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and the seven plagues , because upon them de- Part 2.
pends our whole Systeme of the approaching Fall
of the Antichristian Empire , I intend to do two
things. The first is, to lay down certain Princi-
ples, which must serve us as guides. The second
js, to do that very briefly, which I have omitted in
other places. I mean, to relate the various Inter-
pretations of Divines. For that which they have
faid, is so far from the likeness of Truth, that it
may by opposing my Commentaries and theirseal
ly be seen, who hath hit upon the truth,
The Principles are those:

Principles 1. The pouring out of the viols, and the several. derhandplagues, whick Follow upon their effufion, do cer- ing the 7. mainly signify the judgements of God upon the King the ićila dom of Antichriit: But we must not imagine that. Chap. of they are as so many steps, which sensibly carry it 1. Princito its ruin. God does afflict Common-wealths by

ple. The 7 Pestilence, Famines, and Wars; and yet they do judgments not perith by these calamities. They continue a long time under them, and sometimes do regain Kingdom their former luttre after them. This principle mutt christ becarefully minded, because allother Interpreters have been mistaken; either through theirnot ar. tending to it, or their not due understanding of it, This they have understood, that we ought not to place the beginning of the pouring out of the violing untill after that we see the Empire of Popery sensibly to fall. Hence some have not placed their ber ginning, till after the preaching of Luther.

2. The second Principle, That ihefe seven viols i Princi do certainly

signify seven periods of time, which ought 2 viols ligto be distinguisht one from another.

one from another. As the seven ridsport Seals and leven Trumpets in the preceding Chap- sime. ters did fignify seven periods, which succeeded one to another the figurative expresion of vials,

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3. Prioci. ple, The viol does

Part2. borrowed from hour-glasses , which measured

time, signifies this thing more naturally then the Seals and Trumpets. And this again is a Principle, which other Interpreters have not at all regarded, whence it is thac they confound the viols, and make either all, or almost all of them, tobe poured out in the same period.

3. The third Principle, That to every Period

or viol, a plague is annexed; but we must distindiffer from guish between the viol and the plague. The viol ehe plague. lignifies the period of time, the plague signifies thé

judgement of God, which falls out during the period. ?Tis true, that the plagues are not alwayes restrained unto the duration of the viol, or of the Period marked by the viol, but sometimes do reach both before and after it ; the reason of which we will give hereafter. This again is a Principle which hath not at all been taken notice of: the viols and plagues have been confounded by Interpreters, as if they were one and the same thing, and almost all of them have been placed in the same time.

4. The fourth Principle, That all that is denoted phone Mode and

signified by these viols, is evil to be infli&ted on the evil is de- Antichristian Kingdom : So that nothing but the viol, Judgements can be found in them. But it mustbe never any considered, that these Judgements do fall somegood.

times upon the head of the Antichristian Kingdom alone, and sometimes upon the body alone, and sometimes upon both together. And we must not imagine, that all those plagues do denote evil or mischief anto Antichrift, s.e. the head of the Antichristian Kingdom: This again is a Principle, which hath not been minded; for men have imagiined, that every one of these seven viols, must beta. tal to the power of the Beast.

The

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5. The fifth Principle, That the Antichristian Part 2. ! Kingdom is here represented under a figure drawns, Princi

. from

the Systeme of the World : Hence it is, that Antichriftimention is made of the Earth , of the Sea , of an Empire Rivers, of the Sun. The Earth is the entire Globe, sented uncomposed of Land and Water, and this signifies the streno Fine whole mass of the Antichristian World, both the systeme of head and the members. The Sea and the Rivers,

the World. signify the people, according to the constant style of the Prophets. But the people distinguisht from their head and foveraign, the Sun denotes the soveraign of this Kingdom, as will be made out clearly in the sequel. All these Principles.in my judgement are clear, and whoever will examine them well by the Text, and the Commentariesan nexed, will not doubt of their truth. Let us see how ill the modern Interpreters have followed them.

