Page images
PDF
EPUB

God does

Icfler,

Partź. ties in such a Light, as is necessary to pierce into

them; we must bring things into their natural order, and explain the visions, according to the order of those events which they fore-tell. In doing this, we willbegin with the Igth Chapter of the Revelation, which contains the admirable vision of the seven viols, which are the seven periods, through which the Antichristian Empire ought to pass to cometo its fall.

The fifteenth Chapter is nothing but a prépara. ordinarily prepare for tion for the vision of thesixteenth. Where are the srcates vi- feven last plagues (as the twelve firstverses ofthe

14"), are nothing but a preparation unto the vision of the harvest and vintage, which is very evident from the beginning of the 15th Chapter, which is, And I saw another fign in Heaven great and mar. vellons , seven Angels having the seven laft plagnes. As a preparation unto the vision of these feven laft plagues, God does make the Prophet fee a sea of glass, or of chrystal mingled with fire, that is, a sex where ice and fire are mingled : and them ihat had. gotten the victory over the beast, and over his Image ; that is, them that had escaped his corruption and idolatry ; stand upon the sea of glass, or of icc, and they sung the song of loses, and the song

of the Lamb; Great and marvellous are thy works. A lively. It is clear, that the Propher does make an allusion rhole who unto the paslage through the red Sea, and unto the cscape the Children of Israel, who being got upon the shore

, of that Sca, sung the song which Mofes compoits perfe- fed for them. The Sea of glass mingled with fire,

answers to the red sea; they wbo bad gotten the viCtory over the Beast; answer to the Israelites, who had overcome the Egyptians. Egypt, out of which the Israelites marcht, answers to this Antichristian Empire; out of which the Ele& do escape. There

fore

ز

cutions.

[ocr errors]

fore as the red sea and its waves were the danger out Parta,
of which the Ifraelites coming out of Egypt were
deliver'd; so this fea of glass mingled witlo fire, re.
presents the evils which the Faithful who leave
Babylon do escape. These evils are called a fea,
on the account of their greatness and bitterness;
my breach is great like the sea, fajd Jeremy: they
are called a sea of glass, or a sea of ice, because
of their hardness. 'Tis more easy to escape out
of a sea of water, because the liquidity of waters
does make it possible to swim through them : but
if a sea was glass orice, it would be impossible to
get out of it. There is also fire mingled with glass,
to represent the burning, and extream dolours of
those evils. Fire and Ice are two extreams in evil;
yet they are joyn'd in the description of the cala-
mities of the Church, though they seem inconsi;
stent : if it be a sea of ice, there cannot. be fire
there; and if there be fire, how can it subsist with
ice? This is to express, that the calamities of the
Church are extream, and that they include all kinds
of evils: There is Ice, that is Irreligion; a privation
of the Fire of Piety : There is fire through the
cruelty of persecutions. 'Tis for this
Spirit used the term glass instead of ice; to ligni.
fy that it should be a frozen sea, which should lub-
list with fire. I know not what they had in their
thoughts, who have said, that this sea of glass sig-
nified the Church. The Ifraelites who are esca-
ped out of the spiritual Egypt , are represented up-
on the sea of glass, that is, upon its shore, and as
those who come out of the water. In the style of
the holy language, upon the river, upon the sea,
is, upon the shore of the river, and upon the shore
of the sea,

After this come out of the Temple, which is

[ocr errors]

Ee

V. 6.

1.7.

Part 2. in Heaven, the seven Angels appointed to pour

out the seven vials of the wrath of God. They are clothed in white, to denote their purity; they had their loins girt, after the fashion of the ancients, who girt themselves,when they made themselves ready for a combate , or any other difficult work. One of the four beasts gives to each of them one viol, a bottle out of which we pour into a cup. This Figure of speaking is common, we pour out of a viol into a cup. Now

a Cup in the figurative and Prophetick style, fignifies the judgements of God, in allufion unto that stupifying cup, which was given to Criminals condemned to dye, that they might be less sensible of the pain of their punishment. Or rather, which I judge more probable, God in this vifion makes an allufion to hours głasses, in which water did run out, to mark the. hours and duration of time; as now adays this is done by the running of fand. And this later explication is to be preferr'd; bccaule by this, we shall more easily distinguish the Periods, from the judgements which are executed during those periods. Viols, or bour-glasses, are appointed to measure pe- . riods and times, and the plagues naturally fignity, the judgements of God upon men. Forthése seven viols lignify seven Periods of time, which God designed to run out (during seven or eight Centuries) leasurely, as water and fand run out in hour.glasses.

