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Li laying before the Church of Christ, (to whom I hereby dedicate 
this volume,) an octavo edition of the Expositions of that peerless divine 
and star of the first magnitude, that shone through two-thirds of the 
seventeenth century, Dr. Thomas Goodwin ; the only apology I have to 
make is for the labor of reducing more than a thousand folio pages to 
the present cheap form and portable size, by condensing the same 
without sacrificing scarce an idea of the original. The diminution of 
the type, margin, and paragraphs, might account for the work being of 
an equal number of pages : and it has been further compressed by 
relieving the Exposition on the Ephesians of a multitude of repetitions, 
chiefly used at the commencement of the sixty sermons into which the 
original divides it ; the more convenient form of a division by verses, 
and the more perspicuous mode of sub-dividing verses under prominent 
heads, (an index for which is found at the top of each page,) being 
substituted : I have also used in general a less circuitous phraseology ; 
preserving withal so carefully every important expression, and the force 
of every phrase, that in some pages I have not ventured to omit, or add, 
or alter, a word of several sentences together ; whilst I trust I have 
succeeded, without affecting the originality of the style, not only in 
condensing, but in removing from several passages that obscurity which 
still surrounds some others. Although the truth of most of the state 
ments is set forth in an irresistible light, there are a few in which no 
one reader will perhaps fully concur : still as an editor, I oive it to the 
Church as well as to him, " who being dead yet speaketh," to give a 
faithful transcript of all the author s ideas, from the animalcula to the 
hugest behomoth, from the hedge-star to the brightest luminary in the 
heavens : and while the babe ivillfind here its milk, the robust its strong 
meat, and every one his portion ; there are some astounding notions, 
with which only minds of peculiar dimensions can grapple, but which 
once grasped afford a reward indeed. In studying such a divine 
class-book with the bible before him, the strongest intellect will find 
exercise enough, and the weakest understanding, (enlightened by the 
Spirit of God,) may wade easily through this river of Ufa and 

Of the works of this gigantic theologist, the Comment on the Epistle 
to the Ephesians takes up eight hundred pages of the first of five very 
scarce and expensive folio volumes; and though it was never prosecuted 
beyond the commencement of the second chapter, it contains a complete 
body of divinity, and is remarkable for its undesigned testimony against 
the spirit of Popery, and all those " damnable heresies," which have. 
no alarmingly threatened the vitality of the Protestant Church ; while 
his Exposition of the Book of Revelation, (taken from two hundred 
pages of the second folio,) most fully anatomizing and detecting 

Antichrist and (he mystery of iniquity, peculiary interests these our 
days; and as if contains withal the name rich vein of ideas and practi 
cal observations as that of the Ephcsians, I scruple not to say, " Blessed 
is he that readeth and they that hear the words of this volume, and 
keep these things which are written therein." The life of the Author 
is prefixed to the Jifth folio, and it is hoped the perusal of his experience, 
as well as of the present portion of his writings, ivill be acknowledged 
by the Holy Ghost, in comforting and strengthening the hearts of God s 
" own elect," in these perilous times : for as he lived to see the beginning, 
and as we are now in the last of " the latter days," he wrote under the 
tame impressions with which we still read ; so that he seems, as if by a 
prophetic spirit, to have " written for our admonition, upon u-hom the 
ends of the world are come :" and I feel assured, that except our pulpits 
are made to ring again with the trumpet-sound of the glorious scriptu 
ral doctrines here set forth, no other barrier can be efficient against 
the universal domination of the Papacy. 

Jin objection may arise among some members of our Church, tending 
to invalidate the testimony of this pre-eminent minister of Christ, and to 
reflect on his present editor; "but he was a seceder," (as the alary 
of Naaman was marred by a single syllable ; "but he ivas a leper: ) 
This but / would re-but, by observing, That Dr. Goodwin lived in 
communion ivith our Church upwards of thirty years, and for some time 
was under the patronage of Charles I. during which period several of 
his works were written ; and as they all contain ttie same spirit and 
doctrine, who could discern, from what is before him, whether it was 
under Charles or James, or in the days of Cromwell, that he rvas rice- 
chancellor of Oxford P it is only evident, that in whatsoever firmament 
he appeared, "he tvas a burning and a shining light." Let any bishop, 
or priest, or lay-divine, dying in our own communion, be pointed out 
as having ivritten so deeply, so fully, so convincingly, so blessedly, on 
the whole of all the mysteries of grace , and I will confess my error in 
re-editing such an author, as another such I do not believe has been 
given to the world since the age of apostles : and should the Church 
of Christ require it, I shall, by God s grace and strength, prepare 
another corresponding volume, containing some of his treatises and dis 
courses, which are the most perfect master-pieces of theology on the 
most important subjects I ever perused. 

The reader should be ailmonisfad, that I have chosen to express the 
Greek words in Roman, and the Hebrew in Italic capitals, the Latin 
being in small Italics with capital initials : and as I was now tempted to 
write my manuscript with one hand, and correct the press with the other, 
1 hope I shall not again have to deplore so many errata of all sorts as 
the reader will discover ; of whom I thus take leave, praying the Holy 
Ghost to be ivith him in the patient perusal of these pages, that therein 
he may sec " the glory of Gad in the face of Jesus Christ." 


Plymouth, July, IK 12. 

T H E L 1 F E O I 



THOMAS, the eldest son of Richard and Catharine Goodwin, of the 
family of Collingwood, was born Oct. 5lh, A.D. 1600, at Rolseby, a 
little village in Norfolk. His parents devoting him to the ministry, gave 
him a learned as well as a religious education, and placed him in Christ s 
College, Cambridge, A.D. 1613; where he continued about six years ; 
and from this College, which flourished in learning, (the number of its 
students also being then about two hundred,) he removed to Catharine 
Hall ; of which he was chosen a fellow, and a lecturer, A.D. 1 620. Though 
so young, his unwearied industry and improvement of talents gained him 
great esteem in the University : yet all this time he " walked in the 
vanity of his mind," under the entire influence of ambitious hopes and 
designs, aiming at applause and reputation, so as to rise, and in any 
manner to advance himself, by preferment. But God had destined him 
to higher ends, and was graciously pleased to turn the thoughts of his 
heart and the course of his life to his own service and glory. Being 
" born out of due time," he Was naturally of a weak constitution ; and 
though not likely to live, be was preserved, "when he yet hung upon his 
mother s breasts," as one in whom God meant to manifest his grace in the 
miraculous conversion of his soul to himself. Sparks of conscience kept 
his childish years from gross sins, and set him upon the performance of 
common duties. He had some workings of the Spirit of God at six years 
of age, weeping for his sins, when he set himself to think of them, and 
having flashes of joy at the thoughts of divine things ; he was also aflected 
with good motions of love to God and Christ for their love to man, and 
with grief for sin as displeasing them : but all this goodness of assisted 
nature reached not to true sanctifying grace ; yet he concluded it was 
grace ; for he reasoned with himself, That it was not of nature. At 
fourteen years of age he received the sacrament, preparing himself as he 
was able, by examining whether he had grace ; all the signs of which, 
according to Ursin s catechism, he thought he found in himself: the 
love of God to such a sinner, and Christ dying for him, affected him 
greatly ; and he had much inward joy and comfort at this his first sacrament, 
while the usual Ps. ciii. was sung during the administration : his heart 

was wonderfully cheered, thinking himself sure of heaven, and judging all 
these workings as infallible tokens of God s love to him, and of his grace 
in him ; not considering it as mere stronger fits of nature s working. But 
hereby God made way for the greater advancement of the power of his 
grace in him, by shewing him how far he may go, yet deceive himself; 
grace being a thing surpassing the power of nature ; and therefore God 
suffered him to fall away, not from these good motions, which he could 
raise at pleasure, but from the practice of them ; till his heart began to 
suspect them as counterfeit. For the next sacrament at Whitsuntide he 
made great preparations, attending Dr. Sibb s lectures at Trinity Church, 
and reading Calvin s Institutes ; some parts of which were very sweet to 
him, and the solid delivery of truth therein very pleasing : He now was 
greatly affected at the thoughts of his going to heaven with the holy men 
in Christ s College, looking with special joy on Mr. Bentley, (a dear child 
of God, and fellow of the College,) as one with whom he should live for 
ever : When ready to receive the sacrament, (being then and for several 
years after the least in stature of the whole University,) his tutor, Mr. Power, 
obliged him to desist, and to go out before the whole College ; which damp 
ed him much, and made him greatly pity himself, that his soul was disap 
pointed of its expectations of being so confirmed, from that sacrament, 
as never to fall away again : Hereupon he left off praying, not knowing 
how to go to God, through discouragement ; he also left off going to 
hear Dr. Sibbs ; and no longer studied sound divinity, but gave himself 
up to such studies as should enable him to preach after the flattering 
manner of Dr. Senhouse. 

It now fell out that Arminianism was set on foot in Holland, and the 
rest of those provinces ; and it continued hottest at the very time our author 
was wrought upon as above. Being inquisitive, he perceived that their 
doctrine acknowledged a work of the Spirit, moving and stirring at first ; 
but the freedom of the will, assisted by such aids and helps, was to carry 
it : This they called grace, sufficient at first in exciting the will to turn to 
God, and helping it with power to turn when a man would thus set 
himself to work ; affirming withal, that such converts by the freedom of 
the same will may, and often do, either fall away totally, or repent again : 
he observed, however, that several holy youths in his College,(whohad made 
known to him the workings of God on them in humiliation, faith, and 
change of heart,) continued their profession stedfast without falling off 
again. Now though the Arminian doctrines suited his own experience, 
in those natural workings of conscience off and on in religion, yet the 
example of these godly youths in their constant perseverance, made so 
strong an impression on him, that in his very heart and judgment he 


thought those doctrines untrue ; and he was fixed under a conviction that 
his state was neither right nor sound; but yet he could not imagine 
wherein it failed and was defective. Notwithstanding his thus falling 
away, he still set himself upon every sacrament, to examine himself anew, 
to repent, and to turn to God ; after that, returning to neglect of prayer, 
and to his former ways of unregenerate principles and practices, and living 
in hardness of heart and profaneness. Thus given over to the strength 
of his lusts, and further than ever from all goodness ; despairing of God s 
grace to convert him, he resolved to follow the world, and its glory and 
honor, by all possible means. In his way to a merriment at his former Col 
lege, on hearing a funeral-bell, one of his companions pressed him to go to 
the sermon ; and though he loathed that kind of preaching that good men 
used, yet seeing many scholars go in, he thought it was some eminent 
man, or he would come out again ; but his loathing was diminished on 
finding the preacher to be Dr. Bambridge, a witty man, the first words of 
whose sermon on Luke xix. 41, 42, (which he had heard once before,) 
pleased him so well, as to make him very attentive all the "while : The 
danger of deferring repentance, That every man had his day of grace 
offered to him, called by our Lord " this thy day," which being neglected 
God justly hides from a man s eyes the bestowing of his peace, (as every 
man may be made for ever in this world by minding his opportunity,) 
That the neglect of this time of salvation was followed by impenitency, 
blindness, obduracy, from which we should ever pray to be kept all this 
was vehemently urged, without deferring longer to turn immediately to 
God, lest that day s opportunity should be let slip, and lest the day of grace 
and salvation should be past, and the door of mercy shut for ever. To 
his companion who pressed him to turn in to hear that sermon, he 
expressed his hope to be the better for it as long as he lived, and refused 
to go with the rest to the place of engagement, (being on monday, Oct. 
2nd, A.D. 1620,) for he was at once struck down by a mighty power : 
his grosser sins came in upon him ; which he then wondered at, as being 
unseasonable ; and so the working began, and was prosecuted still more 
and more, higher and higher : in his endeavouring not to think the least 
thought of his sins, he was passively held under the remembrance of them, 
asd affected ; so as he was rather passive all the while in it, than 
active ; his thoughts being held under, while this work went on. 

About two years after, preaching at Ely minster for Dr. Hill, a prebend 
ary, master of his College ; he told the auditory, (meaning himself in the 
person of another,) " That for a man to be converted, who is ordinarily 
ignorant of what conversion should be, and of what particular passages it 
consists ; and yet to be guided through all its dark comers and windings, 


would be a wonder to think of; as if one were to go to tlie top of that 
hint horn, to bring him into all the passages of the minster, in-doors and 
out, without knowing a jot of the way, and in danger every step of treading 
awry and falling down :" So it was with him : he knew no more of the 
work of conversion, than these two general heads ; that a man is first 
troubled for sin, and then comforted by the manifestation of God s favor to 
him. Thus the reviewal of his having been so strangely guided in the dark, 
became an evidence of the truth of the work of grace upon him. In this 
and everv following intercourse, ho was acted by the Spirit of God upon 
him, and his thoughts passively held fixed, until each head and sort of 
thoughts were finished ; and then a new thought begun and continued ; 
so that he looked at these as so many conferences God had with him, by 
way of reproof and conviction. His thoughts were kept fixed and intent 
on tho consideration of the next immediate causes of those past gross 
acts of sinning ; and abundant discovery was made to him of his inward 
lusts, and how all sorts of concupiscences had wrought in him ; so that he 
was amazed to see how greedily he had sought the gratification of every 
lust. Natural conscience is ready to discover gross acts of sin against 
knowledge ; (as in the dark we more readily see the furniture in a room, 
than flies and motes,) but the new sort of illumination now vouchsafed 
him, discovered his heart, in all his sinnings, and carried him down to see 
his inwards, as by the searching of candles, bringing to light the violent 
eagerness and insatiableness of his lusts. He found, under the dispensa 
tion of this new light, the apparent difference of his former experience, 
wherein he had indeed enlightcnings, and great strivings of the Holy 
Ghost, both unto and in the performance of holy duties, prayers, hearings, 
&c. without discovering the sinful inordinacy of his lusts, as the root and 
ground of all his other sinnings : and those devotions differed also from the 
present sight of his inward corruption ; for this secret thought ran along 
with them, That God could not but accept such real services as he thought 
lie performed ; so that the opinion of merit prevailed over the commonly 
received doctrine which taught him otherwise ; but the clear sight of his 
heart-lusts made that notion vanish, for his former thoughts of which 
he now detested himself: the sinfulness of these lusts he perceived to 
be chiefly in ungodliness, as their spring ; and that having been "a lover 
of pleasure more than a lover of God," (according to Jer. ii. 13, " My 
people have committed two evils ; they have forsaken me the fountain of 
living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold 
no water,") he had acted them in things that were most lawful, but where 
in even " the plowing of the wicked is sin," Prov. xxi. 4. Thus the 
sinfulness of his sins was exceedingly enlarged, through the light accom- 

panying every action which he could cast his remembrance on, or go over 
in his view ; and thus a new horrid vein and course of sin, lying at the 
bottom of his heart, in the rising and working of all his lusts, was also 
revealed to him ; so that his heart was kept in a continual course of un 
godliness, wholly obstructed from acting towards God in any way, or from 
having any holy or good movings at all. God, "with whom (only and 
immediately) he had to do," and not with his own bare single thoughts, 
having proceeded thus far in " humbling him under his mighty hand," 
continued orderly to possess his thoughts with a further progress herein, 
holding him intent to consider and pierce into the first causes of so much 
actual sinfulness, and presenting to him, as in answer, (for this was trans 
acted as a conference by God with him,) the original corruption of his 
nature, and the inward evil constitution and depravation of all his facul 
ties, and the inclinations and dispositions of his heart unto all evil, and 
his averseness from all spiritual good and acceptableness to God : he was 
convinced that in these respects he was flesh ; as if this was the definition 
of man, " that which is born of the flesh is flesh :" And here he stood 
astonished at the sight and workings of his heart, as if in the heat of 
summer, by a clear light and piercing eye, he had discerned millions of 
crawling things in a sink of liquid corruption. When holy Mr. Price 
heard Mr. Chatterton preach, it was as the shining of the sun of righteous 
ness on a dunghill ; but our authors apprehensions of his own heart were, 
That it was utterly without Christ. He was deeply impressed that all the 
sins that were ever committed, proceeded from the same root of the cor 
ruption of men s nature ; and that if tempted thereto he should himself have 
committed the same. But what affected him yet more, was a sight and 
sense that his heart was empty of all good ; as the apostle saith, " I 
know that in me, that is, in my flesh, there dwelleth no good thing," 
whereas in the righteous, " there is some good thing towards the Lord 
God of Israel :" Thus all his boasted ingenuity and goodness was naught 
before the goodness of God. He was next led to inquire into, and consider, 
the original cause at the bottom of all this said sinfulness of heart and 
life ; and from Rom. v. 12, (" By one man sin entered into the world, 
and death by sin ; and so death passed upon all men, in that all have 
sinned,") he debated thus with himself : That it was in Adam all 
sinned ; for infants sin not " after the similitude of Adam s transgression," 
(which is cautiously added to shew that they are simply involved in his 
act of sinning, without actually sinning themselves ;) whence we become 
guilty " by the disobedience of one, whereby we are all made sinners ;" 
for disobedience notes an act of sinning, not a sinful nature or habit. 
Thus was his spirit so strongly convicted of this great truth, That Ihe guilt 



of demerit of one mans disobedience had corrupted our nature, that 
once at midnight he rose, and fell on his knees before God, formally as 
suming and taking on him, the guilt of Adam s sin, as truly as any of his 
own actual sins. 

While thus engaged in heart-conclusions about his own sinfulness and 
the utter corruption of all his actions, and that he was nothing but flesh, 
as born of flesh ; it came in full upon his mind that he should wrong 
himself to end in such a conclusion, for he thought he had abundance of 
experience of the workings of true grace, enlightenings, and ravishments 
of spirit, and of faith in Christ, especially on sacramental occasions. 
He recollected the course of his spirit until he was thirteen years of 
age ; and how when he was seven years old, a servant of his grandfather, 
(with whom he lived,) reproved him very vehemently for some sin as 
leading him to hell-torments ; from which time he began to be affected 
with thoughts of God and religion, though in a childish way ; for he 
began to weep and mourn on fresh convictions of fresh sins ; but though 
for a while abstaining from them, he found himself weak and overcome 
again : still as he could weep for his sins in secret, when he could weep 
for nothing else, he concluded it was not hypocrisy ; for God noticed 
Hezekiah s turning to the wall with tears : and having known the Scrip 
tures from a child, like Timothy, he waxed confident, from the promise of 
obtaining whatever he asked of the Father in Christ s name ; which he 
would be sure to do for all he would have of God. Thus renewing his 
repentance for relapses into sins, he "thought as a child," That what 
ever was more than nature must be grace ; and that his religious fits and 
affections, of which he was once destitute, must be the work of God, (who 
came to him, only as a way-faring man tarries for a night and departs :) 
but as the Holy Ghost moved on the waters, and sustained the chaos that 
was created, so he excites good motions in carnal hearts ; as in a frost, 
the ice-drops and snow melt, and the earth becomes slabby, only where the 
sun shines ; yet there is no general thaw : so these lighter impressions, 
and slighter workings, made him so presumptuous as to think he had 
more grace, though but a school-boy, than his relations or any of the 
town-folks he knew. Having been admitted a junior-sophister of his 
College a year before the usual time of standing, he obtruded himself 
among the rest of his form, as a communicant, being ashamed to go out 
of the chapel alone : he had exercised himself on this occasion in self- 
examinations, and meditations on the sufferings of Christ, which 
he presumed to apply to himself with much thankfulnes to God. His 
devotions were the more kindled by the residence of six fellows, who 
were chief tutors of his College, and called Puritans, because of 

their strict godliness ; (and besides, Cambridge was still lull of talk of 
the j>o\vcr of Mr. Perkin s ministry ; and also, Dr. Ames, professor of 
divinity at Franeker, who wrote "Puritanismus Anglicanus," had by the 
urgency of the master, not long before our author s time, been driven 
from his fellowship of Christ s Church and from the University itself; 
but the worth and holiness of that man was sufficiently known by what he 
afterwards did in the Low Countries:) These fellows had several godly 
pupils, whose ways he observed ; and he took the opportunity of acquaint 
ing himself with Ursin s renowned summary of the orthodox religion, 
which was explained to them at their saturday-night s chamber-prayers. 
The powerful and steady examples of these, and especially of one of their 
tutors, Mr. Bentley, (whose innocent, meek, and humble spirit, was proved 
amidst dangerous fits of apoplexy to which he was subject J had decided 
him in respect to the Anninian controversy : still the stirring affections he 
felt at the prayers, and the ravishing elevations of his animal spirits, were 
but as the morning dew ; and at the end of a week he left off private 
prayer, and all his other godly exercises ; till the return of another 
sacrament, when he fell to loving the godly tutors and pupils again, so as 
to continue more constant in duties for a longer time together. The 
University church of St. Mary vied in all the florid sermons and strains 
of wit, from which he was withdrawn for eight weeks, accompanying the 
godly of his College to hear the plain and wholesome preaching of 
Dr. Sibbs, keeping to private prayer, and getting more acquainted with 
those holy students ; so that he longed for the next sacrament to confirm 
him by the body and blood of Christ in his new way, and to keep him 
from falling again in love with scholastic divinity : But on occasion of 
his tutor s restraining him from the Lord s table, (as before mentioned,) 
he suddenly left off his begun courses, and again constantly attended at 
St. Mary s, and returned to his lusts and pleasures, (though kept from 
gross sinsj and to the ambition of vain-glory and applause ; and with a 
lower kind of enmity against good men and things, he resolved to preach 
against those at Lynn Regis and their ways, (where the eminent Mr. 
Price was afterwards minister,) and to take part with the whole town against 
them, which his wicked spirit, through the studies he had pursued, was 
too eager and fitted to do : till it came to this, That if God would 
give him the pleasure he desired, and the preferment he sought, and not 
damn him at last, he might keep heaven to himself; and as for the 
powerful preaching of Mr. Rogers, of Dedham, and such others, he deiied 
their troubling his conscience. 

When God by a true work of grace effectually converted him to himself, 
the vanity of his former religion, and the deficiency of the root of all his de 
ft 2 


votions, was abundantly manifested ; and as he reflected on certain passages 
of scripture, God vouchsafed him a new and further light into the bottom 
of his heart, to discern, That self-love and self-flattery, acted to the utmost 
by wordly motives, were but the roots of all these gaudy tulips he counted 
for grace : thus the flowers of all his former devotions withered to nothing, 
as in the parable of the stony ground, where the heart wanted moisture to 
nourish it. He was surrounded by the prospect he lay under of all these 
heads of sinning, and so shut up as to see no way of escape ; and together 
with the sight of this sinfulness, hell opened its mouth upon him, 
threatening to destroy and devour him for ever and ever. Though 
subjugated and bound over to these apprehensions, he was kept however 
from the soreness of God s wrath piercing him through and through ; and 
though he had a solid and strong and just conviction of sin abiding on him, 
as in his unbelief, yet he suffered not the terrors of the Almighty, bound 
as he was hand and foot, and subacted under the pressure of the guilt of 
wrath and subjection to the just judgment of the Lord. It was not many 
hours before God, faithful to his word of promise in not suffering the 
regenerate to be tempted above what they are able, in his pity made 
a way for him to escape, that he might be able to bear it ; and loving him 
with the same love as his own dear elect children, suffered not a destroying 
apprehension to continue long upon him previous to his believing. In 
Ezek.xvi. the election of grace are compared to a still-born child, covered 
over with the blood of its birth, its navel uncut, itself unwashed, but cast 
out as a carcase in the open field, till the compassion of God bid it, with 
earnest vehemence, " Live, yea live :" So God in an instant was pleased to 
alter the whole course of his former dispensation towards him, after all 
that heap amassed from the continual ebullitions of original sin : no eye 
pitied him or could help him ; till he who created the world and the 
matter of all things by a word, put a new life and spirit into his soul by 
the whisper of his promise. As is the still yet certain sound of a distant 
voice ; or as the gospel, whispered out of Zion, sounded over the whole 
earth ; so this speaking of God to his soul, though so gentle a sound, made 
a noise over his whole heart, and filled and possessed all his soul, while 
God took him aside, and as it were privately said to him, " Do you turn 
to me, and I will pardon all your sins, though never so many, as I 
forgave and pardoned my servant Paul ; and I will convert you unto my 
self, as I did Mr. Price," (a notable convert in Cambridge, and a most 
striking example of a singular conversion, and the holiest man without 
exception, and then preacher at King s Lynn, whither our author s 
parents had removed from Rolseby :) These secret whispers and speeches 
of God to him he related a year-and-half after to Mr. Price, and since 


then frequently to others, in declaring this his conversion ; for they ever 
stuck in his mind : examples set before us by God, being written and 
propounded to us for our hope, (Rom. xv. 4,) and alleged not only to 
illustrate and explain rules, but to prove and confirm them : That God 
pardoned such a man in such a condition, is often brought home as 
implying a secret promise to another man in the same condition. 
Preaching at Ely two years after, he urged Paul s instance as an example 
to win others, (in allusion to his own experience,) and that such exam 
ples were flags of mercy to win a company of rebels : that of Paul was 
full and pertinent to the purpose for which God held it out to him ; he 
considering with himself the amplitude of his pardon, that it involved all 
sorts of sins of the highest nature, in which Paul had so walked, that he 
was even upon the narrow brink of sinning against the Holy Ghost : and 
God had suggested to him, that he would pardon him for all his sins, 
though never so great, (for boldness, hardness of heart, and heinousness 
of sinning,) as he had done Paul, and would change his heart, as he had 
Mr. Price s. The confirmations whereby he judged the said instructions 
and suggestions to come immediately from God, were, First, The posture 
and condition of his spirit when they took him, his heart being at the 
time hnmoveably fixed in the contrary persuasions of his being in a 
damned state, without hope of a remedy for the guilt of those sins in 
which he had continued : and it was when God had set a guard upon him 
as the prisoner of hell, that the contrary apprehensions and impressions 
came in so instaneously, and so deeply rooted in his heart, that he remem 
bered them ever since. Secondly, It was a word in season, (which Christ 
himself was taught to speak to distressed souls, Isa. 1. 4,) like that to 
Abraham the father of the faithful, which became a Jewish proverb, " In 
the mount the Lord will (provide or) be seen ;" which "Jehovah-jireh" the 
Jews apply to the immediate remedy God out of pity affords a man in 
such distress and straits as none but himself can remedy ; and it is a 
word fitted and proper to such an occasion, and peculiar to the case in 
hand ; a word quick and sudden, and interrupting all contrary expecta 
tions and fears, as when God spake in haste, calling, " Abraham, Abraham." 
Thirdly, What was suggested to him was not an ungrounded fancy, but the 
pure word of God, the ground ol faith and hope ; it was the promise and 
performance of God s forgiving Paul the most heinous sins that ever any 
committed who was saved ; Paul confessing himself the chiefest of sinners ; 
and his example being the most pertinent that could be found in the 
book of God. Fourthly, He was powerfully persuaded that the said 
suggestions were of God, from the fulfilment of God s words to him ; 
for, 1st, He felt all the powers of his soul in an instant clean altered, and 

changed in the disposition of them ; as the discourses of our English 
divines set forth the manner of conversion in the effects of it. 2ndly, He 
found the works of the devil dissolved in his heart, from that time, in an 
eminent manner ; his understanding enlightened ; his will melted and 
softened ; the stone made flesh, disposed to receive and to turn to God : 
and, 3dly, He found his spirit cloathed with a new nature, inclining him 
to good instead of evil. It was not merely such good motions from the 
Spirit of God, as formerly incited him to flushings and streamings of 
transitory affections, exciting joy in his animal spirits, when he applied 
himself to a holy duty ; but he found a new in-dwelling or habitual princi 
ple of opposition to in-dwelling sin, and a hatred of it; so that he 
concluded with himself, That this new workmanship wrought in him, was 
of the same kind, as to matter of holiness, with that image of God, 
expressed in Eph. iv. 24, and Col. iii. 10. Thus he was at first 
comforted in seeing and finding two contrary principles ; the Spirit as truly 
lusting against the flesh, as the flesh against the Spirit ; and ha found 
apparent the difference of the opposition of conscience only against a 
lust, and that of the Spirit or new work of grace in the heart ; (the Spirit 
not contradicting and checking, but making a real natural opposition as 
of fire to water ;) and this difference he found not by reading or hearing- 
it spoken of; but like Augustin, he perceived it of himself, and wondered 
at it : his was a combat proper and peculiar to the regenerate ; not found in 
God or Christ who are fulness of holiness, or in devils who are all sin, or 
in angels who are entirely holy, or in sinners who have no grace in them to 
fight with their corruptions in such a manner. 4thly, The consequence 
of what took place in his heart was, an actual turning from all known 
sins, and an entertaining the truth of all the principles of godliness, as 
far as he received them from the word of God, and the best examples of 
godly men with whom he lived. Assisted by God s direction, he looked 
back on his sinful state, and took a summary survey of his chief sins and 
lusts ; which he found to be, love of pleasure more than of God, corrupt 
ends, and especially such vain -glorious academic praise as he sought with 
his whole soul : and God was pleased to direct him to take up, as his 
rule of turning to him, a sincere aim at his glory, as the scope of all his 
inward thoughts, words, actions, designs, and ends whatsoever ; assisting 
him to consider severally all the sorts of actions he had gone through in 
his life, and to take them asunder, especially the most principal, in particu 
lars, every one in order. And here in the first place he compared the aim 
and drift of his studies, (upon svhich he had spent his whole time,) with 
what served most to the glory of God in the work of the ministry : this 
overturned all the dearest hopes and piojects and designs of his heart; for 


the interests of these were more than life to him. The University was 
addicted to a vain-glorious eloquence, wherein the wits strove to exceed 
one another ; and that which he most of all affected in his foolish fancy, 
was to have preached like Dr. Senhouse, of St. John s, (afterwards made 
bishop,) a few of whose sermons were in print, being the greatest farrago 
of all sorts of flowers, similitudes, or elegancies of art, found in any of ihe 
fathers, poets, or historians : not that he expected to attain all the 
accomplishments wherein this man abounded, but he studied his collections 
so as to imitate him all he could, when he should come to preach. But 
this way of his soon received a fatal wound from Dr. Preston s opposition 
to it, as vain and nnedifying ; whose catechetical sermons in the chapel 
of that College he happened while unregenerate to hear, though unmoved 
thereby to alter his studies ; nor could all the world, or angels, or men, 
have moved him ; but on this turning to God, and setting up God s glory 
as the resolved end of all his actions and ways, he soon discovered the 
unprofitableness of such a design, and resolved to leave all, and to 
preach nothing but sound wholesome words ; in which principle and 
practice he continued for three-score years, without once attempting to 
introduce any of his own withered flowers, that he had gathered, and had 
valued more than diamonds ; nor did these even tempt him or offer them 
selves to his memory; but he preached what was most edifying, either 
for conversion of souls, or for bringing them up to eternal life. Thus his 
master-lust was mortified. There was nothing of constraint or force in 
this work of God on his soul, but he was carried on with the most willing 
and ready mind ; and what he did was what he chose to do. He parted 
with his sins, (once so dear to him as the apple of his eye, yea as his life,) 
with the greatest freedom, resolving never to return to them any more, 
and deliberately counting the cost of so great a change. Though he consid 
ered the opinion the world had of the true convert, and sincere to God, 
who walked in such ways of purity and holiness, yet it hindered him not at 
all : he swam and broke through the weeds that entangled him in these 
waters, with as much ease as Samson did his withs ; for he was made a 
vassal and perfect captive to another binding, (as when Paul went bound 
in the Spirit up to Jerusalem,) and he said within himself of all his old 
companions, " What do ye breaking my heart ? for I am ready not to be 
bound only, but to give up my life, so as I may serve God with jov in 
those ways." He looked not back, (as Lot s wife,) but with his whole 
soul s desire to return no more to the enjoyment of any lust, all his 
childish imaginations of preferment were cast down, and fell like bubbles 
vanishing into air : rvrvv strong hold and high thing, (such as scholars 
makr the card of thciv li!> to sail by.) was rjiptivatrd to thr 


obedience of Christ, 2 Cor. x. 5. He was brought to be content with 
the meanest condition all his days, so he might fulfil ever so mean a 
course of life with uprightness and sincerity towards God. He took his 
leave for ever of all ecclesiastical preferments ; and though afterwards 
president of Magdalen College in Oxford, the motive of his heart was the 
fair opportunity of his ministry doing good in the University, and that 
he might bring in godly young men, fellows and students, to serve God 
in the ministry in after-times ; and he accordingly inquired and sought 
after such jewels, and was grieved when he failed of his aim : and this 
principle he brought with him from his first sttreon in Catharine Hall, 
Cambridge, (where he was instrumental in Dr. Sibb s election to the 
mastership of that College, and in Dr. Arrowsmith, Mr. Pen of Northamp 
tonshire, &c. becoming fellows ;) and he was confirmed therein, in 
that after seven years absence from Cambridge, on his return 
from Holland he received, almost monthly, for some years, serious 
and hearty acknowldgments from several young men, who had the 
light of their conversion by his ministry at Cambridge. This encouraged 
him to return again to a University ; and his success at Oxford is left to 
Christ till the latter day. But the most eminent property of his said 
conversion was, That the glory of the great GOD was set up in his heart, 
as the square and rule of each and every particular practice both of faith 
and godliness ; and of all signs of sincerity, there neither is nor can be any 
clearer than this witness, " He that seeketh his glory that sent him, the 
same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him," (John vii. 18;) Christ 
speaks this of himself, out of his own experience of what He did, who is the 
truth itself ; as the glory of God is God Himself, who doth all things for 
Himself: and therefore he that thus acteth for God predominantly above 
all other ends, must necessarily be judged truly righteous. None can 
extract out of man s heart what is not in it ; and there is not the least 
spark of regard for the glory of God, as the chief end, in the heart of the 
unregenerate : sparks will come from a flint struck against iron or steel; 
but not from a piece of ice, for there are none in it, nor the least disposition 
towards any. True conversion is, when upon the change of a man s last 
end, there is a change made upon the whole man and all the powers of 
his soul; if a man changes but to one particular end, the effect is answer- 
ably limited and partial ; as when a prodigal thus becomes sparing and 
covetous, the only effect is, a care to keep his money and not spend it 
lavishly : but godliness, respecting the glory of God above all, hath a 
general and universal end, extending its influence upon all things. 
Hence our author s task was to survey, and go over, every particular kind 
of act, both as to what he must forbear, and for what end, and with 


what heart ; as also to observe each particular practice of godliness, which 
he had for a long time wretchedly neglected : so that he fixed on this 
summary of his whole life, That he had made lusts and pleasures his only 
end, and done nothing with aims at God s glory ; and therefore he would 
begin his turning to God by making God s glory the measure of all for 
the time to come. 

The above account of the work of the Holy Ghost on our author s 
soul, in his own conversion to God, was designed to give, from his own 
experience, (as himself said,) a testimony of the difference between the 
common grace by some thought sufficient, and special saving grace, which 
is alone sufficient, and which always invincibly and effectually prevails, as it 
did in him, enduring through a long life and course of various temptations 
and trials unto the end. In the first enlightenings and workings of 
conscience, he experienced how far common grace might go, and yet fail 
at last so as utterly to wither and decay : in the other lasting work on 
his soul, which was victorious to eternity, he felt an extraordinary divine 
power changing it, and entirely subduing it to God. In reading the acts 
of the Synod of Dort, and reviewing the first workings of common grace 
in him, he found them consistent with the Arminian opinions ; but on 
comparing his own experiences of efficacious grace with the doctrines of 
the orthodox protestant divines, he found the one perfectly to agree with 
the other. A man cannot be disputed out of such an inward sense of 
things as established him in the truths of the gospel and possessed him 
with a due tempered warmth and zeal to assert and vindicate them with 
such arguments and reasons, as the truth is never destitute of, to resist 
gainsayers. It was however many years before he came to have a clear know 
ledge of the gospel, and a full view of Christ by faith, with joy and peace 
in believing. "A blessed age this, said he in his latter years; now the time 
of faith is come ; and faith is principally insisted on unto salvation : in my 
younger years we heard little more of Christ, than as merely mentioned in 
the ministry, and in printed books : I was diverted from Christ for several 
years, to search only into the signs of grace in me : it was almost seven years 
ere I was taken off to live by faith on Christ, and on God s free love, 
which are alike the objects of faith." For so long a time were his thoughts 
intent on the conviction God had wrought in him of the heinousness of 
sin, of his own sinful and miserable state by nature, of the difference 
between the workings of natural conscience though enlightened, and the 
motions of a holy soul changed and acted by the Spirit in an effectual 
work of peculiar saving grace : accordingly he kept a constant diary of 
observations of the case and posture of his mind and heart towards God, 
with suitable pious and pathetic meditations : His sermons being the result 


of these, had a great deal of spiritual heat in them, and were blessed by 
God to the conviction and conversion of many young scholars who flocked 
to his ministry. He maintained great intimacy of Christian friendship 
with Mr. Price, of Lynn, as the greatest man for experimental acquaint 
ance with Christ he ever met with ; and as he poured into his bosom his 
spiritual complaints, so his conference with him, by letter and discourse, 
was blessed by God to lead him into the spirit of the gospel, to live by 
faith in Christ, deriving from him life and strength, for sanctification and all 
comfort and joy through believing. In answer to Mr. Price, (who had poured 
the balm of the gospel into his wounded soul, to its healing and comfort,) 
he thus wrote, " I am come to this pass now, that signs will do me no 
good alone ; I have trusted too much to habitual grace for assurance of 
justification: I tell you Christ is worth all, to whom coming my weary soul 
finds that rest, which in all its unquiet motions it could not find elsewhere." 
And his own account of this work of faith is thus : " It fell out that soon 
after my being humbled for sin, the doctrine of justification through Christ 
by faith came into my thoughts ; but my spirit was turned off from it by 
this prejudice, That it had been the deceit of carnal men for continuing 
in their sins, and so 1 might be deceived in that way and course, remembering 
how I had been deceived in believing on Christ crucified with joy and 
ravishment in my carnal state : which from time to time was a hinderance 
to me from going to Christ : and I was pitched on this great principle, 
That if I found myself sanctified, (as I certainly did,) I then was 
justified; the one being only the evidence of the other : and thus my 
mind was set on examining the inherent work wrought in me by the Spirit ; 
and I pursued after mortification of lusts, and inward holiness, thinking 
thus to have ihe comfort of my justification, yet being thus kept from 
going to Christ actually, though dealing with God and his mercy in Christ, 
as having done all on his part to be done in redeeming and reconciling 
us : so that I dealt immediately with God and his pure mercv and free 
grace. But it fell strongly into my mind, that there was a necessity of 
Christ s righteousness to justify me, as well as of his grace which had 
sanctified me ; and God took this course to convince me of it, and to set 
me a work about it : He used the very conviction I had of original sin 
from Adam, in its two branches, in the guilt of Adam s actual transgres 
sion imputed to me, and the corruption of my nature thence derived : I 
had had a mighty and large conviction and deep sense of these ; and that 
all lusts were sins ; which greatly helped me clearly to take in the abso 
lute necessity of justification by Christ s righteousness, and to glory in it, 
discerning the perfect difference of it from sanctification : I began to 
reflect, That Christ, was the head for salvation, as Adam had been for sin 


and condemnation ; and that therefore as there were two brandies of sin 
and condemnation derived to me from Adam ; (the one an imputation 
of his fact to me, the other a violent and universal corruption of nature 
inherent in me ;) just so it must be in Christ s salvation of me : and hence 
I must have an imputation of his righteousness for justiiication, as well 
as a holy nature derived from him for sanctih cation ; the former being 
perfect, the latter not : The notion of this did mightily and experiment 
ally enlighten me." This experience of the refreshing comforts of the 
knowledge of Christ and free justification by his righteousness alone, 
made him now zealous of preaching for the consolation of afflicted con 
sciences, and not for conviction and terror as heretofore : so Dr. Sibbs 
once told him, That if ever he would do good, he must preach the gospel 
and the free grace of God in Christ Jesus. The only copy of his sermons 
on the glory of the gospel, called his Primitiee Evanylica, or Evangelical 
First-fruits, was thus remarkably preserved : The portmanteau in which 
they were, was cut off from his horse by a thief in the evening, just against 
St. Andrew s church-yard in Holborn ; the clerk or sexton, coining on 
the Lord s day morning to ring the bell, found a bundle of papers tied up 
with a string, at the foot of a great tree, in which were some acquittances 
of a Cambridge bookseller, who accompanied him to London ; which led 
to the discovery. 

He was chosen A. D. 1628, to preach the lecture to the town of 
Cambridge, at Trinity Church. Dr. Buckridge, Bishop of Ely, made some 
difficulty at first about admitting him to it, unless he would solemnly pro 
mise, in pursuance of the King s proclamation, not to preach about any 
controverted points in divinity : but as the most essential articles of the 
Christian faith were controverted by one or other, and as such a promise 
would scarce leave him any subject to preach on, he alleged, That it was 
not his Majesty s intention to inhibit him or any other from preaching 
against the gross errors of Popery. He continued lecturer till A. D. 
1634, when dissatisfied in his conscience with the laws of conformity, he 
left the University and his preferments. Asheacted herein with all sincerity, 
according to the light given him, and the full persuasion of his own mind, 
apart from all worldly motives which would have swayed him contrariwise ; 
so he expressed himself with great joy of faith and thankfulness and praise 
lor the faithful love of Jesus Christ to him, in the performance of the 
promise in Luke xviii. 29, 30. Having cheerfully parted with all for 
Christ, he was abundantly compensated not only in the comforts and joy 
of his love, (which are incomparably above all other things,) but in that 
love and esteem of good men which God gave him, who alone also made 
his ministry acceptable and successful to the conversion and comfort of 


many souls. He married Elizabeth, daughter of alderman Prescott, 
A.D. 1638; of so sweet a temper, lively wit, and sincere piety, as endear 
ed her to all who knew her : her two sisters were married, one to Sir 
William Leman, and the other to Sir Nicholas Crisp : He had by her an 
only daughter, Elizabeth, (married to Mr. John Mason, acitizen of London,) 
who was a living image of her parents, in natural endowment of mind, as 
well as in grace and piety ; she lost her mother when about ten years of 
age, and died two years before her father. The persecution growing hot 
in England, our author resolved on removing into some foreign country, 
where he might exercise his ministry and enjoy Christ s ordinances, 
agreeably to his conscience. Accordingly he went over into Holland, 
A. D. 1639, and settling at last at Arnheim, was pastor of the English 
Church in that city : while there some differences arising in the English 
Church at Rotterdam, he and the elders of the Church of Arnheim went 
thither; and God was pleased by their brotherly advice and counsel to 
compose the difference, and to re-establish the disturbed peace of that 
Church. On returning to England and becoming pastor of a Church 
in London, he was appointed, by an ordinance of Parliament, A. D. 1643, 
a member of the venerable Assembly of divines at Westminster. He took 
a brief account of every day s debates about church-government and disci 
pline which arose in that Synod ; of which his son possessed about fourteen 
volumes of his manuscripts : his way of arguing was with such modesty 
and Christian meekness, as procured the esteem of them who differed from 
him and the other dissenting brethren in his judgment. He had an invi 
tation, A. D. 1647, from the Rev. John Cotton, (in whom grace and 
learning were so happily conjoined,) and others in new England, to come 
over to them ; to which he was so much inclined, that he had put a great 
part of his library on ship-board ; but he was over-persuaded by some, to 
whose counsel and advice he paid a great deference. He was married 
again, A. D. 1649, to Mary, a descendant of the ancient family of the 
Hammonds, in Shropshire ; whose ancestor was an officer in the army of 
William, Duke of Normandy, when he invaded England, A. D. 1066. 
Though not seventeen years of age, she had the gravity and prudence of 
a matron : her conjugal affection, her tender care, her wise administration 
of the affairs of her family, the goodness of her disposition, and above 
all her grace and piety, left an honorable remembrance of her. By 
her he had two sons, (Thomas, who compiled this memoir of his father; 
and Richard, who died in a voyage to the East Indies, where he was sent 
as one of the Company s factors a year after his father s death,) and also 
two daughters who died in their infancy. In the same yrar of his second 
marriage he was admitted President of Magdalen College in Oxford, 


where his zeal to promote piety and learning, his candour, his ingenuity, 
his catholic charity for all good men of every persuasion, won the 
hearts of those who were most averse to him. In disposing of any place 
of preferment, he was not biassed by party-affection but by goodness 
and merit. Messrs. Brown and Byfield, and Dr. Fairfax, who continued 
fellows many years after he left the College, retained an affection and 
esteem for him, ever speaking of him with most honourable mention. 
Several persons of piety and learning belonged to the church of which he 
was pastor; as Messrs. Thankful Owen, President of St. John s; Francis 
Hovel, Master of Jesus College; Theophilus Gale; Stephen Charnock ; 
Blower, Barron, Terry, Lowman ; and others. On the revolution, A. D. 
1660, he resigned his Presidentship to Dr. Oliver, and removed to London, 
where he was pastor of the same church which he had gathered in Oxford, 
a great part of the members of it following him to that city. In the faithful 
discharge of this office and labour in the Lord Jesus Christ he continued 
till his death. 

