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cation.

This is the Epitome of the whole History of the Church, & the sense of the rith.

Chapter. Ch. 12. & After this general idea of the History of its expli. the Church, the Prophet enters upon the par

ticulars. In the 12th. Ch. God shows him the vision of the Woman that was with child, & deliver'd of a Son, & persecuted by the Red Dragon, wlio fain would devour the Child of the Woman. Afterwards there is a battle fought by Michael & his Angells, against the Dragon. The Dragon is overcome and cast to the Earth ; but as much overcome as he was, he ceaseth not to persecute the Woman. She is forced to escape into the Wilderness, where she is nouritht 1260 Days. The Drason not being able to reach her, vomited out it flood after her; but the Earth open'd, & swallow'd up the flood, & saved the Woman. This Woman is the Apoftolical Church; this. Child of which she is deliver'd, is pure

& holy Christianity. The Dragon is the Devil, who by the authority of the Roman Empire, would devour & extinguish Chriftiani:y in its birth. Michael & his angells are Jesus Christ & his Ministers celestial as well as terrestrial., The combat of the Red Dragon & Michael is the combat of 300 Years that was between God & the Devil, during the ten persecutions, of the Roman Heathen Emperours ; The Devil endeavouring on one hand to destroy the Christian Church by the cruelty of the Emperours ; & God on the other hand defending it by his Martyrs, & Teachers. The

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victory gotten over the Red Dragon is the casting down of Heatbenism, which falls to the Earth & is cast from Heaven i. e. 'cis tumbled down from the throne by Constantine & his successors to the reign of Theodofius. The great food which the Red Dragon casts after the woman; when he was thrown down on the Earth is those inundations of Herefies , that Arrianism; that cover'd the Christian World immediatly after the fall of Heathenism under Constantine. The Earth swallowed up this flood in favour of the Woman ; these Heresies were destroyed & swal

as in a moment , & the Church remained delivet'd from them by a kind of miracle. But the Dragon doth not yield for all that, but goes to make war with the remnant of the feed of the Woman, i.e. he endeavours to cause to be brought forth an Antichristian Empire for the ruin of the Church; the thing which he will further explain in the following Chapter We havé therfore in this the History of the Church to the end of the fourth Century or the beginning of the fifth. For it is in the space of these 400 years that the Apoftolique Church did bring forth Christianity, that Christianity was persecuted by the Emperonrs, that 7. Christ did miraculously preserve it, that it remained victorious under Constantinethat the Church was almoft ruin’d by Arrianism ; & that she saw het self happily deliver'd from it.

St. John {pends but one Chapter about the first Period of the Church of 400 Years , because the great events were design'd to be in the following Periods.

The 13th Chapter according to the most exact c.14... rules of method begins where the 12th: ended: 2, 3. &*

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we

in the

An Epic We have in the 13h. Chapter the birth of the thc Hito- Babylonish Empire, which is grafted on the Ro. ry forcold

man Empire : this is the first Beast that ariseth Istit. Ch. out of the Sea, having seven Heads & ten Horns;

the seventh of these Heads is laden with ten Horns, each of which is adorned with a Crown, to fignify that these were so many Kings. These ten Kings are the continuation of the Roman Empire under the seventh Head, which is that of An. sichrist. These ten Kings are subject to this seventh Head , & together with it compose one Empire. A second Beast arises out of the Earth; it is the fame Empire & the fame Beast, or rather 'tis the seventh Head of the first Beast. This Empire of Antichrist that was represented in the first vision as one of the Heads, is represented in the second vision as a new Beast; because it is the ancient Empire of Rome , & yet nevertheless ’tis a New one. 'Tis the continuation of the Roman Empire, having the fame seat, viz. the City of Rome & extending it self very near over the very selffame Provinces. It is a New Empire, because it is in another form, & under another name, & is called the Empire of the Church , & an Ecclefiaftical Empire. These two Beasts therfore fill up but one & the same Period, in which the Head of tho Emperors, that was mortally wounded, is healed again by Antichrist , in which Period ways of worshipping and doctrines full of impiety & blasphemy are advanced in the Church. In which Period the Saints are overcome

& the Truth is buried; in which all the inhabitants of the Earth worship the Beasi, & submit themselves to the Babylonish Empire ; in which Antichrift, whofe name contains the Number 666. makes an image of the first Roman Empire, &

causeth

Hi

causeth it to be worshipped ; lastly, in which all
liberty to buy, & sell, & live is taken away, unless
men will bear the Image of the Beast. All this
is the History of the 1260 Years, that begin about
the time that the 400 Years of the first Period
do end. This is according to the rules of Hi.
tory.

The 14th. Ch. begins also where the 13th. A short
ends. It contains the Prophecy of the fall of that of the 14th.
Babylonish Empire represented by the two Beafts Chap.
of the 13th. Chap. 'Tis no longer a Beast with
seven Heads & ten Horns ; 'tis no longer the
Beast with two Horns ; 'tis Spiritual Babylon.
But this Babylon is the very same thing as the
firft & the second Beast. She is fallen, She is
fallen, Babylon that great City, because she hath
made ihe nations drunk with the wine of her for-
nication,

The seven foregoing verses are a preparation for this great fall; & the following ones to the end of the Chapter are a description of the ruin of Babel. The Man that fits on the white cloud, . Ik is Jesus Christ. The sickle that is put in first among the corn to mow it down, and afterwards into the vintage to cut down the grapes , are the two degrees of Babylons fall, which we shall afterwards explain. This is the Analyfis of the 14th. Chap.

The H. Ghost thought it not enough to have Chap. Isi foretold the fall of the Babylonish Empire in general, he will also instruct us in the steps by which it must pass in falling. And as this is a great affair , the vision of the 15th. Chapter is employed to prepare mens Spirits for it. The seven vialls of the wrath and vengeance of God ; that must overwhelm the Babylonish Empire, are distributed

2

to seven distinct Angels, to pour them out at diffe

rent times. Chap 6. The 16. Chap. contains the pouring forth of

these Vialls, which are the several punishments by which the Empire of the Beast is afflicted, till it be entirely brought to nothing. And these seven Vials contain all the time of the fall of the Babylonish Empire : Of this we will treat in a particular Chapter by it self afterwards. It is enough to know that this Chapter leads the afflicted Church to the very point of her delive. rance. And thus you have the whole History of the

Church during the 1260 Tears.
Chap 17 But because thefe things had been expressed

in figurative terms, and prophetical symbols of
Beasis , Horns, Harvest, Vintage & Vialls, God
will explain these things in terms less figurative
& more intelligible. Therfore the 17th. Ch.
is spent in explaining the Visions of the two
Beasts, to give us to underftand , that the Beasts
signify an Empire, that the ten Horizs are ten
Kings; that these ten Kings out of weakness and
complaisance would give their power to the
Beast, and that at last they would ruin him, &
take
away
that

power they had formerly given him. Sa P. 18.

As in the 17th. Ch. the H. Ghost declares the establifhment & the progress of the Babylonist Empire in a more clear and less figurative manner than he had done in the 13th. Chap. in the like manner in the 18th. Chap. he gives us the particulars of the ruin of this Babylon , more largely & more clearly; more largely I say, & more clearly than he had done in the 14th. Chap: This hath no need of proof. In the process of this discourse we shall explain the circumstances of this fall.

The

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