are circumþances. The substance is the barvest and the vine tage, which are reapt at two different seasons,by the Angels who have commission thereunto. The understanding of the circumstances, depends upon the understanding of the substance; therefore this later must be explain'd, before we go about to explain the former.
I cannot tell by what spirit it is, but at last I am Part 2. strongly perswaded, that the harvest and the vin- The har. jage, are the Reformations of the Church, that vision is which happened, the last age, and that which thalithe Refor.
mation als happen in the end of this age, and the beginning of ready the next. The harvest therefore is past, the vin- made; the tage must presently come. In this matter, Joseph the Refoi
Mede seems to be not more happy in his conje- hati shall cture, than others: He makes the harvest signify be shortly the ruin of the city of Rome ; and the vintage, the total ruin of the Antichristian Kingdom, which must happen a little while after Rome shall be fackt. But I am perswaded, that they who will read me with some attention, and without prejudice, will prefer my thoughts before his.
The word harvest in the style of the Spirit;some- Harvest times signifies good, and sometimes evil. God aken in an speaks by feremy, The daughter of Babylon is like a Jerem.si. ihreshing Hoor, it is time to thresh her; yet a little 33. while, and the time of her harvest shall come. And the Prophet Isaiah speaking of the desolation which should befall the ten Tribes by the Affyrians, faith, And it shall be, as when ihe harvest- ifa. 17.5. man gathereth the corn, and reapeth the ears with his arm. The Prophet foel also represents the day of Toel 3. 13. Gods vengeance,
Put in the fickle, for the harvest is ripe; come, get you down, for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. In all these places, the word harvest signifies destruction and ruin.
In other places, harvest signifies fouething that is good. The harvest is great, said our Saviour; Mat.9.33 but the labourers are few, speaking ofthe converfion of the Gentiles; Lift up your eyes and look on the fields, for they are white already to harvest
. I fent Ioh.4.35. you to reap, that whereon you bestowed no labour, 38.
Part 2. Lastly, sometimes harvest signifies both Good and evil together. As in the
Parable of the Tares in Matt. 13. the field. Let them grow both together until the
harveft. And at the time of the harvest, I will say to the reapers, Gather first the tares , and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn. The harvest is the end of the world, the țares are the wicked, the wheat is thegood, the reapers are the Angels, the same harvest that shall cast the chaff into the fire , shall lay up the corn in the garner. The same judgment that shall adjudge the wicked unto Eternal flames, shall gather the elect into glory. The harvest therefore may signify something that is good, but we cannot find, that any where the term vintage is taken in
a good sense. The juyce that comes out of the The word vintage, grape , hath the colour of blood, which comes nities, come out of the veins of them that are murthred. For
this reafon vintage always signifies anger , wrath, deftruction, vengeance, sheddingofblood. I bave trod the winepress alone , their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments ; my own arm saved me, my fury it upheld me. In the 19 Chapter of the Revelation , ''cis faid of him, who sits upon the white horse, that he treadeth the winepress of the wrath of God Almighty. The term vintage, that is never taken in a mild sense , in this place determines the sense of the harvest, that it must likewife fignify a time, or season of destruction. And these are the two parts of the fall of the Antichristian Kingdom. Already one half almost of its subjects hath been taken away, in the last age; the other part shall be taken away, in this, and the next, which is the vintage.
But observe: God hath exactly put the distance.. between these two parts of the fall of the Popish