It was at this time he lived a retired life spent in prayer, reading, and 
meditation. He read much ; and the authors he valued and studied, were 
Augustin, Calvin, Musculus, Zanchius, Paroeus, Waloous, Gomarus, 
Attingius, and Amesius; among the school-men, Suarez and Esthius; but 
the scriptures were his chiefest study, (in which he was assisted 
by the best collection of commentators;) and as they are an inexhaustible 
treasury of divine knowledge, so by an eager search into and comparing 
of them, he discovered those truths which are not to be found in other 
authors. His mind soared with greatest delight, (not of merely speculative 
pleasure,) in the love and free-grace of God, and the excellencies and 
glories of Christ; which were the life and food of his soul ; and as his heart 
was affected with them, he wrote them with a spiritual warmth better felt 
than expressed. Though he read much,yethe was more intense in thinking ; 
whereby he made himself master of the subject of his discourse. In that 
deplorable calamity of the dreadful fire of London, A.D. 1666, reducing 
a considerable part of the city to ashes, he lost about half his library, to 
the value of five hundred pounds : that part of it however which was lodged 
very near where the fire began, which he accounted irrecoverably lost, was 
by the diligence of his friend, Mr. Moses Lowman, preserved from the 
flame with extreme hazard ; while the other part, which he thought 
might have been timely secured, being lodged at a distance in Bread-street, 
was all burnt through the negligence of the persons sent to take care of 
them : God thus struck him in a very sensible part ; for he loved his library 
too well : yet he blessed God that the rebuke of his affliction fell not on his 
divinity -books, but on those of human learning. As the exercise of faith, 


and of its fruits, relieved him ; he hereupon meditated and wrote a discourse 
of " Patience and its perfect work," printed soon after. A fever seized him 
in Feb. 1679, putting an end to his life in a few davs ; in all the violence 
of which he discoursed with that strength of faith, that assurance of 
Christ s love, that holy admiration of free-grace, that joy in believing, and 
with such thanksgivings and praises, as extremely moved and affected all 
that heard him. Mr. Collins, (then pastor of the same church of which 
he had formerly been pastor, and with the reluctant consent of which he 
removed to Oxford, A.D. 1649,) praying earnestly for him, "That God 
would return into his bosom all those comforts which he had by his 
ministry of free-grace poured into so many distressed souls, " he felt 
the prayer answered in the abundant comforts and joys with which he was 
filled. " I am going said he, to the Three Persons which whom I have 
had communion ; they have taken me, I did not take them : I shall be 
changed in the twinkling of an eye : I shall be rid of all my lusts and 
corruptions, which I could not be here ; these croaking toads will fall 
off in a moment." On mentioning those great examples of faith in Heb. 
xi. he said, " All these died in faith : I could not have imagined I 
should ever have had such a measure of faith in this hour ; no, I could 
never have imagined it : My bow abides in strength : Is Christ divided? 
no : I have the whole of his righteousness ; I am found in him, not in 
my own righteousness, which is of the law, but in the righteousness which is 
of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ, who loved me and gave himself 
for me : Christ cannot love me more than he doth ; I think I cannot love 
him more than I do : I am swallowed up in God." He thus exhorted 
his two sons to value the privilege of the Covenant : " It hath taken hold 
of me : my mother was a holy woman, she spake nothing diminishing of 
it : it is a privilege which cannot be valued enough, nor be purchased 
with a great sum of money, (Acts xxii. 28 :) Be careful of provoking 
God to reject you : Now I shall be ever with the Lord." With such 
assurance of faith, and such fulnesss of joy, his soul left this world, and 
went to see and enjoy the reality of that blessed state of glory, which in 
a discourse on that subject he had so well demonstrated. He died in 
the eightieth year of his age. 

The following is an abstract taken from the testimony of Messrs. 
Thankful Owen and James Barren, to this great person s eminent fitness 
for, and happy performance of such an undertaking as was his Exposition 
on the Epistle to the Ephesians, which he was chosen to interpret after 
his return to England : " The special light God so clearly gave him 
in the mysteries of corrupt nature and of the gospel, shone through all 
his works, and particulary this Comment; which could be best understood 


by one, who had the Apostle s sense, (that Guslua Spirit ualis Judicii,) 
temptations, and experience ; for our author was a man of inward conflicts 
and of outward sufferings. Cheery of the light he attained, he lived over 
the truths he knew, even to the hazard of what was most dear to him ; 
and thus he abounded as he knew, according to John vii. 17, Matt. xiii. 12. 
His genius dived into the bottom, and waded through the depths of the 
points treated of; which he studied down, as lie used to say; consulting 
all the weightiest authors on these subjects, and valuing every rav of 
light, in aid of the fresh lustre added thereto by his own experience ; 
besides the advantages he had from the converse of most eminent 
Christians, those living and walking bibles: he thus became peculiarly 
qualified to treat also of cases of conscience, and practical points. 
Being a man mighty in prayer to that God, with whom he had high and 
intimate communion ; and addicted to retirement and deep contemplation, 
he filled his head and heart with spiritual notions, as the sand of the sea. 
He delighted in searching into points neglected by others, and in open 
ing difficult texts; and he discovered the depths of Satan, by anatomizing 
the old man in himself and others. He was much exercised in the 
controversies of his day ; and having an insight into the covenant of grace, 
he was a witness to the Greek Fathers ignorance of that grace, and the 
consequent rise of Pelagian and other errors in the church, as Jansenius 
obseives : But before undertaking such a province, he had gone over the 
grand points of religion before intelligent auditories, who helped to draw 
out his gifts. Touching his Expositions, we know no man so happy in 
pitching on the true, genuine, and full scope of a text; and he delighted 
to exhibit the most comprehensive sense of the Holy Ghost, in the various 
references and aspects one passage had upon others. By comparing 
spiritual things with spiritual, he was enabled to open dark scriptures by 
means of such as were less obscure ; fetching light, as in optics, by various 
positions of the glass ; bringing gospel-truths from types and prophecies, 
and reflecting back light again on these shadows from gospel-truths : thus 
small rays concentrated by him, emitted a glorious light, while he left 
no difficulty unassailed and unvanquished : He valued the least iota, 
and showed what momentous things depended on the least of God s 
words. His observations being clear, genuine, and natural, as well as 
scriptural, the highest controverted points and sublimest gospel myste 
ries, were brought down by him in a plain and familiar way, without the 
affectation of hard and scholastic terms ; for what had first been stated in 
his own heart, he made easy to the sense and experience of others. 
While he brings not scripture to his learning, there is a variety of learning 
included under what he brings to bear upon scripture ; and a vein of 


strong spiritual reason, carrying its own light and evidence with it, runs 
through all his discourses. In breaking open the mines of the glorious 
grace of God and the unsearchable riches of Christ, according to the divine 
decrees, (into which the further we search the greater treasures we find, 
Pleiiius Responsura Fodienti,) none could more clearly resolve the 
plot of salvation into pure grace. His discourses, being so 
evangelical, cany the soul on to a higher holiness from a higher and 
nobler spring of action than was found in man before the fall : and 
when he steps out of the beaten track, and beyond the elevation 
of writers in general, he doth it with regard to the analogy of 
faith, and to a just veneration for the reformed religion ; wondering 
greatly at the daring attempts of persons unskilful in the word of right 
eousness, against those great and momentous points of our religion, which 
are the glory of our reformation, and which will prove gold, silver, pre 
cious stones, when their * wood, hay, and stubble will be burnt up. 
On the whole, we consider him as a person raised up by God for such 
eminent service in his age, as Augustin and others were in their times : 
and therefore we are not a little astonished at the unworthiness of some 
in this age, who use all their arts and interest to suppress the light of 
this and other great luminaries of the Church, and to eclipse stars of the 
first magnitude, for such little niceties and nothings as the best and 
purest times were unacquainted with. We need add no more, than that 
the writings of such an author cannot but carry with them his own sig 
nature, he having drawn to the life the picture of his own heart by his 
own hand." 







CONTAIN seven epistles to seven particular churches ; but from 
the fourth chapter to the close of the Revelation is laid down 
a more general prophecy, reaching from John s time to the end 
of the world. This former portion of the book concerns things 
past, present, and to come, (c. i. 19 ;) but the latter only "things 
which must be hereafter," c. iv. 1. In the vision of the general 
prophecy is the story of all times, acted and represented by 
angels, for whom the stage of Christ s church is erected ; a scene 
is supposed where the things were done, and a chorus of specta 
tors, (or church-members,) judging and approving, and giving their 
plaudit of glory to God by the mouth of the four beasts and the 
four and twenty elders ; (see c. iv.) : and as in such scenic exhibi 
tions there is wont to be a prologue, so there is as artificial a one 
acted in c. v. as any in any poem ; from whence, in c. vi. the repre 
sentation of the story begins. 


VERSE I. John is called up from the earth into the air, or 
" heaven" the place of his vision, where a door seemed to open ; 
on entering which he sees as follows : 

VERSE n. " And immediately I was in the Spirit ;" denot 
ing such a repletion or filling with the Spirit as possessed all the 
powers of his soul to attend to the vision ; (the phrase is as when 
we say a man is in love or in liquor ; or as a mill is in the 
wind: ) it filled all ; it carried all in him to the thing in hand, 
and wholly acted his faculties by a supernatural motion of the 
Spirit on his understanding and sense ; for it was to an extraordi 
nary purpose, even to see and write these visions of the Holy 
Ghost : yet to us it should be ordinary so far as to our being, 

2 o 

554 THE VISION of [REV. iv. 2, 3. 

au J vvalkiug, in the Spirit ; giving up ourselves, our powers and 
faculties to the Spirit s rule and guidance, to move all wheels in 
us. N,B. From this " immediately " we observe, That a be 
lieving soul may presently be in the Spirit, who soon and sud 
denly comes upon a man. 

The following is a vision of the church, which is made the 
scene of all things prophesied of in this book ; for all things are 
done either ybr or concerning it ; the judgments on the world are 
recorded for the church s sake, as executed by God out from the 
church. Now this vision of the throne, beasts, and elders, is a 
representation of the church, wherein God hath his throne. 
i. It is a church, for 1, There only is God worshipped, (v. 8 10,) 
and known and glorified, Ps. Ixxvi. 1 ; xxix. 9. 2, The throne 
here is evidently God s seat in his temple, the church ; as in 
c. xvi. 17. 3, The allusion here is to the tabernacle and to the 
temple, with their ornaments and utensils, as types of the New 
Testament church ; where the mercy-seat in the Holy of Holies is 
"the throne," and the candlestick is "the seven golden lamps," and 
the sea of brass is " the sea of glass." n. It is a church of men, 
not of angels ; For, 1, The elders and beasts sing their redemp 
tion by Christ s blood ; from whom, 2, The angels are distinguish 
ed as being " round about" them ; see c. v. 9, 11. in. It is a 
Church on earth ; For, 1, It alludes to the marshalling of the 
Jews about the tabernacle. 2, Here are " seven spirits," or that 
variety of the gifts of the Holy Ghost which ceases in heaven. 3, 
Here is " a sea of glass " for the priests and worshippers to wash 
in, so that their feet at least still contract defilement, as in John 
xiii. 10. 4, The distinction of beasts and elders, (i. e. officers 
and brethren,) also ceaseth in heaven, iv. It is a church uni 
versal ; For, 1, Being in all ayes, it is placed in the beginning 
here, and after introduced as spectators. 2, It is in all places, 
c. v. 9. v. It is the true pattern of a church, according to the 
rules of the squaring-measure of the word, the mould into which 
all churches are cast; though in c. xi. 1, John is bid to measure 
the temple of that age, as having swerved from the original form 
in Antichrist s apostacy. So that here is the church, consisting 
of three states, (Christ the head ; the four beasts its officers ; and 
the twenty-four elders are the brethren J with its appurtenances 
of lamps, laver, &c. or the Spirit and blood of Christ, &c. " / 
saw a throne " alludes to the mercy-seat, as in Isa. vi. 1 ; Ezek. 
xliii. 4, 5, 7, Jer. xvii. 12. N.B. To set up a church is to set 
up God and Christ a throne; the church being their only visible 
throne on earth, till the kingdoms of the world become theirs 
visibly. " He who sittetli on the throne " is God in Christ, in 
whom God is reconciled to his church, and by whom he rules it, 
c. iii. 21 ; xii. v ; vii. 10 : Isa. vi. 1 ; Ezek. i. 26. 

VKRSE in. " There was a rainbow roundabout the throne ;" 
as the memorial of the covenant of grace, being a sign of the 


covenant of nature, Isa. liv. 9 ; and it is " round about the throne," 
that iw whatever way God goes forth in his dispensations towards 
his church, he may be still reminded of mercy ; and that his 
church also, in all her intercourse with him, may remember to 
trust in the covenant of grace ; her prayers passing to the throne 
through the same rainbow. 

VERSE iv. The situation of the church, whose elders and 
beasts are "about the throne, 1 (see v. 5,6,) is after the quartering of 
Israel about the tabernacle, Num. ii. where the Levites were next 
the tabernacle, and the tribes about the Levites ; as here the offi 
cers station is between the throne and those elders, which Beza in 
terprets in the midst, so Gen. xxiii. 6. " The beasts," though their 
place is nearest the throne, are mentioned after the elders, as being 
but servants of the church and elders, in whom is the radical 
power. "The elders," 1st, Arc so called because the New Testa 
ment church is adult, and no longer under age, (Gal. iv. 1, &c.) 
and as being grave in all her assemblies, proceedings, and adminis 
tration. 2dly, They are " twenty-four," in allusion to the heads 
of those orders of Levites who were porters and singers, 1 Chron. 
xxiv. xxv. ; and are double the heads of the twelve tribes, to 
shew the increase of the church. 3dly, They are " cloathed 
in white raiment" as priests; and 4thly, "On their heads 
were crowns of gold," to shew their rule in judicial matters 
concerning the church, as in 1 Cor. v. 12. 5thly, They are 
" round about the throne," (like the round table, in Cant. i. 12,) 
the meanest soul being as near and dear to God as the greatest, 
and all equal, where Christ is " the tree in the midst of the para 
dise of God," c. ii. 7. 

VERSE v. " And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and 
thunderings and voices" meaning God s judgments, (Ps. xviii. 
13, 14 ; xxix. 3,) as he sits in his church, and as these are exer 
cised for his church s sake, Ps. Ixviii. 35 : Amos i. 2. " Voices " 
also extends more generally to promises and answers to prayer. 
By " The seven lamps which are the seven spirits of God" the 
Holy Ghost, and his various gifts and operations and manifesta 
tions of himself in the church, is noted out, (c. i. 4 ; 1 Cor. xii. 
11,) who gives both light and heat, as did the candlestick in the 

VERSE vi. " There was a sea of glass like tinto crystal;" in 
allusion to Solomon s sea, and purer than that of brass, in Ex. 
xxx. 17 20, typical of Christ s blood to wash in, for justification 
of person and sanctification of life, (Heb. x. 22 : 1 Cor. xi. 11 : 
Titus iii. 5 ;) especially that we may wash before we worship. 
" And there were four beasts full of eyes before and behind;" 
meaning church-officers, who being between the throne and the 
elders, are as leaders of the praise, being the mouth of the con- 
, v. 0, 10. Tliosr are called ZOOA, or living ones, having 

2 o 2 

556 THE FOUR BEASTS. [REV. IV. 7 11. 

in them life, and being means of quickening others : being four 
also, and the throne four-square, they are in the midst between each 
angle, as complete for number, and looking every way to all the 
necessities of the church, both for soul and body ; and " they are 
full of eyes" as overseers; " within. to see to their own hearts, 
as well as " without" to see to others. 

VERSK vn. " And the first beast was like a lion" being the 
ruling elder, who needs courage to deal with men s spirits in 
case of sins calling for the church s notice and admonition. 
" The second beast was like a calf" or ox ; being the laborious 
pastor, who takes pains in " treading out the corn," 1 Tim. v. 18. 
" The third beast had a face like a man;" or the deacons, whose 
humane hearts disposed and inclined them to mercifulness and 
pitifnlness. " And the fourth beast was like a flying eagle :" 
or the teacher, whose eyes quickly spy out all errors, and who 
soars aloft into all mysteries. 

VERSES vm xi. " They had each of them six wings a- 
piece ;" to shew the aptness and readiness of the four beasts to 
fly and act all manner of ways ; and " They rest not day nor 
night, (but labour continually,) crying Holy, Holy, Holy" wor 
shipping God in Trinity ; (see Isa. vi. 2, 3,) and as the mouth 
of the congregation ; for, " When those beasts give glory and 
honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for 
ever and ever, the four and twenty elders fall down before him 
that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and 
ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art 
worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power ; for 
thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are, and 
were created." 


The stage being built in the fourth chapter, and the chorus con 
sisting of the church, being set; here begins the prologue, such as 
for elegance and statelincss was never heretofore invented : 1, Here 
is a book sealed, presented in his hand who sits on the throne, 
containing God s decrees to be executed until the day of judg 
ment ; and, 2, Here is a proclamation, made to all creatures, to 
find out one worthy to open it; but, 3, None such were found in 
heaven or earth ; (v. 3 :) Wherefore, 4, John weeps, thinking 
there would be an end of his visions, and that he must put up his 
pen, v. 4 : In this strait, 5, Christ comes and undertakes to open 
this book, and to fulfil all its decrees : at this, 6, The chorus 
fall down and worship ; v. 8. 

VERSE i. This " book, written within and. on the backside, 
and sealed with seven seals" is not the scriptures generally, but 
a volume of the a flairs of the world and church, and of God s 

REV. V. 1, 2.] THE SEALED BOOK. 557 

decrees about them : for on opening each seal is seen a vision, 
containing the matter of the ensuing vi. vii. viii. and ix. chapters; 
and when the seals are all taken oft", (c. x. 8,) John is bid to eat 
the book, that he might prophesy again the other part of this pro 
phecy : It is therefore this Revelation, and the government of the 
world and of the church, therein set forth, which Christ by taking 
the book, undertakes to man age, perform, and execute; see c. i. 1. 

VERSE u. "A strong angel proclaims, Who is worthy lo loose 
the seals of this book" &c. The use of the seals is not here 
simply to shew, that the matter cannot, be known, (as in Dan. xii. 
4 ;) but to set out the glory of Him who only was "able to take the 
book and loose the seals" &c. God causes a general proclama 
tion to be made to all creatures, (as Saul did, promising rewards 
for some noble service, 1 Sam. xvii. 25 "27,) by "a strong angel, 
whose voice might reach to all ; in order, 1st, To stir up strong- 
desires in John and all who read this prophecy, to search into 
its meaning, to which there was an exhortation, and also an 
exciting promise, c. i. 3. 2ndly, To set out the weakness of the 
creature, that the honor of Christ might the more appear, in that 
he only can do this : God thus endears mercies to us, as he did a 
wife to Adam, by first bringing all creatures to him, that so he 
might see that there was not a meet help for him among them 
all : So in the work of salvation, God lets the soul try all means, 
duties, helps, &c. and then brings it to Christ, that his power 
may appear: he first lets the world try what their wisdom could 
do, and then sends the foolishness of preaching to save them 
that believe, 1 Cor. i. 21, 25. Now that no creature can satisfy 
for sin, is proved to the glory of Christ, in that none but he can 
even open this book, much less redeem us, v. 9. N.B. We must 
learn to renounce all kings, priests, and prophets, except CHRIST ; 
and to say to all creatures " I will be saved by none of you :" 
Were the work of redemption yet to be done, and should God 
make this proclamation, " Call a council, and find me out a party 
able and suitable for the purpose of redemption ;" how should 
we howl and weep as undone, none being found : and after 
trying what we could do for ourselves, suppose God should sot 
out Christ at last, as able to save to the utmost ? but he would 
not thus put us to the non-plus, and therefore took another 
course, commending his love the more by finding out Christ, and 
speaking to him to die for us, so doing the work of redemption to 
our hands. " Who is worthy "" it is not simply an act of power, 
but of authority by worth, to break open the seals: so it was the 
worth of Christ s person that put the value on his satisfaction. 
else in the act of "opening (he book," a mere creature might 
have had as much habitual grace, and performed as much duty ; 
but personal worth carries it, as in Heb. vii. 2fi. 


VERSE in. " None were found wortliy" (neither angel, man, 
devil, nor spirit, were able,) " to open the book, neither to look 
thereon" so as to understand it, for John saw it, v. 1. Now to 
loose the seals and to open the book, is not simply to know God s 
mind in his decrees, but to make the vision of them to John, and 
to execute and fulfil them in their times ; (as men take a commis 
sion, not only to look on it, but to fulfil it :) which being sealed, 
the purport of the proclamation is, Who is able to be God s 
commissioner herein ? so c. vi. 1 : and still as the Lamb opens 
every seal, John is shewn what shall be done by him that hath 
eyes of providence, and horns of power ; and who is a lion s 
whelp and an old lion, and a sceptre and a law-giver, (Gen. xlix. 
9, 10,) to take God s laws from him, and to see them kept by an 
executive, and not merely a legislative power. 

VERSE iv. " And I ivept much ;" in despair of seeing the 
visions for which John was called up to heaven : this check was 
to set off the mercy, to try his heart, and to render his joy greater. 
N.B. The greatest mercies may have the greatest stops, even to 
hopelessness ; as often in the first work of conversion, and in 
other great works. 

VERSE v. Here John is gradually comforted ; first, by a by 
stander endeavouring to uphold his heart; and v. 6, by the sight 
of the Lamb ; as Job, (xlii. ),) first " heard of God by the hearing 
of the ear, and then his eye saw him." So God first lets fall 
something giving the soul hopes of Christ, (thus to draw it patiently 
to wait,) and then shews it Christ himself, who is here diversely ex 
pressed, First, As " T7ie root of David" (Isa.xi. 10, 14,30,) as well 
as " the branch" (Mai. iv. i,) being David s Son and Lord also, the 
root being the first-bora, as Rom. viii. 29 ; Ps. Ixxxix. 27; Col. i. 
15 ; Eph. iii. 15. Secondly, As " The lion of the tribe of Judah" 
(Gen. xlix. 9,) so called because, 1st, out of Judah came all the 
worthies and lion-like men, (2 Sam. xvii, 10.) 2dly, Judah had 
the kingdom under the emblem of " the lion among beasts ;" and 
therefore also he was both sceptre-bearer and legislator. 3dly, 
Judah took the prey, as Joshua, Caleb, &c. took the land, and then 
couched, (Num. xxiii. 24; 1 Kings iv. 20, 21 ;) so Christ having led 
captivity captive, sits down quietly in heaven, couching and lying 
in wait, till he sees opportunity to avenge the enemies of his 
church ; when he shall appear as an old lion roused, suddenly 
leaping on his prey ; especially in the latter days, " when the 
gathering of the people shall be to him:" Gen. xlix. 10 : and so 
in Mich. v. 2,8, the kingdom and conquest of Christ is set forth 
in the calling of the Jews, as also in Christ s birth. Now that 
kingdom is the scope of this book. 

VERSE vi. " And in the midst of the ciders stood a lamb as 
it had been slain," &c. John had heard of Christ as a lion, but 

REV. V. 6.] THK SLAIN LAMB. 559 

he sees him as a lamb : so many a poor soul is afraid of him, till 
it comes to see him and be acquainted with him : but in the end 
he will be found to be a lamb with seven eyes, to run to and fro 
through the earth for the good of his saints ; and with seven horns, 
to defend them, and to butt his and their enemies. Well may we 
wonder at and praise this mixture in him of kingly courage and 
strength as a lion, and also of priestly meekness as a lamb slain, 
who stood " in the midst of the throne" nearer than the four 
beasts who stood between the throne and elders ; he being mediator 
between the church and God. " As it had been slain ,-" as if but 
yesterday newly slain, his blood perpetually remaining fresh ; yet 
only as slain, because not remaining dead but alive, as c. i. 18. 
" Stood a lamb" ready to help ; as Stephen saw him ready to 
receive his spirit : it shews also his readiness to intercede : 
" Having seven horns" of power, to push therewith, (as in c. xvii, 
12;) and thereby to open the seven seals, and also to fulfil the 
sound of the seven trumpets, and to empty the contents of the 
seven vials. Antichrist hath but two horns ; and though his 
kings have ten, yet Christ is king of kings, and stronger than 
that roaring lion, whom they fear together. " And seven eyes, 
which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth :" 
These are not the Holy Ghost s gifts of grace, but eyes of provi 
dence, (as in Zech. iv. 10,) and imply the perfection of Christ s 
knowledge to order all affairs on earth, and to discern and guide all 
for his church s good ; as in 2 Chron. xvi. 9 : his human nature 
is the instrument of all God s power ; all must pass through his 
hands ; all works of providence go through his view : he knows 
whatever is done in the whole world. Now Christ is specially 
in this chapter represented as a lion and a lamb ; 1st, To keep 
up the Old Testament language ; 2dly, In reference to the work 
of redemption by the price of his blood, and by the power of his 
conquest, v. 9 ; 3dly, As the opener of this book and the executor 
of it s contents; for 1, He must die for it, seeing each revelation 
to us cost him the same price as our salvation ; for our sins else 
would have hindered the opening of God s counsels to us, which 
as a slain lamb he is worthy to reveal, v. 9. 2, As a lion he 
needed courage to encounter God s w r rath, and by breaking 
through a consuming fire to approach his throne and take the 
book : " Who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto 
me ?" (Jer. xxx. 21 ;) no angel durst presume to come so near to 
God. 3, As a lion he needed to overcome death, rising again to 
execute what is written in this book. A lion is said to sleep the 
first three days from his birth, after which being roused by the 
roaring of the old lion he sleeps the least of any creature : so 
Christ rose by the power of the Father, to sleep no more. 4thly, 
Being risen, this lion of the tribe of Judah, who is the law-giver, 
(Ps. Ix. 7,) as God s commissioner to execute his decrees, is 
also a lamb with seven horns and eyes, to fulfil what he pro- 


phesies, and to open the seals, and to blow the trumpets, and to 
pour out the vials. God gave Christ the platform of occurrences 
to come, and power and wisdom to order their accomplishment. 
As both lion and lamb, he is both king and priest, and makes us 
so too ; yet he governs with lamb-like quietness, as well as with 
lion-like force ; and all by a promised succession from Judah 
and David, here therefore mentioned : In a word ; " The root of 


Judah" shews the power whereby he conquers, obtains, and 
possesses it. 

VERSE vn. This heavenly chorus or company here, when 
they once see Christ " Come and take the book out of the hand of 
him that sat upon the throne" so undertaking the accomplish 
ment of this prophecy, (the conclusion of which is his instalment 
into his kingdom,) shout out beforehand, saying, " We shall 
reign on earth," (v. 10,) looking on all that was to precede his 
kingdom, and come between it and his vision, as already done; and 
having chiefly in their eye this kingdom to come. 

VERSE vm. Hence to the end of the chapter is a doxology or 
praise for the Lamb s taking the book ; which song consisteth of 
four parts, as sung by four companies : 1st, The elders and beasts, 
representing the church upon earth, begin to raise the song, v. 8. 
2dly, The angels join their voices, v. 11. 3dly, The creatures 
come in also, v. 13. 4thly, The beasts close all, saying, "Amen," 
v. 14. N.B. 1, The sons of men are the most eminent praisers of 
God, being leaders in the choir and concluding the heavenly 
song ; for redemption is the highest of God s works, and concerns 
men ; though angels follow also and join in praising him for it too, 
and all creation besides : Therefore we should bless God for his 
mercy and goodness to others, as do angels for us, whose highest 
grace it is to praise God for that redemption in which they are not 
personally interested ; how much more then should we bless God 
in a sense of our own iutereset, to raise our hearts a degree 
higher still, as in v. 9, 1 0. The praisers are described as having harps 
and golden vials, in allusion to the Levitical service, where they 
had musical instruments and incense in bowls and vials, called 
"the bowls of the altar," Zech. ix. 15 ; xiv. 20 : By these are 
signified prayers and praises, Ps. cxli. 2. and songs of spiritual 
melody in the heart, Eph. v. 19 : Indeed the odour here is inter 
preted as " the prayers of the saints" whose hearts are " the 
golden vials" having faith more precious than gold, (1 Pet. i. 7,) 
which is the spring of all their prayers : and also their harps are 
their hearts, Sursum Corda Sursum Chorda : Moreover " every 
one" is said to have harps; for in public worship all should 
join ; the little strings go to make up a concert, as well as the 

RKV. V. 9, 10.] TO THE LAMB SLAIN. 561 

great ; though we have but little grace, yet would not God s 
worship be complete without us : The Papists hence argue from 
these odours, that the saints in heaven offer up the prayers of 
the saints on earth ; but this company here are the church of men 
on earth ; and besides, they offer not the prayers of others, but 
their own ; for themselves make the new song, and the benefit 
they praise God for therein, is their own, " Thou hast redeemed 
us to God by thy blood :" therefore " the prayers of the saints," 
are only John s interpretation, that these were saints, and that 
their odours were prayers. 

VERSE ix. " And they sing a new song." 1st, When David 
had a new occasion in a further degree to praise God, he saith, 
" I will sing a new song," Ps. cxliv. 9 ; so here there was a new 
occasion given. 2dly, It is called a new song, in opposition to 
that of the Old Testament ; as Christ s " new commandment," 
(John xiii. 3, 4,) of the gospel, is opposed to that of the law. In 
c. iv. 11, these elders had sung the creation-song, but here they 
sing the redemption-song. 3dly, The " new song" is here sung; 
for their eye was on the " new Jerusalem," where is Christ s and 
the church s kingdom, ("for we shall reign on earth," v. 10;) 
" all things are made new," (c. xxi. 5 ;) and for the instalment of the 
new king, there should be " a new song," Ps. xcvi. 1, 10, 13: 
even as we should frame new matter of praise, and have fresh 
affections, upon every new occasion ; and should bless God both 
for our creation and for our redemption ; taking in the mention 
of old blessings when we give thanks for new, like the good 
scribe, " bringing out of his treasures things new and old," 
Matt. xiii. 52. The matter of this song is praise to the Lamb, 
for " Thou art worthy" (in answer to v. 2, " Who is worthy ?") 
even thou only, " by whom and for whom are all things," Col. i. 
16 ; and " Worthy is the Lamb" to be praised, for his dying to 
redeem us and make us priests, and for his rising as one who 
was slain, to make us kings, v. 10 ; (see Rom. xiv. 9 ;) " For thou 
wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of 
every kindred and people and nation :" Whence, N.B. 1, That 
Christ s blood was paid as a price to God for the purposes of 
our redemption, see 1 Cor. vi. 20 ; 1 Tim. ii. 6 : yet, 2, Christ 
hath not redeemed all men, but some out of every nation, &c. 
3, Christ s worthiness to receive the book, because he was slain, 
should make the Revelation the more prized by us, as a special 
fruit of his death ; before which, we have his own word for it, that 
he knew not the day of judgment, Mark xiii. 32. 

VERSE x. " And hast made us unto our God kings and priests, 
and we shall reign on the earth:" because Christ is the Lion-lamb 
we shall reign on earth as king-priests ; the consideration of 
which latter-day glory of the church, comforted the saints of old ; 
and how peremptory are they, " We shall reign !" in the faith of 
which they are confirmed by Christ s undertaking to accomplish 

2 P 


all ; whereof this is the issue, being the end and scope of the 
Revelation, and the conclusion of this book, when the seals are 
off, and the contents fulfilled. 

VEP.SE xi. Introduces the other company of angels and their 
song ; who, 1, For their number, are "tenlhousand times ten thousand 
and thousands of thousands" as in Dan. vii. 10. (N.B. God hath 
another world of rational creatures, which we see not ; what a 
story then will the latter day produce ! and what need we fear, 
where there are so many for us, and all our guardians too ? 
2 Kings vi. 16, 17, Heb. i. 14.) 2, For their station, they are behind 
the elders, yet " round about the throne" having all in a ring, 
and being as the queen s guard, Ps. xxxiv. 7. 

VERSE xu. Is the song itself, wherein Christ is hymned, 
1, As worthy, by purchase as well as by inheritance, for " worthy 
is the Lamb that was slain" 2, As he hath seven horns and 
eyes, so he hath a seven-fold praise. 3, To express their strong 
desires to give him due praises enough, they heap up many good 
things, of which they pronounce him worthy. 4, None is worthy 
to be universal king but Christ the Lion-king ; angels were top- 
heavy of their glory and reeled out of heaven, but Christ hath 
the God-head to poise him. The seven excellent things attribu 
ted to him are : " Power" or authority over all, John xvii. 2 : 
" Riches" or possession of all the creatures, 2 Cor. viii. 9 : 
" Strength" joined to his authority ; whereas other beings are 
personally no stronger than other men, but Christ hath seven 
horns, and can work anything : " Wisdom" as large as his power 
and dominion ; whereby he knows all God means to do, and sees 
all with his own, and not like earthly kings, with others eyes : 
" Honour" respects what all creatures bring in to him, Phil. ii. 10 : 
li Glory" is his own personal excellencies, as " the brightness 
of the Father s glory," (Heb. i. 3,) and all that his Father gives 
him, as sitting at his right hand and governing with him, till he 
come again in glory to judge the world : " Blessing" respects 
the glory given him by his saints, for his special goodness to 
them : devils honour him ; but they only bless him whom he bles- 
seth first. 

VERSE xm. " And every creature" in its kind, is here intro 
duced so worshipping Christ, (Phil. ii. 10, 11,) because when 
his kingdom is set up, they shall be renewed and delivered into 
a glorious liberty. A ./?. The church of men began the song, 
and the same continue it as containing their mercy, and the 
instauration of their king ; and the more should they be stirred 
up, seeing all creatures, with so much concord, therein united. 

VERSE xiv. " And the Jour beasts said, Amen. The officers 
beginning and ending, and with them the elders joining. The 
Amen seems an ordinance for closing the worship, as in 1 Cor. 
xiv. 16. I now come to 



The stage being set, c. iv. and the prologue acted, c. v. the 
prophecy itself in several scenes and visions, begins c. vi. : but 
before I can proceed with the first six seals of the same, (or in 
deed with any of the visions,) I must needs give the arguments 
and parts of the whole book ; which will afford a more delectable 
prospect, than that view of the glory of all the kingdoms of this 
world that was once made in the twinkling of an eye, Luke iv. 5 ; 
for what can be more pleasant than to have even a general in 
sight into God s design and project upon the world in which the 
church is seated, and into the church s condition in the world 
since Christ s ascension ? Here it is as artificially, and in as many 
scenes, in this book presented, as ever was story in any poem. 
Now for a general insight into this prophecy, serving both as 
compass and chart in our sailing over this sea, that we may know 
still where we are ; I premise these general propositions or asser 
tions concerning the whole prophecy. 

PROP. i. The ensuing prophecy, running to the end of the 
Revelation, contains two distinct prophecies ; to represent the 
giving of which to the church, and its execution by the Lamb-lion 
of Judah, the book in c. v. is introduced. Two things are distinctly 
to be considered as given with that book, the seals on its back 
side, and its contents. Now, 1st, As the look contains matter of 
pophecy, so do the very seals also, the visions of which take up 
c. vi. ix. both are mysteries, and contain matter of prophecy ; its 
very backside and cover are prophetical ; and the seals not only 
designate its difficulties, (as in Isa. xxix. 11,1 2,) but serve to contain 
a matter of vision to be delivered. Therefore, 2dly, In revealing 
and delivering this prophecy, two difficulties are distinctly men 
tioned, in c. v. 2, The loosing of the seals, and, The opening of 
the book. Now if the seals imported only the difficulty of this book, 
the opening of the book would not have been made a new difficulty 
in delivering another prophecy. Hence, 3dly, In c. vi. when 
the Lamb opens the first seal, a vision is seen, and therein a pro 
phecy is delivered ; so in the second, &c. to the seventh, which 
produces seven angels with seven trumpets, six recounted 
c. viii. x. and the seventh in the end of c. xi. Again, when 
these seals are taken off one after another, and their prophecies 
and visions seen and ended, an angel comes with a little book 
open, as containing a new prophecy for John, who was bid eat 
the seal-prophecy that was past, to be enabled for the new one, 
to " prophesy again before many peoples and nations and tongues 
and kings ;" whence it is said that " the same voice he had heard 
before spake from heaven again," (see c. x. 2,8 11 :) Now he had 
heard it but twice before, and that at the giving of a new pro 
phecy ; once at the delivery of the epistles to the seven churches, 
(c. i. 10,) and then at this general prophecy, c. iv. 1 : and now a- 

2 P 2 


again c. x. 8, as beginning another new and third prophecy. 
N.S. In that the seals themselves contain a prophecy, there is 
nothing in God s book without a meaning ; " not a tittle shall 
pass," Matt. v. 18 : the very cover of the book here is prophetical ; 
inuch more does every word in it contain matter of instruction : 
let not a jot of the scriptures then escape us, but let us search 
them narrowly, though we understand not many a tittle of them ; 
there is enough in what we understand to admire, and in the rest 
to adore : every syllable of the word of the great God hath its 
weight and value. 

PROP ii. Both the seal and book -prophecy run over the same 
whole course of times from ChrisCs ascension to his kingdom; 
containing in them several events and occurrences successively 
to the end of this book : viz. The s<?a/-prophecy, c. vi. xii. acts 
over one story of all times to the end of time ; and then, The 
6ooA>prophecy from c. xii. (beginning at the same time again,) 
acts over another story of all the same times unto the end : so 
that the whole race of time is run over in both, but with several 
and distinct occurrences ; even as the books of Kings and 
Chronicles contain the stories of the same course of time, from 
David to the captivity ; but the former handles most of the affairs 
of the kings of Israel, and the latter of Judah. To demonstrate 
this apart, First: For the seal-prophecy, I lay these three things 
together, (whereof the two first were never denied by any,) 1st, 
In c. vi. the six seals begin, in the first of which Christ goes 
forth in preaching the gospel, so to lay the first foundation of his 
kingdom ; which going-forth refers to those primitive times : and 
in the fifth seal is the first mention of the bloody persecution of 
the saints professing the gospel, in the same times ; for they are 
told that when the rest of their brethren, by the succeeding per 
secutions, should be killed, they then should have vengeance on 
their enemies for their blood spilt ; shewing c. vi. to contain those 
first persecutions : besides, the former chapters were but a pro 
logue or preparation to the prophecy, here beginning at least with 
John s time, c. i. 1. 2dlv, These seals and trumpets, in succes 
sive order, contain continued prophecy of events following one 
another in a succession of ages downward ; for, "In the days of the 
voice of the seventh trumpet, when it shall begin to sound," (c. x.) 
imports, That these several trumpets, as scenes in a comedy, 
share among them the several successive ages and times ; and 
with the seals, do have their days proper peculiary given to 
them : and the ages precede or succeed, as these are placed,jr*, 
second, &c. for the first age, &c. 3dly, The seventh trumpet, 
(c. xi-) ending all time, becomes a period to one distinct prophecy 
of all time; which appears from c. x. 6, 7, after the seals were 
passed over, and seen with their effects, and the six trumpets had 
sounded in c. viii. and ix. the angel swears " that time shall be 
no longer ; but in the clays of the seventh trumpet," all shall be 


finished : therefore c. xi. 15, 18, (where the seven tli trumpet is 
introduced, sounding in the order of its day and turn,) must 
needs be esteemed the end of that prophecy ; for it brings us to 
the end of all times allotted to this world and God s enemies 
therein to rule and reign : when this world s hour-glass is run 
out, that of the other world is turned up to run : so that from 
the first seal to the seventh trumpet, is run over all the time 
that the monarchies and kingdoms of this world, as in the 
enemies hands, should continue and last; being the "time" which 
towards the end, under thesixth trumpet, " should be no longer," 
according to the oath ; " He sware by him that liveth for ever 
and ever, who created heaven, earth, and seas, and all in them, 
that there should be time no longer , but in the days of the seventh 
angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should 
be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets :" 
which words import, That much of the whole time having thus 
been past and run out already in the former visions of the seals 
and trumpets, now the time allotted by God was brought well 
nigh its very last sands : And that the church might have some 
warning, and be able to make some guess, and computation, when 
the world s monarchy should end, and the Gentiles time be fulfil 
led, and no longer be ; this angel gives us in c. xi. towards the 
expiration of the whole time, the true computation of the continu 
ance of the last of the four monarchies, as serving to compute the 
period of the whole unto the beginning of Christ s visible kingdom, 
even the days of the beast, or Pope, who is the last part with his ten 
kingdoms of Europe, treading down the church, or the holy city : 
which beast, and his kingdoms supporting him as their head, 
(whose time from his first beginning, even to the near approach 
of that seventh trumpet, commencing to sound about his very 
end, is forty-two months, or twelve hundred and sixty days, i. e. 
years,) shall end, and with him all rule and dominion on earth; and 
Christ shall take the kingdom when he shall have destroyed 
Antichrist through the "brightness of his coming," (2 Thes. ii. 8,) 
which will grow brighter as his coming is nearer. This angel 
gives also to the church a signal of occurences immediately 
fore-running the period of this time of the beast sruin,by represen 
ting (c. xi.) what shall be her face before the downfall of that king 
dom, and her last persecution by the beast, fore-going her ruin ; 
that so she might both have warning, (not thinking it strange for 
the fiery trial at last to come upon them,) and also be comforted 
in its being the last trial, introducing the end of time and the 
world s kingdom. Secondly, For the book-prophecy there is a new 
prophecy, running over the whole race of time unto Christ s 
kingdom, from the beginning to the end of the world s monarchies 
from c. xii. to the end of the book ; with other occurrences than 
the seal-prophecy of the same period, ending c. xi. : First, c. xii. 
begins a new prophecy, for the other made an end of ah 1 time; 


and the vision of the woman and the dragon in c. xii. must needs 
be of things fore-going the rise of the Antichrist-beast, (c. xiii.) 
and therefore concerns the primitive times. The dragon in c. 
xii. endeavouring to devour the woman, is cast down from 
heaven ; after which his striving to drown her in a flood is 
prevented : and then John standing on the sand of the sea, 
spies this new beast arising, to whom the dragon gives his throne 
and power, (c. xiii.) all therefore in c. xii. must needs con 
tain a story of events of primitive times before the rise of 
Antichrist. Secondly, From the first rise of this beast (c. xiii.) 
there is allowed him to continue twelve hundred and sixty years, 
at the expiration of which the seventh trumpet begins, which had 
ended all time before c. xi. 15; and then c. xiv. contains the 
state of the church during the time of the beast, in her separa 
tion from him and opposition to him ; and then c. xv. and xvi. 
contain seven vials to ruin this beast, whereof the last ends all 
time again, as the seventh trumpet had done; for 1st, The 
angel swears " That time shall be no more ;" and the voice says, 
" It is done," c. x. 6 ; xvi. 17. 2dly, It is said, (c. xv. 1,) that 
these vials contain the last plagues, in which the wrath of God is 
fulfilled ; and therefore they must necessarily make an end of all 
Christ s enemies, and of their rule and time. 3dly, The same 
things are said to be done in the pouring out of the seventh 
plague-vial, that are presented to be done at the sounding of the 
seventh, or last woe-trumpet: for in c. xi. 19, were " lightnings, 
voices, thunderings. earthquakes, and a great hail ;" and in c. 
xvi. 18, were " voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an 
earthquake," such as never were before on earth ; and so great 
a hail that every stone weighed a talent. But if Christ s kingdom, 
in c. xx. xxii. ends all, what is the time of c. xvii. xix. ? 
These in general contain a larger explication or vision of some 
eminent things under some of the vials ; and therefore c. xvii. 
begins thus, " One of the seven angels which had the seven vials, 
talked with me, and shewed me," &c. as implying that what 
follows belonged to their times : more particularly, c. xvii. con 
tains an interpretation of what was spoken of the beast, c. xiii. 
shewing who it is : and as the Holy Ghost interprets the visions in 
Daniel, so here : Thus the whore carried by the beast, " is that 
great city that reigneth over the kings of the earth," (c. xvii. 18,) 
which is Rome : and the Spirit must needs interpret some things 
in this book, (leaving the church to search into the rest,) and this 
especially as giving light to all the rest ; which therefore fitly 
comes in after all. Again, c. xviii. contains a more poetical 
description of the ruining of that city, the seat of this last 
monarchy, and therefore is but a copious explication of the 
fifth vial poured out on the seat of the beast, (c. xvi. 10,) toge 
ther with the church s triumphing song for the times sung at 
the whore s funeral, and for the approaching marriage of the 


Lamb, c. xix. 1 10, whence to c. xx. is a more full description 
of that last war of the beast and all the kings of the earth, and 
their overthrow by Christ ; being all one with the last vial and 
the preparation thereunto, as is evident from c. xvi. 13 21, com 
pared with c. xix. 11 21 ; the Spirit towards the end of this 
prophecy giving a more full explanation of the two more eminent 
vials, and the times of them ; after first briefly setting them 
together with the rest, in their order : as after compendiously 
setting together in c. xx. the reign of Christ during a thousand 
years, and the universal judgment that follows, he yet spends 
c. xxi. in a more copious and magnificent description of the 
state of the New Jerusalem, and that millenial period. But 
again, Whereunto is c. xi. 1 14, to be referred, which is placed, 
as it were, between both prophecies ? All that discourse deli 
vered by word of Christ s mouth, between the seal and book- 
prophecy, belongs to both, as containing an exact chronology of 
that last period of the time of the world s monarchies ; whereby 
we may easily compute the whole time of both prophecies ; and 
there is withal a signal given of such eminent occurrences 
befalling the church, as should be most proper and suitable signs 
of the dawning of Christ s kingdom and ending of these prophe 
cies ; that as Jerusalem had signs of its impending destruction, 
so hath New Jerusalem of the approach of its reaiung. Now that 
these passages in c. xi. belong to both prophecies, appears ; In 
that, The Holy Ghost speaks of matters contained and after 
wards mentioned in the book-prophecy, c. xiii. and xvi. as 
likewise of matters mentioned in the seal-prophecy ; viz. of 
the ending of the sound of the sixth trumpet; which is declared 
in c. xi. 14, " The passing away of the second woe :" And also, 
The angel therein mentions how and when the expirations of the 
times of both prophecies meet in the sixth trumpet of the seal- 
prophecy, ending about the time of date of the beast in the book- 
prophecy: and thus to insert, as it were, a chronological table 
between both prophecies, serving them both, and knitting togethei 
the times of both in one period, in c. xi. is agreeable to the way 
of historians affixing a table of times to their history, when they 
run over much time and several matters. 