The first Plague is, a nosom and grievous fore Seven In upon the men that had the mark of ihe Beast.terpretatio 1. Forbes understands by this, the filthiness of the first plage.com Clergy, their pride, covetousness, and other vices: but he does not restrain this to any period ; affirming, that this corruption is to be confidered, as ta. kingin, or reaching unto the whole duration of

2. Coccejus under, . Sputes, which have been all still continue in the Popedom: Infances disputes about Images; about the single life of the Clergy i about Inveflitutesi the several schisms of Popes; the grand fchifme of the West;the disputes between the Scotifts and Thor mists; the quarrels about the Authority of the Pope : So that according to him, this plague hath, laited near a thousand years, i.e. ever luce the contentions betwixt the. Iconoclass and the Iconos

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Part 2. latres , or Patrons of imáge-worship untill our times. It is not possible that a man should be

more mistaken then this Author; and I wonder, that an Author, who had so much studied Prophecies, should not perceive that the viols signify here Pe-. qiods, and different times, and consequently, that we must not make run the same plague to all these times : Besides, there is no exactness in this conception, nor any agreement between divisions and a noysome fore. 3. Joseph Mede, takes this noysome sore to be the fury and rage, with which the papists were seised upon the preaching ofthe Wal.. denses. 4. Dr. More follows him in this, as almoft in all other things. ' 5. De Launay also, will have it to be that vexation of Spirit, which the subjects of Antichrist must feel, when they shall see his compleat ruin. 6. Teftard is of the fame opinion. 7. James Durrham , a Scotish Minister at Glascow afferts, that the Earth in this first plague is the Authority of the Pope ; and that this noysome sore signifies the diminution which that Authority hath suffer'd by the Reformation.

The second Plague is, The sea turned into blood, tions of and the fishes dying in the sea. One would think the second that Authors have with earneitness ftrove, who plague

should keep farthest from the very likeness of truth in this matter:

1. According to Forbes, this seat turned into blood is the univerlal reproach, under which the worship of Popery is fallen, together with its doctrines ; for instance, its worship of Images, its Purgatory, its facrifice of the Mals,&c. Behold, what an agreement there is between this, and a sea of blood, 2. Cacceius asserts, that this sea fignifies the reduction of the Lombards , Hungarians, Poles, Bohemians, Vandals, Goths, Danes, Saxons, Franks, &c. in a word, of all the Wefern nations;

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unto the obedience of the Church of Rome. But Part 2. besides, that in this there is no shadow of resem

blance between the Prophetick Emblem, and that e which is pretended to be signified by it; this coni tradicts the evident Principle, that these plagues ,: never signify good to the Antichristian Empire:

The reduction of fo many Nations under the obea dience of the Pope , is the greaceft advantage that hath happened to the Anrichristian Kingdom, 3. According to Mede, it is the popislo sea, lain and turn'd into blood by the Reformation, which was done in the last Age: 4. According to De Lauhay, it is the government of foveraign Princes allied with the Rope, which shall become tyrannicaland odious to their subjects. 5. Teftard-thinks that it signifies, that many States shall withdraw them-* felves from the jurifdiction of the Pope, so that this domination shall become like a bloody cars kass, which putrifies the waters. 6. Accarding to Durrham, the waters are Ecclefiaftical constitutions, decrees, Canons, worship, Mass,&c. And that the violshall make all these become deadly to those who use them: 7. Lafly, in the judgement of Dr. More, the fishes here fignify men, and the sense is, that men shall withdraw. themselves from the dominion of the Pope, so that no more any men shall be found under that dominion.

The third Plague is, The Rivers turned into Interpretablood. 1. According to Forbes, these are the Do-? Etors, Bishops, and Friesis of the Church of Rome, plague. which must become stinking unto the people, even as Rivers of blood. 2. According to Cocceius, this signifies the wars and divifons,

which have spilt so much blood among Christian Princes, since the time of the Waldenses and Albigenses. 3. Accordįng to Mede, the Rivers are the Emissaries, agents

rion of the third

and

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