The Temple was fill'd with smake from the Glory of God, and from his power,and no man was able to en ter into the Temple, till the seven plagues were fullfilld. 'Tis a manifeft allusion, to that which happen'd in the Tabernacle, when it was dedicated by Moses; and in the Temple when it was dedicated by Solomon, such a cloud and smoke did ar that

7.8,

[ocr errors]

Till now,

time fill the Temple, that Moses could not enter Part 2
into it, nor the Priests were able to stand there.
Both here and there, this fignifies the extraordina-
ry presence of God; there, for the confecration of
the Tabernacle and Temple; here, for the accom-
plishing his decrees and the executing of his judge-
ments: I do not believe, that we ought to search
after'any other mysteries here.

Afrer this begins the 16th Chapter, and the visi- Ch. 15
on of the viols; it is one ofthe most anguft and ex-
cellent visions in the whole Book, but withal the
least understood. I am fully perswaded, that Inter-

nothing preters have underftood nothing of the meaning hath been. of this Chapter; Gods knows whether we shall be of the fente more happy, if we are mistaken, as others are, this of the 16th must be charged on us : if we light upon the truth, the Keve.. this must be ascribed to God. But I am perswaded, which is that God hath heard me in this thing, and hath an- of the fall swer'd the very ardent defire, which I have had, to of Antipierce into these profound mysteries, to the end, that I might descry the deliverance of his Church, There cannot be a greater mistake , then that of some modern Interpreters, who make these seven plagues to be poured out, during seven ages, either of the Church in general, or of the Christian Church in particular,

All that others seem to have understood as to this Chapter, is, that it contains the History of seven degrees, or seven periods, through which the Antichristian Kingdom ought to pass before its fall, every period containing dismal judgements of God, which are to afflict the Empire of the Beaft. This carries fuch evidence along with it, that it is almost impossible not to see it, but yet, this hath been seen very confusedly, and the application which hath been made, hath been very unhappy.

Now

.chris.

Еe 2

Part 2. Now lince others have understood nothing of the

sense of this Chapter, we must not wonder that they have said nothing pertinently concerning the fall of the Antichriftian Empire, & concerning the time in which it must come to pass : for here is the Key of all, this is a compleat History of its calamities. 'Tis the most important Chapter of all, and from which we may leain the time of the ruin of popery. If these plagues are not yet pour dout, if they are all yet to come, as Monsieur de Lau. nay asserts, we are then indeed a great way behind, and very far from the end of our reckoning; We must yet tarry many ages. Those that are more liberal and judicious, do allow us two or three viols already run out, but they will have that four or five are yet to come. I admire that the pieró cing 7ofeph Mede should entertain this opinion: if he was now alive, one might convince him, that this cannot agree with the other Principles, which he hath laid down with so much exactness, and depth of judgement. As to my felf, I affert, that. the seven plagues are already past, and hope to prove

it with all that evidence which can be giten to explications of Prophecies, about which it is very difficult to frame demonftrations. And 'ris from hence, that I intend to draw my strongest proof, wherewith to sustain my general hypothesis, That ihe Empire of Popery is just come to its end. We fhall see such an admirable agreement, between the events and the Prophecies, explain'd, that shalt abundantly conviace, that what I am about to say, is not simple conje&ture: But wemust not pass judgement upon one piece, we must sec the whole.

Now that I may asliftmy Readers the more calily, to comprehend the true sense of the seven viels,

and

« PreviousContinue »