PROP. in. What is the matter or argument prophesied of 
in this whole book ? and more particularly what are the differ 
ing subjects of the seal and of the book-prophecy. I shall 
unfold and clear this by several steps and degrees in these heads 
following: First, The subject of both prophecies are the fates 
and destinies of the kingdoms of the world, after the ascension 
until Christ takes the kingdom to himself: therefore at the end 
of the seal or trumpet-prophecy, there is an acclamation that the 
kingdoms of the world were become Christ s, (c. xi. 15.) after 
being in other monarchs hands, (as shewn throughout the former 
part of the prophecy,) till " time shall be no longer" for the 


wordly kingdoms : therefore the book-prophecy also beginning 
c. xii. when first given c. x. 11, hath this prologue or preface, 
" Thou must prophesy again before (EPI, about] kings;" having 
prophesied about them previously in the seal-prophecy ; and 
now again to do so, together with new occurrences relating to 
the church. Secondly, The whole prophecy concerns only such 
kingdoms or monarchies of the Gentiles, as had to do with the 
church; for, 1st, At the beginning of both prophecies the church 
is made the stage or scene upon which all is acted, and so the 
prophecies extend to no other kingdoms than where the church 
hath been : as in the fifth seal, (c. vi. 10,) we have blessed martyrs 
there calling for vengeance of their blood ; and under the trump 
ets, (which are miseries upon kingdoms,) there are the sealed 
servants of God, scattered and mingled among those nations 
upon whom these trumpets blow : so in c. vii. Thus, The Indies, 
Tartary, China, &c. are not here mentioned ; as in the Old 
Testament also, only those kingdoms are named with which the 
interests of the Jewish church were interwoven. 2dly, This 
book being written for the comfort of the church ; and all the 
judgments therein proceeding from the throne of that temple, 
upon the prayers of the church; it contains therefore the fates of 
such kingdoms as the church should have to do with. Thirdly, 
The Roman monarchy or empire, with the territories under its 
jurisdiction both in the east and west sea, then in its height 
and nourish, (with which the church had most to do, and in 
the almost alone jurisdiction of which it had always been seated,) 
must needs be, in its several revolutions and changes, the main 
subject of this book, together with the state of the church under 
it. Now the circuit of this empire and its dominions, was 
extended nearly as far as the dominions under the Turk in the 
cast, and the ten European kingdoms in the west; all in John s 
time under the emperor of Rome : and here God placed his 
church and gospel, and here is the seat of Christendom to this 
day ; and it is therefore called the world, and the whole world, 
or all the world, (Matt. xxiv. 14 ; Luke ii. 1 ; Acts xi. 28,) for 
its greatness, and as set up for God to act his great works upon : 
and beyond this line the apostles preaching never stretched 
to any considerable purpose, see 2 Cor. x. 16 ; Rom. x. 18 ; 
Ps. xix. 4. The reasons why this empire, with the church in it, 
should be the main subject of this book, are; 1st, It is the seat 
and circuit of the church, and by the several successions of its 
power the church hath been mainly oppressed in all ages : and 
if judgments, set out tinder seals, trumpets, and vials, come on 
her enemies for her sake, they must eminently light upon this 
grand enemy : and so this prophecy must note out the judgment 
and wars that ruined the Roman empire for persecuting the saints 
who cry for vengeance ; and the trumpets are the answers to their 
prayers, c. viii. 3. 2dly, The Roman empire, and its eastern and 


western successions, was the fourth and only great monarchy 
left to oppress the earth, when Christ ascended ; as the prophets 
of old spake each of the reigning monarchy and its successions; 
so Daniel spake of Greece, and of Rome as most terrible of all. 
3dly, The scope of this book is the instalment of Christ into his 
kingdom, and his putting down all opposing powers in his way 
to it : Christ s empire is to succeed the Roman, under which he 
therefore upholds his church till his kingdom comes and forms a 
fifth monarchy : the same is the scope of Dan. vii. 7 11, only 
here more largely and particularly set forth. 4thly, That such 
should be the subject of this prophecy suits also with the chief 
prophecies of the other apostles ; which were reduced to three 
heads, and were ordinarily preached by them and more expressly 
written by John : As 1, The foretelling the ruin of the Roman 
empire, called " a taking out of the way him that lets," 2 Thes. 
ii. 2 9, with c. vi. ix. 2, The discovery of the Pope, the man 
of sin, and the last head of the fourth monarchy ; and his ruin, 
c. xiii. xix. 3, Christ s coming and kingdom, c. xx. and xxi. 

PROP. iv. What is the difference of the subject of the seal 
and book-prophecy? for in the story of the several successions and 
revolutions in the Roman empire, we are to consider the state of 
the political body itself, and also of the church under it ; whence 
some write the ecclesiastical history apart by itself, and others 
the story of the several revolutions of the Roman empire ; as the 
Book of martyrs relates chiefly the church s conflict with Anti- 
Christ, but Speed s Chronicle gives several invasions, wars, 
conquests, and intestine broils of the kingdom. The difference 
of the subjects of these two prophecies appears in the several 
characters, and also in the very place and situation of the visions 
themselves. 1st, For the differing shews or faces of these repres 
entations : In the first prophecy are seven seals and four horses, 
(c. vi.;) and then the seven trumpets, (c. viii. and ix,) noting sealed 
judgments and devastations on the empire, by plagues, famines, 
and wars, (trumpets being the signal and symbols of war in all 
nations, and put for it in scripture:) But the chief actors in the 
book-prophecy are women, fit emblems of the churches ; viz. a 
travailing woman, c. xii. a virgin, c. xvi. a whore, c. xvii. xviii. 
and a bride, c. xix. Thus artificial is the Holy Ghost in 
handling things of differing nature apart. 2ndly, The difference 
of the subjects of these two prophecies is shewn also from their 
differing situation and place. The seals were on the back-side, 
as containing state-matters without the church, (c. xxii. 15,) but 
the book itself contains things within, (1 Cor. v. 12;) and so the 
prophecy thereof is cast to be, as it were, without the book, even 
upon the seals thereof, touching the outward temporal state of 
the church; whereas the book-prophecy treats of spiritual things 
within the church : and this appears in the interpretation of all 
particulars throughout the books, as well as in the general division ; 


for John, like the best historians, puts things of a sort together : 
yet not so as that nothing at all of church-affairs is found in the 
seal-prophecy, or of the affairs of the empire in the book-pro 
phecy : as the matters of Judah are intermingled in the book of 
Kings, and those of Israel in that of Chronicles. I have now 
therefore to present 


This book is a tragi-comic vision of the occurrences of the 
world, and of the church in the world, through all times and 
ages ; and we may entitle it, " The story of ChrisCs kingdom, and 
the removal of the several difficulties of his coming to it." 1st, 
The stage is set up in c. iv. where is represented the universal 
church in all ages, set forth according to the exact pattern of a 
church visible and instituted, into which all saints on earth 
should be cast : then enters, 2dly, The prologue (c. v.) in which 
is set forth, in Christ s taking the sealed book, his taking on him 
the kingdom and government, as God s commissioner, to execute 
the decrees contained in this book, and to give the vision of all to 
John : at which instalment there is a doxology to the Lamb by 
the chorus of elders and beasts, with a triumphing assurance of 
our reign on earth in the issue. 3dly, The scene or place where 
the efiect of these visions was to be acted, is the Roman Empire 
and its several eastern and western dominions, called OICOUMENEE, 
the whole world. 4thly, The story itself, begun at c. vi. the 
general argument of which is, That whereas Christ s government 
was to be executed and seen, not only in putting down all oppo 
sing rule and power, (as in 1 Cor. xv. 24, 25,) but also in a visi 
ble taking the kingdom to himself and his saints, under the fifth 
monarchy ; so here the story of this book first shews how Christ 
puts down the Roman power by successive revolutions, till all 
are worn out who were ordained to stand up in it, (and these op 
positions and persecutions render the story of Christ s kingdom 
more glorious :) and then it ends in a glorious visible kingdom 
set up on earth, and peaceably possessed by Christ and his saints, 
as the catastrophe of all. More particularly the story is this, 
according to the several contents of each chapter : 1, When 
Christ ascended to heaven, he found the Roman monarchy, (whose 
room he was to possess,) stretched east and west over all those 
parts of the world where he was to seat his church and kingdom ; 
the subjects of the Roman emperor being heathenish and idola 
trous, and wholly under the power of Satan the god of this world ; 
whereupon ; 2, Christ first sets upon the conquest of Satan s do 
minion and worship therein, and by the preaching of the gospel 
overturns its Heathenism, dethrones Satan from the height of his 
glory, and subjects it to himself, turning its emperors to Christian 
ity within three hundred years: This is the sum and mind of the 
seal and book-prophecies in c. vi. and xii. But, 3, This empire, 


(though no\v professedly Christian, yet whilst idolatrous having 
persecuted Christ s church, and after also when Arian,) advances 
to its ruin by the trumpets in c. viii. and ix. at the prayers of 
the martyrs, and in vengeance of their blood, c. vi. 10, 11, and 
viii. 4. 4, The empire thus becoming divided into two parts, 
the imperial Western state in Europe is first ruined by the four 
first trumpets, (the wars of the Goths by four several steps,) in c. 
viii. and the imperial Eastern state afterwards, first by the Sara 
cens, and then by the Turks, under the fifth and sixth trumpets, 
and these possess the eastern parts : These are the contents of 
c. ix. : only before the trumpets bring those evils on the empire, 
a hundred and forty-four thousand Christians in the east are 
sealed up, (c. vii. 2, 8,) to be preserved and continued in the true 
profession of Christ s name under these two severest and longest 
it-oe woe trumpets to fall on the earth, where were these sealed 
servants, see c. ix. 4 ; and this sealing is the sum of c. vii. 5, 
The old Roman empire being in both parts removed ; as the 
east is possessed by Turks, (c. ix.) so the west is broken into ten 
kingdoms by the Goths, all whose kings consented to give their 
power to the beast, (the Pope,) who thus becomes a successor to 
the western emperors, and possesses their seat and power, (though 
under another title,) and so heals that wound given to the Roman 
monarchy, thus restored in and by him : c. xiii. describes this 
beast, and gives the vision of his rise, power, and time of reign 
ing, which c. xvii. expounds and interprets. 6, Under this Anti- 
christian tyranny, (as great as that of the Turks themselves,) 
Christ yet preserves another like company of one hundred and 
forty-four thousand virgins, or sealed Christians in the west, 
(c. xiv. 1 4,) &c. and so he keeps possession still by preserving 
his church, under both these parts of the empire, as being his 
inheritance. But now, 7, These two enemies to Christ, (Pope 
and Turk,) thus succeeding in the empire, and sharing the two 
parts of it between them, Christ is still kept out of his allotted 
dominion in these territories; for Mahometanism tyranniseth in 
the one, and Popish idolatry overspreads the other, as Heathen 
ism had at first done over the whole empire : and so Christ hath 
a new business of it yet, and as difficult as ever, to come unto 
his kingdom: Therefore, 8, He hath seven vials containing the 
last plagues, (for he means to make this the last act of this long 
tragi-comedy,) to despatch the Pope and the Turk, and wholly 
root them out; even as the seals had done to the Heathenism, and 
the trumpets to the civil power of the empire : the plagues of these 
Tials are in c. xv. and xvi. the first five of which dissolve and 
gradually ruin the Pope s power in the west : then the sixth 
breaks the power of the Turk in the east ; so making way for 
the Jews, (whom he means to bring into the fellowship of his king 
dom, in their own land,) therefore called "The kings of the 
east," c. xvi. 12. But, 9, Their power and kingdom being not 


wholly ruined by these six vials, both the Turkish and Popish 
party join their utmost forces, (and together with them all oppo 
site kings of the whole world,) against the Christians both of the 
east and west, (who, when the Jews are come in and converted, 
make up a mighty party in the world ;) unto the help of whom 
against these and all opposite power whatsoever, Christ himself 
comes and makes but one work of it, with his own hand fi om 
heaven destroying them : and so, (c. xvi. 17,) " It is done." 10, 
In c. xvii. is an interpretation concerning the beast, who he is, 
and where is his seat. 11, In c. xviii. is a funeral-song of 
triumph for the whore s ruin, (which is the fifth vial,) before the 
preparations for the new Jerusalem kingdom consisting both of east 
ern Christians, (who enduring the bondage of the two woe trump 
ets, under the Saracens and Turks, yet continued to profess Christ s 
name ; and therefore to those hundred and forty-four thousand 
in c. vii. is said to succeed an innumerable company with palms 
in their hands, having the same promises of the new Jerusalem 
mentioned in c. xxi. which shews their interest therein ;) and 
also of western Christians, (whose hundred and forty-four thous 
and in c. xiv. arise also to an innumerable company, and after the 
rejection of the whole world, are brought in c. xix. 1 9, singing in 
like triumphant manner, decking themselves for the marriage in 
fine linen ;) besides Jews especially all over the world, (from 
whom this kingdom hath the name of the new Jerusalem,} with 
whom come in also other Gentiles, as attendants of their joy, 
who never had received Christ before. Thus, J2, Both east and 
west, and the fulness both of Jews and Gentiles, become one fold 
under one shepherd for a thousand years, and one kingdom 
under this root of David their conqueror-king ; even as it first was 
one under one Heathen idolatrous emperor, when Christ had 
first set to conquer it : And so that in Isa. lix. 18, 19, is fulfil 
led ; where after the final destruction of all Christ s enemies, 
" They shall fear his name from the east to the west ; and the 
Redeemer shall come to Zion," at the final call of the Jews, and 
at the restoration of the world with them, Rom. xi. 26. 


Having given a scheme and division of the whole prophecy, 
and a general argument of the story of it, briefly set together in 
one view; I will now run over each chapter apart, insisting 
largely on this only, and glancing more slightly on the rest; for 
I aim especially at the second part of my Exposition : and though 
this Commentary rise not to a full and copious interpretation, 
yet it will serve to shew the true portrait of the Holy Ghost s 
mind in this story, to be what I have made it in the preceding 
general argument. The seal-prophecy concerns the state of the 
empire from John s time downward; considered, Either, As Hea- 


thenish, (when Jupiter, Mars, &c. were worshipped, and Christians 
were persecuted and massacred ; the empire standing whole and 
undivided under the entire government of one emperor of the 
east and west, for three hundred years after Christ;) Or, As 
Christian under Constantine; when it was subjected to Christianity, 
though afterwards broken into two parts; which rent was establish 
ed by Theodosius ; the east being allotted to one emperor, (now 
possessed by the Turks, whereof Constantino made Byzantium 
his seat, from him called Constantinople^ and the west to 
another, (having Rome for its seat,) which the Pope for many 
hundred years hath had entirely under him. Now, according to 
the division of the eastern and western empire, the seal-prophecy 
divides itself into " The first six seals" in this chapter, and " The 
first six trumpets," which the seventh seal brings forth in c. viii. 
and ix. from the woe of which trumpets the servants of God are 
sealed, in c. vii. In this chapter the first prophecy begins with 
the primitive times ; for in the first seal is the " going forth" in the 
preaching of the gospel, " conquering and to conquer ;" (which is 
the foundation of all God s after-proceedings, the corner-stone of 
Christ s obtaining and setting up his kingdom ;) and the fifth seal 
mentioning the first martyrdom of saints crying out for vengeance, 
must refer to those great persecutions under Heathenish Rome, 
which were soon followed by the Arian, as in v. 11. 


Are several steps or degrees, setting forth the moving causes 
and means of God s plaguing and naming the empire of Rome 
Pagan. Christ being to put down all adverse power, finds not 
only this empire to stand in the way, but the worship of idols 
and devils : first, therefore, he encounters Heathenism, backed by 
all the power of the empire ; and then, in the trumpets, he 
encounters the empire itself, " going forth conquering and to 
conquer? (v. 2,) by degrees. The first judgment on that empire 
left it standing ; therefore the martyrs, after the punishment of 
the second, third, and fourth seal, cry yet in the fifth seal, for 
vengeance on the empire itself. The seals are so called, First, 
In a general relation to this whole prophecy ; as, 1st, A book of 
decrees to be executed by Christ having these seals : 2ndly, This 
book is not to be opened "till the time of the end" (Dan. 
xii. 4, 9,) being sealed till then, when the same angel of Daniel 
comes in c. x. with an open book in his hand, both to give a new- 
prophecy, and also to shew that when all the seals were off, (all 
the judgments now being executed in the world,) then the book 
of Revelation should be understood. Secondly, The seals are, 1st, 
Judgments decreed by God certainly to befall that empire ; (so 
the salvation of the elect is sealed, 2 Tim. ii. 19; so judgments, 
Deut. xxxii. 34; and sins, Job xiv. 17:) 2ndly, They are 
judgments hidden, (and so seals do hide,) stealing in upon the 


world unawares, and not understood : accordingly we find by the 
apologies of Terlullian, Cyprian, Arnobius, &c. That the Pagan 
Romans observing such strange, unheard-of famines, civil wars, 
and pestilences, (typified here by horses, red, black, and pale,) 
exceedingly wondered at the reason of them, imputing it to the 
auger of their Gods against the new sect of Christians : but Christ 
here opens the cause of these sealed judgments, viz. contempt of 
the gospel : 3rdly, They are sealed for pledges and assurances 
of all that follows ; (as the seal of the Spirit is to assure,) which 
should certainly come to pass in their time, God first sending 
them judgments as seals ; so that from the history of what has 
already been fulfilled, we may assure ourselves of the accomplish 
ment of all the rest. N. B. Here is a ground of confirming our 
faith about all those things prophesied of by God, in that the 
fulfilling of one is a seal assuring that the other shall be fulfilled. 
That Heathenism is ruined, which was more firmly rooted for 
four thousand years than ever Popery was, is a seal to us that 
Popery shall be destroyed. The beast of Rome, though not 
risen in John s day, is now up in our days ; which may confirm 
our faith that he shall as certainly be ruined, the same prophecy 
foretelling his fall, (c. xviii.) as his rise, c. xiii. and that after this 
there is a glorious kingdom to come, of which all these are seals. 
We find in c. xi. the temple measured anew, and the outward 
court of carnal worshippers and worship cast out ; and we see it 
now in our days fulfilled ; yea, ourselves fulfil it : we may therefore 
as certainly expect and prepare for what follows in the same 
chapter : Thus Zechariah begins his prophesy, so to assure the 
people of the truth of it, as if saying, " Did you ever know pro 
phecy fail ? My words did they not take hold of your fathers ? 
(whom the threatened judgments arrested ;) and like us the Lord 
thought to do unto us, so hath he dealt with us : therefore believe 
the rest." 

THE FIRST FOUR SEALS are represented to us under the vision 
of four horses. The allusion is to Zech. i. 8, 10 ; vi. 5 ; where Christ 
is represented riding on a red horse, and behind him stood other 
horses, red, speckled, and white, who are angels " that walk to and 
fro through the earth," and are "four spirits (or winds) that go forth 
from standing before the Lord of the earth ;" (see Heb. i. 14, with 
Ps. civ. 3, 4 ;) so evil angels are sent forth to do mischief, as in 
1 King xxii. 21 ; Job. i. 7 : the angels are the executioners of 
all God s great designs ; and therefore whatever is done in this 
book by men, is still said to be done by angels. Here the vision 
of horses thus commissioned from God, and the allusion, shews 
either, That those executions under these seals were conducted by 
Christ on the first horse, accompanied by other horses, his angel- 
followers ; or, That as the angels on horses in Zechariah went 
their circuit over the eavth, so here were commissions sealed 
to these executioners, to traverse and compass the earth, as angels 


are used to do. God begins here to war with the world, and sends 
out four horsemen to give the first onset. That this vision is 
presented under that of horses is but for variety s sake. The 
Revelation makes use of all the eminent visions of the Old 
Testament; and the elegancies of all the types in the Prophets, 
serve but to set forth and adorn the visions of this book, like a 
picture composed of all beauties. The vision of the throne is from 
Isaiah and Ezekiel ; from Daniel is the sealed book ; the horses, and 
also the olive trees, and the candlesticks, are fromZechariah ; and 
so on. N.B. 1, How perfect is this book ! what a posy of all 
flowers ! what a vision from all visions ! (as Solomon s was a song 
of songs ;) all the types and stories of Moses and the prophets, are 
borrowed to adorn it. 2, The occurrences in the New Testament, 
with its story of the church, have all the perfections appearing 
under the Old, which is more eminently acted over in all passages 
of providence. Here is a more glorious temple, and a far worse 
Egypt, Sodom, and Babylon ; Here is a restoration of the temple, 
and that also at twice, and by degrees ; Here is a new Jerusalem : 
Did the bond-man of old persecute the free ? even so it is now, 
Gal. iv. 24, 29 : What befel them, befalls us much more : Had 
they persecutors? we more and worse : Had they Pharisees that 
sinned against the Holy Ghost and crucified Christ ? so have we 
such as shall, after great convictions wrought by the gospel, prove 
like a generation of Pharisees, scorched with the heat of hell-fire, 
(as in the fourth vial,) who shall kill the witnesses, c. xi. " Now 
all these things happened unto them for types, (so also did their 
visions,) being written for our admonition, upon whom the ends 
(or perfection) of the w r orld are come," 1 Cor. x. 11. We have 
the perfection of every thing under the Old Testament, good 
or bad. 

FIRST SEAL, and its " white horse, 1 (v. 1,2.) whose crowned 
Archman-rider is Christ himself, " yoiny forth, (in the preaching 
of the gospel,) conquering and to conquer ;" alluding to Ps. xlv. 
4 6 ; for Christ must win the crown and sceptre before he wears 
it. Christ goes forth as the general of these horses ; and his 
being a white one, betokens a triumph, and also is a sign of 
meekness and candour; he offering at first conditions of peace in 
the gospel, to the empire of Rome and to all nations, on their 
submission to him as their king, who goes forth peaceably to 
challenge the nations God had given him for his inheritance : all 
must hold their crown of him, and do him homage : Thus 
Tamerlane, before denouncing war, suspended a white flag in 
token of peace offered. The progress of the gospel is here 
compared to the free course of a horse and his rider, 2 Thes. 
iii. 1. The weapons here are but arrows in the hearts of the 
yielding ; in c. xix. they are a sword to finish the conquest : in 
Ps. xlv. they are both : the threatening of the gospel are arrows 
striking secretly, and darting and wounding mortally ; " Hceret 


Lethal if! Arundo" This horseman is " crowned ;" (for God made 
Christ king when he lirst ascended, Heb. ii. 8, 9 ;) and " he went 
forth conquering" whether men obey or not ; (Paul speaks like a 
conqueror, in 2 Cor. ii. 14 ;) for if men turn, There is a triumph of 
grace pardoning, and so subduing, traitors ; and if not, The gospel 
is a savour of death, like a box of veneraous ointments, poisoning 
by the smell; it is a step of ruin and a sealed judgment; and 
though a blessing in itself, it was a curse to Gentilism, (as the first 
vial, by converting men from Popery is called a vial on the earth,) 
causing Satan to fall " like lightning from heaven," (Luke 
x. 18,) as the sixth and last seal shews ; for the devil was struck 
dumb in his oracles, when Christ only began to publish his. 
N. B. 1, Christ is so meek and merciful that he goes not forth 
first on a red war-horse, but on a ivltite ; but if men turn 
not, he hath other horses to do that work of destroying them. 
Who would stand out against such a Saviour who loves un 
bloody conquests ? 2, Christ s course to get his kingdom by no 
other means at first than the gospel, is strange: his weapons are the 
bow of the tongues of men, to dart their words, and " to shoot out 
bitter arrows " into the hearts of them that resist: Twelve fisher 
men conquer the whole world of the Roman empire ! what should 
we think of a dozen poor men sent into Turkey to overthrow the 
grand Turk and Mahometanism ? see Zech. iv. 6 . 3, When 
Christ begins, he goes on to conquer. Let us not fear the cause 
of God in England : there is a battle to be fought ; Christ and his 
angels growing more and more holy and full of light ; and Satan 
and his, growing worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived : 
Christ coming up with fresh supplies of new light, with his bow 
and arrows bears up as hard as they, and will not be foiled Though 
the light of the primitive churches grew dimmer and dimmer, 
yet they conquered Heathenism, much more must these now 

SECOND SEAL, and its " red horse" of icar, v. 3, 4. After the 
going forth of the white horse there follow three other light- 
horsemen, attending this their general ; as in Zech. i. 8, where 
Christ was on the red horse, as about to revenge himself on his 
church s enemies, but here on the white gospel-peace horse, 
followed by war-horses, whose colour is suitable to the plagues 
successively brought on the empire : This second horse s colour 
is the redness of blood, (Isa. Ixiii. 1, 2,) and is therefore a war- 
horse " to take peace from the earth" by civil war, (not by 
persecution, but) in the empire, wherein " men should kill one 
another :" for, if men take peace from the saints, it is a suitable 
plague, that God should take peace from the earth ; and if men 
embrace not the Gospel of peace, their peace shall be taken 
away ; but if men will kill the saints, is it not a proportioned 
judgment that their swords should be turned into their own 
bowels? Now this "power was given to him ;" it proceeded 

RFV. VI. 5, 6.] THE THIRD SEAL. 577 

from a commission to this horseman ; and so " there was given 
to him a great sword:" God commissions the sword he puts into 
the enemy s hand: and as magistrates bear God s sword, so soldiers, 
whom the prophets often call God s sword. History shews what 
wars and most dreadful broils were in ihe eastern empire. John 
wrote his Revelation just before Trajan s time, in Domitian s 
reign, A.D. 94 ; and he died ten years after, in the sixth year of 
Trajan, in whose time these wars began. When the apostles 
had preached the Gospel to the world, and were all dead ; the 
Jews rise, and with armies rage through all parts of the empire ; 
and so devastate and depopulate Lybia of her inhabitants, that 
Adrian was forced to send thither new colonies : about Cyrene 
they destroyed twenty-two hundred ; in Egypt also and in Cyrus 
twenty-four hundred; and a great number in Mesopotamia : but 
Adrian destroyed fifty-eight hundred of the Jews in turn. After 
Trajan, in whose time the empire had its largest extent, the 
Parthians revolted, and it was lessened. Under Antonius, A.D. 140, 
all the northern nations came down upon the east and upon all 
Illyricum, yet were dried up, as a land-flood ; so that the empire 
stood entire : and that these wars might be the more eminently 
noticed as following upon the apostles deaths, (before which, 
and for forty-four years after, there were none ;) there was uni 
versal peace. 

THIRD SEAL, and its " black horse" of famine, v. 5, 6 ; as in 
Lam. iv. 7 9, where the Nazarites visage is blacker than a coal, 
from famine. The rider " that sat on him, had a pair of balances 
in his hand" to sell corn by weight and not by measure, as in 
Lev. xxvi. 26 ; and then a chcenix, or day s allowance only, was 
sold for a penny, (about our seven-pence half-penny, or eighth of 
a crown,) which was a day s wages : there was however a commis 
sion " not to hurt the oil and the wine" Now historians being 
silent about any notable universal famine in the empire, after 
these, Mr. Mede interprets it of the balances of justice, for 
which Severus and others were eminent, especially for their 
theft-laws and corn-laws : but it would be heterogeneal to the 
other steps for mining or plaguing the heathen empire, for the 
Holy Ghost to notice and insert a moral virtue in the midst of 
judgments : but this scarcity of corn only, might be slipt over by 
historians, while Tertullian and other Christians mention such a 
famine of bread, as a judgment for the empire s contempt of Christ 
and persecution of the saints. I have searched diligently for 
suchfootsteps in dearths of that age, two hundred years after Christ, 
and upwards, as might confirm the truth of this ; And first, I find 
in Commodus time, A.D. 190, there was a commotion made for 
bread within the city of Rome by the poorer sort ; (Fames 
RomanosAfflixit, says Herodian,) when the store-keeper Cleander, 
his great favorite, detained the corn from the people ; whereupon 
they mutiny and demand his death, in their rage throwing down 

2 Q 

578 THE FOURTH SEAL. [REV. VI. 7, 8. 

houses, opposing the soldiers, stoning the captains; so that 
Commodus was forced to cut off his favorite s head and set it on 
a pole, and to kill his children also, to pacify the people : even 
Mr. Mede s quotation about Severus justice, and his care about 
oil, &c. intimates an exhausture of corn from the stores ; as also 
his care, A.D. 118, through Heliogobalus having overthrown 
the public stock of corn: And then, secondly, For the Christian 
writers of these times ; Tertullian, A.D. 203, in his apology for 
the Christians, speaks of the calumny of the heathen laying the 
cause of all their misery upon the Christians ; " If it rained not, 
if the Nile overflowed not, (Egypt being the granary of the 
the empire,) if there was pestilence ; at once they exclaimed, 
" Christianas Ad Leones, Away with these Christians to the 
lions ;" who were then punished most as a cause of famines, and 
therefore used to fast in times of such judgment, especially when 
their Annona, or annual stock of corn, was in danger of being 
spent; whilst other Romans poured out themselves to all licen 
tiousness : Also in his apology to Scapula, the African presi 
dent, shewing that no persecuting city went unpunished, he 
instanceth how lately, under Hillarian his predecessor s president 
ship, the Christians begging a floor of corn, a voice was heard 
underground, "Area Non Stint;" and they had no corn to thresh 
in their floors the next year, a great wet having spoiled the har 
vest : This vexation, following a condemnation of the Christians 
to the beasts, Baronious there understands to be the lack of 
corn. Origen about A.D. 226, writing on Matt. xxiv. and taking 
occasion to answer the same general calumny against the Christ 
ians, as causes of their wars, famines, and pestilences, instanceth 
in famines especially, as the eminent punishment of that age. 

FOURTH SEAL, and its " pale horse," v. 7, 8, with " Death his 
name that sat on him" whose horse brings death " on the fourth 
part of the earth " or empire ; and his work was " to kill with 
sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of 
the earth" even all God s plagues let loose at once, for their 
impenitence ; (not as before, civil wars alone, or famine coming 
alone, but now) all four judgments mentioned in Ezek. xiv. 21, 
all the treasures of his wrath. Pestilence is here called death, as 
it is by the Chaldean paraphrase, and the Greek ; by the Fathers 
it is called the mortality, and by us the sickness. It is wonder 
ful to read what a stage of misery and blood the empire became, 
from A.D. 240, through all these plagues raging at once. In the 
space of thirty-three years, ten emperors were killed in the civil 
wars. Under Callus and Volusianus, A.D. 250, the barbarous 
nations came down upon the empire, and harrowed it ; and the 
Scythians amongst them, whose rage exempted no part of the 
Roman jurisdiction, depopulating almost every town ; which was 
followed by extreme famine : " When we had a breathing from 
these, (says Dionysius Alexandrinus,) there came the greatest and 


worst plague of pestilence, that ever was read of in any age" " of 
fifteen years continuance, says Lypsius : and to add the last 
hand for completing the misery of these times, God let loose 
these tyrants at once, as so many wild beasts, to prey upon and 
make havoc of the empire. 

four seals, bringing us to A.D. 260, the officers of churches remain 
ed according to institution in the purer churches ; but afterwards 
we hear not of them, (corruptions coming in upon the churches, 
and preventing their right end,) till the vials begin, (c. xv.) in the 
first separation from Popery ; and then we read only of one of 
the beasts giving these vials : but after a second measuring the 
temple, (c. xi.) before Rome s ruin, we read of four beasts, 
(c. xix.) in their right order again, praising God. 2dly, After 
the white horse of the gospel, go forth the other three of terrible 
judgments on the world, for contempt of it : "Judgment must 
begin at the house of God," (1 Pet. iv. 17,) but not rest there: 
Soon after the first preaching of the gospel, wrath fell most 
heavily also upon the empire and its idolaters : as we look for 
storms in autumn, and frost in winter, so we expect judgments 
where the gospel has been preached : "the quarrel of the cove 
nant," (Lev. xxvi. 25,) must be avenged and vindicated : if men 
despise it, God cannot hold his hands. The churches in Ger 
many, Bohemia, &c. had the gospel first, and so the cup of tri 
bulation first; but God will visit them in their order; and those 
perhaps last, that have had the gospel but a little while. 3dly, 
God is wont to rise higher and higher in his judgments : He 
began in the empire with civil wars ; and they not working, he 
sent famine which is worse ; and then war, as in Lam. iv. 9 ; 
and then he came upon them with pestilence and all the other 
three at once; which agrees with Lev. xxvi. 21 : so the three 
last are the woe-trumpets ; and so in the vials, God will also rise 
higher and higher. 4thly, All plagues have their commission 
from God, and go forth only when Christ opens a vial : Ot the 
second, it is said, " Power was given him and a sword :" A com 
mission of restraint was given to the third, " not to hurt the oil and 
wine ;" and to the fourth, " only to kill the fourth part:" as horses 
guided by their riders. Providence chalks out the way for them ; 
as a path was made for God s anger, into what houses of the 
Egyptians it should enter, Ps. Ixxviii. 50 : so in Jer. xv. 2, 
" Those that are for the sword, to the sword," &c. Now in all 
these circuits in the way of God s judgment, let us wait for him 
to turn towards us in mercy, Isa. xxvi. 8. 5thly, Though plagues 
were ever common in the world, yet these were more eminently 
to be set down ; for being as eminent in the Roman empire in 
those first ages, as in any other afterwards, yet these were all the 
plagues it had whilst Heathenish, and so were properly punish 
ments of Gentilism, and of contempt of the message of the white 

2 Q 2 

580 THE FIFTH SEAL. [REV. VI. 9 11. 

horse, without at all ruining the empire, as the after-plagues did. 
But the Holy Ghost more especially names these plagues here 
as visitations consequent upon the gospel ; whence the Heathen 
observed and objected, "That since Christianity began, wars, 
&c. raged more than ever, through the indignation of their affront 
ed gods :" This calumny stirred up Cyprian to write his apology ; 
which he did in the very language of the fourth seal, under which 
he lived. But though the eyes of the Heathen were sealed from 
seeing the up-lifted hand of God against them in these sealed 
plagues, yet the four beasts instructed John, (who personates the 
church,) concerning the true cause of them ; and therefore every 
seal hath a voice of one or other of the beasts, saying " Come 
and see :" for the officers or ministers of the churches instructed 
the people, how that all these plagues were for despising the 
gospel, and for persecuting its professors. 

THE FIFTH SEAL, v. 9 11, Is that bloody persecution which 
followed after all these plagues in the time of Dioclesian, 
about A.D. 300, which being the greatest of the ten persecutions, 
(for under it suffered a hundred and forty four thousand in one 
province only of the empire,) is put for all the rest; for those 
other plagues, for the contempt of the gospel, did but enrage the 
Heathen the more, who imputed these to the anger of then- 
gods, for suffering the Christians to live : and this being the last 
and greatest, calls for vengeance in the name of all the foregoing 
martyrs. This vision is, First, Of souls severed from their bodies, 
even of men slain, or of martyrs ; who, Secondly, Are presented 
as newly sacrificed, and with their throats cut, lying bleeding at 
the foot of the altar of burnt-offering, (see in 2 Tim. iv. 6 ; and 
Phil. ii. 17,) as in c. viii. these " prayers of all saints" are offered 
up upon the altar of incense. Some understand this altar to be 
heaven ; but that comes in after, when " White robes were given 
1o every one of them. 1 Thirdly, " The souls of these that were 
slain for the word of God. ivere under the altar crying aloud, 
How long, O Lord, dost thou not avenge our blood ?" It is not 
simply the blood that cries, (as Abel s did,) but the souls do cry 
for vengeance and ruin upon the empire ; and this their cry is 
doubly satisfied; For, A reason is given why vengeance is delayed; 
because the empire having to stand yet in power for a season, 
they were " to rest a little while, until their fellow-servants also, 
and their brethren that should be killed as they were, should be 
fulfilled :" so that here it refers not to the persecutions of the 
Popish Antichrist, (which were a thousand years after,) but the 
Arian; when under these emperors, about thirty years after this, 
there were raised as cruel persecutions for the time, as ever were 
before ; and then the trumpets sound, and the empire itself is 
ruined through their prayers, as c. viii. And also, They are 
meanwhile received to glory, expressed by their white robes, 
1st, As a sign or badge of heavenly glory ; c. hi. 4, and Matt. 


xvii. 2 ; 2dly, To denote joy ; such robes being worn in triumphs, 
Eccl. ix. 8 : 3dly, Robes were worn only by noble personages. 
Now this giving them white robes, is an allusion to the first 
bringing of the priests into the temple, when their thirty years 
were expired. 

OBSERVATIONS ON THE FIFTH SEAL. 1st, It is God s manner 
to bring severest trials just before deliverance; as the above was 
the last and greatest of all persecutions : so it was with David at 
Ziklag a few hours before he was proclaimed king : so in c. xi. 
is a persecution and war of Antichrist yet to come, for the space 
of three years and a half; after which, the witnesses shall cast off 
their sackcloth for ever : I fear it, for it is the last. 2dly, Though 
great punishments had befallen the empire by the three preceding 
horses ; yet for martyrs blood, this is not vengeance enough, 
which nothing will satisfy but the ruin of that bloody state ; as 
nothing pacified Manasseh s blood-shed but the captivity of 
Judah. 3dly, In matters wherein many ages have an interest, 
the saints in each preceding age put up their prayers in the 
strength of all prayers and cries of blood preceding : so the souls 
here in the name of all preceding martyrs, cry, " How long" &c. ! 
As in a generation of wicked men, the last of them inherit the 
sins and punishments of all their forefathers ; so do a generation 
of godly men go forth in the strength of all their fore-fathers 
prayers and blood-shed. How comfortably, therefore, may we 
pray against Rome, and all the bishops, her abettors, who have 
even wallowed in the blood of saints, and against whom we 
have the prayers of all ages, to join their forces to ours for their 
more sure prevailing ; while we pull together in our cry, " How 
long" &c. ! like the linking of many cords with such artifice, that 
by a pully even a child might draw up a mighty weight, for he 
pulls in the strength of all the cords. It is but a little resting, 
till our brethien, (it may be ourselves,) the witnesses, are killed ; 
and then down goes Rome, and the hierarchy with it : in which 
respect it is good living in these last ages of the world, for we 
drive a trade with all our fore-fathers stock. 4thly, The power 
of persecutors stands no longer than till they have finished the 
great work of persecuting the saints ; which is the reason here 
given for the empire s standing so long : " Thou hast ordained 
them for judgment, (on themselves,) and established them for 
correction," (of thine,) Hab. i. 12. 5thly, The soul is here said 
to cry for vengeance, and not (as when the wicked are murdered,) 
the Hood only; God will, therefore, speedily avenge his own 
elect, whose cry enters his ears with so much clamour. And 
again, If Abel s blood hath such force in its cry, and his living 
soul a still greater force ; how much more Christ s blood, and 
still more Christ himself, who lives to intercede for us ! Cthly, 
The souls in heaven, following their interests on earth, prosecute 
the revenging of their blood ; and why not also the interests of 

582 THE SIXTH SEAL. [REV. VI. 12 17. 

their friends, children, businesses and the like ; for which they 
prayed on earth ? 7thly, The spirits made perfect know, and are 
satisfied with the reason of God s dispensations and councils : 
(as here God opens his utmost reason why the empire was as yet 
to stand, viz. for the slaughter of a few more martyrs :) for being 
prophets, as well as priests, they are guided by a spirit of 
prophecy, as Christ is. Sthly, If we knew the reason of all 
dispensations, we should rest, as these souls do in this standing 
yet of the empire. Let our faith apprehend that God hath a 
reason for all our persecutions. 9thly, Saints yet unborn are here 
called " their brethren," as in God s election ; (for this persecution 
came not till forty years after ;) as Christ calls all his people, whom 
God gave him before the world was ; and Jesus knows the names 
and the number of his own in all ages, and chose not qualifications 
but persons ; as he saith, " I have sheep which are not of this 
fold :" Let us then love the Jews, as those who arc to be called ; 
and the saints departed, as those who are our brethren. lOthly, 
Martyrdom is a perfection, as Christ calls his sufferings, Luke xiii. 
32 ; so here," till they are fulfilled" PLEEROOSONTAI: if we have all 
holiness, without this coronis, we are not so perfect as martyrs, 
llthly, Saints departed presently enter into bliss ; they sleep not, 
but have " while robes given them? as the priests had at their 
introduction into the temple ; and their robes of glory are new, 
as given them afresh ; their souls are clothed with glory, till they 
meet their bodies again, as rich robes reaching from head to 
foot ; they are all over happy and glorious. 12thly, Those in 
bliss reckon us fellow-servants and brethren, though we be sinful ; 
and they hold a communion with us : let us do the like towards 
our weakest brethren, between whom and ourselves, there is far 
less distance for holiness, &c. 13thly, The saints are reckoned 
martyrs, "for the word of God, and for the testimony which 
they hold;" and therefore for the least truth of that word. 14thly, 
God may defer his answer to prayer ; for he puts even those in 
heaven upon staying a while ; yet he will recompense this demur 
some other way, satisfying us by other blessings ; as he gave 
those saints white robes of glory. 

THE SIXTH SEAL, v. 12 17, Expresseth the final accomplish 
ment of " the wrath of the Lamb? in throwing down the 
Heathenism of the empire, and in confounding its idol-worship, 
(as the former seals contained several punishments on the empire 
itself,) "for the great day of his wrath is come ;" which some 
interpret of the day of judgment, certain phrases also being used 
concerning it, as in Matt. xxiv. 19 : but John was now come 
only to the tenth and last persecution, about A.D. 300 ; and also 
after this, the seventh seal is to be opened, producing seven 
trumpets of new punishments in succession upon the empire : 
and as for the phrases here used, they frequently express great 
mutations and overturnings in kingdoms, and calamities therein ; 

REV. VI. 12 17.] THE SIXTH SEAL. 583 

as in Joel ii. 10, 11 ; Isa. xxxiv. 4; ii. 19 ; Hosea x. 8: These 
passages speaking of the overthrow of kingdoms by wars, therefore 
Mr. Forbes would have this seal to be the utter overturning of 
the western empire itself by the Goths and Vandals, about 
A.D. 400, and not of its Paganism : But, 1st, The first seal, 
v. 2, 3, beginning only with the conquest of Paganism, (for the 
gospel at first attacked nothing else,) this sixth seal accomplishes 
the victory ; and so Christ s first step or degree of conquest in 
order to the kingdom, is fully presented in this chapter, with his 
first full victory over the first enemy he encountered in the world, 
even Satan and his false worship ; and so this book still goes on 
to shew, That when he begins, he makes an end of despatching 
such enemies first, as he first encounters : thus Heathenism was 
first met by the gospel ; then by plagues ; and finally as one 
growing angry, Christ completes the victory by power and might, 
md by a violent concussion and shaking of the state. Thus 
.laving despatched this enemy, and made clear work of it, (as 
conquerors do,) he falls on the empire itself in the trumpets : 
therefore tiie last act of this tragedy is represented under metaphors 
suited to the judgment-day, when he shall triumph for ever over 
all enemies. 2dly, The trumpets that come after, are reserved 
for the ruin of the empire itself; and the vials, for the overthrow 
of Popeiy and Mahometanism : thus, 3dly } The parts of this 
prophecy run on similarly, and things alike are put together in 
distinct visions ; for here are three sorts of enemies, and three 
sorts of plagues to ruin them : The six seals are the beginning of 
sorrows to the world, and they fall on Satan s false worship, 
which stood in Christ s way : The six trumpets fall on the empire 
itself, for its persecutions of the church : The six vials, (called the 
last plagues, chap, xvi.) fall on the Popish and Mahometan 
factions. 4thly, Chap. xii. which hath the story of the primi 
tive church, as this hath of Rome Pagan, doth wonderfully agree 
with this chapter, describing the same space of time, and the 
same conquests over Satan in the imperial heaven ; only here, 
(as belonging to the seal-prophecy,) are set forth the calamities and 
confusion of the kings or emperors, and chieftains of Heathen 
worshippers, who sought to uphold idolatry still ; and then, (as 
belonging to the book-prophecy,) is described only the dragon s 
confusion, in being thrown down ; that being the story of the 
church, and this of the empire, more eminently. Under these 
phrases and metaphors, two things are distinctly set out : 
First, By the sun, moon, and stars, being darkened, (according 
to the analogy of the prophets,) is expressed the deposing of those 
Heathenish emperors and governors in the lioman state, as striving 
to keep up Heathenism ; and with these fell also Satan and his 
worshippers: for though the state stood still, yet its Paganism, and 
those governors, were removed, and destroyed, and thrown down 
from their ftcarcn, (the superior government of that stale,) by 

584 THE SIXTH SEAL. [REV. VI. 12 17. 

Christ s inflicting madness and diseases on its emperors, Dioclesian 
and Maximinian, who resigned their government in the meridian 
of their glory, (to the wonderment of the world,) from a sense 
of " the wrath of the Lamb :" and afterwards the emperors 
Maxentius and Maximinus were overcome by Licinus, who 
favoured the Christians, and was colleague with Constantino; 
but on Licinus revolt again to the idolatries of Rome, Constan- 
tine subdued him and his chieftains, (for Heathenism went not 
down without blows,) and after deposing all the persecutors, he 
turned the whole state to Christian : Such a subversion of state- 
goveraors and their armies, (as well as of the state itself,) the 
prophets express by " darkening the sun, moon, and stars: " so 
Isa. xiii. 10 ; xiv. 12, 13, signifies the king, queen, and nobles 
of Babylon, all deposed from their high stations ; the monarch 
himself being the sun and the lucifer-star ; whose heaven was 
cast down, and it "fell to the earth" Now v. 15, may express 
the same thing, expounding it literally of " the kings of the 
earth" or Roman emperors ; those suns of this firmament, who 
were stepped off from their glory ; the stars of their nobility, 
those " great men and rich men" being also deposed ; and their 
mountains, (Isa. ii. 14,) or " chief captains and mighty men" 
removed. Now the rest of the trumpet and vial-prophecy 
proceeds also with plagues on the sun, moon, and stars ; the earth 
and trees ; and therefore one literal explanation to serve for all, 
is here first mentioned, that we may learn to interpret by the 
Holy Ghost s own analogy : Every state or kingdom being a world, 
the superior part of the same is its heavens, with the sun above all, 
then its moon, stars, &c. the inferior parts being the earth, 
with its sea, rivers, trees, &c. Judgments on this "world" are 
therefore pronounced like as in Hag. ii. 21, 22, w r hich there 
expresses the change of the state itself and all places of rank 
therein ; but sometimes, only the deposing of their proprietors is 
meant thereby, the places and dignities standing still. Thus 
under the trumpets, the casting down of the sun, stars, &c. means 
abstractly, an altering the very state, power, and dignity of 
the empire, together with a deposing of the persons ; but here 
concretely, the persons only in power are meant, their places re 
maining for others to fill. Secondly, These expressions hold 
forth, not simply an overthrow of stations or station-holders by 
political mutations, but changes of religion in a state : for as 
bodies politic, so religious bodies are compared to a world ; thus 
Christ in Ps. viii. 3, hath his world, whose heavens have their 
moon and stars, &c. (where the. sun is not mentioned, because it 
is Christ himself,) as interpreted in Heb. ii. 5, 6 : so Rom. x. 18, 
interprets Ps. xix. 1,4: and in chap. xii. J, the apostles minis 
try is compared to twelve stars with which the primitive church 
was crowned : and so in Heb. xii. 27, " the heavens" partly 
mean gospel ordinances, that frame of worship which Christ 

REV. VI. 12 17.] THE SIXTH SEAL. 585 

hath erected ; (as the legal worship is there " the earth ;") though 
in Dan. viii. 10, 11, the temple-worship, with its priests and 
elders, is so called ; which Antiochus caused to cease, so as to 
magnify himself even against the Sun of righteousness, who is 
" the prince of the heavenly host :" So Antichrist hath his Po 
pish world too : so Satan hath his Pagan world, where devil wor 
ship and idolatry are practised ; whence the Heathen gods are 
called " the host of heaven," in Deut. xvii. 3 ; not only because 
the sun, moon, and stars, were immediately worshipped, but 
because Greece and Rome called the stars by the names of their 
gods and goddesses ; of their heroes, heroines, and demi-gods : 
hence Apollo and the sun, Phoebe and the moon, (or " the great 
goddess Diana,") being worshipped together, and under them 
Satan himself and his devil-angels, as in 1 Cor. x. 20 ; from this 
his heaven Christ saw Satan fall like lightning, (Luke x. 18 ;) which 
overthrow began by the apostles casting out devils, and was ful 
filled in c. xii. by the subversion of idolatry in the empire, that 
" shaking of the heavens and earth," here set forth by " the 
great earthquake" (the only proper word we have to express 
such a convulsion of nature ;) as Hag. ii. 7, expresses the change 
from Jewish to gospel-worship ; and as there will be another 
shaking, " not of the earth only but of the heaven also," even 
of the present variegated outward gospel-worship to be yet suc 
ceeded by that apostolic simplicity, which shall again be revived 
and continue for a thousand years ; after all false religions shall 
be trodden down, (in which Satan is the prince of this host of 
heaven,) by the sun of this firmament, whose stars, (or devils of 
demi-gods,) fall therefore, as he is put out. Again, as the moon 
is Christ s church and the queen of heaven ; so the college of 
Pagan priests then in Rome, (as the Pope and cardinals are 
now,) were the moon in his heaven, as instruments of devil-wor 
ship ; and so his consecrated places, his "islands and mountains" 
were displaced, and diverted from the use they were once put to 
under Paganism. Thus this change of the Heathen religion, 
(the extirpation of which took about a century from Constanine s 
time,) is here set forth by two things distinctly and apart laid 
down: 1st, The subversion of the religion of Rome Pagan, signi 
fied, 1, By an eclipse of " the sun, which became black as sack 
cloth of hair ;" and of " the moon, which became as blood:" the 
glory of their gods, and the priests of the same being darkened. 
2, By " the stars of heaven which fell unto the earth, even as a 
Jig-tree casteth her untimely figs when she is shaken of a mighty 
wind :" shewing that Pagan men s hearts were not loosened of 
themselves at first, but forcibly shaken to a dislike of that reli 
gion. 3, By the vanishing of the whole " heaven " of his wor 
ship, " as a scroll when it is rolled together :" (for the Jews 
wrote on rolls of parchment, or vellum, which being folded up 
they call Folumen, or volume :) importing that as thus every letter 

586 THE SIXTH SEAL. [REV. VI. 1217. 

is hid, so the names of these gods and their worship have dis 
appeared for more than a thousand years, being as a book un 
opened and not in use. 2dly, This change is represented, by the 
confusion of such upholders of that ethnic worship as were the 
Atlases that supported these heavens, opposing Constantine and 
other emperors in their introduction of the Christian religion : 
for the devil leaves not the hearts possessed by him, without the 
blows of one stronger than he : so he left not his station in the 
empire without resistance, egging on imperial kings and generals, 
and the populace, to unite in support of the old religion : but the 
Lamb encounters these and confounds them in his wrath. The 
very names given to the Romans in their several ranks, are here 
used of " The kings of the earth" (for the Greek has no other 
word than BASILEIS, which is the word for Roman emperors in 
1 Pet. ii. 13, and 1 Tim. ii. 2,) who were the monarchy ; " The 
great men " (called " their great ones," and connected with 
kings and rulers, in Mark x. 42, Luke xxii. 25,) were the aris 
tocracy ; " The chief captains" over legions of seven thousand 
men each, (called CHILIARCHOI ; as centurions, or HECATONTAR- 
CHOI, were captains of hundreds,} were the military ; " The rich 
men and the mighty men " may be the gentry ; while " Every 
bondman and every freeman" may designate the commonalty, or 
plebeian community, the populace in general and lower rank. 
Now, the confusion of these is expressed, 1, By their overthrow ; 
they fled for shame and disappointment, and " hid themselves in 
dens, and in the rocks of the mountains" as in Isa. ii. 10. 2, By 
their despair of help, intimated in their saying " to the mountains 
and rocks, Fall on us and hide us:" The language is taken from 
the Jews, (whose country abounds with rocks,) as in Luke xxiii. 
30, Hos. x. 8; the Jews,, when Rome destroyed Judah and Jeru 
salem, wishing to be crushed to death by the falling in of the 
rocks, into whose caves they fled for hiding, rather than to live 
and see the miseries that were come upon them ; which other 
people express by wishing the earth to swallow them up. 3, The 
phrases import, that all this is done with a sense and conviction 
in these enemies hearts, of Christ s power whom they had derided 
and anathematized, though now their conqueror and the world s 
king ; and therefore they cry for a hiding-place "from the face of 
him that sitteth upon the throne, and from the wrath of 
the Lamb, for (add they) the great day of his wrath is come, and 
who shall be able to stand?" or abide it, as Joel ii. 11. Now 
the story of the times of the empire s conversion from Ethnicism 
to Christianity, presented such a face of things as doth this seal ; 
for Dioclesian and Maximinian, (the greatest persecutors the 
church ever had,) in the height and ruff of their imperial glory 
and rage, abdicated so unreasonably, that Historians could im 
pute only to insanity, what they did " to hide themselves from 
the face of the Lamb." Gallerius, Miximinus, and Constantius, 


(father of Constantine,) succeeded. Maximinus, persecuting the 
Christians, was smitten with a strange disease ; and under con 
viction of Christ s being king, recalled his edicts of persecution, 
afterwards putting them forth again, like Pharaoh, till at least he 
died miserably, acknowledging " the wrath of the Lamb." Max- 
entius was then set up to defend the Heathen cause ; but being 
overcome by Licinius, he threw away his imperial robes, and 
fled, and lay hid for the safeguard of his life, and acknowledged 
Christ by a decree : his flesh was eaten of worms. Then Licin 
ius opposing his co-regnant, Constantine, was overcome by him ; 
and being condemned with his accomplices, at the place of exe 
cution, he acknowledged Christ to be God. Afterwards the 
apostate Julian attempting to re-establish Heathenism, being 
shot in his wars against Persia, flung his own blood and bowels 
into the air, saying, Thou has conquered, O Galilean ! 

notable overthrow of Christ s enemies, let our hearts be raised up 
to think of the day of judgment, which is described by similar 
language, as in Ps. xviii. and elsewhere: particular judgments 
strengthen our faith in that of the great day ; and the general 
judgment to come assures us that Christ will now avenge his own 
elect, and be here avenged on his own enemies. Christ hath 
many great days before that great day ; and wicked men and 
wicked causes have days of judgment here. 2ndly, How easy it 
is for the Lamb of God to alter the religion of a kingdom, and to 
make his new one prevail ! In a few years the whole Roman 
empire was turned Christian, even when Gentilism was rooted in 
all men s minds, and Satan s throne apparently fixed for con 
tinuance ; but Christ got possession of the emperor s heart, and 
" turned the kingdom about," (1 Kings ii. 15,) and that, when 
men of themselves were not turned, but were as figs not fully ripe, 
yet shaken off by the wind ; and he folded up the heavens as a 
scroll, not a constellation of all these false deities having shined 
in the world these many hundred years : so will he do to Popery, 
which being the image of the heathen empire and religion, shall 
bear the like punishment. As there was a mighty change wrought 
in the hearts of kings and princes, upon the first reformation ; so 
before Rome is destroyed, God will put it into their hearts a second 
time to ruin her utterly. 3rdly, Christ will not only confound his 
proud enemies, but make them acknowledge his truth, as he did 
Nebuchadnezzar, Antiochus, &c. and as the false church and syna 
gogue of Satan come and acknowledge, that God hath loved the 
Philadelphian church, Rev. iii. 9 : " They shall know that I am the 
Lord," is the fruit of men s punishments ; for not only " every knee 
shall bow," but " every tongue shall confess to his name." It is 
ill standing out with Christ in any thing, or against convictions 
of any kind ; for men shall render his victory in their punishments 
more complete by their own confessions ; in dispensing which 


punishments, 4thly, He meets persecutors in their kind ; they 
caused the primitive Christians to flee into caves and dens and 
to worship the Lamb in corners ; and he with open face drives 
them into corners to hide their heads. Sthly, What a long and 
glorious time the god of this world had, when devils were spe 
cially esteemed and worshipped as true gods, for three hundred 
years,andmore generally for some thousands of years; and, though 
reserved in chains for hell, as the immortal possessors of heaven, 
having their seat above the stars, and all the world for their 
devotees ! What is it then to have a great name ; or even the best 
of names, the name of saint; if only for awhile here ? 6thly, No 
wonder the wicked prosper so long, seeing the devil encountered 
no stop in his way for so many thousand years, wherein he had 
all nations for his inheritance ; and God was worshipped but in one 
poor corner of the earth, while Satan possessed the heavens, as the 
sun in the firmament ; and his priests, as the perpetual ordinances 
of the moon and stars. Let us not think much of the continuance 
of Popery for twelve hundred years ; Heathenism stood for longer; 
and Christ will make quicker work in the last days than in the 
past days. 7thly, Men have all such sweet thoughts of Christ, as 
if he had no anger in him : but the meek lamb is also a furious 
lion ; and " when his wrath is kindled but a little, blessed are all 
they that put their trust in him," Ps. ii. 12. Sthly, God punisheth 
idolaters and idols together, as he removed Rome s emperor and 
her religion and gods together, (see Tsa. ii. 17 19 ; Num. xxxiii. 
4; Jer. xliii. 11 13; 1. 2;) so God punished monks, pulling 
down their monasteries and idols together ; and so superstitious 
ceremonies and will-worshippers will down together. 9thly, How 
fearful and terrible will be the day of judgment, when Christ shall 
come as the Lion of Judah; if now reigning in the meekness and 
patience of the Lamb, he brings forth such confounding judg 
ments! all terrors men suffer here are but " the wrath of the lamb," 
compared to the roaring of the lion at that great day. " Now 
consider this, O ye that foi get God, lest I tear you in pieces and 
there be none to deliver." Ps. 1. 22. 


GOD, to shew his care of his people, in this chapter seals twelve 
thousand out of each of the twelve tribes, before the trumpets 
blow, in the several ages, and on the several parts of the world, 
(named in the two following chapters, to which I refer the reader,) 
whence the sealed were chosen ; who are called in v. 3, " the 
servants of God" being true believers, and who in the language 
and types of the Old Testament are called Jews, as all Christians 
are " the Israel of God," Gal. vi. 16 ; even as false idolatrous 
Christians are called Gentiles in c. xi. 2, " who say they are 
Jews, (profess themselves Christians,) and are not, but do lie," 


c. iii. 9. These who are numbered by thousands, (in allusion to 
the " thousands of Israel," and to the sealing of the mourners in 
Ezek. ix.) are preserved by a miracle, in the midst of all the 
Mahometan tyranny under Turks and Saracens in the eastern 
part of the world ; (so seven thousand were preserved under Ahab s 
tyranny, who bended not before Baal ;) as the hundred and forty- 
four thousand were preserved under the like Antichristian tyranny 
in the west, as will appear in the book-prophecy in c. xiv. only 
here they are numbered by twelve times twelve thousand, to shew 
their more scattered and divided condition, happily alluding 
either to James i. 1 , or to the twelve tribes as living apart in several 
quarters of the land of Judah, and not assembled at Jerusalem in 
the temple : so likewise these, dwelling scattered in the several 
nations to be overcome by the trumpets, and not assembled in 
public worship or churches, but remaining single, are mentionedby 
a set number, to shew that they who shall thus be acceptable to 
God shall be few, in comparison of that innumerable company to 
grow out of them in v. 9 ; and their number being multiplied by 
twelve, (as their root,) and by a thousand, (as a long number 
extending much further than in breadth,) shews that John speaks 
not of Christians amounting to such a number in one age, but 
through many ages continuing : and their being multiplied by 
twelve shews their breed and kind to be from the apostles, and of 
the apostolic faith, (which in c. xxi. 14, is made the mystery of 
this number, "And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, 
and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb ;") and 
they are presented in one uniform state during all that time, even 
unto the new Jerusalem, of which because these and their succes 
sors are to be made partakers, those promises of the new Jerusa 
lem, and the representation of it, comes in from v. 9, to the end. 
But those in c. xiv. do not remain till the new Jerusalem, in that 
dark and loose condition, upon mount Zion ; but do break forth 
long before into a separation from Antichrist, and set up glorious 
temples, filled visibly with the presence of God, as with smoke, out of 
which come the vials ; whereas these continue in one uniform state 
until the very approach of the new Jerusalem, when they come 
out afresh from under a sore and long bondage of " great tribula 
tion" having been more scattered and divided, and spread here 
and there, as in several tribes : but those in c. xiv. are summed up 
together, (yet both alike in number and fewness, and in ages of 
darkness and desolation,) and grow up long before to a glorious 
light, and then outgrow that number. Now John enquires, Who 
are these hundred and forty-four thousand predecessors of the 
" innumerable company," that shall together with the Jews, possess 
the new Jerusalem ? and one of the twenty-four elders would 
have him specially note it, as one of the wonders of this book, 
strange beyond all thought, that the names of such scattered my 
riads should be found among the denizens of the new Jerusalem : 


" What are these and whence came they ? even a company of 
poor elect believers, called the Grecian churches, dispersed over 
the now Turkish dominion of the once eastern empire : And that 
the Holy Ghost designates these, appears in that, First, Their 
sealing here is for their preservation from hurt, (as in v. 3, " Hurt 
not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed 
the servants of our God in their foreheads") by the four winds let 
loose, (as in v. 1, " After these things I saw four angels standing 
on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the 
earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the 
sea, nor on any tree, n ) meaning the desolations of wars, (as in Jer. 
xlix. 36 ;) which winds are the blasts of the trumpets, (c. viii. ix.) 
to prevent the hurt of which the servants of God are sealed afore- 
hand ; which sealing has chief respect to the times of the chief 
plagues, and therefore to the fifth and sixth woe-trumpets mentioned 
c. viii. 13, in respect of which the four first were gentle : but these 
two being the over-runnings of the Saracen and Mahometan 
nations, were the greatest plague of war and bondage that ever 
befel the Christian world, being more than five times the two 
hundred years duration of the other four. The wars of the Goths 
indeed rather relieved the church against the flood of Arian per 
secutors, (as in c. xii. 16,) however it brake and harrowed the 
empire ; and after ruining all the cities of Thrace, Macedon, 
Thessaly, and Greece, (except Athens and Thebes,) for five years, 
they fell on the west ; even as some of the winds of the four first 
trumpets devastated also some of the eastern parts: wherefore the 
sealing hath a respect ten-fold to the eastern Christians. Secondly, 
Besides the above reason for this, the Holy Ghost hath declared 
that the preservation from the hurt of these Mahometan invasions, 
was the aim of this previous sealing ; and therefore the souls of the 
sealed ones of the east were alone in danger of apostacy, through 
the tyranny of the trumpets. In c. ix. 4, when these Saracen- 
locusts, under their ring-leader Mahomet, were first set loose, and 
had their commission, then comes in this clause of exception, 
" That they should hurt only those men that were not sealed," 
which privilege of sealing, then and there only mentioned, argues 
the chief intent and accomplishment of their sealing to have 
taken place under the blasts of these locusts, though in the vision 
it comes in here beforehand ; yet the Holy Ghost, as by a margi 
nal hand, points at the real execution of it in c. ix. under the 
fifth and sixth woe-trumpets. Now though the western church 
was preserved from all pest by these incursions, the Mahometans 
being restrained from breaking in on the ten kingdoms, yet they 
are not here meant ; For, Not only doth the mystery of sealing 
note the singling out and marking of some here and there from 
the crowd ; as the door-posts of the Israelites were marked ; and 
as a man marks his sheep, put among other droves ; and as the 
mourners in Ezek. ix. 4, were thus distinguished from other cap- 


lives : else all the kingdoms of the west should have been said to 
be sealed; whereas the souls here, were preserved faithful to Christ 
in spite of all Mahometan seducements and bondage : But also 
being partakers of the new Jerusalem, these are said "to come out 
of great tribulation" endured through the Mahometan incur 
sions ; from the hurt of which dangerous locusts they were pre 
served, though not exclusively of the western Antichrist: Besides, 
the character in the text carries it to these eastern Christians ; for 
the sealing-angel, (v. 2,) ascends from the east; and also the 
sealed are represented as but a few to be numbered in many ages, 
even to the new Jerusalem times, and as the dispersion of the 
twelve tribes, and as under the darkness of tribulation from the 
primitive times : but those in c. xiv. have light and victory in 
the midst, while the eastern churches have remained forlorn, and 
corrupt, and superstitious, with but few holy among them, and 
under the Mahometan yoke, one half of them for more than a 
thousand years, and the other half for more than two hundred 
years ; and they are still under the Turk, with but little ease from 
misery, or restoration to light and beauty ; yet Christ hath had 
among them his sects of Grecian and Armenian Christians, &c. 
preserving the knowledge and profession of his name, and of 
more truth than is found in the dark times of the Romish church : 
Now this tyranny being to continue till the new Jerusalem, (for 
the Turk is to be overthrown to make way for the Jews, under 
the sixth seal,) accords with the paucity and tribulation of the 
eastern saints, until such their first and fresh coming out of so 
great tribulations : And the wonder excited at this gracious deal 
ing with a people so forgotten of all Christians, further confirms 
it : for the western churches, that have borne the heat of Antichris- 
tian persecution, and have overcome Antichrist, (and they shall in 
the end perfect their victory,) and have set up temples increasing in 
light and glory, may well attain to the new Jerusalem ; for which 
marriage of the Lamb we find them preparing, (c. xix.) after the 
ruin of the whore : but who would have thought that these Greek 
Christians should be God s Ephraims, his pleasant children, 
Jer. xxxi. 20 ;! " O the depth," &c. -Rom. xi. 33. Therefore one 
of the elders draws John s attention to this above all, " These are 
they who come out of great tribulation" such as was none ever 
like it: Again, God is wont to choose out of such low estate, that he 
may therefore (v. 15) exalt them, and set all the world a wonder 
ing at his acts of grace and mercy : and they, as well as ourselves, 
having borne the heat of the dav, are entitled to their penny also : 
and being seated in where the Turk s seat is, (whose overthrow 
opens a way to the Jews restoration to their own land, as "kings of 
the east," c. xvi. 12, in the midst of those eastern nations,) is it not 
probable they shall be thus delivered, on the ruin of the Turk ? 
and if Gentiles partake of their privileges, those Christians who 
have been oppressed by this their common enemy, and who dwell 


in countries hear, and about the land of the Jews, (especially if 
their land should be made the chief seat of this fifth monarchy,) 
are likely to partake most of its benefit to walk in the light of 
it, as the prophets have foretold. Thirdly , Where are the Grecian 
churches named if not here ? The book-prophecy is taken up with, 
the state of the western churches, opposing Antichrist, c.xiv. xix. 
they being to ruin him, and retaining the knowledge of Christ, 
and the shew of themselves in the greatest power and purity ; and 
therefore the Revelation speaks most of them : and are not the 
Armenian and Grecian churches, amounting to as many as do the 
professors of Europe^ notwithstanding the Mahometan incursion, 
most fitly here represented under the seal-prophecy ? hence we 
read in all stories of these eastern parts, and hear also to this 
day, of the continuance of true believers among them ; whose con 
fession of faith, printed in English A.D. 1629, is set forth by 
Cyril, (then patriarch of Constantinople,) and contains all the 
fundamentals of our own confession : Let us read also Field " Of 
the Church," book iii, chap* 1, 2, 3, and 5. 



Out of the seven given to " the seven angels which stood before 
God" (v. 2,) contain the several steps and degrees of ruining the 
imperial government of the Roman empire, when turned Christian, 
by several wars and incursions of barbarous nations, whereof 
trumpets are suitably made the denouncers ; the Christian blood 
spilt by the empire, when Pagan, being thus avenged ; as the 
Babylonish captivity did break the Jewish state for the blood 
shed by Manasseh in its idolatry ; though he and all Judah did 
turn to the true worship of God again. Now according to the 
division of the empire, east and west ; the Goths and Vandals 
utterly shattered the government of the occidental emperors, 
breaking it into ten kingdoms ; over which the Pope succeeded : 
and next the oriental parts were overturned, first by the Saracens, 
(Mahomet their head wresting out of the emperor s hands one 
great part of the eastern empire, in Arabia, Egypt, and Assyria, 
and subjecting it to Mahometanism ;) then by the Turks, propa 
gating Mahometanism also, who subdued not only what the 
Saracens before them had done, but also that other part of the 
eastern empire, (remaining still Christian,,) in Natolia, and in 
Greece ; over which the Greek emperors, successors of the 
Roman,) continued ; till now wholly subjected, (together with 
Constantinople the seat of their empire,) unto the Turks, the 
sole possessors of the eastern empire : These trumpets are thus, 
answerably, divided by the Holy Ghost: the first four, (containing 
lesser evils and miseries,) are the wars of the Goths and Vandals 


in four several incursions, in this chapter : but the fifth and sixth 
are among the three last woe-trumpets, (v. 13; c. ix. 12; xi. 14 ;) 
and contain all those infinite calamities and embondagements, 
brought on the east by the Saracen wars and conquest under the 
fifth trumpet, and by the Turks under the sixth ; both longer and 
greater than the four first. The promise therefore to the martyrs 
under the fifth seal, (c. vi. 1 1,) is fulfilled in answer to their prayers 
here (v. 35,) offered up by Christ ; the trumpet sounding for the 
time of avenging their blood. 

THE FIRST FOUR TRUMPETS, are chiefly on the western empire, 
extended all over Europe ; which was performed by four steps or 
degrees, falling severally on the earth, the sea, the rivers ; the sun, 
moon, and stars, v. 7, 8, 10, 12 : 1st, The earth, with the grass and 
trees therein, signifying the people in common, both richer and 
poorer, as in Zech. xi. 2. 2dly, The sea, is the extent of the 
jurisdiction of such an imperial world, (as in Jer. iv. 23,) over 
several dominions; whence Rome is said to " sit on many 
waters;" and "to arise out of the sea," or collection of many 
waters or nations : so speak Jer. li. 36, 44, and Exek. xxxi. 4, 
concerning the Babylonish and Assyrian monarchies. 3dly, The 
rivers, are the several cities and provinces, with the lesser juris 
dictions of their magistrates. 4thly, The sun, moon, and stars, 
shew the glory of supreme magistrates, as in Isa. xiii. 10, Jer. 
xv. 9. Now of these four trumpets, bringing their four degrees 
of calamities on Rome and its empire, by the incursions from 
the north, from A.D. 400, to A.D. 540, 

THE FIRST TRUMPET, harrowed the earth ; wars first lighting 
most heavily on the people ; but it proceeded to no further havoc 
than " the burning of the trees and grass" v. 7 ; " The first 
angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with 
Hood, and they were cast upon the earth : and the third part 
of trees were burnt up." 

THE SECOND TRUMPET, fell on the sea ; the Goths by break 
ing the imperial yoke from off the nations subject to it, affording 
them opportunity to set up the European ten kingdoms, which 
remain to this day ; beginning in France, A.D. 413; and by A.D. 
450, they were all up. This rending of the kingdoms from the 
empire, with the sacking of Rome itself by Allaricus, king of the 
Goths, A.D. 410, is called, (v. 8,) " The burning of a great moun 
tain," (as Babylon is called "a destroying and burning mountain," 
as overshadowing all cities, till sacked itself by Cyrus, Jer. li. 25 ;) 
" And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great moun 
tain burning with fire, was cast into the sea ; and the third part 
of the sea became blood" 

THE THIRD TRUMPET, produces the fall of a bright blazing 
comet, or "great burning star;" or the extinction of emperors, A.D. 
476, in Augustulus, (like that of the king of Babel, in Isa. xiv. 12, 
" How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning !") 

2 R 


who, as a prince^ of bitterness and sorrows, is truly named " Worm 
wood;" together with whom many provincial, cities and magistrates, 
(called rivers anA fountains,) had their dignity removed: "And 
the third angel souiided, and there fell a star from heaven, 
burning as it were a lamp ; and it fell upon the third part of 
the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters : and the name of 
the star is called Wormwood ; and the third part of the waters 
became wormwood, and many men died of the waters, because 
they were made bitter? v. 10, 1]. 

THE FOURTH TRUMPET, totally deprives Rome, (now in the 
hands of the Goths, and the seat of those kings, who though they 
won it, still preserved the splendor of its senators, consuls, and 
supreme magistrates ;) of all its ancient form of government, with 
the glory and majesty of which it had shined for many centuries 
ere the imperial power was placed over it ; which ancient 
monarchy, (here called The sun, &c.) still continuing under the 
emperors, was quite subverted in the last war, A.D. 542. Thus 
the glory of the western empire and Rome had been utterly and 
for ever extinguished, but for the Pope, (c. xni. under the book- 
prophecy concerning the church,) who obtains a power, on a 
different title, over the ten kingdoms ; and by building up a new 
Rome, possesses the seat of the former beast, which is the 

All the above four trumpets falling on, and making such alter 
ations in the west, are but lesser evils compared with those other 
two here which are. to fall on the eastern parts, yet standing 
whole and entire under a profession of the Christian faith ; and 
as standing longest, God reserved the same unto the severest 
punishments, which are therefore thus prefaced, v. 13," Woe, woe, 
woe, to the inhabitcrs of the earth, by reason of the voices of the 
other trumpets which have yet to sound" 


THE FIFTH TRUMPET, produces the falling of a star from 
heaven, which opens the bottomless pit, and emits smoke as 
from a furnace, darkening the sun and air, and letting out an innu 
merable company of locusts, (v. 1 3,) which are thus described ; 
" And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared 
unto battle : and on their heads were as it were crowns like 
gold ; and their faces were as the faces of men ; and they had 
hair as the hair of women; and their teeth were as the teeth of 
lions; and they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of 
iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots 
of many horses running to battle : and they had tails like unto 
scorpions, and there were stings in their tails ; and their power 
was to hurt men five months" v. 7 10 : These torment men so 
that they " shall seek death (because of the calamity of those 

IX. 14 16.] THE SIXTH TRUMPET. 595 

times,) and shall not find it," (v. 4, ;) figuring out the introduction 
of Mahometanism, that greatest imposture the world ever knew, 
which darkens the sun and air, by quenching the light of Chris 
tian profession, through the apostacy of that star, who opened 
hell to bring forth that damned religion of his ; to whom num 
berless of his country men- Arabians, (who were as locusts, Judg. 
vii. 12,) did cleave, and set him up as king, for " They had a king 
over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name 
in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek hath his 
name Apollyon" v. 11. These wrenched off from the eastern 
empire, Arabia, Egypt, Assyria, Armenia, and much of Asia 
Minor ; and extending their dominions further over Persia, 
East India, and a great part of Africa and Spain, they almost 
vied with the former western empire ; Mahomet extending his 
dominions another way, besides possessing half of the eastern 
empire : But these are bidden by God, " to hurt only those men 
which have not the seal of God in their foreheads" (v. 4, see 
c. vii. 3 ;) for there were some who remained Christians in that 
part of the eastern empire. This kingdom began to be set up 
A.D. 630, and continued many hundred years. 

THE SIXTH TRUMPET is ordained to bring calamities on the 
other part of the eastern empire, still standing under the succes 
sors of the Roman monarchy, and professing Christianity in Asia 
Minor, and Greece, (commonly called the empire of Greece ;) to 
ruin which four angels were ready prepared with four several 
armies of horsemen, amounting to two hundred millions, as in 
v. 14 16, " Saying to the sixth angel which had the trum 
pet, Loose the four angels, which are bound in the great river 
Euphrates ; and the four angels were loosed, which were pre 
pared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to 
slay the third part of men : And the number of the army of the 
horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand : and I heard 
the number of them" These armies, with the angels their lead 
ers, hovered for a long time under restraint about the borders of 
Euphrates, whom the angel of this second woe-trumpet let loose 
by God s command, like so many furies, to fall on the last remain 
ing part of the eastern empire, and also to conquer those other 
dominions, which the Saracens under the fifth trumpet had before 
over-run. Now according to all the characters and foot-prints 
in Turkish history, no prophecy can more exactly describe any 
nation or event, than this of the Turks irruption on the eastern 
empire ; at whose first coming out of their native country, about 
A.D. 1040, they seated themselves by the river Euphrates, and 
were divided into the four several governments or kingdoms of 
Iconium, Aleppo, Damascus, and Bagdat or Babylon : after two 
centuries, about A.U. 1300, they over-run all Nalotia, (or Asia 
Minor,) and uniting all into one kingdom under Ottoman, (the 
fore-father of the present great Turk,) ceased not till they had 

2 R "2 


won Constantinople itself, an^ all Greece ; which last relics of 
the Roman empire they put down A.D. 1453 ; and thus they 
possess the whole eastern empire unto this day : for the number 
of the Turk being one year, one month, one day, and one hour, 
(prophetically three hundred and ninety six years,) would not 
thus be fulfilled, according to the latter date, until A.D. 1849. I 
shall now proceed to a short view of 


The seal-prophecy under the visions of these seals and trum 
pets, having run over the stories all times, concerning the ruin of the 
Roman empire, down even to us; (for the miseries of the sixth woe- 
trumpet will last till near the time of the seventh s bringing in the 
kingdom of Christ, c. xi. 14, 15; whose sounding makes an end of 
this first seal-prophecy, and of all kingdoms and times;) The 
mighty angel of the covenant descends from heaven, 1st, To give 
the world and the church warning by an oath, that now time 
should be no longer than the expiration of the Turk s dominion, 
under the second woe : see c. x. 1, 6, 7, with xi. 14, 15. 2dly, 
To give withal a new entire prophecy under a book open in his 
hand, (the seals on it in c. v. being now removed, and the visions 
of them past :) this book, containing another distinct prophecy, 
John is bid to eat, (as in Ezek. ii. 8, 9,) that he might receive 
and write the new prophecy, (as in c. x. 9, 11 1 ) beginning at 
c. xii. after Christ had discoursed a while of the state and face 
of his purest western churches in these last days, to which the 
seal-prophecy had brought John, not many years before the in 
troduction of his kingdom by the blast of the seventh trumpet; 
and after he had also forewarned these churches of a great and 
sore conflict they were to have with Antichrist, towards the end 
of all ; out of which they should rise again : and then comes the 
end of both the eastern and western Antichrist, the Turk and the 
Pope, c. xi. 1, 2, 7 14. Then begins the new book-prophecy 
c. xii. in new visions, containing the fates of the church in all 
ages from Christ s time, as the seal-prophecy had done those of 
the empire. 


The state of the church hath two periods, The primitive times 
including the first four centuries, and The times of Antichrist : 
the former may be divided thus, The state of the church until 
Constantino, the first Christian emperor ; and thence under the 
Avian and other emperors : the latter thus, The state of the false 
church, under the Pope its head; and that of the true church, 
during the time of that Antichrist, under Christ its head. Now 
as c. xiii. xiv. shew the state of the church since the rise of the 


Pope, so this chapter shews its state since, (and that under the two 
said eminent conditions,) 1st, Under Rome Pagan, until the con 
version of the empire by Constantine, (v. 1 12,) represented by 
a woman bringing forth a male child, (that is a Christian em 
peror,) to rule all nations; wherein she is opposed by a dragon, 
(the devil in the power of an Heathen emperor,) endeavouring to 
devour her child. The vision and appearance of this woman 
is such as to fit only the pure primitive state of the church ; for 
though so weak a vessel, yet is she gloriously clothed with 
the Sun of righteousness ; and being honored at her first rise 
with the preaching of the twelve apostles, and holding forth the 
light of their doctrine, she binds them on her head as a 
crown of twelve stars ; and being above the world, and the rage 
of Heathenish persecutions, and all things sublunary, (for " they 
loved not their lives unto death," v. 1 1,) the moon is therefore 
said to be under her feet. Amidst the pangs and throes of ten 
sore persecutions, she labours with God night and day to bring 
forth a succession of Christian emperors, who setting Christ to 
rule in their throne, shall throw down Heathenism from the imper 
ial state, so long subject to the rule of Satan s throne, and 
therefore represented throughout the Revelation as a seven-head 
ed and ten-horned dragon. But while the devil is visibly and 
openly acting the empire, the church at length prevails to obtain, 
through the help of Michael and his angels, (i. e. Christ and the 
apostles, and preachers of their gospel,) his precipitating from the 
throne, his heaven where he was worshipped as God. 2dly, 
Is the state of the true church, (v. 13 17,) when the Roman world 
was turned - Christian for the first century, after Constantine ; 
which church was persecuted as much also by the heretical, as 
she had been by the Heathen emperors ; besides being nearly 
ruined by the multitude of carnal professors ; and from these she 
hastes to flee into the wilderness of a hidden retired condition ; 
and in her flight she hath a flood of Arian persecution sent after 
her to drown her ; but the earth, (i. e. the Goths and Vandals, 
under the first trumpet,) came in accidentally, and through 
God s providence, helped her by breaking the Arian faction, and 
thus swallowing up thejlood. 


The state of the church, and her conflicts with Satan for the 
first four hundred years, having been described in the preceding 
chapter ; henceforward is set forth its state during the times of 
Antichrist, wherein both his false church, and the tine church 
under him, run along together. Now the description of this 
western Antichrist, (the Pope and his Antichristian church,) in his 
rise, power, greatness, and extensive dominions and adherents, 
as set forth in the visions of tliis chapter, is afterwards inter- 


preted and commented on by the Holy Ghost himself in the 
seventeenth chapter : the opposite company, or adherents of the 
true church, who have the La~mb for their head, being described 
in the fourteenth chapter, in all those several states and conditions 
they should run under, from the rise of the Papacy until those 
very times wherein we live ; wherewith 1 take it, the visions of 
that fourteenth chapter do end. Now Antichrist and his church, 
is here exhibited under the vision of a two-fold beast, pointing 
at the Pope, according to his double pretensions of power and 
headship in the church ; viz. 1st, Temporal, which he claims 
over all kings and kingdoms, to depose and excommunicate them 
and their subjects at his pleasure ; and whereunto the ten kings 
and kingdoms of Europe, (to which the western empire was 
now by the Goths reduced,) with one consent, tacitly submitted 
and resigned their power, as is interpreted in c. xvii. 12 17. 
Thus the Pope, together with the body of these ten kingdoms, 
joining into one under him as their head, is that first beast with 
ten horns, described v. 1 8 ; which new beast is a true image 
of the former Roman monarchy in the twelfth chapter, which 
being wounded and slain in the deposition of the emperors, is 
healed and restored to life again in this beast: and thus the 
Roman monarchy comes still to continue, though under another 
head, the Pope ; who, 2dly, Besides this temporal power received 
from these ten kings, (thus together with him making up one 
beast,) claims also a spiritual power, (and his clergy with him,) of 
binding and loosing so as to pardon sins, and also to curse men 
to hell ; which is peculiar to Christ alone : in this respect he and 
the body of his false clergy with him, do make up another beast, 
having two horns like a lamb, as exercising that spiritual 
power of Christ ; for which they and he are properly called 
Antichrist, whose description follows in v. 11 18; for being 
head of two bodies, ecclesiastical and temporal, he is set forth 
under the figure of two beasts. Now this spiritual beast, (the 
Pope and his clergy,) is he who, by his lying doctrines, persuaded 
the ten kings and their subjects to submit themselves in one body 
under him as their head ; and he is said to make the image of 
the first beast, or dragon, (mentioned in the twelfth chapter, viz. 
the former Heathenish empire and its idolatrous religion,) which 
is therefore said to live again ; for, Not only do these kingdoms 
become one under the Pope, as their head ; being in their very 
form of government, the image of the former empire, under one 
emperor, (the Roman monarchy continuing, in this way, still ;) But 
besides, this new beast is called " the image of the first beast," 
having like form of government and tyranny ; and also in that the 
Pope and his clergy do mould the Christian religion, and its 
worship, into a true likeness and conformity to the Heathenish 
religion, whereunto the empire was before framed : for all the 
Popish worship is but the translating of those ceremonies 


wherewith the false gods were worshipped, (Jupiter, Apollo, &c. 
who were cast down under the sixth seal,) into those religious 
ceremonies in their worship, wherewith they so worship Christ 
and his saints, that could any of the ancient Heathen Romans 
come now into their assemblies, and behold their priests in white, 
their processions, their sprinklings with holy water, their altars, 
tapers, images of saints departed, and their worship of them, their 
Pontifex Maximus, or great bishop and high-priest, &c. &c. 
they would cry out and say, "This is just our old Roman 
Paganism ; only Jupiter is turned into Christ, and the Priests 
of the gods of old into Popish Bishops ; and our ancient deities, 
Mars, Janus, ^Esculapius, &c. who were men departed, are 
changed for saints departed : the life of our old religion remains 
still, though there be a change of the gods worshipped." Thus 
as Babel of old made an image, and put to death all that would 
not fall down before it, (for hereunto is the allusion ;) so hath this 
mystical Babylon set up an image of the old Heathenish religion 
and worship ; and upon the like penalty she enjoins the adoration 
of his image, and a conformity in worship to all the subjects of 
these ten kingdoms. 

Now the company who cleave to this beast, and who may 
more or less be esteemed his followers, are distinguished into 
three ranks of men in several degrees, (as Mr. Brightman hath 
well observed on v. 16, 17,) more or less acknowledging him, or 
cleaving to him, and to this his image and worship ; some 
receiving his mark or character; others his name only; and 
others again, the number of his name : but so, that those who 
will not receive or submit to one of these, more or less, during 
the allotted time of his reign, may not buy nor sell, that is, 
cannot subsist or abide in these his allotted dominions. This 
receiving of a mark, &c. is a similitude drawn from the old 
Roman custom of printing on the forehead of servants, the names 
of their masters ; and on the hands of soldiers, the names of their 
emperors or generals : so all those, who belong unto this great 
lord and his faction, do accordingly more or less receive that 
whereby they may be known to be his : 1st, Some receive his 
character; as all priests and religious persons do, whether Jesuits 
or others, who are this Grand Seignieur s Janisaries, his sworn 
soldiers and praetorian band : their doctrine is, That a man 
entered into holy orders, doth by his ordination receive an 
indelible character, a secret, invisible, stamp or impress, which 
can never be rased out. 2dly, Others receive his name ; and 
though not in orders under him, yet so cleave to him in his 
worship, as openly to profess themselves his by appropriation of 
his name : thus as he is called Papa and Pontifex, they name 
themselves Papists and Ponlificii. But, 3dly, What is meant 
by " The number of his name ?" this Mr. Brightman carries 
rightly to a company, taking part witfc him by a more remote 


kind of subjection ; but not knowing well on whom to fasten it, 
he brings in the poor Grecians, that are strangers to the Pope, and 
out of the dominion of any of his ten kingdoms ; who, though 
renouncing all acknowledgment of the Pope as their head, for many 
hundred years, yet were at last,(through sleights, and the baseness 
of one of their emperors, together with the conquest that the 
Europeans made at Constantinople for a while,) so far subjected, 
as to acknowledge him for their head, and to be called Latins, 
(or of the profession of the Latin Church, by which name some 
Popish Christians among the Greeks are still distinguished ;) so 
receiving the number of his name, LATEINOS, ( Latinus,} the 
numeral letters whereof make six hundred and sixty-six, the 
number named in v. 18 : But though this forced subjection of the 
Grecians, so remote, might be intended for those more ancient 
times, yet I think that it is not only or principally meant : first, 
Because these Grecian Christians are not inhabitants within the 
jurisdiction of those ten kingdoms of Europe, the subjects 
whereof are mainly intended by the inhabitants of the earth, 
(v. 8, 14,) that should be the worshippers of, and cleavers to this 
beast ; of and among whom must be found this " number of his 
name," as well as those that receive " his name :" And, secondly, 
Because some of the Christians in the west, (who assist the 
pouring forth the vials,) are as well said to overcome the number 
of his name, as others of them do his image, or his idolatrous 
worship, or his character of lying priests, or the beast himself, 
as in c. xv. 2. I take it therefore that this " number of his 
name" must be found in Europe, in some of those ten kingdoms 
where that company are that pour out the vials. 

Now take the times of Popery before the Reformation, (when 
Protestant kingdoms first began to cast off the Pope;) and none 
were suffered to have any lax or inferior way of owning the 
beast ; but all received his mark, or his name, as professed 
Papists, going to mass, acknowledging the Pope, and worshipping 
the image ; or they could not buy or sell, and live quietly as 
others did. These therefore who receive " the number of his 
name," must be some generation of men risen up since, within 
some of those kingdoms that have renounced the Pope : for 
within the Popish dominions, not only hath the Inquisition 
suffered none to profess less ; but the most moderate Papists have 
professed, at least, " the name of the beast," and therefore more 
than " the number of the name." This " number of his name 
then seems to be a company, not proceeding so far as to receive 
either his character or his name, by professing themselves either 
priests of Rome, or Papists ; and yet arc they of " the number 
of his name," holding and bringing in such doctrines and opin 
ions, and such rites in worship, as shall make all men reckon, ac 
count, or number them among Papists in heart and affection ; 
and behaving themselves so as they are, and justly deserve to be 


accounted and esteemed Papists, and to aim at Popery in the 
judgment of all orthodox and reformed Protestant* : for though 
their profession deny it ; yet when their actions, and their corrup 
ting of doctrine and worship, shall speak it to all men s conscien 
ces, men cannot but judge that the Pope, and the fear of him is 
before their eyes, Ps. xxxvi. 1 : and as those in Titus i. 16, 
" profess that they know God, but in works they deny him ;" so 
these that shall profess the reformed religion, yet in all their 
practices and under-hand policies depress it, and advance the 
Popish party, are justly to be accounted Papists and to have re 
ceived " the number of the name " of the beast. Now the 
" number " of a name is not only taken arithmetically for a 
name consisting of numeral letters, but it is in many languages 
put for the account, reckoning or esteem that is commonly had 
of men ; as in Latin we speak of " a man Nullius Numeri" of 
no number, or account ; and so EN POLEMOOI ENARITHMIOS is 
used by Homer for one of great account in war, being numbered 
or esteemed a soldier indeed : so " the number of the name " 
of the beast, is the common repute or esteem to be a Papist, 
procured though under-hand advancing of the Popish cause. 
This "number" being therefore spoken in a distinct and lower 
degree from that " name," (or open profession,) doth yet neces 
sarily import so much inclining and cleaving to the beast, 
(though secretly,) as shall deserve the account and repute to 
be numbered, truly in heart, (though but tacitly,) of his com 
pany, equally with those that receive his name. Now if in 
opening the meaning of the Holy Ghost in that phrase, this de 
scription shall seem to the life to picture out a generation of such 
kind of Popish persons as these, in any even of the most famous 
reformed churches, there will not want good ground for it : for 
though with an impudent forehead, they renounce the Pope s 
character, and the name of Papists, and will by no means be cal 
led " Baal s priests," (though priests they affect to be called,) but 
boast themselves to be of the Reformation, and opposites to the 
Popish faction ; yet with as much impudence do they bring in 
an image of Popish worship and ceremonies, adding to some old 
limbs never cast out, other substantial parts of altars, crucifixes, 
second service, &c. so to make up in the public worship a full 
likeness to that of the Popish church ; bringing in the carcase 
first, which may be afterwards inspired with the same opinions : 
and all this, not as Popery, or with the annexing of Popish 
idolatrous opinions, but on such grounds only whereupon Pro 
testants themselves have continued some other ceremonies. 
Furthermore, As in worship, so in doctrines these men seek to 
introduce a presence in the sacrament of the Lord s supper, 
beyond what is spiritual to faith, wMcb yet is not Popish tran- 
substantiation ; and power in priests to forgive sins, beyond what 
is declarative) yet not that which mass-priests arrogate ; justifica- 


tion by works, as a condition of the gospel as well as faith, but not 
so grossly as in a way of Popish merit : by many such methods 
they truly set up an image of old Popery in a Protestant reform 
ed way, even as Popery is an image of Pagan worship in a 
Christian way. Say these men what they will, that they hold 
not of the Pope, nor any way intend him, or the introducing 
of his religion into their churches, yet their actions number them 
as such, and gain them such esteem every where at home and 
abroad ; as the Holy Ghost prophesied of them, fitting them 
with so characteristic a description of the " number of the name " 
of the beast. Such sort of apostates from the profession and 
religion wherein they were trained, being in a church so full of 
spiritual light and faithful witnesses, the Holy Ghost hath 
thought worthy of the character given them in this prophecy, to 
discover to whom they belong, especially seeing they would pro 
fessedly deny their intention and conspiracy to make way in the 
end for the beast ; this their duplicity going before, as the twi 
light serves to usher in darkness. And though haply these men 
will arise but in one of the ten kingdoms, (the Lutherans else 
where looking also very like this description,) yet growing to so 
potent a faction as to have power to hinder others buying and 
selling and quiet living among them, and being the Pope s last 
champions before his fall, whom the true saints are to encounter 
and overcome ; (for the greatest number of witnesses in that last 
age will belong to that one kingdom;) therefore the Holy Ghost 
thought not fit to leave such a company of new refined Papists 
out of the beast s number and followers, although they were to 
continue but a short time ; for the doom, as well as description 
of such a generation to arise " in the last days," (of those " lat 
ter times" of the Papists rising, 1 Tim. iv. 1,) we have in another 
prophecy, 2 Tim. iii. 1 9 : These shall set themselves chiefly 
against the power and spirit of true worship, setting up " a form " 
or image instead of it : but they are doomed to "proceed no fur 
ther ; they shall have a stop ; and their "folly? madness, and hy 
pocrisy, (to attempt to bring in Popery with denying it; and when 
it is going down to build such a Babel again,) " shall be mani 
fest unto all men ;" and being discovered will be overthrown : yet 
must they proceed further than hitherto, even to the " killing of 
the witnesses " in that kingdom, or tenth part of the city ; as will 
be shewn under c. xi. And because these last champions of the 
beast, and healers of the wound given him, should come in the 
last days of all, they are therefore lasi. named and overcome by 
the witnesses and vial-pourers, as in c. xv. 2. Lastly, The Holy 
Ghost by a wise transition passing from the mention of one thing 
to another, agreeing in /sound but differing in sense, distinguishes 
the number of the beast himself from the number of his name y 
(v. 17, 18,) the former only being six hundred and sixty-six : such 
a turn is frequent in scripture, and we have it also in c. xx. 17, 


" The Spirit and the bride say, Come, (as speaking to Christ to 
come speedily to judgment, as in v. 20,) and let him that is a 
thirst, come, (as spoken of the believing soul coming to Christ,) 
unto the water of life." As for " the number of the beast," (to 
calculate which the Holy Ghost encourages and excites us by 
" Here is wisdom ;" see also in c. xvii. 9,) while most interpret it 
of the numerals of which LATEINOS, Latin or Roman, is com 
posed, others refer it to the number of the year, A.D. 1666, 
according to " the number of a man," or as men reckon dates, 
leaving out the thousands ; and so c. xxi. 17, is " according to 
the measure of a man." Thus they date the rise of Antichrist to 
about A.D. 406 410, (others two centuries later, making his fall 
about A.D. 1866,) when "the tenth part of the city fell ;" France 
being broken off from the empire, and possessed by the Goths, 
who restored Rome, (which they had sacked,) on these conditions. 
In A.D. 412, Honorius granted the same to the Huns, and in 
A.D. 415, to the Goths in Spain ; and by A.D. 456, all the ten 
kingdoms were up, who " gave their power to the beast," and 
" received power as kings one hour with the beast," c. xvii. 12. 
Jerome, who lived in the times of that incursion of the barbarous 
nations, when he saw Rome taken, and the Goths obtaining pieces 
of the western empire, said in his epistle to Gerontius, " He that 
held is taken away, (alluding to 2 Thes. ii. 6,) and we understand 
not that Antichrist is near." By adding therefore twelve hundred 
and sixty years to any of the above supposed periods of the rise 
of the beast, we get the supposed date of his fall. 




My chief aim in this Exposition being to search into such 
passages of the Revelation as concern the last days, and to find 
out under which of these constellations the present times of the 
church do fall, and what is certainly yet to come ; I have 
therefore been less inquisitive in expounding I he First Part, 
as containing events long since past, and have now selected all 
I find in the seal and Joo^-prophecy, (enlarging on this happy 


notion of Mede for understanding the Revelation,) which may 
refer to present or future times concerning ourselves. Now that 
I might begin at the right joint, without mangling the whole, I 
have chosen the state and period of the church s reformation, and 
of the separation from Popery, where the book-prophecy begins ; 
my Exposition of c. vi. ix. only making way for the understand 
ing of what is now to follow. To ascertain therefore what be 
longs to these latter times in this prophecy : 1st, The seal-prophe 
cy, (c. vi. xi.) running over all time from John s days to the 
kingdom of Christ, (and the passages in c. x. and xi. being the 
last under the first prophecy,) belongs therefore to the last times, 
(as shewn in the General Scheme, p. 563 9 ;) and indeed 
c. xi. belongs chiefly to the times of the vials in c. xvi. as will 
hereafter be shewn. 2dly, From c. xiv. 6, of the ioo^-prophecy, 
begins the great restauration of the gospel from under Popery, 
until Christ s visible and universal kingdom commencing at c. 
xx. Thus all these passages in the chapters mentioned out of both 
prophecies, connected in their due place and order, do fitly fall 
in together, to make the story of the church complete : and as I 
have given the more general Scheme and Division of this whole 
book, I shall now give, as the chief key of interpretation, 


I shall begin with setting together the materials contained in 
the said chapters, either as they succeed one after the other, or 
as they synchronize, and fall in at the same time, one with the 
other ; reserving in part the full proof of my method to the after 
Exposition : and for the better clearing of this, let us take the two 
following representations of the church, from the time of her 
separation unto that of the new Jerusalem ; wherein she is 
presented, Either, In the various conditions she should in herself 
run through, in her several ages until then, both in respect of the 
progress of her separation further and further off from Rome, (and 
so of the increase of her light, purity, and reformation,) and of the 
persecutions and judgments upon her, and her restitution and de 
liverance again from under them : Or, In her one uniform, entire, 
and general condition suiting with all those times of the church, 
first and last, as partaking within herself of like privileges during 
the same ; and also in special reference to the execution of plagues 
and punishments, (poured out of the seven vials,) on the enemy. 
The Holy Ghost hath been pleased to represent the story of the 
church both these ways. First, The church s uniform state is set 
forth in c. xv. and xvi. thus : 1st, In c. xv. 2 5, as within herself; 
2dly, In v. 6 8, of c. xv. in the common and like description of 
the angels, or out-pourers of the vials proceeding from those 
churches : which representation of the church, and of these 


angels all that whole time, becomes the immediate sign or fore 
runner, (great and wonderful,) of the new Jerusalem, (v. 1, 2,) or 
that more glorious state of the church to succeed those vials, 
called in v. 5, " The opening of the temple of the tabernacle" 
(in distinction from the present state of the church, which is the 
temple of the seven angels, v. 6,) wherein " there was seen the 
ark of the testament" (Christ himself,) which stands vailed like 
the Holy of holies, till all the vials are poured out, c. xi. 19. In 
comparison therefore with the other church or temple to come 
" after that" (as v. 5, speaks,) this present is but what the in 
ward court of the priests was in comparison of The most holy 
place. The erection therefore of the one is the immediate fore 
running sign of the other, as proved by v. 1, 5. 3dly, In c. xvi. 
is the execution and effusion of the seven vials, by the angels, out 
of this church or inner temple, erected since the first separation 
from Antichrist, all along those times unto the new Jerusalem, 
here exhibited in one view in their several orders and successions. 
Secondly, The church s chequered state, is scatteredly represented 
in three parts ; the Holy Ghost being pleased thus variously, and 
in several places to set it forth, (as best suiting to a special end 
and occasion,) with such descriptive and infallible characters 
of their times, of the vials they belong unto, and also unto what 
times of each vial they belong, as cannot deceive us. The first 
part of the story of the various conditions of the church, during 
the four first vials, is set forth in c. xiv. 6 20 ; the first erection 
of the temple of true churches beginning at v. 6, when Waldus 
and his company first fell off from Rome. Now this preceded 
the vision of the vials, to shew how the temple was first built and 
reared, ere the angels, and their vials, proceeding therefrom, 
should be mentioned : and therefore c. xiv. shews that first part 
of the church s story, in all her first comings forth from Antichrist 
and laying the foundation of churches ; but then it breaks off at 
the time of the fourth vial ; for that so far precedes the reforma 
tion of the true church, as is respected a separation from Anti 
christ, and so runs along with such vials as should by degrees 
first prepare for his ruin, as the first three or four vials do. The 
second part of the church s story is her next state, from the 
time of the fourth to the fifth vial, supplied from c. xi. 1 14, 
where this story comes in most fitly, rather than in c. xiv. because 
it was to be an immediate signal of Antichrist s downfal, and is 
an exact chronology of the time of the beast s reign, and the ex 
piration of his forty-two months ; to warn and comfort the church 
against a fatal prevailing of Antichrist over her, just afore the 
time of his ending : so c. xi. begins with a new reformation of 
the reformed churches among themselves, and what should befall 
them thereupon, viz. the killing of the witnessses, between the 
fourth and fifth, or at most before the fifth seal. The third part 
of the church s story from after the fifth seal until the new Jeru- 


salem, beginning c. xx. of the book -prophecy, and c. xi. 15, of 
the seal-prophecy,) is presented c. xix. in its due place : For 
c. xvii. being but an explanation who the beast is, and where his 
seat, that the church may discern this Antichrist ; and c xviii. 
being a funeral^song for the pouring out of the fifth vial, when 
the seat of the beast, (that whore, the city described c. xvii.) is 
ruined, and Antichrist s kingdom is probably over ; Therefore the 
church s state from the fifth vial s ruining Rome to the new Jeru 
salem, fitly and orderly comes in after both these digressions ; 
and therefore c. xix. thus begins, " And after these things, (after 
the desciiption of the city and whore, c. xvii. and her ruin,) I 
heard the voice of an innumerable company," &c. thus going on 
to describe the state of that church then and until the new 
Jerusalem. Lastly, As the story in c. xiv. contains the first 
reformation and separation of the church from Antichrist, in 
several degrees ; and c. 1 1 a second, from profane mixture within 
itself; so c. xix. a third, or personal reformation of the saints 
themselves in the church, as then with might and main preparing 
and adorning themselves for the marriage of the Lamb, so evi 
dently near, now that the whore is cast off and burned : and here 
you may see them getting all they can of " the fine linen " of 
holiness and growth in grace, which is " the righteousnesses 
(DICAIOOMATA,) of saints ;" that so their Lord and husband might 
greatly delight in their beauty, as in c. xix. 7, 8. Such is the 
true general coherence and order of what yet remains to be in 
terpreted : from which my Introduction will proceed to 


According to the above Scheme and Division, the rial-visions 
of c. xv. and xvi. running along the whole course of time, 
through divers ages, as the visions of c. xiv. 6 20, and c. xi. 
1 15, and c. xix. (the one uniformly and continuously, the 
other in a scattered successive representation of the church s 
condition all along the same tract of time through many ages : ) 
it will therefore be expedient to shew, which of these several 
parts of those two representations synchronize, and which are 
successive ; by setting together a little more particularly the 
stories of the seven vials (in c. xv. and xvi.) with those other 
several pieces and scattered passages of c. xi. xiv. xvii. xviii. 
and xix. and, FIRST, With c. xiv. 1st, That same " temple filled 
with smoke," (out of which came " the seven angels,") began to be 
set up in the times of the first separation from Antichrist, (see 
v. 6, with c. xv. 6, 8 ;) when also " the everlasting gospel " was 
begun distinctly to be preached by Waldus and his followers, who 
erected true churches unto Christ, (as the history of the Waldenses 
shews ;) when these " harpers on the glassy sea," began more 
distinctly to " sing the song of Moses and the Lamb ;" or that 


doctrine both of the law and the gospel, which the hundred and 
forty-four thousand in the darker times of Popery had but mut 
tered so confusedly that none could learn it ; (see v. 3, 6, 7, with 
c. xv. 2 4 ;) so that the doctrine of the gospel, and the erection 
of the vial-temple, and the separation from popery, all begin 
together. 2dly, Preparation being thus made by thejirst angel s 
erecting the temple, The first vial therefore began with the voice 
of the second angel, crying "Babylon is fallen, Babylon is fallen," 
i. e. the first foundation of her ruin is laid in the beginning of 
those desolating vials ; as will be shewn in opening them ; 
v. 6. 8, with c. xvi. 1, 2. The second vial follows with the 
voice or cry of the third angel s preaching, when the sea of 
Antichrist s doctrine was both proved and pronounced damna 
ble by Luther s doctrine ; and " the waters whereon the whore 
sat," (i.e. those kingdoms and commonwealths which had sub 
jected themselves to Rome,) fell from her; see v. 9 11 with c. 
xvi. 3. T7ie third vial hath been a pouring out (as will be shewn) 
since that " harvest" began, with its summer-weather, and that 
settled peace of the reformed churches, meant by " rivers and 
fountains," see v. 14, with c. xvi. 4. The fourth vial began about 
*he time of " the vintage" for it was excited by an angel " who 
Lad power over fire :" and also the fourth vial-angel is said to 
have power given him to scorch men with fire ; so that these two 
fall in the same times ; and thus the times of c. xiv. reach only 
to the fourth vial ; see v. 18, with c. xvi. 8. SECONDLY, With 
c. xi. synchronizes the age between the third and fourth vial. 
1st, This chapter, under the seal - prophecy, (now about the 
times of the fourth vial,) begins the expiration of the world s 
monarchy, Antichrist s times, and the church s oppression ; 
and before the blast of the seventh trumpet, v. 15. It opens 
with representing the same temple of the Reformation as the 
Reformers erected in c. xiv. 15, who having erred in laying 
an outward court to it, are bidden in the name of John, (who 
bears the persons of the godly of this age,) to measure that tem 
ple anew, as not being fully conformed to the pattern, and to cast 
out the outward court ; for its further reformation. And as in the 
vintage, (c. xiv. 18,) the Popish Gentiles had " trod down" the 
grapes in Germany; so here v. 1, the like "outward court" in 
other churches elsewhere, is given to the same Gentiles elsewhere 
to tread down, and therewith to end their date of treading down 
the holy city for forty-two months, (or one thousand two hundred 
and sixty years,) with this their last re-entry upon the churches 
of the Reformation. Thus c. xi, begins where c. xiv. ends. 2dly, 
In v. 5, 6, we expressly have the first four vials, (and no more,) 
briefly summed up in the description of the witnesses, who are 
thus shewn, in the latter times of their prophecy, to be the same 
with the vial-pouring angels, c. xvi. 2 9. Now the angels there 
describe them to John only in a parenthesis, merely that he 


might recognize them again in this new book-prophecy, to shew 
what should befall them after these four vials, (or from the 
time of the fourth, and before the fifth,) in the expiring of the 
twelve hundred and three-score years, allotted them to pro 
phesy in the sackcloth of a mourning condition ; now to end with 
the beast s reign also ending with the fifth vial. Thus v. 7, 
" When they shall be about to finish their testimony," and to 
end their prophecy, they that had the power to execute four 
such vials on the beast s company, before they fatally darken 
and overcome his kingdom by the fifth vial, must be themselves 
once more overcome by the beast : which being thus mentioned 
after the summing up of four of the vials in v. 5, 6, and at the end 
of their prophecy, and on the expiration of their time of mourning, 
must therefore be from after, or upon the time of, the fourth vial, 
or before the fifth, or at furthest with the sixth : and then, v. 13, 
" the witnesses rise," and "the tenth of the city falls;" which some 
make the fifth vial of Rome s ruin. 3rdly, " The second woe 
passeth way," v. 14, (removing the Turkish power and tyranny, 
c. ix. 12, 13,) which is all one with the sixth vial, (c. xvi. 12, &c.) 
" drying up Euphrates," or preparing for it. 4thly, v. 15 19, 
The seventh trumpet that follows begins the seventh vial ; v. 1 9, 
with c. xvi. 18, 21, and c. x. 6, 7, with c. xvi. 17. 5thly, As 
under the seventh trumpet comes in " the Holy of holies," or 
" The opening of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven in 
which the ark is seen," v. 19; so in c. xv. 5, after the vials, 
(META TAUTA, after these things,) " the temple of the tabernacle 
of the testimony in heaven" is said to be opened ; that temple out 
of which the vials come, being but as the inward temple begun to 
be erected from the first separation, (for else they had had no true 
churches,) but polluted with the adjoining of the outward court 
by the Reformers ; but under the times of the fourth vial it is 
measured and purged, and " its court cast out," v. 1. THIRDLY, 
Chap. xix. supplies what should befall the church from the rising 
of the witnesses, (about the fifth vial,) and also her condition from 
that space between the fifth vial, and the seventh trumpet, and the 
Holy of holies; (for c. xi. doth setly describe only what befell 
the church just before the dethronement of Antichrist, as a war 
ning signal :) Now it begins with an innumerable company in 
heaven praising God for the downfal of the whore, (at large set 
forth in c. xvii. and xviii. which are but a larger explication of the 
fifth vial ruining Rome;) and therefore it must set forth the state 
of the church after the fifth vial until the seventh : And then 
for the agreement of that great battle, at the Lamb s marriage- 
supper, with the seventh vial, see v. 11 21, with c. xvi. 14 21 ; 
after which come in " the thousand years," and " new Jerusalem," 
(which is all one with the Holy of holies,) c. xx. xxii. Having 
thus introduced the second part of my Exposition, I shall now 
proceed with 



As c. xiii. described the false Antichrist-church, whose head is 
the Pope, so here begins the description of the true church con 
temporary, (made up of" the seed of the woman," c. xii. 17, per 
secuted by Satan through Antichrist s power, during her hiding 
in the wilderness,) whose head is the Lamb, and whose condition 
from Antichrist s time until this day, may be reduced to three 
heads. 1st, Her state in those darker times of Popery, when she 
was mingled with Papists, though preserved from much of their 
idolatrous worship and opinions, for seven centuries from the 
Pope s first rising, until the gospel-light bursting forth more clear 
ly, made an open separation between this confused company, 
v. 1 5. 2dly, Her state in three several degrees, rising higher 
and higher, presented under three several angels ; when believers 
first separated from Rome, and created churches and assemblies 
by themselves, and preached the gospel, from A.D. 1 100, v. 6 13. 
3rdly, Her state under the Reformation, since the times of Luther 
and Calvin, for the last three hundred years, v. 14 20. 

First, The state of believers mixed up with Antichrist s com 
pany, without any distinct worship, though opposed to his gross 
idolatries, is set forth characteristically, (v. 1,) as a scattered 
company of " a hundred forty and four thousand" united to the 
Lamb, having his Father s name written on their foreheads, (i.e. 
professing sincere obedience and worship to the true God,) whilst 
a world of the rest went " a wondering after the beast," having 
received his mark, c. xiii. 3, 17. These, and the Christians in 
the east under the Mahometan darkness and bondage of the fifth 
and sixth trumpets, arc set forth by the same number, both being 
companies of persons singly to be numbered, and scattered up 
and down, here and there, in the midst of the growing supersti 
tions and corruptions of their two several eastern and western 
churches, until A.D. 1100. These "stand upon mount Zion" 
called David s city, as not yet having a temple, or instituted 
churches distinct from Antichrist : and though, (v. 3,) " they suny 
as it were a new song" (the truth of the gospel they believed,) 
yut so confusedly and indistinctly as that " no man. could learn 
tlnil sonij" or understand that they differed from them ; the other 
Papists still going on in their old way, while the voices of these 
were heard secretly " before the throne, and before the four beasts, 
and the elders" (the representative chorus, as a standing com 
pany viewing all the visions of this book,) but themselves were 
not cast into such order of worship as to have churches and offi 
cers to begin the song, (as the four beasts elsewhere do, the four 
and twenty elders following,) their voices being sometimes " as 
the voice of many waters" confusedly murmuring against super 
stitions daily arising in those times ; and " UK the voice, of a great 

2 s 


thunder? thundering aloud against setting up of images, A.D. 
707, both in France and Germany, and against transubstantiation; 
and sometimes as " harpers harping with their harps? in sweet 
melodious strains of true devotion, (which believers, and some 
writers in those times, were full of:) These kept themselves from 
the gross idolatries of the whore, being " not defiled with (the rest 
of those) women? living in the daughter-cities and kingdoms of 
Home, and allured to her and their spiritual fornication ; v. 2, 4. 
Secondly, Having moulded this and the following chapters, 
according to the Introduction, the Second Part of my Exposi 
tion properly begins here with the story of the church s first se 
paration from Popery, before the Reformation, v. 6 13; the 
scope of the Holy Ghost to the end of the chapter being only to 
shew, by what degrees the gospel should break forth, and how 
churches should at first be erected, and a glorious reformation 
made ; therefore v. 6 20, reaches only to the times of that pre 
vailing again of the beast over those churches after this reforma 
tion, ( more fully shewn forth, c. xi.) about the times of the fourth 
vial executed by " the angel that hath power over fire," v. 18. 
Now when the Holy Ghost had here given the story of this first 
separation and reformation, as sufficient to shew the foundation 
and progress of this new temple and true church, erected in op 
position to the false one; he breaks off, and presents the general 
and common condition and station of believers in this newly- 
erected temple-church, separated from the doctrine and worship 
of the beast; and also shews the judgments to be executed on 
the false church all that while, until the kingdom of Christ ; and 
this entirely together in one view in c. xv. and xvi. The church s 
breaking forth therefore from under Antichrist, and so coming 
out of Babylon and Egypt, unto Antichrist s second prevailing in c. 
xi. hath three degrees orderly set forth, as light increased, from the 
olden times before Luther. The voice and cry of three angels, 
(all the great things done in the church and world throughout 
this book, are still said to be effected by the ministry of angels,) 
rise higher and higher, and louder and louder, against Antichrist 
and his company. The FIRST angel,wlao lays the foundation of all, 
is said to have " the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that 
dwell on the earth, and to every nation and tongue and people? 
his voice reaching to all, as he is seen "flying in the midst of 
heaven? and calling on men to worship and "fear God, (and him 
only,) who made heaven and earth? v. 6, 7: So that the matter 
of his preaching is the gospel, which brings to light ihe free- 
grace of God in Christ for a sinner s justification, and also the 
true worship of this God alone, (withdrawing men from idolatry, 
and false worship of saints and angels, then overwhelming the 
world;) and because this was then called " The new gospel," 
the Holy Ghost in opposition to the calumny, calls it " The 
everlasting gospel," which was now restored and brought to 


light : By the preaching of these two tilings, the foundation of 
the whole separation from the Pope that followed, was first laid. 
Now this first angel s ministry is a lively description of the first 
proceedings of Waldus and his followers, who first began to 
separate from Popish doctrine and worship. He was an alder 
man of Lyons, in France, and about A.D. 1100, being converted 
on occasion of the sudden death of a friend, as they were walk 
ing together, (which mightily terrifying and amazing him, was a 
means of humbling him and bringing him to Christ,) he fell a 
preaching in that city, and converted many others to the saving 
knowledge of Christ. Being also a learned man he opened the 
scriptures, and turned them into vulgar French ; and thinking 
it his duty, with his followers, like the apostles to preach the 
gospel to others also, some of their company went preaching 
abroad, but were prohibited by the Pope as being lay-men : but 
they, affirming " That it is better to obey God than men," and 
that it was also an article of their faith, " That it is lawful for any 
man to preach the gospel," went on their begun course amidst 
persecutions. Now as it was an occasion of further spreading 
the gospel to other nations, when persecution arose on the death 
of Stephen, and after the dispersion of the church of Jerusalem ; 
thus Waldus, being excommunicated, came into Picardy, and so 
into the low countries, where he made many disciples, and then 
went into Germany, and last of all into Bohemia ; and his fol 
lowers were dispersed into Savoy, Lombardy, and the countries 
on this side of the Alps ; and Arnoldus his companion went into 
Spain. " These Waldenses, (says Poplinerius, the historian,) 
maugre the power of all Christian princes, about A.D. 1100, did 
broach a doctrine little differing from what the Protestants now 
hold ; and not only dispersed it through France, but over all the 
parts of Europe : " Thus they professedly " preached to all 
nations" the only gospel-doctrine which can draw men from, 
idolatry to worship God aright, as in v. 7 : see the English history 
of the Waldenses, and Bishop Usher s book " De Successione 
Ecclesia." In an age or two following, their number increasing 
in all kingdoms, and their light growing clearer, there follows out 
of this company, (v. 8,) The SECOND angel, with open mouth 
proclaiming, That Rome was Babylon, and the Pope that beast and 
Antichrist described in the Revelation, and ordained to ruin : but 
Waldus at first merely muttered, That the Pope was only equal 
to all other bishops ; his followers in the next ages asserting, That 
the church of Rome was the whore of Babylon, and making this au 
eminent article of their confession. But Wickliffe and his follow 
ers, about A.D. 1371, in England, and John Huss and Jerome 
of Prague, A.D. 1400, more fully exposed Rome and the Pope : 
whereupon appears The THIRD angel, (v. 9 12,) vehementer still : 
for Luther and his followers avowed, That all who cleave to the 
doctrine and superstition of Rome, " shall drink of the icraUi of 

2 s 2 


God for ever" and be certainly damned and go to hell ; for that 
her worship being " the image of the beast, was so manifestly a 
lie, that under the clear light of the gospel in that age held forth, 
it could never stand with salvation to live therein : and thus he 
urged a separation from Rome under pain of damnation. In v. 
12, 13, an intimation hereupon follows, (and that once for all,) 
concerning those martyrdoms and bloody persecutions of all the 
three angels and their followers, as the effect of their preaching, 
and as a trial of the truth of their doctrine, and of their own sin 
cerity : "Here is (matter for the trial of) the patience of the 
saints" who are comforted by this encouraging acclamation, 
" Blessed are those that die in the Lord." The book of Martyrs 
informs us what persecutions were raised upon the preaching of 
all these angels, (the church in the dark times of Popery, for 
eight centuries before, back to the times of the Pagan and Arian 
persecutions, having been unmolested ;) whence followed the 
martyrdoms of the followers of Waldus, Wickliffe, Huss, and 
Luther, and of those that embraced their doctrine, especially upon 
and after this third angel s preaching. 

Thirdly, The state of the church at the time of the Reformation, 
since Luther, Calvin, &c. is presented under the double vision of 
a harvest, and of a vintage used to come after harvesting. The 
harvest betokens that glorious peace and sunshine of the gospel, 
following the persecutions in Germany, England, &c. for more than 
sixty years, v. 14 16. The conversion and gathering in of the elect 
by preaching, is called a harvesting of souls; as in Isa.xxvii. 12. 13, 
(compare John iv. 35 39,) where God threshes the corn growing 
by the shores, so clean as to be gatherered singly, not leaving one 
grain of the election, nor one car unreaped : and what glorious 
harvest-summers of grace has Great Britain had since the third 
angel s gospel-voice, under the authority of kings and magistrates! 
Here the sickle-bearing reaper is represented " with a golden 
crown ;" Christ " the Son of man" being visibly set in the 
throne, ruling Christian magistrates who use their influences for 
him : the like expressions are found when the emperors turned 
Christians; see c. vi. 2, with xii. 5. The Vintage, (v. 17 20,) 
after the harvest of the Reformation, at the end of summer, shuts 
up the story of the two visions; wherein after the gathering in of the 
corn, God falls upon the wild grapes and cuts them down with 
the sharp sickle of vengeance, casting them into " the wine-press 
of God s wrath: " These arc carnal Protestants who have 
enjoyed the heat of this fair long summer, and hung like grapes 
in the sun ; but retaining their sourness, have been ripened only 
for wrath and vengeance. This sharp sickle hath gone up and 
down in Germany for well nigh twenty years, from A.D. 1620, 
followed by such a wine-press of pure wrath, and such a treading 
down to such an overflow of blood and misery, as hath scarce been 
parallelled in any age; for it is "the vengeance of the temple" de- 

REV. 14. 17 20.] UNDER THE REFORMATION. 613 

filed by a profane mixture, vvhereunto her executioner is provoked 
by the cries of " an angel that came from the altar," zealous for the 
ordinances of God s worship ; and as indignant that his temple 
and altar should be pestered and defiled with such as call them 
selves the church, (saying, " The temple of the Lord," &c. and 
so causing God s name to be blasphemed,) as that idol-Papists 
(called Gentiles, c. xi. 1,) should tread down his holy city and 
sanctuary ; for all are as bad as Gentiles " who say they are Jews 
and are not, but do lie," c. iii. 9. Now that the vengeance here 
should be meant of this execution of it upon the Protestant 
party, (or enemies within the church,) seems evident from its 
wine-press being trodden " without the city," or jurisdiction of 
Rome ; and from its being mentioned apart from the vials on the 
Turkish and Popish party, that follow : and although, so far as 
there hath befallen, (through the German wars,) a plague on the 
Popish party, (the emperor and these Popish princes under him,) 
this wrath is to be reduced to one of the vials containing all the last 
plagues on the Papacy, specially the fourth ; yet so far as these 
wars have brought miseries and desolation on the Protestant party, 
it is represented by this vintage : and therefore it is the angel 
" who had power overjire" (as the angel of the waters hath the 
third vial,) because he hath power " to scorch men with fire," 
(c. xvi. 5 8,) it is he incites this angel here to cut down these 
grapes with his sharp sickle, and tread them : So that this vintage 
though contemporaneous, is a distinct execution from that of the 
fourth vial : these wars so far as they hurt the Popish party, being 
the fourth vial, and so far as they hurt the Protestant party, they 
are the famous vintage here meant, (as in Isa. Ixiii. 1 ,) trodden by 
the famous German war-horses : and the " thousand six. hundred 
furlongs " may agree with the dimensions of the chief seat of these 
wars in the Protestant part of Germany : But God may bring this 
wine-press into other vineyards, as England, Scotland,&c. treading 
down our grapes, or theirs, by bloody wars, keeping still to the same 
proportion of furlongs, (as Brightman reckons the length of 
England,) and fulfilling it over and over in other several Protes 
tant kingdoms and dominions : only this may be more confidently 
affirmed, That the rest of those carnal Protestants in England, 
and other places, shall yet, before the expiration of the beast s 
kingdom and " number," be more or less given up to the Papists, 
and to the jurisdiction of Rome ; being trodden down and made to 
vail to them, if not all of them by bloody wars and conquests, 
yet by some base and unworthy yielding to them, as a just 
punishment of their carnal profession of the gospel : This we see 
they begin to do in England, as foretold, c. xi. 1 ; which chapter 
being a fore-running signal of the beast s ruin, and the now 
approaching expiration of his twelve hundred and sixty years 
reign, presents the state of the church just before ; and the setting 
down what should befall it, c. xi. 7 13, must belong to these 


times, as to be subjoined to this fourteenth chapter, (though 
coming in there as a common signal of the ending of both pro 
phecies, and therefore standing between both,) to make the story 
of the church complete : and this I shall handle after opening the 
meaning of the first four vials especially, which though for order 
put by the Holy Ghost with the rest, (as in this book things of a 
sort use to be,) after this chapter; yet they have been a pouring 
forth upon the beast and his company, from that first preaching 
of the gospel until now : and these vials I would open before c. xi. 
as synchronizing with this chapter, and because four vials are 
poured out, (c. xi.) before the slaying of the witnesses ; which 
cannot be understood till these be first explained. 


The Holy Ghost having thus first of all shewed how the Re 
formation from Popery was to be brought about, and churches 
erected, here begins to lay before us the uniform state of believ 
ers, in this temple, and the several degrees of their ruining the 
false church by several vials : and this, as set together in one 
continued view throughout all these times, since the first separa 
tion from Popery until Christ s kingdom. Concerning which in 
general, I shall premise three things : First, The difference of 
their condition here, and of the churches under the dark times of 
Popery, as is uniformly described c. xiv. 1 5. 1st, Those in 
c. xiv. were virgins, but not separate ; but these stand here alone 
in a temple by themselves, washing themselves from the defile 
ments of Popery, as separated therefrom. 2dly, Those sung a 
new song confusedly, but these sing " the song of Moses and the 
Lamb," (law and gospel,) distinctly. 3dly, Those there stood 
naked on the hill of Zion ere a temple was reared thereon ; but 
these here are gathered into a temple, and roofed over their 
heads. 4thly, Those sung their song in Egypt ; but these are 
come out of Egypt, and so sing Moses song. Secondly, These 
seven angels and their vials, and this company here, are called 
in the preface to their general description, v. 1, " Another sign 
great and marvellous." 1st, It is a sign, which always fore-runs 
something to come, as here v. 5, " After (these vials) the temple 
of the tabernacle of the testimony was opened in heaven ;" these 
vials then are the sign of that glorious Holy of holies to come 
after, or of the new Jerusalem and of Christ s coming ; as " the 
sign of the Son of man," spoken of in Matt. xxiv. 30 ; the pro 
phets also describing his progress with plagues and pestilence 
preceding ; and therefore at the approach of the last vial, c. xvi. 
J5, warning is given, " Behold, I come as a thief." 2dly, It is 
another sign ; that in c. xii. 3, being the devil s expulsion from 
Heathenism, this from Popery at Christ s coming to set up his 
kingdom : so that we of this ago stand in the midst of the times 


of those vials, and so may see how much of Christ s train is gone 
before, and what is to come after, himself being to come in the 
rear of all. Thirdly, They are all called " The last plagues :" 
Christ had three sorts of enemies to subdue by three several 
sorts of plagues ; 1st, Satan and his false worship, together with 
the Heathenish empire ; despatched by the six seals, c. vi. 
2dly, The Roman empire, ruined by the six trumpets. 3dly, 
The Pope in the west, and the Turk in the east, who succeed in 
the place of the eastern and western empires : for whom he hath 
prepared seven vials, or last plagues on these last enemies. 

To descend more particularly to the several contents of this 
chapter, There are two things here eminently presented to our 
view : The church, or company of believers standing in the 
temple, described v. 2, 3, 4, 8 ; and The angels, who are execu 
tioners of the vials out of that temple, described v. 6, 7. First, 
For the company from among whom the angels come : 1st, They 
have a temple over their heads, continually "filled with smoke," 
as in 1 Kings viii. 10, 1 1 ; Ex. xl. 34, 35 ; to shew that during the 
vials there should be new editions and erections and reformations 
of this temple ; unto all which God still gives the testimony of 
his presence : as 1, In the first separation from Popery, when true 
churches were set up by the Waldenses ; and smoke rilled their 
temples. 2, In the Reformation under Luther and Calvin, when 
there was a further edition of the temple ; and smoke filled it 
afresh. 3, In that after Reformation and casting away the out 
ward court, in c. xi. 1, when smoke will afresh fill these new 
measured temples also ; God still giving new testimonies of his 
presence, as there come forth new editions of purer churches. 2dly, 
They are stationed in the temple " upon a sea of glass," (v. 2, 
with c. iv. 6,) in allusion to Solomon s brazen sea for the priests ; 
shewing, That this company of believers whence the vials issue, 
should more and more purify themselves in their several ages 
from Antichristian defilements of doctrine and worship : and as 
they discover many and further defilements in their several suc 
cessions, they are still presented as coming forth out of the sea of 
glass from the washing, afresh and anew, purer and purer, until 
they become a bride fully prepared for their Lord and King. 
3dly, They become victors through pouring forth these vials, 
and in the end shall fully prevail " over the beast, and his image, 
and his mark, and over the number of his name" (v. 2,) these 
being the more gross or refined degrees of Popery and Autichris- 
tianism ; all which also they gradually and successively go on to 
discover and to overcome, until they have got a full and perfect 
conquest over all by the time these vials are all poured out. 
Mr. Brightman understands it not of this company getting a 
complete victory over all those before the vials began, but only 
successively and conjunctively, as generally descriptive of what 
they should effect by the expiration of their whole time, being 


victorious after the efl usion of their vials : so in v. 1, " In them 
is Jilted up, (fulfilled) the wrath of God," meaning, that when 
they are all emptied, God s wrath will be thoroughly exercised 
and fulfilled through them and by them : so here is not a full 
victory previously, but in and through the pourings out of these 
vials obtained ere their expiration ; themselves being the means 
of their conquest ; for each degree of which victory they sing a 
triumphant song : for, 4thly, " They sing the song of Moses," 
(Ex. xv.) after drowning the Egyptians, (Papists,) in the Red 
Sea, when the fifth vial comes ; the former vials being in allusion 
to the plagues of Egypt : but after that they will sing the marriage- 
song of the Lamb, (c. xix. 6, 7,) coming in after Rome s funeral- 
song under the fifth vial, c. xviii. Or, Moses song, (Deut. xxxii.) 
being doctrinal, it may refer to the doctrine of the gospel now 
beginning to be more clearly taught ; which is here therefore 
still called a song ; and though in the dark ages of Popery, God s 
elect " sung as it were a new song, differing from Popish doc 
trine : yet was it so confusedly " that none could learn that song: 
but now that they have " the everlasting gospel to preach," 
(see c. xiv. 3, 6,) they sing Moses song and the Lamb s, distinct 
ly, preaching the law and the gospel clearly and rightly ; "for 
thy judgments, (or justifications, DICAIOOMATA, as Rom. viii. 4,) 
are made manifest" \. 4; (justification by Christ, and the work of 
redemption, being eminently revealed and made known in 
the time of these vials :) These do besides set up Christ both 
in himself and in relation to his church, as " The Lord Al 
mighty," and thus her only ruler ; " The King of Saints," and 
thus her only law-giver ; " The only Holy One," and thus the 
fountain of all her grace, at once to be believed in and worship 
ped: They magnify, nor saints, nor temples, nor the Pope, nor 
any else ; but say, (as Jer. x. 7, in opposition also to false gods, 
" Who will not fear thee," ? worshipping after God s own ways in 
his own word, and not after men s inventions and superstitions ; 
for "just and true are thy ways" see v. 3, 4. Secondly, For 
the description of these angels and their preparation to pour out 
the vials, v. 6, 7, (see c. xvi.) They are " cloathed in white" as 
priests, and " girt with golden girdles " of alacrity, strength, sin 
cerity, and truth : and " one of the four beasts," (church-officers,) 
is said to give to the angels these vials, filled up, in their several 
successions, by theirs and the church s prayers, (c. v. 8 ;) the 
plagues executed being in the vials ; (as in Ps. Ixxv. 8, " there 
is a cup in the hand of the Lord," as Rome s sin is " a cup of 
abominations," c. xvii. 4 ;) and the vials being "full of the wrath 
of God that liveth for ever and ever;" for that these plagues being 
spiritual as well as corporal, (as I shall shew,) are but the be 
ginnings of an everlasting wrath, as Sodom s is called by Jude, 
" an everlasting fire." Again, These vials " come out of the 
temple, " or Christian churches, which some have mistaken for 


" the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony," (v. 5,) which is 
the Holy of holies, and the opening of which relates only to the 
discovery of the ark therein, the vials having been previously 
poured out, as in c. xi. 5, 6, 19; the fifth being after the rising 
of the witnesses ; and the sixth is the passing away of the second 
woe ; the seventh also being the same as the seventh trumpet ; 
and then, The most holy place is unvailecl : So here this taberna 
cle is opened " after these things" (or vials ;) META TAUTA in this 
book always shewing successive performances and different 
visions, as in c. iv. 1 ; vii. 9 ; and the mention of it comes in here 
only to shew the event of these vials. This temple of the priests 
whence the angels issue, being "filled with smoke from the glory 
of God and from his power" betokens God s special, glorious, 
and powerful presence in and w y ith the church during the times of 
the vials : and this smoke, (of which that at the dedication of the 
temple was a sign,) signifies 1st, The divine presence in Christian 
assemblies, (as foreshown in Isa. iv. 5,) and God s glory, as in Isa. 
vi. 1 ; making together "his glorious presence." 2dly, The divine 
defence and protection "from the power of the Lord" as in Isa. 
iv. 5, 6. 3dly,The divine offence, as in Ps. xviii. 8 : and so one pro 
bable meaning of " No man was able to enter into the temple" is, 
That whereas God poured forth and rained abroad upon the enemies 
of his church plague-vials of wrath, (against which this temple 
and the horns of its altar, were the only refuge and covert,) he so 
hardens his Popish enemies, (as we read in the vials,) that they 
are kept from joining his temple, and so perish by the plagues, 
not entering in " till the seven plagues were fulfilled" \. e. 
never ; for so "until " signifies also in Gen. viii. 7 ; 1 Sam. xv. 35 ; 
Ps. cxii. 8 ; Matt. i. 25 ; Acts iii. 21. 


THE LAST TWO VIALS, following the execution of the five first 
in v. 1 11, do fall on the beast, (the Pope and his adherents,) 
whom God plagues by degrees, as he did the Egyptians, until 
the fifth vial falling eminently on Rome, the seat of the beast, 
so darkens his kingdom and despoils it of its glory and power, 
(although it may remain for Christ himself at his coming, under 
the seventh vial, to have the last blow at him, and the full glory 
of the conquest,) as that the period of his power to do, [POIEIN 
c. xiii. 5,] for forty-two months, is there set, and the date of his 
lease expired: these therefore being further off to come, (the seventh 
vial and the preparation unto it, from v. 13, belonging to, and im 
mediately making way for the kingdom of Christ,) I shall but 
briefly touch upon and despatch them first: the others, (especially 
the fourth and fifth,) concerning these times, and chiefly serving 
for the opening of the eleventh chapter, 1 shall treat more large 
ly upon. 


THE SIXTH VIAL, v. 12, is " upon the great river Euphrates" 
(i. e. the first seat of the Turk, [c. ix. 14, Is. viii. 7,] which the 
sixth trumpet left standing in the east,) which is to be " dried 
up, that the way of the kings of the east might be pre 
pared^ and so the Jews go to re-possess their own land, as in 
Isa. xii. 13 16. 

THE SEVENTH VIAL, v. 17, is general, upon " the air" or 
whole power of Satan, (Eph. n. 2,) all the world over : The relics 
both of Turk and Pope, and of all the church s enemies everywhere, 
(as in v. 14,) mustering all their forces against the Christians in 
the west and the Jews in the east, and being overcome by Christ 
himself and his armies, (as in c. xix. 11 21,) explain this last 
vial on the world ; the fifth vial, (the most eminent on the beast,) 
being explained in v. 18. Now for the true understanding of 

THE FIRST FIVE VIALS, upon the beast Antichrist and his 
adherents, I shall premise these seven things : 1st, Their times 
began with the first separation from Rome in c. xiv. 6, and thus 
contain all those steps and degrees of ruining Antichrist, first 
and last, from the church s onset to come out and separate from 
this Egypt ; to whose plagues the first three vials allude, as in 
the next premise : Besides, All these discoveries of the whore s 
nakedness, and the falling off of these kingdoms from her, 
(although they for a time should begin to court her again,) must 
surely be reckoned among the vials, being almost as great plagues 
as will yet befall her, except that of her last ruin : Again, In the 
vintage of c. xiv. the angel of the fourth vial is mentioned, the 
times after which must belong to the three preceding vials ; and 
the Holy Ghost hath not left us without some character to dis 
cern the time of their beginning, whether at the harvest, or at the 
voices of these angels that made the separation ; the song of the 
church, in the story of that chapter, when the vials begin, being 
(as in c. xv. 4,) " Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify 
thy name ? for all nations shall come and worship before thee, 
for thy judgments are made manifest," &c. this being one of the 
two meanings, That the plagues of these vials now beginning, 
God s judgment are being made manifest. Now the voice and mes 
sage of the first angel, (who began the separation from Antichrist, 
and the preaching everywhere,) unto all nations (c. xiv. 6, 7,) is, 
" Fear God and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment 
Is come ; and worship him who hath made heaven and earth :" 
.his was but the beginning to warn Antichrist and his company 
of the vials approaching ; but by the second angel s voice we 
find that the first vial began as the effect of these two angels 
preaching ; for that voice not only calls Rome Babylon, and dis 
covers the Pope to be Antichrist, but says " Babylon is fallen, 
is fallen :" i. e. the foundation of her ruin is laid ; the superstitious 
world not before suspecting this " man of sin," 2 Thes. ii. 3 10 : 
so the western empire is reckoned as taken away at the beginning 


of the wars of the Goths, and when the first of the ten kingdoms 
was broken off from the empire, A.D. 410, (as in p. 603 ;) and the 
Pope may from that time be reckoned to rise with his ten horns, 
though his ten kingdoms were not fully erected for forty years 
after, and the power of the western empire not wholly extinct till 
seventy years after : So Isa. xxi. 9, speaks in the same words of 
old Babylon, when the Medes t first revolted, and began to set up 
a kingdom of their own, which was afterwards thereby to destroy 
her : Thus the first open and professed revolts from Rome made 
by our predecessors, laid the foundation of her fall in this begin 
ning of the first of the vials ordained to ruin her. 2dly, These 
vials are expressed in allusion to the plagues of Egypt, which at 
first not so great, ended in the Egyptians being drowned in the 
red sea, as these terminate in the subversion of Antichrist s seat : 
The first is upon the earth, effecting a very noisome and grie 
vous sore on those with the beast s mark, in allusion to the 
dust thrown in the air, causing a botch on man and beast in 
Egypt: The second is on the sea, and " on the waters thereof;" 
and as the Egyptian rivers were turned by Moses into blood, so 
The third doth also turn to blood " the rivers and fountains ;" both 
being bloody vials : The fourth is upon the sun, and " tormen- 
teth men with fire, like Sodom, (as the Antichrist-state is called, 
c. xi. 5, 6 ;) or in allusion to Num. xvi. 35. 3dly, As in the 
trumpets the Holy Ghost compared the empire to a world, so 
the several parts of the beast s kingdom to be plagued are here 
compared to several parts of the world : and as the first four 
trumpets, (on the earth, sea, rivers, and sun,} were so many 
degrees of ruining the western empire, so are these vials of 
ruining the beast s world or empire : and as it was there shewed, 
that kingdoms or bodies of men are in scripture usually compared 
to a world, with its heaven and earth and sun and stars, &c. so 
in the Pagan and Papal empire, and its parts and divisions. 
4thly, The Pope and his company in c. xiii. were resembled by a 
double beast, one representing the political state of the ten king 
doms, making it one body under that head ; the other, the 
spiritual state of his church and clergy, making up a distinct 
body under one high-priest and spiritual head : so this his earth 
and rivers and sun, (the parts of these his kingdoms,) according 
to the analogy of this representation, may be interpreted either 
politically or spiritually. 5thly, The beast s kingdom being 
called "spiritually, Sodom and Egypt ,"in c. xi. 8, in referrence to 
those very plagues of the vials there enumerated, v. 5, 6 ; as it 
is a state claiming spiritual jurisdiction in spiritual things, and 
over " the souls of men," (c. xviii. 13,) and in things outward 
and political in order to things spiritual, In Ordine Ad Spiri- 
tualia ; these plagues- vials on this Egyptian and Sodomitish city 
must therefore be spiritual on the souls of Antichrist s adherents, 
as well as outward ; " the righteous Lord," (v. 5,) proportioning 


their plagues to their sins, and so " doubling unto her double 
according to her works," c. xviii. 6. It is not enough that this 
monarchy be ruined only outwardly ; for this beast hath sinned in 
assuming spiritual power, pomp, and glory, as well as external 
dominion, in Christ s name ; she traded in spirituals, as well as 
" in gold and precious stones," &c. and therefore the highest 
judgment in both shall befall her; as "hardness of heart" was 
called " a sending all God s plagues on the Egyptians hearts." I 
mention the first four vials especially, as enumerated in c. xi. 5, 6, 
where they are spiritual, as here they are outward plagues ; and 
so both are included. 6thly, Though the vials are successive, 
and have a precise time for their eminent effusion and execution, 
yet sprinklings of the one may continue under the following ; as the 
sores under the first vial are mentioned under the fifth, v. 11 ; so 
the blasphemy of the fourth vial is heightened under the fifth : 
again, some droppings of a succeeding vial may begin in the pre 
ceding, as before the strength and fulness of a storm : though 
the fulness of each vial hath a special time in its due order of 
succession. 7thly, All the plagues on the Popish party, first and 
last, are reducible to one of these vials ; for they are " the last 
plagues (c. xv. 1,) in which the wrath of God is fulfilled" upon 
that party : and so every drop and sprinkling of wrath and vex 
ation poured out, goes to fill up some vial or other, as a part of it. 

THE FIRST VIAL, v. 2, is principally on the beast s earth, the 
lowest part of his spiritual and political kingdom, and was the 
effect of the first two angels preaching, and specially the second, 
in c. xiv. for the preaching of the gospel and the discovery of the 
Pope to be that Antichrist, drew away many inferior subjects 
in all the ten kingdoms of his political earth ; so that his autho 
rity and interest throughout Europe w r as weakened, and the 
number of his worshippers lessened ; all the world not now going 
after the beast without contradiction, as they were wont : This 
vial affected also his spiritual earth, or clergy; for by the preaching 
of the Waldenses, the uncleanness, idleness, and hypocrisy, of 
the priests, monks, and nuns, (the beast s enchanters,) were dis 
covered ; and these cast dust in their faces, as Moses did, so that 
" there jell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men that had 
the mark of the beast" viz. his clergy, who being exempted from 
the civil power, are his special subjects and sworn vassals, 
receiving from him an indelible character by ordination, (see p. 
599,) and who " tvorshiped his image? as upholders of his idola 
trous doctrine : Now all those first gospellers, before Luther, made 
it the chief subject and end of all their writings and disputes, to 
render odious and vile the Pharisaical Popish clergy : Nor was 
this judgment merely outward, in a discovery of the shame of 
their hateful and abominable iniquities, thus making way in all 
men s hearts for their ruin ; but the light of these preachers proved 
a curse in order to their breaking forth in filthiness and botches; 


God giving them up, in judgment for shutting their eyes against 
the gospel, to the curse of all uncleanuess, Sodomy &c. so as to 
commit all sin, and that with more greediness than ever, as did 
the Gentiles, in Rom. i. 24, &c. 

THE SECOND VIAL, v. 3, is upon the sea, on the third angel s 
preaching, &c. Luther and his followers ; who being raised up 
to a still greater light, became a further plague both upon the 
political and spiritual sea of the beast, or his jurisdiction over 
many people, (as in p. 593,) those " peoples, and multitudes, 
and nations, and tongues," in c. xvii. 15. Now after Luther s 
preaching and his followers, not only particular persons (as before) 
were divided from the Pope, but whole nations were rent from 
him, (as England, Germany, Sweden, Scotland, &c.) and his sea 
lessened by a third part and more ; some of the ten horns of the 
beast being wrung off, as when members are divided from the 
body, and " as the blood of a dead man :" and because the Popish 
faction could no longer, through the alteration of religion by 
law, live quietly, soberly, and peaceably in their idolatrous wor 
ship, " every living -soul died in the sea" thus divided from him ; 
there was no free living or breathing for them in those seceding 
kingdoms : His spiritual sea also had a vial poured upon it, 
even his abominable doctrine and worship, purgatory, indulgen 
ces, merit, fyc. in which sea his merchants (the priests) had 
brought in gain both to themselves and to the Pope s custom-house, 
c. xviii. 15. this sea is turned into putrifying blood of a corpse, 
so that those who, after such a clear light of the gospel, will still 
continue in that damnable doctrine, die and perish eternally, as 
again in v. 3, and as in c. xiv. 9 11, where the third angel prea- 
cheth, not only with the former angel, That Rome is Babylon, but 
That " if any worshipped the beast or his image, the same should 
drink of the wine of God s wrath" in hell, where "the smoke of 
their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever;" for they shall be 
sure to be all damned who know the truth but embrace it not : 
and this was a further spiritual judgment on them, beyond what 
their doctrine was unto them in former times, wherein men 
remaining through ignorance, many more of them were then saved 
than now there arc. 

THE THIRD VIAL, v. 4 7, is upon " the rivers and fountains," 
serving to enlarge, or anywise recover or sweeten his sea again by 
their influx. 1st. These "fountains" are the lesser springs, 
Kither, spiritual ones ; (for when the Egyptians waters were 
turned into blood, they dug fountains and wells, which were 
turned by Moses into blood : and so when the Papists sea is be 
come bloody, they dig fountains of their writings to live in ; their 
writers since the Reformation, labouring with their learning and 
eloquence to sweeten and make good some of their sea-waters 
again ; [but in vain ;] our writers again confuting them and turning 
all into blood, as it was before ; so that those among them that 

022 THE FOURTH VIAL. [REV. XVI. 8, 9. 

shall read both, must be convinced that they will be damned, 
[2 Thes. ii. 12,] if they persist still in their doctrine :) Or, temporal 
and political also, such as the Jesuits and others, who have at 
tempted in all those seceded kingdoms, to restore his lost power 
and jurisdiction: and many of the lesser springs, (individuals 
among them,) have been turned into blood, by the enactment of 
laws, (in England, A.D. 1581 and 1605 ; in Holland, A.D. 1586 ; 
in France, A.D. 1584;) cutting off many of them, and "giving 
them the blood of martyrdom to drink ;" so that they have a 
martyrology as well as we; and are justly rewarded, as cries, " the 
angel from the altar" (v. 7,) viz. the true worshippers and 
priests of the altar, whose prayers having procured these edicts, 
they now return praise to God s justice in retaliating to them 
and on them : for " the altar 1 here and c. xiv. 18, may signify 
worship, as it doth martyrdom in c. vi. 9. 2dly, These "rivers" 
and greater streams, are those armadoes and navies from out of 
the sea of these kingdoms that continue still to uphold the beast, 
endeavouring to lay all kingdoms into this one sea again ; as 
the Spaniards, sent out to regain Rome s jurisdiction against 
England, A.D. 1588, and against Holland often since, but still 
defeated ; as was also that navy, A.D. 1639, being a sprinkling 
of this vial still going on in those times of 

THE FOURTH VIAL, " upon the sun," v. 8, 9; and to the angel- 
executer " power wets given to scorch men with fire? effecting 
their blasphemy. Here is, The effusion of this vial on the sun, 
and, The scorching with Jire the beast s adherents ; which I still 
interpret of plagues, the one outward, the other spiritual, on the 
Popish party : 1st, " He poured out his vial on the sun? meaning 
the more illustrious light, or prince, adhering to the Popish party, 
and shining in his political heaven, whereof he is the great god, 
or Jupiter ; being either the emperor, or the king of Spain ; or 
both, as of the same house of Austria ; those German wars, (then 
about A.D. 1639,) issuing in ruin, when the Popish party should 
once have had blood enough given them to drink ; for the Ger 
man empire was for eight centuries the most eminent principality 
in Europe, and in general the most staunch supporter of the 
Pope, whose creation it was, as set up in Charlernain, that stm in 
his firmament : the ruin of the emperor, his first-born, must there 
fore be a special plague on the the Papal seat. Mr. Mede 
thought this vial to have been in execution in that great prevailing 
of the king of Sweden against the emperor, whose glorious 
victories may well be a vial, if not to throw down from his heavens, 
yet to darken this sun, as that he should never recover his glory 
and splendour, though perhaps unextirpated. Others interpret 
this vial of the Pope s own power and authority, temporal and 
spiritual, setting in obscurity, (as in Is. Ix. 20, Jer. xv. 9,) for the 
decretals of princes style the Pope and the emperor, the two great 
luminaries in heaven : but how hath this glory been waning 

REV. XVI. 8, 9.] THE FOURTH VIAL. 623 

inore and move in the consciences of his own vassals, and in the 
eyes of princes once subject ? France denies the Pope that 
absolute power he once challenged ; and the Pope hath been 
but the moon to the king of Spain, (borrowing light from him, 
and flattering other princes who once flattered him, and were 
excommunicated at his pleasure,) and as his chaplain made of use 
for his own acquiring universal monarchy. 2dly, " And power 
was given him (the angel, not the sun,) to scorch men with fire ;" 
referring to a greater height of spiritual plagues inflicted on 
all who continued to adhere to the Pope in these his declining 
times, especially on those of the learned among them, who 
took pains to write for him, or re-introduce his authority with 
those European kingdoms again, where the light of the gospel 
shone so as to have convinced them of it long since; "their sea 
being turned into blood" and discovered to be corrupt; "their 
springs, (their writings so clearly confuted,) turned into blood " 
also ; so that they who labour to bring in Popery again, living in 
those kingdoms, must resist their own light and knowledge : and 
to permit so presumptuous and despiteful a " rebellion against 
the light," thus age after age increasing, this vial-angel hath 
power " to scorch men with fire" proceeding out of the mouth 
of the witnesses by prophesying, so that men are killed with a 
witness, for their wilfulness ; as in c. xi. 5, will be more fully 
expounded. In both places the allusion is either unto the fire 
of Sodom, or unto that in Lev. x. 1, 2, or in Num. xvi. to which 
Heb x. 26 28 refers, as in the Supplement will be more fully 
expounded. That such wilful or other presumptuous sinning 
against knowledge, accompanied with terror, is here meant, 
appears also by men s " blaspheming the name of God who hath 
power over these plagues :" Now blaspheming the Holy Ghost, 
or his workings in others, (knowing they are his works, as these here 
know they are his plagues,) is the very spirit of this sin ; and 
then final impenitency is also added, as here, " they repented not :" 
And this plague goes on in the fifth vial, under which sinning 
against knowledge grows to a further height ; for they are so scorch 
ed," that they gnaw their tongues," as men in hell. That under this 
vial the sin against the Holy Ghost grows very rife and common 
by reason of the abundance of light and conviction shining in the 
churches, hath long been the observation of godly men who have 
had senses exercised to discern spirits growing in rage and mad 
ness, beyond the supposal of any other principle that should act 
them in their warped and eccentric motion, and violent proceed 
ings : and it is easy to conceive how many learned Jesuits should 
come to commit this sin ; for bred up in their younger years in 
ways of devotion, they have truth and light enough to give them 
" a taste of the powers of the world to come," (Heb. vi. 5,) yet 
after studying and discerning the truth of our writings, for worldly 
ends, they wilfully go against it, and despise it, being justly 

624 THE FOURTH VIAL. [llEV. XVI. 8, 9. 

abandoned to malicious wickednesss, and growing worse and 
worse under increasing light : and as the feeble light of the first 
vial being resisted, God gave them up to gross sins ; their doc 
trine under the clearer shining of the second and third vial 
becoming more damnable, God also rose higher in his plagues, 
and by striking hell-fire into their consciences, sealed up reproba 
tion unto them : and thus it became him not to leave these 
murderers and opposers of the saints and holy witnesses of God 
in all ages, till many of them were given up to this highest sinning 
and fullest measure of iniquity, before the final ruin of the .Popish 
kingdom and state ; like as the Pharisees in their last age, on 
whom were brought the punishments of all their forefathers killing 
his prophets in Jerusalem, for the despite done by them to 
Christ s ministry. But above all, it is as hard not to think, as it 
is hard to be thought, that such apostates are guilty of " the 
great transgression," who having lived and been brought up "in 
the land of uprightness," (Isa. xxvi. 10,) yet becoming of the 
Popish party, "will not behold the majesty of the Lord" shining 
round about them, but relinquish the truth they were educated 
in, and would bring in the worship and doctrine of the beast and 
whore, after so clear a light and powerful preaching so long 
enjoyed, and growing brighter then ever towards the latter end 
of the harvest and summer ; yet, " speaking lies in hypocrisy," 
(1 Tim. iv. 2,) they deny this to be their aim, though their deeds 
do manifest it, so that all the world accounts them Popish, and 
of the Popish faction, (thus meriting the title of " The number 
of his name,") being spirits such as Rome hath not worse, in 
malice and enmity against God s witnesses ; for their venom, 
rage, subtility, and under-hand opposing the saints, do cause 
the godly to suspect them of that " sin unto death ;" and indeed 
what other principle could act men so ? for the Pharisees were 
brought up in darkness and ignorance of the righteousness of 
God and of the Messiah, when the ministry of John and Christ 
came upon them, and called upon them to acknowledge and 
embrace the Son, whom they never acknowledged ; yet they 
sinned against the Holy Ghost by smothering that new light, 
which set up Christ alone, and put all men out of credit : But 
these men, (compare p. 599, &c. ) in this our age, have been 
brought up in the contrary truth and light ; and they have 
both professed it, subscribed to it, and preached it ; and yet they 
love this darkness of Popery, and embrace this cursed harlot, 
and would bring her into their tents "in the face of Moses and of 
the whole congregation," (as in Num. xxv. 6,) and they loathe the 
truth of the gospel and of the faith they once received, and that in 
the face of the clearest sun-shine and light round about them. 
One would think God should destroy them visibly ; but they 
must do a great exploit for him first ; their further destiny is, to 
kill the witnesses for this their scorching them through the 

REV. XVI. 10, 11. j THE FIFTH VIAL. 620 

powerful testimony of their lives and prophecies, and so be eveii 
with them, and overcome them yet before the fifth vial comes : 
and though as yet they have not got a full victory, yet they are 
now a making vvar,and shall prevail, and banish and disperse them 
among tongues and nations throughout Europe. But under the 
fifth vial, these witnesses in the end shall again have overcome 
this last of all the beast s company and champions to be over 
come, " the number of his name," and " the names of men" 
(ONOMATA ANTHROOPOON, c. xL 13, with xv. 2,) who shall be killed 
instead of the witnesses at their resurrection, as the first degree 
and preparation to 

THE FIFTH VIAL " upon the (throne or) seat of the beast" 
v. 10, 1 1, which is Rome, the old seat of the dragon, the Heathen 
ish idolatrous empire, as openly governed by Satan, and afterwards 
resigned to the Pope at his first rising, c. xiii. 2. The Sybils 
prophesied of Rome s again becoming a sheep-cote ; and the Holy 
Ghost, (c. xviii. 2, 21,) of her being "thrown down as a mill-stone, 
and no more found at all, but become the habitation of devils 
only, and the dwelling of every foul spirit for ever." Of this vial 
we may say, " Now it speaketh plainly and not in parables," as 
before, (John xvi. 29 ;) only as the other vials are to be taken in 
the largest sense, (though not spiritually or figuratively,) so I 
think this is : and as the second beast, (c. xiii.) is not the Pope 
only, but the body of the clergy under their head ; so the seat 
of the beast may be other sees, besides the see of Rome in Italy 
and elsewhere, cleaving to the number and company of the 
beast, who are here under the fifth vial tumbled down from their 
usurped seats, thrones, and dignities, together with this their 
head, whose whole kingdom is now become "full of darkness" 
and obscurity : and although the Popcdom remains to be de 
stroyed by the seventh vial, yet its glory is here reckoned as gone 
and taken from him ; and he is now reserved alive only for a fur 
ther and more glorious execution : his seven-headed kingdom is 
no longer accounted of, and his period is at an end with this fall 
of Rome. 


To present Rome in all her bravery, before her ruin, c. xvii. is 
added ; and c. xviii. sings a solemn, stately, and triumphant song 
for her destruction. Now that the Holy Ghost should make the 
ruin of this long-reigning city such a triumph above all things 
else in this book, imports, That the last fatal period of the fourth 
monarchy, (with Rome fouits seat, and the beast for its last head,) 
is here reckoned as good as at an end ; though he may yet make 
troublesome resistance after the sixth vial, but not reign any more ; 

2 T 


else the Holy Ghost would have reserved himself till after the 
seventh vial, and not have raised the shout of triumph before an 
assured victory. But another manner of triumph is to come, 
more high and glorious, for the marriage of the Lamb; when Rome 
and the beast will be forgotten ; and therefore God ordained it to 
be performed at the funeral of the great whore : and two chapters 
being spent in setting forth the pageants of the church s triumph 
over Rome, surely here ends her great kingdom, and here begins 
the church s preparation for the Lamb s marriage in c. xix. Now 
c. xvii. 18, shews the whore to be Rome, for Rome is "that great 
city which reigned over the kings of the earth ;" and thus c. xvii. 
and xviii. are but a more full setting forth of the fifth, that most 
eminent and fatal of the vials upon the beast : instead therefore of 
spending time in explicating those chapters, I shall hasten to the 
exposition of the supplemental c. xi. mainly intended by me as 
con aining the state of the church in these and the approaching 
times ; and I join it next to the vials, because these vials serve 
directly to expound it ; and mentioning the first four vials, it goes 
on to shew what shall befal the churches of the Reformation under 
the fourth vial, and before the fifth, ending its appointed months 
and years. And as c. xiv. shewed the condition of the church 
within itself, to the times of the fourth vial ; so c. xi. begins where 
c. xiv. ends : hence the supplement of the story of the church s 
various and chequered condition is to be fetched, as will appear 
in the opening of it. 





i. For the better understanding of this chapter, I shall shew, 
who is the angel here spoken of; what is his purpose ; and ivhen 
he comes down here in this vision. The angel who delivers the 
contents of this chapter, (v. 1 14,) immediately by word of mouth 
to John, is CHRIST HIMSELF, for he gives power to his two wit 
nesses, (v. 3;) nor does he speak anywhere but on this occasion, and 
in c. i. and he is the same who came to Daniel at the end of his 
prophesy, where he useth the same gesture and ceremony, and the 
same oath, and that about the same thing and to the same purpose; 
see c. x. 6 with Dan. xii. 7. The prophecy of Daniel contains the 
very same matter, more obscurely, as doth that of the Revelation, 


more clearly, viz. the tyranny of the fourth Roman monarchy, and 
the oppression of the church thereby, first under the Heathenish 
empire, and then under the Pope its last head, of whom Dan. vii. 
and xi. 36 45, prophesied; after whose time expired, a fifth mo 
narchy of the saints should come in : and in both prophecies the 
time of Antichrist s reign is defined to be the same; at the end of 
which, (in this first seal-prophecy, according to the course of time 
run out,)this angel here descends in vision. Now first of all he 
renews the oath then taken, and here swears again, (c. x. 6, 7,) 
" That there should be time no longer ; but in the days of the 
seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God 
should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the pro 
phets;" see Acts iii. 21, speaking of the same reign of the church : 
These words of the angel s oath imply, that the visions of all times 
past in the former seal-prophecy, from the primitive times, having 
brought things to the last scene of the world s time, now " time 
(or delay) shall be no longer:" it is but a little, and the last sand 
drops ; the blast of the seventh trumpet will end all. Accordingly 
the angel here explains distinctly what was the Pope s time men 
tioned in his former oath to Daniel, and what was the "accomplish 
ing to scatter the power of the holy people," there made the imme 
diate fore-runner of the fulfilling of all things ; and as "willing to 
shew the immutability of his promise, he confirms it with an oath, 
that we might have a strong consolation," ( 17, 18,) speaking 
thus in effect: " I come now, beloved, after so long a while worn 
out, to bid you lift up your heads ; for time, now in the days of 
the sixth trumpet, is expiring, and my kingdom is at the doors : 
the times of the beast, ( prophesied of by Daniel,} of whom you 
shall hear more in this little book-prophecy brought with me open 
in my hand to give you, do now shortly end and determine ; the 
" time, times, and half a time," allotted the beast, (the Pope, the 
last head and king to reign in the fourth Roman monarchy,) is 
shortly to expire; and with him the times of this present oppres 
sing world : and that you, my church, may know and have 
infallible warning, when it shall be, I will both explain to you, 
How long, in DanieFs prophecy, the beast is allotted to scatter 
the power of the holy people] my witnesses; and also, Wliat shall 
be the manner of that eminent last scattering, the immediate sign 
andprecusor ofAntichrisCs ruin, and of the fulfilment of all these 
other things ; and I will shew you also, The face of the church in 
that age immediately preceding : Thus you may have together 
a true computation of the time, and also of such events (and face 
of the sky) as may be an eminent sign to you ; that when you 
see these things, then know, that the time is expiring and deter 
mining. And of this I myself do thus immediately inform you, 
because that last scattering will be so great a one, as all the faith 
you have will be put to it : and therefore also I have now in 
these times sworn to it t that you may eye my oath, and remember 

2 T 2 


// ; for even now your redemption draweth nighj nigher than 
you are aware of" 

ii. The angel here enters on the stage, and acts his part in a 
fit scene or place in this comedy, or vision of all times succes 
sively, hitherto acted before John to be by him penned for us. 
The seals and trumpets, c. vi. ix. (containing one prophecy,) 
run over all times from John unto the end ; as doth " the little 
book" in c.x. containing another prophecy of the church. Just now, 
as in the last age, and towards the expiring of the sixth trumpet s 
first revolution of all time, this angel steps in with his new or 
second prophecy in his hand ready to be delivered ; and as some 
sands of time under the first prophecy were not yet run out, he 
conveniently and admirably fills up the little interim with an 
additional discourse of his own, to inform the church what special 
occurrences were to fall out therein before the final consummation 
of all under the seventh trumpet, and thus to give warning when 
the end of both prophecies should be. The Turkish empire is still 
standing, and the sixth trumpet must be still blowing. Now the 
sixth seal had set forth an utter end of the Roman empire all it 
could ; being however to continue yet some hundreds of years 
before the blast of the seventh trumpet ; which space the angel 
here fills up with relating what special occurrences, most inti 
mately concerning his people, should fall out in the western 
church, (over which the Pope had the dominion,) now towards 
the end of both Turkish and Popish empires ; and so, in this last 
age before the ending of these times : And though such occur 
rences properly fall under the cognizance of church-matters in 
the book-prophecy, yet they are fitly introduced here between 
both prophecies, as the signal of the ending of the full course of 
both stages of times. The angel s discourse thus filling up that 
remaining time in this interlude, with what was indeed yet to fall 
out together with it, before the sixth trumpet ends ; he concludes 
with " The second woe is past," q. d. " The sixth trumpet ends 
also hereabouts ;" and then in order he blows the seventh. 

in. The manner of the angel s delivering all this to John, is as 
the narration of a chorus, or as the speech of an interlocutor in a 
comedy ; explaining by word of mouth what could not have been 
well understood by vision ; so the angel in c. xvii. also doth, 
interpreting who the whore is, as this angel interprets the times 
of her and the beast, and the tokens immediately fore-running 
the ending of them. The narration here is indeed first occasioned 
by a vision of the church s face and state in the last age of these 
iccomplishings, viz. a temple, with its surrounding outward 
ourt, and its altar within, and two witnesses standing and 
ministering before the Lord : else John could not have been bid, 

1, &c. to " rise and measure tlie temple ;" for to such supposed 
vision alone is the angel s discourse adapted: and this is made 
;.?;e first occurrence belonging to the age wherein time is to expire, 


and the ground of his discourse ; which, after explaining how 
much time the beast was to have, and how and when it should 
end, closeth again with the relation of another after-occurrence, 
and last signal of that age, (v. 7,) just as one of the vial-angels 
being to describe the beast and the whore, in all the times allot 
ted her, yet takes his rise from a vision of her, as then in her 
last old age, under the vials, " drunk with the blood of the saints," 
just before her ruin : So here this angel first enters on the stage 
as an actor, in the very declension of the sixth trumpet, under 
which he swears ; and then, (after presenting the vision of a 
measured temple, and its courts falling again unmeasured into 
the hands of the Gentiles, to tread it down, and thus " to scatter 
the power of the holy people,") he plays the part of an interlocutor, 
narrating the whole times of Popery, to expire after this their 
last revival ; and introducing also the opposition of the witnesses 
during the same, (v. 3 6 ;) till he returns back to the last catas 
trophe of the age of the commencement of his speech, (towards 
the end of the sixth trumpet;) with which he determines his 
speech about the witnesses, (v. 7, &c.) now thus made clear by 
his previous statements concerning them. 

iv. The oath in Daniel fitly accords with all here, v. 1 14 ; 
wherein there is both an interpretation of the period of time, and 
eminent events signalizing its close : for in the angel s oath, 1st, 
The beast s reign there lasts for three times and a half, and here 
for forty-two months, (of thirty days i. e. years each,) not one of 
which shall pass over, without his reigning ; and of the one 
thousand two hundred and sixty days, i. e. years, not one shall 
pass over without the sack-cloathed and oppressed saints oppo 
sing him. 2dly, The holy people in Daniel, are the two witnesses 
in Revelations, who yet, 3dly, Towards the end should obtain 
some "power of the holy people" against him : so here, v. 3, &c. 
they had power to erect a temple, (backed with a mighty party of 
an outward court;) whence they had already poured out four 
vials, so as to scorch their injurers vfiihjire, &c. v. 5, and at their 
weakest, to prevent rain, v. 6, &c. 4thly, This their power, as 
well as the people themselves, the beast should in the ending 
of that time, eminently scatter ; as the accomplishment, or last 
act of his so doing, before his ruin and their sorrows cease together : 
so here when ready to cast off their sackcloth, and " about to 
finish" (TELESOOSI) their testimony against this beast, then their 
" outward courts shall be trodden down, 1 and themselves exposed 
to the beast s fury and outrage, to be by him scattered among 
the nations and killed, where " their dead bodies shall be seen 
lying in the streets," &c. which oppression is described, v. 7 10, 
with their gathering together again, to be scattered no more 
for ever, v. 11 13. 

v. The times and events are here mentioned together, to 
shew that the whole series of ihe one should end with the other ; 

630 FIFTH [REV. xi. 

so that it is not only making a computation, but defining the peri 
od of months or days ; the angel hitting hereby the very aim of his 
former oath to Daniel, viz. the expiration of the three and half 
times, and the accomplishment of the scattering, &c. the whole 
term being fulfilled in the particular exploits this beast shall play, 
to the very eve of taking away his kingdom. In c. xiii. 5 7, The 
beast had "power to do, (POIEIN,) forty-two months," and therein 
" to make war with the saints and overcome them ; and power 
was given him over all tongues and nations and kindreds," of the 
ten European kingdoms. Now the Gentiles here, and that 
idolatrous company in c. xiii. 3, 4, that set up this power of the 
beast to be worshipped, are the same, and have the same lease of 
months ; only here is shewn how the whole term should be fulfil 
led, through all those times, and by all those wars and slaughters 
of Antichrist : For, First, The treading down of the holy city 
for twelve hundred and sixty years, comes in here upon the 
court of the temple being given up anew to the Gentiles ; as if the 
angel had said, " Cast out the court of this age, (which though it 
hath helped against the Papists to keep them off, hath yet defiled 
the churches,) and leave it out of thy measure, for it is given to 
the Gentiles in this last age to re-enter thereupon, and to get 
power over :" which last treading it down and overcoming it, 
(having before both possessed it, and then lost it from their domi 
nions,) will carry them on to the destined period of the beast s 
reign in Europe, that holy city, which is the seat of this church: 
So that, notwithsandinding intermissions and occasional losses of 
parts of their dominions, yet the last recovery of all will justify their 
claim to possesession for the whole forty-two months, first and 
last ; as in the last payment, the whole sum is mentioned as 
paid. Interpreters therefore do mistake this temple-measuring 
and its court-delivering, for the Papists possessing throughout all 
ages the face, (which they call the outward court,) of the temple, 
because "the forty-two months treading down the holy city," 
follows thereupon : as if they were to reign many years after its 
being delivered up : If so, it could not be meant of some special 
event or act relative to the church and its outward court in this 
last age of these latter times: For, 1st, Not the court, but the 
city is to be trodden down ; for the Papists were lords over the 
greater part of Europe, even when the outward court was sepa 
rated from them ; the one stands indeed in the other, as the 
temple stood in Jerusalem. 2dly, The scope of here naming 
when the term of years ceaseth, is to shew, That in this latter age 
the beast should re-enter into full power and jurisdiction 
over the holy city, by the court of the temple being again laid 
common with the rest of the city ; as a king is said to reign fifty 
years, though obliged to leave his throne for an interim of revolt: 
and so Antichrist hath his whole number of months of reigning 
from time to time ; he reigns not by days, for the Goths at first 


much interrupted the exercise of his power. 3dly, " And they 
shall tread down," &c. comes in as a reason for the court s being 
in these last times given to those Gentiles, and therefore Anti 
christ hopes by repossessing it to recover all Europe again : CAI 
also, (" and they shall," &c.) is often a causal particle, noting out 
the reason of a thing : So then the term of the Papists commission 
over all the nations and tongues of Europe, (only those exempted 
in c. xiii. 1, 8,) being leased out to them ; though the outward 
court of carnal Protestants and unregenerate hath made a separa 
tion together with the true worshippers, yet being inwardly 
Gentiles, and their names not written in the book of life, they are 
given to these Gentiles again as their allotted inheritance to be 
re-entered, the lease not being yet expired : as in a law-suit, a man 
pleads at the end of eighteen years for restoration to a part of an 
estate withheld from him under a lease of twenty-one years : so 
the court here being land within the bounds of the city, and 
belonging to the Pope by gift for so long, and his forty-two 
months lease not being expired ; therefore, he must accomplish 
to scatter the court and to tread down the city, according to the 
angel s interpretation here of his own words in Dan. xii. 7. 
Secondly, The computation by days is introduced to shew how 
this long description of the witnesses, and this numbering of 
their days, is but in order to their last accomplishment ; as v. 7, 
calls it the " when " of finishing their testimony : and as more 
than half of this discourse sets forth this their last scattering 
hereupon, it shews the scope of the former part to have been 
the same. And though the Antichrist-beast hath already had 
some famous overcomings and killing of these witnesses, yet this 
one is here singled out, (about which the whole book-prophecy is 
silent,) not perhaps for the eminency of the prevailing, but as the 
last struggle ; which also herein is eminent, that after taking away 
so much ground from the beast, and winning from him a temple 
and court set up on his own ground, he should prevail again, 
though for a short time : and such a remarkable prognostic is 
here therefore mentioned. Thirdly, The series of coherence and 
connexion of one thing with another in these first verses, is briefly 
this : The period of months for the Pope and his company to 
reign, and of days for the witnesses to prophesy in sackcloth, 
is the same ; and both refer unto the two of these last occurren 
ces in the reign of the one and the oppressed state of the other : 
1st, The whole time of treading down the holy city shall end with 
a recovery and treading down of the outward court of the temple 
of the reformed churches ; and the date is therefore added to show 
how it ends : and accordingly the vision of the temple-measuring 
is but an introduction to this last occurence. 2dly, In the date 
of days, the order is inverted ; and the whole time of the witnesses 
prophesying, is first mentioned in continuation with the whole 
time of the adversaries, (the juxtaposition of the days serving to 


elucidate the months ;) after which their last scattering comes in 
as the accomplishment of the time : and the dates go together 
also, because the witnesses are the continual opponents of these 
Gentiles, and the chief objects of their malice: CAT also, in v. 3, 
is often used adversative!} 7 , " But, 1 will give power," &c. q. d. 
" Whereas the Papists have their forty -two months for treading 
down the holy city, (Europe the chief seat of Christian profes 
sion,) from whom the Protestants have, meanwhile, won a tem 
ple and outward court ; yet to make good the period of their 
reign, they shall regain that court of the new tabernacle separa 
ted from them ; But they shall not carry it thus, unopposed by 
my two witnesses, whom I will empower to testify, though in 
sackcloth, all those days; and even in this their last treading 
down to avenge themseles with fire fyc. of these Gentiles, who 
shall yet go on, and in the end of their days prevail even over 
these Tiiy two witnesses also, so as to kill and destroy them when 
about to finish their testimony Thus though their appointed 
time comes in a good way off before, it is in order to this 
their last slaughter ; to shew, (as in Daniel,) how it should be 



i. The double computation by days and months explained, 
and why they are here set together. 

The contents of this chapter, to the fourteenth verse, are redu 
cible to three heads. I. The above double computation of times ; 
ii. The occurrences in these times of Antichrist ; in the age 
(wherein we live) just before their fatal period ; unto the accom 
plishment of which those occurrences conduce, in. The de 
scription of the two witnesses interwoven in the angel s discourse, 
in order to the explanation of what should at last befall them. 
Now for the times here mentioned : First, They are both the same 
as Daniel s "time, times, and half-a-time;" which, Secondly, Are 
shewn, by the forty-two months, to be three years and six months ; 
meaning twelve hundred and sixty years; (reckoning thirty days to 
the month, which prophetically are so many years ; as a week is 
seven years, a month thirty, a twelvemonth three hundred and sixty, 
&c.) Thus the "three days and a half" v. 11, must be so many 
years, wherein the witnesses are to lie in the view of all nations, 


(as perhaps banished among them,) their enemies meanwhile send 
ing gifts to one another. Thirdly, By thus linking the two modes of 
dating the times, they are shewn to be the same when mentioned 
also apart in c. xii. and xiii. Fourthly, Though here and in Daniel, 
only the times of the Pope s reign, (the last head of the Roman 
monarchy,) are mentioned ; (not bearing date from John s days;) yet 
the whole period of the Revelation may hereby be calculated, and 
the contemporaneousness of things in both prophecies ; the princi 
pal aim being to shew the time and end of the beast s reign, as 
c. xvii. 8, shews who he is, and what he should be at last. Now 
to demonstrate all these; 1st, This explication of the times is a 
date whence to compute the whole period of the Revelation, if we 
know either the beginning or ending of the Pope s reign : but 
c. xvii. 12, shews his rise to be one hour with the ten kings ; 
which being after A. D. 400, he must continue till after A.D. 1660, 
(see p. 603) ; and the Turk s ruin is yet to follow under " the second 
woe"ofv. 14; and then comes the new Jerusalem state of thechurch; 
whence we may conjecture the space from the incarnation to that 
fifth monarchy. 2dly, This computation shew the synchronism 
of the seal and book-prophecy; and here most fitly between them 
both; for the sixth trumpet of the seal-prophecy, (v. 14, with 
c. viii. 13,) ends with the Pope s reign, whose story belongs to 
the book-prophecy ; and the passing away of that woe is the 
sixth vial in the book-prophecy, affecting the Turk s ruin, or a 
preparation thereto by the calling of the Jews : and then the 
seventh trumpet begins with the seventh vial ; and so the beast s 
times, and the rising of the witnesses, end with the fifth vial; after 
which the sixth shall not stay long. 3dly, The division of things 
into the double series of six seals and six trumpets, is suited to 
the angel s division of all times ; the primitive being those before 
the beast s rise and reign : so that ascertaining how the two pro- 
pheciesmeet towards theirclose downward, we conjecture howthey 
run along upwards. For the seal-prophecy being branched into two 
such equal divisions of six seals, c. vi. and the six trumpets, c. viii. 
ix. the seals containing the story of the empire through all that tract 
of the primitive times before the beast, the trumpets do likely con 
tain the story of the empire during the beast s times ; and as they 
end, so they no doubt begin, not far off from each other. 4thly, 
The Holy Ghost specifies only the times of the beast, as a rule 
and measure whereby to sum and cast up the account of all the 
times of this book ; For, The beast s was to be the longest monarchy 
after Christ, and the Pope the most long-lived of all the heads of the 
Roman monarchy fore-going him ; indeed as long as from the rise 
of Rome itself, to the rise of Antichrist. 2, The matters of this 
book being not so fully to be opened " till about the time of the 
end," (as in Dan. xii. 4 ;) if the beast s times should then come to 
be known, the whole time from John downward would be known 
also by them that live in these latter days, for whose benefit and 


comfort this computation was given. 3, This last head of the 
Romish monarchy, (which but for him had failed, but was in him 
healed and restored again,) is inkling enough of the approach of 
Christ s kingdom. 4, This beast being the most eminent oppres 
sor of the church in the times after Christ ; the computation of 
this time, (beginning and ending,) and the oppression of the wit 
nesses by him, being most acceptable to be known, would be 
most enquired after by the church. 

ii. The several occurrences of measuring the temple, altar, Sfc. 
leaving out the outward court ; and of treading down the holy 
city ; towards the expiration of the above times. 

First, For a general view and division of these occurrences : 
As Christ was careful to give us the above computation of times, 
so for our comfort he relates such events to fall out towards the 
end of these times ; which is the second head to be explained, and 
it is also twofold ; The re-delivery of the outward court to the 
Gentiles, with the treading down of which ends their reign of the 
time of the city s treading down ; and, The killing of the witnesses, 
which terminates in particular the days of sackcloth -prophesy ing, 
as the former terminated the months of the beast s reign in general, 
each of which occurrences have two others with them as congenial 
appendices to them, or occasions of them : The giving up again 
the outward court is accompanied by, The measurement of the 
temple, and The killing of the witnesses is much occasioned, and 
specially provoked by, The hurt done by the^re of these witnes 
ses just before, in revenge of which they are encouraged to kill 
them : Or thus : John and the angel standing here in the very ex 
tremities of the times of the fourth vial, (the present age,) wherein 
Antichrist s reign is drawing near to the end ; John hath repre 
sented to him, (as an introduction to all that follows,) the face of 
the church in this age, and is himself bidden to represent the work 
of the godly towards her : and, First, She is represented to him 
as the inward temple standing in the holy city Jerusalem, (as in 
Ezek. xl. 1, &c.) into which the priest only was to come, and 
wherein stands the altar, with a company of true worshippers ; but 
a vast outward court lies around it, into which all sorts of profes 
sors of true worship come, as used the crowds of Jewish professors. 
This temple-church is also represented as adorned within with 
golden candlesticks and two stately olive trees, (v. 4,) being two 
eminent witnesses and prophets that minister before God therein. 
Now the Gentiles have for a long time possessed the city, and are 
still to possess it, till the expiration of their months ; but the tem 
ple, and its court of late erected in this city, they have been kept 
out of, and so could not come at these witnesses who are within 
the temple, nor overcome and kill them as formerly ; yet are they 
mad again with vexation and eagerness for vengeance, because of 
their being tormented by them with fire and other plagues out of 

REV. XI. 1, 2.] OF OCCURRENCES. 635 

this temple : But now, before the termination of their months, The 
angel, (being angry both with the carnal worshippers in the out 
ward court so profanely mixing themselves with his worshippers, 
and laying themselves to his building and temple; and also with 
the carnal gospelling of the two witnesses among them ; and with 
the imperfections of this temple-building, not yet answering the 
pattern,) intending to erect a purer temple, Secondly, Bids John, 
(the representative of the godly of this age,) to measure the temple 
anew; and so begins to make a new reformation therein more an 
swerable to the pattern in the mount; for he is not pleased with 
the old one that hath stood so long, and whose outward court 
John is to leave out, as to be given up to those Gentiles, (after 
that his purer churches shall thus, as it were, have excommuni 
cated them ;) who having already taken possession of the city, and 
kept it a long time, shall now again enter on and over-run this 
outward court, as within their lease and demise ; thus accom 
plishing their reign over the whole city ; and then they are to be 
driven out of all for ever; which makes them so angry, v. 18. 
Thirdly, Having thus won the outward court, which fenced and 
kept safe the witnesses from Popish persecutions, the beast, (vexed 
and plagued by their shooting wild-fire out of the temple, and in 
turn shooting back what had hurt him,) can now come to them to 
overcome them and kill them quite, and scatter their power ; 
ending withal the period of his oppression, and the last war 
wherein he shall any way prevail ; for though he shall again make 
head, (what of him is left,) before the seventh vial, it shall not 
come to another victory. 

Secondly, For the holy city, temple, and outward court. It is 
wonderful to me to see how exactly this vision, in the whole series 
of it, represents the present face, the affairs, stirrings, and altera 
tions, now a working in the churches of Europe ; the type and 
antitype so fully answering and suiting each other; Ycn,Jirst, This 
holy city, (wherein these Gentiles have a lease of forty-two months 
reign,) are those kingdoms of Europe which for more than a 
thousand years have been the metropolis and chief seat of 
Christian profession, as Jerusalem of old was of the worship of the 
true God ; which therefore in the following part of the book-pro 
phecy are made, (from the rise of the beast,) the only stage of all, 
until the new Jerusalem and holy city from heaven succeeds this : 
Yet, secondly, God permits this city, (for the punishment of the 
world,) to be trodden down of the Gen tiles, (Luke xxi. 24,) for forty 
two months : But, thirdly, towards the end of the times of this 
idolatrous crew of the beast, who have set up such an image of 
Gentilism, a great part of this city falls from them ; and an inclo- 
sure and separation is made, wherein a temple is built of churches 
separate from Antichrist, (c. xv.) as in the northern parts of 
Europe, see Ps. xlviii. 2, with Isa. xlix. 12 ; Dan. xi. 44 : Unto 
this temple, fourthly, An outward court of carnal and unregener- 

636 THE HOLY CITY, [REV. XI. 1, 2. 

ate persons hath been laid, who have made the greatest shew in 
this building; and who take up so much of the room, that although 
true churches and temples have been set up by reason of the true 
worshippers among them, yet they have been defiled with the 
addition of an outward court, into which all sorts come : so that 
indeed these Reformed churches have become outward courts 
more than inward temples ; through which mixture great corrup 
tions and defects in the form of the temple, (or church-fellowship,) 
have been continued among them, and impurities in the worship 
and about the altar. Now to the temple there went, first, The most 
holy place inclosed at one end, and separated as our cathedral- 
choirs ; and next, The body of the temple, for the priests only, 
(where stood the altar of incense,) surrounded by the inner 
court; and then, The large outer court, (1 Kings vii. 12; 
2 Chron. iv. 9 ; Ezek. xl. 17, 27,) admitting people of all sorts, 
and encircling the whole buildingbesides, (like our church-yards,) 
and here said to be " without" the compass of the temple : Herod 
indeed built a fourth court for strangers. Thus then the true 
church with its true worshippers, is the true temple with its 
priests, (see 1 Cor. iii. 16; Eph. ii. 21; 1 Pet. ii. 5 ; Heb. x. 22 ;) 
and the uncircumcised in heart, not being, by regeneration, Jews 
and the Israel of God, and having no right to approach this altar, 
are " the court of the Gentiles:" And whether temple or church 
be taken mystically for the elect and sincere worshippers, or 
for churches instituted and congregations of true public worship 
pers, (as Eph. ii. 22; Heb. x. 22, 25 ;) in both cases others are 
without in comparison of them, see 1 Cor. xv. 12, 17 ; Rom. ii. 
28, 29 : so that in what sense soever the Papists may be called 
" The outward court," these also may ; as alike arrogating the 
name of" the church," and in some places, underthat name,casting 
out the true worshippers ; for so great is their number, that in 
view they are only or chiefly the church ; the best congregations 
of the first Reformation, having numberless more bad than good 
among them ; and many being made up of unregenerate persons ; 
whilst the true visible worshippers, comparatively, are a company 
of hidden ones : Indeed these unregenerate Protestants are much 
rather to be accounted " the outw r ard court," and so are mainly 
here intended : For, 1st, " The outward court," is here opposed 
to all else enumerated for measuring, as temple, altar, and wor 
shippers ; and therefore it means not merely an outward face and 
place of worship, but carnal outward worshippers also : and as 
heaven and earth are put for their inhabitants, so here the Holy 
Ghost speaks not of the material court, as neither, elsewhere, of 
churches as material buildings : so that take the persons wor 
shipping away, and the face of the outward court ceaseth, and its 
place is lost. Cornelius a Lapide saith, " In that part of the 
temple where the priests worship, the faithful are symbolically 
represented; who in Antichrist s time will be the best, most devout. 


most close to God, and most stedfast in his worship." By " the 
court without," are meant, the more unstable and less strict livers, 
(therefore those further from God,) who are to be cast out 
without the church ; as if the angel had said, "Reject them among 
the unfaithful and apostate, as unworthy to be numbered with 
the faithful, because they give way to the Gentiles and those who 
cleave to Antichrist." 2dly, These outer-court worshippers are 
distinct from the Gentiles, to whom they are given : and there 
fore not being either Papists or true worshippers, must be 
carnal Protestants filling our churches. 3dly, The Papists, as 
possessing the outward face of the church, could not so fill this 
court, as to be the sole contra-distinct and opposite party to the 
true worshippers ; unless all Protestants were of this inner temple, 
whereas not one of a hundred are so, according to these rules of 
this reed-measurement: the mere nominal Protestants must there 
fore be the third party distinct from both, as cast out by the one, 
and siezed on by the other; and according to apostolic institu 
tions, such ought to be left out of the building, for true churches 
to be measured anew without them : and therefore if this 
measuring the temple fall under the sixth trumpet, I cannot but 
imagine that a new reformation, begun again, is intended ; and 
that the re-entry these Papists are now making upon the outward 
court of our churches, and our yielding to them, is this giving of 
the same to the Gentiles. 4thly, The Papists are no court at all 
to this temple, being by name " Satan s synagogue," and 
" worshippers of the beast and of his image," and also " Sodom 
and Egypt," &c. whereas these, being neither such Gentiles, nor 
such Israel of God, must be " Jews outwardly," who have the 
same worship as the true Israelites, and therefore are discovered 
to be " the court without," by the reed and light of God s word ; 
and those treaders of that court, (Isa. i. 12,) of which the others 
are treaders down; God bringing on such outward Protestant des- 
pisers of the gospel and of true worshippers, the worst of the Hea 
then, to tread them down by violence, either of conquest over their 
bodies, (as in Germany,) or over their consciences, in making 
such again submit to their superstitions and idolatries, as they 
still go on to do in other places. Now all this must be ascribed 
to the glorious wisdom of God, who means to have a church 
most holy to himself under the seventh trumpet, in which " the 
ark shall be seen in the Holy of holies ;" and as he perfects her 
by degrees, therefore about mid-way between the first Reformation 
long since made, and the seventh trumpet, he sets his builders 
on work, (here represented by John,) to endeavour to erect a 
new frame and reformation of that Reformation, and to take the 
reed, and measure over anew both temple, altar, and worshippers; 
and to cast out that outward court of worshippers, with these 
corruptions of theirs which hindered that thorough Reformation ; 
and so to contract his temple into the narrower compass of the 


inner temple, yet purer and more refined ; he delighting more in 
truth of worship, than in magnitude or multitude of sacrifices and 
worshippers : thus he makes to himself a church of priests, into 
which the faithful are called up from that court before common to 
both. Here then is the inner temple of the first Reformation, more 
imperfect, unfurnished, and besides, defiled by having a court 
attached : Here is also a second Reformation more pure, repre 
sented by that temple remeasured for finishing and cleansing from 
similar mixture ; for the Holy of holies is opened, (v. 19,) " into 
which no unclean thing shall enter," (c.xxi. 27,) for though the reed 
of the second Reformation keeps out those whom the godly, (here 
represented by John,) judge civil and profane, yet many a hypo 
crite " that loveth and maketh a lie," (c. xxii. 15,) may escape and 
crowd into this inward temple still : but there shall be " a golden, 
reed" (c.xxi. 15,) to measure the new-Jerusalem temple: At present 
however we must proceed 

Thirdly, For the measurement of the temple, altar, and wor 
shippers therein. As a reed is put into the hands of a builder, 
so Christ puts into the hearts of the rulers of his people the light 
of his word, as the only sufficient rule whereby to square the 
worship and worshippers of churches ; and by no frame of other 
reeds unwarranted in scripture: This principle was never yet fully 
taken up and practised by our Reformers, though long contended 
for as the ground-work of this building. 1st, The temple here is 
not only the church of the elect, (for there is a distinct consider 
ation made of the worshippers therein,) but congregation sin church- 
fellowship, as in Eph. ii. 20 22, where the saints are not only 
part of the temple of the elect, but as an assembly, are an habi 
tation apart, and a little sanctuary unto God, every particular 
church bearing the name of the whole ; and in such a temple 
alone the ordinances of church-communion and worship, (the 
sacraments, excommunications, &c.) are to be administered ; as at 
Jerusalem alone sacrifices were to be offered : Therefore, 2dly, 
The altar being the main and only ordinance of temple-worship 
serving for sacrifice here, means the church-ordinances of public 
worship and sacrifice. 3dly, The worshippers, as the priests of 
old, are those alone to be of this temple and to approach this altar, 
as iu 1 Pet. ii. 5 ; being persons with qualifications meet for saints, 
and requisite for the true temple-worship ; and thus they become 
themselves a temple, as gathered up in a church-assembly, ac 
cording to Christ s institution. 4thly, The measurement of 
temple, altar, and worshippers by a reed, is, 1, The drawing a true 
platform according to the rules of the word, by shewing, What a 
true church or temple is, and how to be built ; next, What is the 
way of duly administering all church-worship and ordinances, as 
excommunications, sacraments, ordaining officers of holy things 
who partake of and serve at thea/tar,and in short whatRom. xii. 1, 
called LOGICEE LATREIA, word-service, (speaking of a church- 


body, as the next chapter speaks to the same persons as members 
of a common-wealth ;) and then, What is true saintship, and who 
are meet worshippers in this temple, being admitted or rejected 
according to the rule and reed of God s word, whereby we judge 
them that are within, 1 Cor. v. 12,13. That measuring is " draw 
ing a platform of all these things," appears by Ezekiel s shewing 
Israel the pattern, form, and fashion of the house, its goings out 
and comings in for administration, &c. all the ordinances with 
their forms, and laws thereof: and as the prophet saw, distinctly 
and apart measured, the temple and the altar ; and then heard the 
laws given concerning the worshippers, blaming the admission of 
strangers uncircumcised in flesh and heart, and shewing who 
should be priests and Levites, and what their duties ; so here the 
outer court of strangers to God, and unclean, who use strange 
forms of worship, is to be cast out ; see Ezek. xli. xlii. xliii. 
10 13 ; xliv. 7 9. 2, It means also that such temple, altar, 
and worship, should now in this age begin to be built and erect 
ed, and men set on work to do it ; that so the people seeing the 
true pattern, might be ashamed of their former aberrations, and in 
future keep to that pattern, anc ^ do after it, and square all by it. 
Nor does the angel speak of the temple hitherto standing, but, of 
a new building, or finishing of a church, as in Zech. ii. 5 ; iv. 10. 
3, It imports also protection, as when God is " a wall of fire 
round about his people, and the glory in the midst of them." 
So here the worshippers are called up from the unmeasured 
court, given to the Gentiles ; and by getting into this temple, 
they are preserved from the re-entry of these Gentiles upon them, 
and from such power over them, as they had over the outer-court 
worshippers ; the saints being thus preserved from the overgrow 
ing corruptions and defilements of these Gentiles ; and God being 
to them " a little sanctuary," (Ezek. xi. 16,) they will be at least 
preserved for that resurrection to come after, v. 11, 12. 

Fourthly, For the leaving out of the outward court unmeasur 
ed. 1st, This is " to take the precious from the vile," (Jer. xv. 19,) 
and " to discern between the righteous and the wicked, and 
him that serveth God, and him that serveth him not," (Mai. iii. 18,) 
by such marks and signs and spots of God s people, (Deut. xxxii. 
5,) as the word of God sets forth. By this exclusive work, way is 
made for the right constitution of purer churches ; and by these 
excommunicating gifts, (where the ordinance of excommunication 
is wanting,) men s natural or regenerate states are set forth, where 
by carnal men are convinced and discovered to themselves and 
others: a spirit being set up in the hearts of the godly by this light, 
to discern between the clean and the unclean, and so to hew and 
to set apart the material for this temple, as were the stones for 
Solomon s. 2dly, This implies a rejecting them from church- 
fellowship and not admitting them into this new-reared temple, 
as unfit matter for the building ; which is a kind of excommu- 


nication of them. 3dly, It may further imply a rejecting such 
forms of administration in worship, and corruptions therein, as 
are not found agreeable to the word ; though left in the first 
Reformation, (as the filth which the sea leaves behind it at an 
ebb ;) for "the temple, altar, and worshippers," and " the outward 
court," are in full opposition to each other. 

Fifthly, For the reason of the leaving out the outward court. 
Those forms of worship that came from Popery, (the worshippers 
themselves being inwardly Gentiles,) are ordained, for glorious 
ends, more or less to be subjected to it again : and therefore 
God puts it into the hearts of his builders thus strangely and 
suddenly to reject them, as the time of his decree draws near ; 
only ere these Gentiles seize on them as their prey, the true 
church-templers leave them out, and they forthwith become as 
Heathens, cast out and withered, (John xv. 6 ;) Popish opinions 
and practices take them again : And how by degrees do these 
Gentiles win ground upon the outward court in England ! and 
how does their winning ground drive the true worshippers into 
the inner temple, and cause them to abandon their mixture with 
the outward court ! thus as the new Reformation makes way for 
ruining the outward court, so the Gentiles winning more upon the 
outward court furthers the new Reformation; God carrying on these 
two works at once. Now this word "given" shews an easy kind of 
conquest obtained by the Popish party, to whom the fort is yielded 
and given up without much or long holding out: and in such a dis 
pensation towards carnal Protestants, thus to give them up again 
to the Gentiles, God may have many and glorious ends before he 
brings in that glorious church to come; as 1st, To have a purer 
church, according to the primitive institution, these treaders of 
his courts becoming loathsome to him with their oblations : and 
though the first Reformation was outwardly in shew more specious 
and glorious for the multitude of the reformed, and this is to be 
a much smaller and narrower building ; yet this second building 
of a temple without a court, consisting of purer worship and wor 
shippers, squared by the word, shall in true glory excel the other. 
2dly, To let many taste of the fruit of their own ways, who though 
church-zealots, and defenders of religion against the Papists, yet 
cast out God s true worshippers and their ministers* saying, " Let 
God be glorified," (Isa. Ixvi. 5,) whilst they beat their fellow-ser 
vants, (Matt. xxiv. 49:) yet herein they are retaliated, being cast 
out in turn ; and their protection and defence ceasing, they are 
given up to the Gentiles. 3dly, God let Popery come into the 
world, because men " received not the love of the truth," (2 Thes. 
ii. 10,) and therefore it will overflow again after so clear a shining 
of the prophecy of the witnesses. 4thly, To throw out the rub 
bish that would hinder the glory of the temple to be built; for such 
Protestants, like the Samaritans in Ezraiv. 1, 2, offering to assist 
the building, yet not called of God unto it, would only be a hin- 


iterance. 5thly, That true worshippers only, and faithful witnesses 
who stood the trial against the invasions of Popery, might have 
the honour and praise of that glorious restauration and resurrection 
of the church and witnesses, yet to come, v. 12, 13. This trial 
upon all the churches burns up and consumes the dross, and dis 
covers the unsoundness of these carnal Protestants, (that have 
spoken as big words, and talked as hotly as any against Popery, 
making it the evidence of their sincerity,) by their base yielding 
to the Popish Gentiles ; that when Christ revives his church again, 
(v. 12, 13,) he may appear to his people s glory and to their shame. 
6thly, That the Gentiles might thus accomplish their time and 
period of forty two months, with an investment of the Pope into 
his old territories, towards the expiring of his lease, when he will 
himself expire almost in full possession ; that so the confusion of 
Antichrist, (the greatest work to be done for the church since the 
apostles days,) may be the more glorious unto God. Thus Dan. 
xi. 44, 45, seemed to foretell, That after these " tidings out of the 
north should trouble him, (the seceding of the northern king 
doms,) as also " out of the east," (through the Turk s prevailing so 
near his territories ;) enraged hereby, he would " go forth in great 
fury, and plant his tabernacle again, (his power and jurisdiction,) 
upon the glorious holy mountain, (where the temple stands,) between 
the seas ;" yet after all this recovery of his power over the Reform 
ed churches, " he shall come to his end, and none shall help him." 
So when the whore of Rome begins to sing her sister Babel s song, 
just afore he fall, and " saith in her heart, I sit as a queen, and 
am no widow, (as having her ancient paramours again,) and shall 
see no sorrow ; therefore shall her plagues come in one day, for 
strong is the LORD that judgeth her," and omnipotently confounds 
her, c. xviii. 7, 8 : and inc. xvii. 13, 17, the ten kings or states of 
Europe are twice mentioned; first, as giving their power to the 
beast, and then as agreeing to do so through some special hand 
of God " to fulfil his will," even till the words of God (in Daniel) 
be fulfilled. 

In conclusion, From the above interpretation I exclude not the 
idea of a measuring the temple, &c. at the first Reformation, when 
churches were erected by our worthies, in separation from 
Popery, they casting out that Catholic Romish church as not 
agreeing with the rule. And so that Reformation and separation 
falling out when the Turks possessed the eastern empire, (being 
the sixth trumpet, c. ix. 13, &c.) this chapter beginning with that 
Reformation, should thereby orderly continue the story of the 
sixth trumpet, without any chasm between c. ix. and xi. whereas 
to draw it down to our time leaves an interim or vacuity of near 
three centuries ; yet the one being a true measuring, as the other 
is the finishing of that building whereof the Reformers hands laid 
the foundation, (like Zerubbabel, whose hands were also to finish 
the temple, Zech. iv. {),) therefore I verily think that the Holy 

-2 u 


Ghost bad an aim to both, as two several gradual accomplishments 
of it, as in other prophecies, (when the last of several in his eye 
is yet mainly intended :) and this double aspect here, I shall shew 
when I come to the killing of the witnesses. 




I. The division, order, and times of the particular acts ascri 
bed to the witnesses. 

First, For their description, I come now to the angel s dis 
course concerning the two witnesses, who are " the holy people, 
whose power is at last to be scattered ;" to make way for the re 
lation of which scattering, their condition is set forth, v. 3 6: 
and yet that John might know of whom he spake, as at last to 
be thus killed, they are described to him as opposing Antichrist 
in every age, because the angel needs to mention their whole time ; 
but they are specially set forth by what in their latter times, im 
mediately before their killing, they should have power to oppose 
the beast in, who yet should prevail against them after they had 
set up a temple, and poured out four vials, and that highest 
fourth-vial plague of devouring fire. Now they are described, 
first, By their office, as witnesses, (Testes,} to protest against Anti 
christ, especially now at last ; and as prophets, to feed the church 
in the wilderness for twelve hundred and sixty years, c. xii. 6. 
Secondly, By their condition, as in sackcloth and mourning, 
whilst the Pope and his clergy are triumphing in their silk. Third 
ly, By their number, being two ; 1st, " By the mouth of two (or 
three) witnesses shall every word be established," (2 Cor. xiii. 1.) 
2dly, In allusion to these famous pairs or couples who lived in like 
times, figurative of the various progress of the state of the church 
through the ages of Antichrist s reign : these were, Moses and 
Aaron, prophets to the church in Egypt, in the wilderness ; Elias 
and Elishc.^ prophets to Israel in Ahab s idolatrous day, when no 
face of a church was seen, and there were hid in corners seven 
thousand of the Lord s secret opes ; Zerubbabel and Joshua, 
prophets in the days of finishing the temple, after the people were 


come forth from the captivity of Babylon. That the Holy Ghost 
here alludes to these appears, From the plagues of Egypt execu 
ted in v. 6 ; From the fire of Moses twice consuming his gain- 
sayers, v. 5 ; By Elijah and Elisha s preventing rain, v. 6 ; By 
Joshua and Zerubbabel being the two olive-trees and candle 
sticks, that began arid finished the temple. Now all these were 
eminent ministers and magistrates ; and as such also the wit 
nesses are two : and thus we have their quality, office, condition, 
and number. 

Secondly, They are set forth by their several exploits during 
their prophecy, as particularly related in each verse following, 
the recital of which is so ordered as to draw our eyes to two of 
these facts, as more eminent and nearest the times of this last 
age of measuring the temple, viz. Their devouring their enemies 
with fire, v. 5, and Their being two olive-trees, &c. v. 4 : these 
two things are first mentioned as setting forth these witnesses at 
first view, according to what they should be in this latter age : 
For, First, The words in v. 5, " If any man hurt them, fire comes 
out of their mouths? &c. refer directly to v. 3 ; as if the angel 
had said, " I will give to my two witnesses power that if any 
man hurt them, fire shall come out of their mouths," &c. Now 
the CAI of v. 3, notes out that special opposition these vyitnesses 
should have power to make against those Gentiles entering on 
their outward court ; " But I will give my witnesses power, that 
if any hurt them," &c. " And I will give 1 referring to this, as 
well as to " And they shall prophesy :" for whereas he had said 
three things, in v. 1,2: That the temple was to be measured and 
finished in this latter age by the godly, (represented by John : ) 
That the outward court, fencing the temple and witnesses, was 
to be regained by the Papists, and trodden down : That the 
Gentiles whole time of reigning, (on this occasion mentioned,) 
was to expire. Answerably, and oppositely, with a " but? (as CAI 
is taken,) three things are said of these witnesses : 1st, That the 
same space of time wherein those Gentiles reign, the same the 
witnesses have to prophesy in, and to oppose them ; the twelve 
hundred and sixty days of the one being the forty-two months of 
the other. 2dly, Whereas this temple was in this latter age to be 
begun to be measured, but interrupted in the progress by the 
assualt of these Gentiles on the court and temple ; yet these wit 
nesses shall be as those " two olive-trees, (v. 4,) that minister 
before the Lord of the whole earth," (whose power is engaged in 
that work ;) Joshua and Zerubbabel being so called in Zech. iv. 
in respect of their performing the like work of finishing the tem 
ple against all opposition. 3dly, Although those Gentiles, in their 
subduing the outward court, do much hurt to the witnesses, who op 
pose them in this their assault on it, and on the temple ; yet they 
again shall be able to avenge all the hurt done to themselves, byjire 
returned upon their enemies, and spit out of their mouths against 

2 u 2 


them, in their attempt to regain the outward court. Secondly, 
This power of hurting their enemies is spoken of as a matter of 
fact, done at the present time, and in the age wherein John, in the 
vision, stands in the name of the godly meters : and to encourage 
them, " If any man will hurt them,y?re comes out of their mouth." 
Thirdly, Whatever is said of their power, in v. 6, (besides the 
two things, in v. 4, 5,) is added only to illustrate the power besides 
what they have in their days formerly exercised. " These have 
power in the clays of their prophesy," &c. v. 6. But the main 
thing, first mentioned, is their " devouring their enemies with 
fire? which is plainly the fourth vial, following as an adjunct to 
the measuring of the temple. Fourthly, This their exploit hath 
also an emphasis on it, v. 5, " In this manner he must be 
killed" (who hurts them ;) as noting the greatest plague these 
witnesses could execute, which so vexeth and tormenteth their 
enemies, (v. 10,) and so scorcheth them, (c. xvi. 8, 9,) that they 
are irritated to kill them for it, and so to rejoice over them chief 
ly in this very respect. Fifthly, These four plagues being plainly 
the four first vials, they are here mentioned in an inverted order 
from c. xvi. for the /Ere-vial there is last, and here first in exe 
cution ; so that on the earth, there first, is here last ; to shew that 
the fire-vial belonged to the present times of this chapter and its 
visions, (when the temple was measured,) and as mainly intended ; 
and the other to come in only for illustration s sake, to prove the 
witnesses to be these vial-pourers. 

ii. The witnesses acts in the darkest ages, and also in the 
separation from Popery. 

The serviceable acts of the witnesses for the name of God all 
this long time of their prophecy, respect their enemies and the 
temple-church of God ; What in this last age they were to do 
before their killing, and now when the temple is measured and 
the outward court to be trodden down, (v. 4, 5 ;) and, What in 
the former ages of their prophecy they had also done, (v. 6 ;) ac 
cording to the division of the vials, and in c. xiv. 1st, What they did 
against their enemies in the days fore-going this latter age, 
wherein John is supposed to stand, as in v. 6 ; Either, in the 
first darkest times of Popery, when the hundred and forty-four 
thousand stood on mount Zion without a temple, and when idola 
try overspread the world, (c. xiv. 1 5,) " They shut heaven, 
that it rained not ;" as Elijah did in Ahab s time, when he 
thought himself left alone ; and Ahab and his priests of Baal, (as 
the Pope and his mass-priests,) ruled the world : This signifies 
their privilege of exclusive grace, and of the dews and influence 
of heaven, so as to have a truth of doctrine among them to save 
them ; which fell not into the knowledge and hearts of these 
priests of Baal ; see c. xiv. 3. These gracious dews of saving 
doctrine, restrained from those apostates, were a just curse on their 


apostacy. Or, 2dly, From and after the times of their separation 
from Popery, and on their coming out of that Egypt, they exe 
cute the like plagues to those of Moses and Aaron in Egypt, 
even the three first vials, which are therefore in v.6, (see c. xvi.) 
and these are the days of separation from Antichrist, and first 
Reformation in c. xiv. 

in. The witnesses acts in this their last age of prophecy. 

First, The devouring of men with fire. Towards the time of the 
new Reformation of the temple, and afore this their killing, they 
pour out the fourth vial in scorching and devouring their enemies 
with fire, (v. 5,) whether Papists or other injurious persons. 
And as Moses had brought the people out of Egypt, and long 
since set up the tabernacle and other ordinances of worship, 
when Nadab and Abihu were devoured with fire, and the princes 
in the rebellion of Korah, (Lev. x. 1, 2: Num. xvi. 35:) so after 
the church comes out of that spiritual Egypt, where these former 
plagues were executed ; and after the public worship is erected 
and set up by the Reformation, according to God s appointment 
in many things ; this rebellion breaks out against the witnesses 1 
endeavouring to keep to the word of God in his temple s frame 
and fabric, and against their calling for this at the builders hands. 
The quarrels of both those companies then, and of these now are 
parallelled thus : The first quarrel then was about introducing 
human inventions in God s worship j and the second was not only 
a renewing and continuing that quarrel, but a taking away all dis 
tinction of persons in worshipping; for Nadab and Abihu " offer 
ed strange (or culinary)y?re before the Lord," instead of the altar- 
fire from heaven ; therefore fire consumed them for justifying such 
unwarrantable inventions : and as for Korah and his company 
they offered incense, though no priests, and also quarrelled with 
Moses and Aaron, for excluding some of the Levitcs from the 
priesthood. Now in England and other churches since the 
Reformation, (of the latter days of which time this is especially 
here understood, for it is the fourth vial,) the quarrel has been 
about the strange fire of human inventions, continued and justi 
fied against the few witnesses for the commands of God to be 
the only rule of worship : And as for the putting such a differ 
ence between man and man, between the holy and profane, this 
hath been a still greater grievance of hot and violent opposition 
against these witnesses, who insist that those who have such or 
such a work of grace on their hearts, and endeavour to walk thus 
and thus holy, are alone saints : the stream of their ministry in 
England, hath still run in this channel of distinguishing men 
from men, " the precious from the vile ;" their work and bent 
hath been to mark out from that promiscuous mixture, who it is 
God hath chosen, and who only are true priests and worshippers 
of God in spirit and truth ; and for this, their opponents, quarrel 


with them, and silence them, saying as Korah s company, "Are not 
all the people holy ? (have they not all been baptized ? ) ye take too 
much upon you, (out of the pride of your spirits, ye precise ones,) 
to lift up yourselves above the congregation of the Lord." Or 
again, The quarrel hath been about God s own election of a few 
to be priests unto him, (as Levi was chosen from Israel, and 
Aaron from the house of Levi,) " Who are his, and whom he 
hath chosen :" so these now plead the cause of all mankind in 
universal grace and redemption. Accordingly, all the quarrels 
between the Popish party and the witnesses are reducible to two 
heads : True purity of worship, and, True holiness and peculiar 
election of worshippers. The light in both these things hath in 
our days grown up so high and so clear, that many opponents 
of these sin out of rebellion and presumption, against their own 
convictions of the truth ; and so their punishment like that of 
those conspirators against Moses and Aaron, is the fire of the 
fourth vial, a spiritual judgment on their souls, effected by the 
powerful conviction of the word out of the mouth of the witnss- 
ses, who spit fire into their consciences, and begin hell-fire afore- 
hand : and this very allusion is thus interpreted, Heb. x. 26, 27 : 
For, 1st, The sin of both is rebellion. After Moses conviction 
of Korah s company, he was dcspitefully scorned and reproached 
by them for bringing them out of Egypt; and so these "sin 
ivilfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth ;" as here " if 
any man will hurt them," which is repeated v. 5. 2dly, As they 
were struck dead by God " for despising Moses law," under 
conviction of it " by two or three witnesses," (as Moses and 
Aaron :) so here the angel adjudgeth them to this notorious 
death for despising the testimony of these two witnesses, and the 
light of the gospel. 3dly, Their punishment was of all then the 
sorest, even " a dying without mercy ;" but " of how much sorer 
punishment shall he be thought worthy," &c. ? for " in this 
manner he must be killed," not with elementary fire, nor so 
much by killing their bodies as their souls : as the Hebrew 
doctors say of Korah, &c. (who were rather blasted than burnt,) 
that their souls were scorched ; and thus they were most lively 
types for sinners under the gospel, to whom God becomes a con 
suming fire. 4thly, That which is here called fire is called by 
Paul iiery indignation : and " a fearful expectation of judgment ;" 
God sealing up by flashes of his wrath the eternal damnation of 
such sinners : aud this " fiery indignation " sparkles forth upon 
all occasions from the writings and lives, and from the preaching 
and testimonies of those witnesses mouths. 5thly, Here is the 
phrase of " devouring their enemies," as the apostle speaks of 
devouring the under-hand adversaries, (HUPENANTIOUS, Sttbcon- 
Irarios ;) shewing that such sinners, (like the Pharisees,) renounce 
not always all profession of God ; for so they should not have 
place and opportunity of hurting the witnesses by their under- 


hand pretensions and opposition. Gthly, Such was the effect of 
the powerful, burning, and shining light of the ministry of John 
and of Christ, (whose crucifying is also alluded to v. 7 13 ;) the 
Pharisees being tormented with it; (as in v. 10, with c. xvi. 9 ;) and 
in Mai. iv. 1, the gospel-day became to the Pharisees " a terrible 
day, burning their consciences as an oven," so that in the heat of 
their wrath they crucified Christ, knowing him to be the Son of 
God, even as the witnesses were known to be his prophets. 

Secondly, The temple-work of the witnesses, for Christ and 
the church, also sets forth their power in these latter days, especi 
ally that in v. 1, represented most lively by the olive-trees and 
candlesticks, in Zech. iv. where Joshua and Zerubbabel having 
begun to sacrifice after the people s first coming out of Babylon, 
and to set up public worship, within two years laid the founda 
tion of the temple, and set up the altar, (Ezra iii.) but left the 
work imperfect, without the roof covered, or the temple beautified 
with all those holy utensils and ornaments, appointed as ordi 
nances to the complement and perfection of God s worship ; 
and all this, through the opposition of a Samaritan faction, of amon- 
grel religion, (2 Kings xvii. 41,) pretending " to seek their God as 
they did," (Ezra iv. 2 5, 23, 24 ;) but not being taken into this 
work of building, nor owned by the true Jews, they forced the 
same to cease, instigating the Persian monarch to frustrate their 
purpose ; until Haggai and Zechariah were sent to stir up Joshua 
and Zerubbabel to finish the work, which was yet a true temple, 
and place of woi ship, all the years it remained imperfect. Among 
other visions exciting them, was that of two-olive trees, (called 
"sons of oil" as laying out their grace, gifts, and estates, and spen 
ding their fatness, in hearty endeavours for repairing and finishing 
the temple ;) and a candlestick, whereinto they emptied their oil ; 
for this being the most necessary utensil to complete and shew 
the glory of the temple, (into which it was brought last of all,) is 
put for all the rest: Hence Zerubbabel is represented with a plum 
met in his hand, and a measuring-line, (as John used the reed,} 
for measuring the temple to be now fully finished ; for the hands 
that laid the foundation, were to finish it, in spite of the Samaritan 
" great mountain" of opposition: Now the meaning of this hierogly 
phic is given in the angel s answer to his own question, "Knowest 
thou what these be? this is the word of the Lord," &c. Thus the 
church having long since come out of mystical Babylon, hath 
set up public worship, and by the authority of princes hath begun 
the foundation of the temple, but hath been hindered from going 
on to full perfection of discipline intended and endeavoured 
through the mixture of a Samaritan party, interrupting the 
attainment of the perfection contended for : But in the end God 
stirs up many of the English spirits, (like unto Joshua and 
Zerubbabel,) to finish what was before left incomplete, and to 
begin to make a further and purer edition of churches according 


to the pattern : and so they stand in this age with a line or reed, 
and do empty oil out of themselves unto this work ; endeavouring 
to add to this temple ordinances instituted of God, and tending 
to the perfection, beauty, complement, and glory of the temple, 
though not absolutely necessary to the being of a church : And 
though the allusion includes the foundation of this temple-church 
laid in the first Reformation, yet it principally falls upon the 
finishing of it ; which is the proper and peculiar aim of the vision. 
From c. i. 20, it is evident that churches eminent for purity, as 
well as persons, are witnesses against the false church ; though 
these witnesses may be oil-bearers for the candlesticks, which 
being here two, shew that these are sister-churches now, and not 
only one mother-church as then ; and the proportion is doubled in 
other respects also, to shew the increase of gospel-blessings, as 
observed in c. iv. Now this new Reformation of the church in 
attempts to finish the temple, through now as " a day of small 
things despised," shall go on and spread till it be perfected, for 
it is " not by power, nor by might, but by my Spirit, saith the 
God of the whole earth" (v. 4,) whose power backs it, and 
causes the hearts of the godly to fall to it ; and the Romish 
" great mountain," so standing in its way, " shall yet become a 
plain before it." And as the vials are to come out of this temple, 
it shews that the true church is to be the plague and ruin of the 
false : But however small are the beginnings of such a work, so 
interesting the divine glory, it will progress, and its progress is 
in this book noticed, as observed in c. xiv. yet I fear these olive- 
trees and candlesticks will, (like the rest of the churches in 
Europe,) have their power scattered, ere the building be finished, 
and they revive again, and " grow up into an holy temple in the 
Lord," Eph. ii. 21, with c. xix.. Finally, As the witnesses are here 
in sackcloth, so Joshua (Zech. iii. 4,) was in filthy apparel ; and 
as there he had change of raiment given him, so after a few years 
will these witnesses also have " the garment of praise for the 
spirit of heaviness," (Isa. Ixi. 3 ;) and their testimony being ended, 
they shall put off their sackcloth, and put on " fine linen," the 
wedding-dress of the Lamb s wife, as in c. xix. 8 ; and so in the 
end, the glory of this temple, set up after Antichrist s demolish- 
ment, will yet be more glorious, (as Zerubbabel s also was, Hag. 
ii. 9,) by Christ s coming into it ; when a Holy of holies shall be 
added to it, (or rather swallow it up,) in which " the ark shall be 
seen ;" but not till after 





i. Tlie time of the witnesses killing not yet come. 

The angel s scope here being to shew, according to his oath 
in Daniel, how Antichrist should " accomplish to scatter the 
power of the holy people," towards the end of his three and a 
half times reign ; what is here said of the beast s war and victory, 
refers not to the conquests and slaughters which Antichrist, 
during his reign, should make of the holy people or witnesses, 
(spoken of in c. xiii.) but specifies an eminent prevailing over 
them, on the eve of finishing their sackcloth-prophesying. We 
have seen their power to erect a temple to themselves, whence 
to pour forth four vials upon their enemies : and the better to 
fence themselves against the beast, thus possessed of the greatest 
part of Europe, (or the holy city,) they environed the temple with 
a court, or mighty party of carnal Protestant fellow-separatists 
from the beast. The treading down this court by the Gentiles, 
who are again to subdue it to themselves, is a part of this final 
scattering of the saints power, or rather a preparation thereunto ; 
for before the beast can get at the witnesses to kill them, the 
court must be more fully won, (which is now a doing,) and then 
both themselves and their inner temple will be exposed to the 
irruptions of these Gentiles, and easily subdued by them, these 
out-works being taken and recovered. The great question here, 
is about the time of this killing, whether it be past or to come. 
Mr. Brightman makes the whole fulfilled in the overthrow of the 
Protestants in Germany by Charles the Fifth, (A.D. 1547,) and 
that condemning of the scriptures, (these two witnesses, or the 
Old and New Testaments,) by the council of Trent, about three 
centuries ago : but Graserus, Hoe, Mede, Wood, &c. think it yet 
to come ; and if the series of interpretation I have given hold 
good, it must needs be so ; and both what precedes and what 
follows this great event, confirms the same ; nothing of what 
must follow being yet fulfilled, though several centuries have 
past since Mr. Brightman s date. 1st, This is to fall out at the 
close of their mournful state of prophesying, after which they 
shall cast off their sackcloth, as after Joshua s captivity-garments 
were taken from him, he had a mitre set on his head ; so these 
on their rising again arc to be cloathcd in fine linen : but the 
church is still bewailing her condition under Antichrist, and those 


other enemies even in the Reformed churches who tire triumphing 
in silk and liberty. 2dly, This " killing " is towards the close of 
Antichrist s reign in respect of his "power to do" for this is that 
last scattering of Daniel, wherewith he is to accomplish his 
times : but his kingdom yet stands, and it is three hundred years 
since that German havoc, and we are still under the fifth vial ; 
for when Rome itself, the seat and throne of the beast, shall come 
to be ruined, then his kingdom shall be full of darkness, and his 
glory so put out, that his reign will be accounted at an end. 
3dly, Antichrist is still but in his first march towards this war, to 
win and recover the court of the temple, that he may come at 
the witnesses to kill them : and though he hath trodden down 
Germany, yet he is but setting up and advancing his engines of 
assault and battery on other such places where God hath most 
of his powerful witnesses in these last times, in whose siege he 
is set down by his agents and the receivers of " the number of his 
name," who are to be his last champions. 4thly, Four of the 
seven vials are to be poured out by the witnesses before their 
killing, for in the days of their prophecy, they smite the earth 
with plagues, (which is the first vial,) and turn the sea and rivers 
into blood, (which is the second and third vials,) and then devour 
men with fire, (which is the fourth vial :) after all which exploits 
comes their killing. But that slaughter three hundred years ago 
was but in the beginning of the second vial, and we see not yet 
the full effect of the fourth, which is still pouring out its contents. 
5thly, After the witnesses rising, the second woe of the sixth 
trumpet is to pass away, (v. 14,) its times being expired, or the 
foundation of its ruin laid; and this is the great power and 
tyranny of the Turk, whose kingdom yet stands in its vigour and 
flourish, no fundamental blow of weakening being given it ; 
much less, Gthly, Is the seventh trumpet begun to be blown, 
which yet is to come quickly after the sixth ; for although Jesus 
Christ, in the northern kingdoms, hath been assisted in that his 
harvest of his elect since the Reformation, by supreme and 
princely authority, (and therefore that peaceable harvest was 
reaped by a crowned angel,) yet 1, The kingdoms of the world 
becoming Christ s for him to reign for ever, (and that, at the begin 
ning of the seventh trumpet,) will be different from what he hath 
yet had, being the fifth monarchy, to begin when the beast s days 
end, (Dan. vii. 14,) and to be carried on, not so much by deputies 
and delagated power, as under the immediate rule and govern 
ment of Christ himself, v. 17; And, 2, When the seventh 
trumpet shall begin to sound, " then shall the mystery be fulfilled 
spoken of by the prophets," (c. x. 7, with Acts iii. 21,) even the 
new Jerusalem and kingdom of the saints, and first resurrection, 
(v. 15 17, with c. xx. 1, &c.) but since what Mr. Brightman 
calls the "resurrection of the witnesses," none of these things are 
begun, or as yet to begin. 3, The seventh trumpet and last vial 

REV. XI. 7 10.] NOT YET COME. 651 

fall out together, or rather the last vial begins the seventh trumpet, 
(as v. 19, with c. xvi. 18, shews ;) there being the same thunderings, 
hail, &c. in both : now we are yet but under the fourth vial, and 
so very far oft from the last. 

I will however add this, which may reconcile also Mr. Bright- 
man s opinion, and haply serve, in the closure of all, to hint 
further about the expiring of limes at the last vial s fulfilling. In 
the measurement of the temple, the angel might aim both at that 
first laying the foundation of true churches, and also at this second 
Reformation now in hand, as degrees of the same work, though 
the latter is specially intended, (the other yet being a far greater 
work;) so might he take in two killings of these witnesses, 
following and accompanying both these measurings, the one near 
the foundation, and the other near the finishing ; and so ordered, 
that the first should be a foregoing resemblance of the succeeding. 
Many prophecies have had several gradual accomplishments ; the 
former becoming types of the latter mainly intended : and there 
are many passages spoken of as fulfilled in the New Testament, 
which yet had a gradual accomplishment in the times after the 
Babylonish captivity : thus Isa. i. 9, is applied in Rom. ix. 27, 
to gospel-times, the Holy Ghost aiming at both. And even 
in the Old Testament the same prophecy is sometimes fulfilled 
over and over : Thus as there were two eminent leadings into 
captivity, the one of Jeconiah, the other of Zedekiah ; so there 
is a double reckoning of the seventy years, and of the building 
again of the temple ; (and this instance I pitch on as a type 
of this measuring of the temple ;) for Ezek. i. 2, 3, begins the 
captivity from the carrying away of Jeconiah, in the fifth year 
of Nebuchadnezzar ; and Jer. xxix. 10, comforts the captives 
with the promise of being visited after seventy years, when Cyrus 
gave leave to lay the foundation of the temple : and yet after 
this, when the temple was to be again measured and completed, 
another seventy years is said to be ended, (commencing from 
the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar ;) as in Zech, i. 12, 16. 
And why may not the Holy Ghost have an eye here also to a 
double work, and a double accomplishment of the beast s reign, 
and of the church s coming out of Babylon, and of the killing of 
the witnesses, and of the measuring of the temple ; though this 
last be mainly intended ? Again, In Dan. xii. 4, 11, (referring to 
the New Testament, " when knowledge should be increased," 
&c.) the angel shews, that from the time of removing the Jews 
daily sacrifices, and of setting up the desolating abomination, 
were to be twelve hundred and ninety days, i. c. years. Now 
there hath been a double removal of that sacrifice, and also a 
double setting up of " the abomination of desolation," or 
Heathenish idolatry : for from the sacking of Jerusalem by Ves 
pasian and his son Titus, to about A.D. 1360, was just so many 
years ; and then began that first great increase of knowledge and 


discovery of Antichrist, under Wickliflfe, Thaulerus, &c. But 
there was another, "ceasing of the daily sacrifice (of the Chris 
tian religion,) and setting up of the abomination" of Heathenism 
by Julian, the apostate emperor, about A.D. 363 : indeed he set up 
the Jewish sacrifice again, that had ceased, but has never since 
been restored ; God s special hand binding all the Jews from 
setting up their daily sacifices at Jerusalem again ; for the Turk 
suffers them not to live there, and tolerates all exercises of all 
religions except that of the sacrifices : and Christians themselves 
possess the sepulchre of the Lord. Now Mr. Brightman 
reckons the beginning of Antichrist s reign, and of the witnesses 
prophesying in sackcloth, from the time of the Roman emperor s 
removing to Constantinople, leaving Rome to the Pope for the 
seat of his power, in fulfilment of 2 Thes. ii. 7 ; when " the man 
of sin " was at least conceived : the end of those years would 
thus be A.D. 1550, when the revival of the Protestant cause in 
Germany began : so the term of Antichrist s power to do, might 
have had one period in the falling off of England, Scotland, &c. 
before A.D. 1560, (which he interprets of the seventh trumpet, 
when the kingdoms of this world became Christ s, c. xi. 15,) and 
so, before that settled peace of the gospel, and Antichrist s 
ejection ; the witnesses having first had their several times of 
being overcome and killed, in each of their kingdoms, for three 
years and a half ; as in that victory over the Protestants in 
Germany, about A.D. 1547, just three years and a half before 
that revival and enjoyment of the peace they have since had : 
Also in England the martyrdoms under Mary lasted but three 
years and a half; for the former two years and a half of her reign 
were spent in making preparations for that war against the 
witnesses, by statutes made for their burning, &c. Again, in 
France, A.D. 1572, (about twelve hundred and sixty years after 
Constantine) the massacre of the Protestants began ; but the de 
ceased religion had a resurrection in A.D. 1576. There is also 
another computation from the birth of Antichrist, about a 
hundred years after Constantine, (the two centuries later still, 
in p. 603, may be his naming, or his being of age,) when the 
western empire itself began first to break into ten kingdoms : ac 
cordingly since A.D. 1660, there was begun a second measuring 
of the temple ; and before the finishing of it there will follow 
another great and eminent slaughter of the witnesses by the 
beast s again prevailing over them. 

ii. The allusion to ChrisCs passion in this killing of the 

In all other passages of this book, the allusions are still to 
stories of the Old Testament ; but this, as standing alone, is in 
exact conformity to the circumstances of that great centre-story 
of Christ s death and resurrection, which being typed of old, are 


now made transcendent patterns beyond all sufferings, (as in 
Phil. iii. 20, Col. i. 24,) in any former age ; whereby we are both 
provoked to prepare for it, as Christ did ; and also comforted 
against it, as being thereby to be made specially conformable to 
Christ in his glory also. Thus Christ, after three years and a 
halfs ministry, (when he had almost earned it in the people s 
hearts, the world going after him,) was at length prevailed over 
by his enemies, and put to death by the sovereign power of Rome, 
which then had jurisdiction in Jerusalem,) and for three days 
and a half lay in their power: So when these witnesses are about 
to finish their testimony, their Pharisean enemies, (afraid of losing 
their own credit and authority, through their prevailing in the 
people s hearts,) will acknowledge the foreign power of Rome, so far 
as by and under the authority, and for the sake of the beast, to kill 
them and have them in their power, for three years and a half; 
whereupon they feast, and " send gifts for joy," as the Pharisees, 
ridding themselves of the torment of Christ s ministry, made the 
passion-passover the most joyful feast they ever kept. But 
Christ and his witnesses, both rise again, and with an earthquake 
too, and also amidst the consternation of their enemies ; after 
which, both ascend to heaven : and to confirm the allusion, the 
Holy Ghost puts in a parenthesis, (v. 8,) " Wliere also our Lord 
was crucified ;" meaning either " Sodom and Egypt" and Jeru 
salem also, " Where also" &c. or, referring to " crucified ;" 
q. d. " where also the witnesses are in like manner to be killed" 

in. The killing of the witnesses executed by the power of 
the beast, and not by any previous persecutions in the Reformed 
churches among themselves. 

To explain somewhat about this great occurrence yet to come 
in the church : The power authorizing this slaughter is to be 
that of the beast, or Pope of Rome, who having regained more or 
less influence in the places where these witnesses are, is to kill 
them, (v. 7,) though they are hated also of all their enemies who 
are of the Reformed religion among them : and besides, the place 
where their dead bodies lie, (and consequently where the 
slaughter is to be executed,) is " the city where our Lord was 
crucified," (c. xvii. 18,) the jurisdiction of the Roman empre 
being so called in John s time ; as Popedom is the church of 
Rome, and all its kingdoms make up " that great city" Now 
Rome was as the royal palace of the Roman world, whence issued 
edicts and commands over all ; and therefore the sentence of 
Christ s death was pronounced by Pilate the Roman governor 
residing in the holy city : thus the beast of Rome shall again 
recover so much owning and acknowledging, (by secret com 
bination, or by professed avouchment,) in the places of the Re 
formation where the witnesses are to be killed, as that for his 
sake, and at his instigation, those Pharisees, (either as joining 


with him, or else using the help of his party,) shall kill them, the 
beaht having so much hand in it as to be said to do it, and that 
for the further advancement of his power in these places : Now 
their dead bodies are to lie "in the street (or extent of the juris 
diction ) of the great city," (v. 8.) which is the outward court of 
the temple. Whatever enemies the witnesses have had from 
among themselves, of the same nation and religion, (as the Phari 
sees were to Christ,) who have persecuted them from the times of 
the first Reformation, and made them continue to prophesy in 
sackcloth, notwithstanding the separation from Antichrist ; yet 
none of all those wars and prevailing^ are this eminent killing by 
the beast, with whom these enemies combine, using the help of 
the Papists against the witnesses ; or perhaps beginning again 
more openly and avowedly to submit to the beast, (as the Phari 
sees did to Caesar,) to advance whose power they shall kill these 
witnesses, his greatest and heartiest withstanders : Or, if in doing 
this, they do not so openly avow the beast s power, it may yet 
be said to be done by him, if done through such agents ; and we 
may be suspicious of this, for there is a generation of men, (as 
shewed out of c. xiii.) set forth as the beast s last champions, 
who not at first avowing his name or character, yet receive " the 
number of his name," and are reckoned truly his, as interdicting 
commerce to his opponents, in order to advance him : and I fear 
they shall proceed yet further, if not to confess the Pope as 
"infallible head of the church," yet as "universal patriarch of 
the west," so endeavouring to effect union and reconciliation with 
him ; for these men are at first to bring in but an image of Popery, 
(as Popery was an image of Heathenism,) with intent to introduce 
more, as was said ; whereunto accords this angel s oath in Dan. 
xii. 7, concerning the beast s scattering the saints, &c. And as 
the Gentiles are to obtain the outward court to tread it down, 
with the the rest of the holy city, it argues their prevailing so far 
as to gain a subjection from carnal Protestants, through whom the 
beast s power may be said to kill the witnesses, as Pilate crucified 
Christ in the name of Rome ; so Rome through her legates will 
depose and put to death, in those places, these witnesses : that 
as Jerusalem was to be the slaughter-house of all the prophets, 
(Luke xiii. 33,) so Rome is to have a hand in the deaths of all the 
witnesses, (though others may persecute them too,) and to exe 
cute this last great martyrdom : for in her downfall she is to be 
reckoned with, (c. xviii. 24,) as having the blood of the prophets, 
and saints, and all the slain found in her : until therefore the 
Romish flag be advanced on the walls of the court of the temple, 
we must not reckon the time of the witnesses three years and a 
half to be come ; but when we see that " abomination of desola 
tion " begun to be set up, then let us " flee to the mountain." 

iv. The time of the leasfs enjoying his full victory over the 


witnesses is but three years and a half, though he may be longer 
a killing them, and obtaining it. 

The Popish Gentiles have already been long a besieging the 
temple, and making war against it, without prevailing yet, even 
so far as to overcome fully enough the court, and gain the out 
work ; but how far so ever this war may be lengthened out, when 
it once comes to a complete victory, we are comforted that the 
witnesses shall begin to rise again from their killing within three 
years and a half: and as the time of the greatest obscuration is 
specially noted as the time of the eclipse, so in this great and 
last hour of the church s darkness, the time of its eclipse alone 
is reckoned. The Pharisees plotted long against Christ, con 
sulting his ruin, but prevailed only for three days and a half, " or 
the midst (or half) of the week," (Dan. ix. 27,) which days of the 
witnesses must be prophetically years, (as are the twelve hundred 
and sixty,) not only so as to exhibittheir deadbodies before nations 
and tongues, in reports of this beast s victorious putting them 
down, but for the Papists to rejoice therein and send their gifts 
and congratulations: Now just such a three years and half had 
Jerusalem under Antiochus, when the temple was polluted, and 
" the daily sacrifice taken away, and the abomination (of idolatry} 
set up ;" see Dan. xi. 81, &c. with the history of the Maccabee? 
And therefore after Daniel had set forth and ended this his tyrann 
he begins to set out the tyranny of that "wilful king" the Popv/ 
his antitype ; as Christ passes from the storj r of Jerusalem s 
destruction to its fulfilment in the end of the world : so there 
is a transition there describing Antichrist, whose ruin and end 
comes after " ill tidings out of the north," (the northern Refor 
mations,) had enraged him to " go forth in fury," utterly to root 
out the Protestants ; in which expedition he is so far to prevail, 
as " to plant his tabernacles in the glorious holy mountain," and 
thus to over-run the church; as Antiochus prevailed over the Jews, 
and the Pharisees over Christ, in their hour of darkness ; so this 
will be " an hour of temptation coming on the whole Christian 
world," c. iii. 10 : the enemies think to get the day, but they 
shall have only their hour in this fearful eclipse ; and then will 
be the revival, as in Hosea vi. 2 : For three years and a half 
also Julian again set up idolatry, after forty years reign of Christ 
ianity ; and so long shall Popery be again set up on every 
throne where Protestantism hath reigned, till it be utterly and for 
ever extirpated. 

v. The nature of the beast s victory over the witnesses. 

Some interpret the killing the witnesses only of a civil death, 
as witnesses, not as men ; taking away all power from them, by 
a general silencing of ministers, and deposing of magistrates, and 
men of worth, that profess and uphold religion, putting men from 
their high places, shutting their shops, burning their books, &c. 


for that as their resurrection is not from a natural death, so their 
bodies could not be supposed to lie above-ground for three days 
and a half, before a spirit of life came into them; who being dead 
must be the same as were killed. Thus also the not suffering 
them to be put in graves, would signify only what hindered their 
enemies from killing them outright, the Protestant party in the 
nations about them preserving them above ground for a reviving, 
as we leave unburied any of whose death we are not sure : and 
" the nations, tongues, and kindreds," seeming a distinct com 
pany from the witnesses enemies, (who " rejoice over them," &c.) 
favours this notion ; the angel thus describing the differing 
spirits of the two sorts of men towards the witnesses, " they of the 
nations" kindly keeping their bodies out of the grave, and " those 
that dwell on earth" rejoicing over them. Again, as it was com 
monly reported that Christ should rise on the third day, (Matt, 
xxvii. 63,) so this general notion of the Popish party s prevailing 
for three years and a half, will influence the witnesses friends to 
interfere against their utter extinction and burial underground, 
hoping, (like the disciples as long as Christ lay buried in the grave,) 
that they will rise again from their lying unburied above-ground. 
Tn answer also to the supposition of this last being the worst and 
\arpest of all struggles, they say, That "killing" here is alone 
3cified thus, as being the signal of the Pope s ruin. But, 
hough I think it cannot be denied, First, That this lying dead 
+o, metaphorically, a suppressing by civil death, the now desperate 
cause of the saints, as witnesses, so putting them down that they 
remain as men laid forth by the walls for dead, of whose testi 
mony there is no likelihood of a revival ; whereat their enemies 
rejoice; (as the Pharisees thought they had Christ sure enough 
in the grave, after his condemnation and crucifixion :) So the 
last war of the beast scatters the power of all the saints, as wit 
nesses, but kills them not all, as men, however the natural lives 
of many of them may be sacrificed : Yet, Secondly, I fear that so 
great a victory over and suppressing of the witnesses, will be fol 
lowed with great effusion of martyrs blood ; and that such a 
warring, and overcoming, and killing, import further proceedings 
by which they get this complete victory : I fear all these 
metaphors, lest this same killing after overcoming be not really 
and properly some further cruelty of malicious enemies ; for 
" overcoming " would sufficiently express the mere suppression 
of them : and in c. xiii. (which is a prophecy of the rage and 
utmost cruelty the beast should exercise against the saints 
throughout his whole reign,) all those bloody executions and 
butcherings of the saints are expressed also by "warring" and 
" overcoming ,-" the " killing" there omitted, being afterwards 
expressed so as to shew the cause and manner of the beast s 
bloody fall and ruin in the end, and what provokes God and man 
unto it; for " He that killeth with the sword must be killed with 


the sword," c. xiii. 7, 10 : And though Antichrist s power is 
there set out generally, in its height and ruff, during his whole 
reign over all, and here only his last special war against the wit 
nesses is described, immediately fore-going his ruin ; yet the 
expressions here as there, maybe of the same nature, and import 
the same mode of prevailing : for though his last war is to issue 
in the beast s ruin, yet may he first recover again the like power, 
and exercise the like cruelty over these witnesses, though for a 
small space: yea, it may be feared, by that dirge of her own funeral- 
song which she makes in c. xviii. 6 8, that Babylon shall recover 
her ancient power again, or fully expect it, through her prevailing 
over some of her lost kingdoms ; for only the day before she is to be 
burnt for a witch and whore, " she saith in her heart, I sitas a queen, 
and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow ;" and then follows 
God s omnipotent power in her sudden destruction by plagues 
at once in the midst of her rejoicing. There is a like intimation 
of the beast s recovering his power, (Dan. xi. 45 ;) for "yet he 
shall come to his end," unlikely as it is that he should again be put 
out of such power as he seems so settledly to have regained; even 
as it appeared impossible that the cause of Christ should again 
prevail, after the Gentiles and Pharisees had so glutted themselves 
with his blood, and so triumphed over him in the grave, "Yet 
(saith Ps. ii. 6,) I have set my king upon my holy hill of Zion." 
The cruelties Rome may revive, together with the revival of her 
influence, may revive also the memory of all her former slaughters, 
and so provoke God and men, as for this her last blood-shed to 
bring upon her the blood of all the prophets and martyrs before 
shed; as the blood of Christ brought upon the Jews the blood of 
all the righteous down from Abel : and as the ten tribes were en 
raged against the with eagerness to root them out, 
because of their first great victory over themselves; so may the 
Protestant party be whetted on by fresh killings of the saints to 
do execution upon such enemies without all mercy, " rewarding 
her as she had rewarded them," and " killing with the sword her 
that killed with the sword." But why should this one particular 
war alone be mentioned by the angel at last, if it were not differ 
ent from such as Antichrist was wont to make upon the saints, 
as in c. xiii ? I answer, 1st, This war is thus specified as being 
the last, because it is a signal of the time of Antichrist s ending, and 
a manifestation of God s wonderful dealing, both with the church 
and with his enemies; that after so great a victory obtained by her 
against the beast, he should yet have power to do again for a little 
space, that he might be overthrown when thinking himself as 
secure as ever. 2dly, It is the last eminent suffering of the 
European churches, and probably the worst; for sharpest afflic 
tions fore-run the greatest happiness ; and here the witnesses die 
to rise again, and rise again to die no more, as it was with Christ 
himself. The king of terrors is the porter lo let saints into heaven ; 

2 \ 


and, says Paul in 1 Cor. iv. 9, " God hath set forth us the apostles 
last, as it were appointed unto death ;" alluding to the gladiators 
or fencers in the Roman games, the last of which three sorts, 
(being usually slaves or malefactors,) wont to come upon the stage, 
were appointed not to go off, but to fight it out till they were 
killed. The greatest persecution of the church under Pagan 
Rome was that of Dioclesian and the fifth seal, and therefore all 
Rome s former martyrings under the former seals do not raise a 
general cry of their blood, until the arrival of that most cruel per 
secution ; and yet these saints are bid to wait till another martyr 
dom : but here the witnesses dying as Christ died, shall also rise 
likewise to die no more. 3dly, This last conquest is mentioned 
as an epitome of all the witnesses sufferings during the whole time 
of their prophecy, and thus the crisis of their three days and a half 
is interpreted by, and is a compendium of, their whole time of pro- 
prophecy for three years and a half; even as this period reduced 
to days of twelve hundred and sixty, become again so many pro 
phetical years. Now as Christ s sufferings, here alluded to, were 
all summed up in his death ; and he was heard and delivered as 
soon as they came to this," Why hast thou forsaken me ?" so when 
the church, in her last brunt, shall utter the like voice, know we 
that delivery is near. 4thly, The beast having been so chased by 
these witnesses prophesying, and having had so many vials emp 
tied upon him and his company, will wreak such vengeance, when 
once he gets the power again, that " his anger will be fierce, and 
his wrath cruel," (as in Gen. xlix. 7 ;) and the northern Reforma 
tion causing such opposition to him, will stir him up to this his 
last invasion of the churches " to go forth with great fury to 
destroy and utterly to make away many," Dan. xi. 44 : Thus having 
nothing but blood and cruelty in their hearts, where would it end 
if God "restrain not the spirits of these princes," or cut them short 
by an almighty work of his power. 5thly, In c. xvii. 6, the whore 
of Rome, just before her ruin, " adds drunkeness (Deut. xxix. 19,) 
to her thirst for the blood of saints, thus increased by her scorch 
ing withjtfre from the witnesses : and that this refers not to her 
former bloody martyrings, appears from John s telling us that "one 
of the seven vial-angels, (probably ihejifth, who poured on the 
seat of the beast,) shewed him the judgment of the great whore, 
with whom the kings of the earth had committed fornication," &c. 
in so many ages fore-past : for that now in these her old and last 
days she appears so drunk, it makes me fear her new coming out 
of her cups of blood, (the draught of some fresh cup making her 
tipsy again ;) but so, that she may be surprised however, Somno 
Vinoque Sepulta, buried in sleep and drunkenness, (like Babylon) 
to her greater judgment and confusion. Yet, 6thly, God may 
perhaps " restrain the remainder of that wrath, and make it praise 
him, cutting short their spirits," (Ps. Ixxvi. 10, 12 :) yea, maugre 
all their rage, malice, and spirit of revenge; their own wisdom and 


policy may move them to forbear the full execution of what they 
could do, so as to moderate the use of their victory, especially in 
a respect to that Protestant party continuing firm in heart and 
conscience to the cause of these witnesses, though outwardly 
overcome. The light of the gospel deeply impressing men s 
spirits is not to be extinguished, so as men shall suddenly em 
brace Popery for truth : and as the Pharisees " for fear of the 
people," forbore many attempts against Christ, so may these for 
fear of those tongues, and kingdoms, and nations in heart favoring 
Protestants, forbear the extremity of rage in their power ; pro 
mising themselves perhaps some future more perfect recovery and 
settlement of their power, and more mischievous ends, when men s 
consciences shall be more quieted in Popish ways, and the ad 
verse party more lowered and diminished ; till the short date of 
their full power suddenly expiring, they awake from their dream 
too late to " destroy and utterly make away many," see Ps.lxxiii. 20, 
Isa. xxix. 7, 8. We have experience of the wisdom of this 
generation of men loving easy and gradual conquests, who find, 
that by butchering the saints the cause of Protestantism is ad 
vanced, and their own religion branded with the bloody mark of 
the false and whorish church : such was the policy of the apostate 
Julian, who yet sinned against the Holy Ghost : but he knew that 
martyrdom increased the church here, and brightened the martyrs 
crown of glory hereafter ; and therefore out of envy and a witty 
malice, he forbore edicts for killing the Christians, and used sub- 
tilty to ensnare and tempt men from the truth to the shipwreck of 
their consciences ; and thus he paddled with profane hands in the 
blood of souls, a sweeter victory to him than that of their bodies : 
and to mischief and diminish them still more, they were denied 
schools of learning, and the use of books, and all offices either in 
war or peace. 6thly, Though these Gentiles are so furious " to 
root out many," yet the issue being expressed by the beast s 
" planting his tabernacle, (soon to be pulled down again,) on the 
glorious holy mountain," may imply no more done in the execu 
tion of his destructive design, than taking possession again of the 
church as his throne ; Dan. xi. 44, 45. But, 7thly, Let us fear 
and prepare for the worst, seeing the sins of the witnesses in 
yielding so far to the superstitions of Rome as to leave some of them 
in their churches, like so much filth on the shore from the over 
flowing of the ocean, (the Romish sea,) and their other sins, as 
carnal-gospelling, worldly-mindedness, &c. also their base yiel 
ding up the outward court and deserting their cause ; for many 
among them " shall do wickedly," Dan. xii. 10. Lastly, The 
utmost to be hoped is such a time with the church as that under 
Julian, whose persecution might be a figure of this to come ; that 
the last of Paganism, this ofPopery : Julian abstained from violence 
of blood at first, but used deceit ; he smote with the tongue rather 
than with the sword ; he studied to ensnare consciences by placing 



his own image among idols in the forum, that in refusing to do 
homage to these false gods, the saints might be accused of denying 
reverence to him ; which course ended in much bloodshed, though 
without the public edicts of former emperors ; the people perse 
cuting Christians to death in various parts of the empire to gratify 
his hatred of them. Now though this prevailing to come, may 
prove worse than death by martyrdom, through manifold tempta 
tions and snares and cruelties, yet may it be rather an hour of 
temptation and trial to believers in general, (accompanied per 
haps with the Gentiles killing of many witnesses,) and difficult 
times, (CHALEPOI, 2 Tim. iii. 1,) of these last days of Popery, 
than the bloody times of the latter days in 1 Tim. iv. 1 ; and 
though the last days may be stained with much blood also ; yet 
many shall certainly survive this war, after being " made white 
and tried," (Dan. xii. 10:) for so sudden a resurrection of so great 
a multitude as shall possess that glorious state of a church de 
scribed in c. xix. 1 10, at three and half years end, would hardly 
arise from a succession of new converts, but from the same 
persons surviving and out-riding that great storm. 


It is a question how far the generality or universality of this 
slaughter may reach; and, First, Whether to all sorts of professors 
of religion, or only to eminent persons in the church ? as wit 
nesses, probably the most excellent saints will be singled out to 
a duel, or single combat as it were. The Gentiles before this 
had the outward court of carnal professors more easily yielded ; 
but among these truly godly ones, they find serious and stiff op- 
posers that will never be brought to yield to them : and the 
Popish party themselves see and find, that the godly of the Pro 
testants are their only real enemies, who put the great bars and 
impeachments to their plots, and are the great stakes in the hedge 
of the church, standing in the gap against their irruptions : and 
these alone tormenting the ungodly by their lives and profession, 
(v. 14,) are triumphed over by the beast : This therefore may not 
be a massacre of all sorts of professors at large, like that in Paris, 
A.D. 1572, but a set battle against sincere witnesses alone, whom 
their enemies have been taught to know and distinguish from 
others by the fire they have shot into their consciences, (v. 5:) 
so Antiochus three and half years persecution fell especially on 
the teachers and instructors, Dan. xi. 35. But these witnesses 
being " the golden candlesticks," (v. 4,) a scattering of the purer 
churches will be joined with this killing : and if their olive-trees 
be felled and removed, if their prophets and rulers be scattered, 
" the sheep will be scattered, the shepherd being smitten ;" which 

REV. XI. 7 10.] OF THE WITNESSES. 661 

Matt. xxvi. 31, is here alluded to. Secondly, Whether this kill 
ing of the witnesses shall be over all the Reformed churches, and 
of all Protestant states and kingdoms ? 1st, Graserus, a judicious 
Lutheran divine, thinks it will be universal, and that the angel s 
scope is thus to difference this last from all former partial eclipses 
of true churches ; that whereas persecutions have never ceased in 
one place or other, at one time or other, now they will prevail at 
the same time in all places ; and such universality the treading 
down of the outward court, and the great and general sins of all 
churches, do at least threaten ; and thus " the dead bodies seen 
in the street, (or jurisdiction,) of the great city" might import, 
that wherever witnesses are to be found, they shall be killed, 
and so exposed to view. This I deny not, but think it may be 
the event more or less ; yet I believe that some one kingdom or 
state, will more eminently be made the seat of this war, the field 
of this battle, the shambles of this slaughter ; for where the wit 
nesses rise from their dead conditions, there an earthquake shakes 
the tenth part of the city, or one of those ten European states 
that have given up their kingdoms to the beast, but shall now 
in this slaughter begin to fall from, and cease to be a part of 
the city, no longer belonging to the jurisdiction of Rome, under 
which it had again been for the space of three years and a half ; 
and there this earthquake is for the special help and furtherance 
of the witnesses rising in this kingdom, and ascending into 
heaven, whose slaughter it will avenge by killing seven thousand 
names of men, their enemies, v. 13. Now if this resurrec 
tion and ascension be in some one part of the ten kingdoms 
made more eminently glorious, as the special privilege of the 
witnesses therein, the death also therein should also be more 
conspicuous ; for the glory to follow is in proportion to our suffer 
ing here with Christ : and though the main shock of the storm 
may fall there, yet the whole heavens may be covered with black, 
and all churches feel some drops and sprinklings of it. 2dly, 
The witnesses lie dead in the street, not in all the streets or 
states of Rome s jurisdiction ; the Protestant party (the peoples, 
and kindreds, &cj in the other streets (or nations) noticing 
the slaughter, as by-standcrs aloof, will perhaps prohibit them a 
sanctuary, or grave to hide their heads in, when they flee 
thither for help. 3dly, If in this last combat the witnesses 
be singled out as the one party, and if by witnesses be meant 
only such faithful Christians and professors as hold forth an emi- 
ment testimony, (not men of learning, but of holiness and zeal, 
being the real tormentors of these their enemies;) surely where 
such witnesses are chiefly found following the steps of their fore 
fathers slain before them for the same cause, there especially will 
be the seat of this war. Now, 4thly, In all the Reformed 
churches how few such witnesses are there ! the fire and heat of 
the first Reformers, (which scorched the Popish Gentiles,) have 


left only a light remaining, and so faint and cold and dull a testi 
mony as the enemy despises : only in the witnesses of great 
Britain, both the light and heat of religion have been in times 
past preserved and increased ; and more true witnesses will pro 
bably be found in it, in the last day, (wherein this slaughter is to 
fall out,) than in all other of the Reformed churches ; and that 
according to the testimony of those who, in times past of begun 
scattering, have come hither. Sthly, The place of killing the wit 
nesses will surely be where most witnesses are, in which kingdom 
also are more eminently found those last sort of champions for 
the beast, who receive only the number of his name, and yet 
shall be chief executioners of this last slaughter, and are to be 
overcome last of all the beast s company before the fifth vial o.i 
his seat, as in c. xv. Add we hereto, 6thly, This conjecture upon 
Dan. xi. 44, 45, (which chapter, from v. 36, hath Graserus excel 
lently, [and Mr. Mede on 1 Tim. iv. 1, 2,] applied to the Pope, 
that wilful king typified by Antiochus :) where the angel s scope 
is, to shew the issue of the beast s last expedition against the 
Reformed churches before his end, in the last war of Antichrist s 
" accomplishing to scatter the power of the holy people ;" where 
in " going forth in such fury utterly to destroy, he shall plant 
the tabernacle of his palace between the seas, in the glorious holy 
mountain : yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help 
him." Now this Holy Mount is the Zion of Christendom, where 
stands the temple of the true church, which is " the mountain of 
the Lord s house," (Isa. ii. 2,) erected in Europe by the northern 
Reformation, against which the beast shall prevail so as to tread 
it down, and place again the tents of his throne upon it, or at least 
some part of it, as Alstedius and others confirm, and as accords 
with the delivering up of the outward court : and this Zion being 
situated among the seas, designates its distinction from every 
other church. Luther makes it point to Rome, the seat of the 
beast, between the Adriatic and Tuscan seas : but how could 
the beast " go forth to plant" if some new-gained settlement 
were not meant, or if the ordinary place of his residence was 
meant ? Graserus hints at Germany, between the Baltic and 
German oceans; but even so, it could only be its northern parts. 
I fear for our own isles, our British Zion, which God hath made 
pre-eminently the seat of the church in these latter-days, and 
which so stand between the seas as to be wholly among seas, 
(" Penitus Toto Divisos Orbe Britannos") and which " God 
hath loved above all the habitations of Jacob," Ps. Ixxxvii. 2. 
And as the angel also calls this mountain by this high and trans 
cendent phrase, " the mountain of delights of holiness" or as 
Junius turns it, " of holy comeliness ;" it seems to note out some 
" place of uprightness," where God s majesty and glory should 
shine, so as to render it his delight, and comely in his eyes, 
though, for the trial of the witnesses therein, to be again ceded 

REV. XI. 8, 9.] THE WITNESSES 663 

to Antichrist, " to plant there the tabernacle of his palaces," or 
throne, (or clergy, as Graserus reads it;) even as Nebuchad 
nezzar planted his throne at Tahapanes, as a sign of his conquest 
of Egypt : So that he shall be so rooted in his pristine sovereign 
ty, that in hope of recovering all, the whore of Babylon shall 
sing just before her fall, " No widow 7." But this sudden victory 
is only a pitching tent in a field ; and not being a tabernacle of 
God s planting, it will come to nothing ; for" Every plant which 
the Father plants not, shall be rooted up," Matt. xv. 13 : there 
fore " He shall come to his end, and none shall help him" 


Though the witnesses lying dead seems a metaphorial allusion, 
yet I fear this " not suffering them to be put in graves" rather 
expressive of inhumanity, whether " these of the nations," &c. be 
friends or foes ; so that the whole is added to shew further the 
extreme misery and desperate calamity brought on the witnesses 
in this time of their trial. First, If these nations, &c. be enemies, 
their seeing the dead, and not suffering any interment to take 
place, implies a feasting their eyes as with a spectacle of delight, 
a gazing-stock to these seers, as in Ps. xxii. 7 ; cix. 25 ; lii. 6 ; 
Isa. Ixvi. 24 : and in Ps. Ixxix. 2, 3, the like miserable desola 
tion of the temple, and slaughter of the saints, whether under 
Antiochus, or at the Babylonish captivity, is aggravated by this, 
" that there was none to bury them ;" the witnesses herein par 
taking of the humiliation of Christ s lying in the grave, by lying 
at the mouth of it ; though his obtaining a burial and such an 
honorable burying-place, was an act of humanity in Pilate the 
Roman governor, which the Roman pontiff makes " the nations" 
&c. deny the witnesses. Secondly, If these " nations" &c. be 
friends in heart, and of the same religion with the witnesses, is 
their not suffering them to be buried a friendly office ? Now " they 
of the nations," &c. seems to be a company (EK) out of these nations, 
a contradistinct Protestant party, not in all nations, nor all Pro 
testants in gospel nations ; but some witnesses in Protestant 
nations are here mentioned, to shew what part they should play 
in this tragedy : For this killing the witnesses falling out in an 
age when so many among the nations continue Protestants in 
heart, will they endure it, and not put a helping hand in this ex 
tremity ? says the angel, " They shall sec their dead bodies, and 
not suffer them to be put in graves :" 1st, They shall see their 
dead boxlies lie in the street, or market-place, for a public scorn, 
without heart to help them, or however to relieve them ; shy of 
intermeddling in their killing one way or other, they stand aloof as 
friends and well-willers do from malefactors executed, or as men 

664 NOT TUT IN GRAVES. [REV. XI. 8, 9. 

pass the other side of a corpse : even as when Rome s turn shall 
come, the kings of the earth, who still cleave to her in heart, 
shall stand aloof at the sight of her burning, (as when Abraham 
looked at the smoke of Sodom,) c. xviii. 9, 10, 18. Or, 2dly, 
In that the witnesses should be driven out among the nations, so 
that " those of the nations," c. to which they should fly for 
refuge, should see them ; what follows may come in as a further 
degree of inhumanit}-, added to the indignities put on them by 
their enemies, so to complete their affliction : these false friends 
being prevailed on by the power and dread of the Papists, to re 
fuse harbouring and befriending them : The grave is a resting- 
place for the vanquished, and a shelter from the shame, contempt, 
and indignities of insulting foes; but no such resting-place can 
the witnesses find. Thirdly, The allusion here may be, 1 st, To the 
sufferings of Christ ; for after a great part of the people had 
shouted their " Hosannah to the Son of David," rejoicing in 
his ministry, they were prevailed on by the Pharisees to cry 
out " Crucify him, crucify him," and to run in troops to see him 
executed, and " to look on him whom they had pierced :" so it 
is to be feared that the Protestant party will be over-awed by the 
power and tyranny of Rome, (lest she tread them down also,) 
and shall comply with her forbidding to protect the witnesses. 
Fourthly, It may allude to putting a corpse into a grave, which 
is all that we can do for the dead : so when these witnesses are 
deposed from their station, and perhaps banished from their nation, 
(a sort of death to them,) and, being cast out to the contempt 
and malice of their enemies, shall come to those of other nations, 
&c. for rest and harbouring as in a grave ; (they now being laid 
by the walls speechless, and as dead in respect of their former 
active life of witnessing by prophecy;) but such shelter not being 
afforded them, thus " their dead bodies are not suffered to be 
laid in graves :" Yet the witnesses flying out of England were 
so far sheltered by the Low-countries ; and so were the Protes 
tants flying out of Germany by the English : and in queen 
Mary s days, the English Protestants found graves at last, some 
in Germany, some in Geneva, and others elsewhere; enjoying 
liberty of conscience, though not of preaching as in king Ed 
ward s days : but the surpassing misery of the three and half 
last years will stop every hole of refuge, and every grave where 
they may hide their heads and be buried there. Fifthly, This 
non-interment shall be by edicts, prohibiting the banished wit 
nesses being harboured, and not suffering them to lie in their 
grave, (Ezek. xxxvii. 12, 13;) and though tl being put into a grave" 
is a passive phrase, and notes what is done by others, and seems 
improper to express men s fleeing for shelter and seeking a grave ; 
yet we must remember that the Holy Ghost speaks also meta 
phorically of a civil death, wherein those who are dead, as wit 
nesses, may seek a hiding-place, as men : for people are some= 


times said, actively, to "bury themselves," being naturally alive; 
So these here are passively, "put into graves," being figuratively 
dead. Therefore, Lastly, This non-interment notes out the ful 
ness and finishing of the afflictions of the church, aggravated 
thus by the inhumanity and cowardice of her half-hearted friends. ; 
seeing all Europe cannot offer them a bed in its graves, and no 
sanctuary in any of its streets ; for they will not now be able, 
" when persecuted in one city, to flee into another." Now the 
unfaithful carriage of many Protestant states towards their neigh 
bours and brethren, when this war began its commencement, may 
give us cause to fear and suspect, that even the Protestant party 
may turn thus inhuman towards the witnesses. How have the 
Lutherans in Germany complied to take part with the Papists 
for the ruin of the Cah -mists ? and it were happy for other states 
professing the Calvin religion, if they could wash their hands of 
the blood of the churches not only not assisted, but even be 
trayed by them. 



I. Four general observations concerning this resurrection. 

First, The circumstance of it correspond with ChrisCs resur 
rection and ascension ; Christ mystical, in these last days when 
his visible kingdom draws near, being more eminently conform 
able to Christ personal, both in his death and resurrection, (those 
last of his acts done on earth before his kingdom then :) and 
though there are some evident characters of likeness between his 
passion and their killing, yet there are still more striking ones 
between his and their rising again. Secondly, The peculiar cir 
cumstances of his resurrection correspond with those of the 
k illing, as a well-proportioned reward ; for, 1st, A spirit of life 
enters into these slain. 2dly> Instead of any longer lying dead 
in the street, they stand upon their feet. 3dly, Their enemies, or 
false hearted friends, who with pleasure see them (BLEPSOUSI,) or 
who help them not, now (THEOOROUNTAS) with terror behold them, 


4thly, Great fear falls on their enemies, who before with joy 
looked on. 5thly, Their dead bodies suffered the contempt of 
remaining above ground, unburied and exposed ; but now they 
more than live, being called up to heaven thither to ascend. 
6thly, Thousands of their enemies are now killed in turn, as 
sacrificed unto them. By all this, Thirdly, The parallel of 
Christ s resurrection and ascension is made ; the lower was the 
one, the higher is the other, as in Eph. iv. 9, 10 : where he rose, 
who died : he went up to heaven, who w r ent down to hell ; he 
sitteth at God s right hand, who lay in the chambers of the grave. 
Fourthly, In this ressurrection there is a fore-running shadow of 
that last great victory, which brings in the dawn of the kingdom 
of Christ and the saints for a thousand years, beginning under 
the seventh trumpet, v. 15. I shall notice these particulars after 
despatching the following interpretation of 

ii. The steps and degrees of this resurrection and ascension. 

First, "The spirit of life from God enters into them? as Christ s 
soul coming again into his body was the principle of his future 
life. This notes a full restoration of their former state of life and 
power ; and it is a reviving, not of their bodies but of their persons, 
(as surviving this short storm,) or of successors standing up in their 
cause : that whereas they were like dead men for three and a half 
years, in respect of their life of prophesying, (and perhaps through 
their own discouragements and fears, they lay too still and quiet, 
suffering their enemies to carry it, by their not opposing them as 
they ought,) yet now a bold and steeled resolution comes upon 
them, and they stand on their feet, and make head against their 
enemies, being thus alive again from the dead ; while those who 
were actually slain by the Gentiles may be said to rise in their 
successors ; for the saints are a holy nation and community ; and 
what the next succession doth, through the prayers or sufferings 
of a former, that the former is said to do ; as in Isa. v. 8, 12, and 
as John Baptist rose up in the spirit of Elijah, and as in Christ s 
ministry John was thought to be risen again from the dead. Now 
this "spirit of life" enters into the witnesses /row God, as a special 
demonstration of the power of his hand, such as he put forth in 
the resurrection of Christ, Eph. i. 19, 20; Rom. i. 4. Secondly, 
" They stand upon their feet" 1st, As in their former state or 
station. 2dly, As men erect, and taking heart; their cause being 
just, though they were before condemned. 3dly, As ready to 
defend themselves, and able and resolved to confront their ene 
mies, into whose guilty consciences it strikes a mighty dread ; 
" great fear falling on the spectators," whose hearts begin to sink, 
(as the hearts of Haman s friends misgave at his beginning to fall 
before Mordecai,) at the witnesses first beginning to live ; for they 
see this prophecy fulfilled, beyond all expectation, as Christ fore 
told his resurrection after three days : and now the church will 


sing, " Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy," &c. Mic. vii. 8, 10. 
Or, " Those that saw them" may be the by-standers of " the 
nations," &c. who not having relieved these their friends, are taken 
with fear and reverence of God and his truth, so as now to take 
part with them, contemplating their wonderful zeal and courage, 
and awed at the power and majesty ofGod s finger herein, as in Jer. 
xxxiii. 9. Thirdly, " They are called up to heaven in a cloud" 
(as Christ ascended ;) where " heaven" means not " the church," 
(as it often doth in this book,) but a moro honourable and glorious 
condition than they had before, so that they shall die no more 
(Rom. vi. 9) the death of tcitnesses, whom it became " thus to 
suffer and to enter into their glory," Luke xxiv. 26 : their former 
state was as a church on earth, this is as a church in heaven. 
This " ascending up to heaven" is used to express new power, 
freedom, and glory, (as Isa. xiv. 12, 13,) such as is the dawning of 
the glory of" the new heaven and earth" to the enjoyment of 
which the church shall henceforward be raised up, as in c. xix. 


As there were certain events which accompanied Christ s resur 
rection, so here there was an earthquake, affrighting the watchers : 
Now, 1st, The timeof itwas" the same hour" of the witnesses rising, 
as one of the means facilitating it by the removal of impediments, 
(like the rolling away the stone from Christ s sepulchre;) the power 
of their enemies being thus scattered and dissolved : and though 
their resurrection and ascension are mentioned together, and then 
this earthquake is mentioned, after both, yet it follows not that 
all three were together ; for the two distinct degrees of exaltation 
need not follow one another immediately, though put together as 
things of a sort ; so this earthquake may refer only to the period 
of the witnesses first rising, as falling out the same hour when this 
great turn began. 2dly, The place and effects of this earthquake 
are expressed thus : " The tenth part of the city fell, and of the 
names of men were slain seven thousand" in the overthrow of 
the buildings thereof. 

I. What is the fall of the tenth part of the city ? 

First, Mr. Mede thinks it is the ruin of Rome itself, at the same 
hour with the witnesses rising and ascending, and all one with the 
fifth vial ; for that, (it being an overthrow of the Popish enemy,) it 
must be reduced to one of the vials, four of which are mentioned 
before in v. 5, 6, 7, and the sixth seems to be that of v. 14, and 
then the seventh is all one with the seventh trumpet : for modern 
Rome is but a tenth part of the ancient imperial city, thus re 
duced by the trumpets in c. viii. and ix. ; and " the names of men 


slain," are ecclesiastics and other dignitaries, as cardinals, arch 
bishops, bishops, &c. those Italian merchants who have enjoyed 
so much traffic by reason of this whore s merchandise, are to be 
deposed and suffer a civil death, (as the witnesses had done,) at 
this seat of the beast s now falling into Protestant hands. But, 
Secondly, Though this may be ultimately intended, my thoughts 
have been carried to some other distinct event, by observing the 
different effect which this earthquake hath on the hearts of the 
remnant of these slain in the fall of the city, from that which the 
full and fatal ruin of the seat of the beast, (under the effect of the 
fifth vial,) hath on the remnant of the beast s company there; see 
v. 13, with c. xvi. 10, 11 : The one having been drawn in through 
fear, to be of the Popish party, do afterwards repent ; while the 
other cease not to blaspheme : so that it seems some special event 
connected with and making way for the witnesses rising and as 
cending where their chief slaughter was, through a mighty commo 
tion of the state of things, and in men s hearts ; that as the Pope s 
power had again been entertained by that tenth part of the city, 
through a forced consent and yielding to their slaughter, there is 
now a great insurrection against that power, and a proceeding to 
ruin the opposite party, of whom the unslaiu remnant in their 
fright " give glory to God," and return to embrace the truth, and 
the cause of these witnesses. The scope of the Holy Ghost here 
is, to shew what properly concerns the rising of the witnesses as 
the means unto it, the earthquake and fall of the tenth part of 
the city being still reducible to the fifth vial, as a degree unto it, 
and as the final scope of it; for there are sprinklings of the same 
vial both before and after its acme, yet reducible to the vial of 
their own kind, to which they are either preparations or appen 
dices. Thirdly, " City" being taken in this book, either for Rome 
or its jurisdiction, " the tenth part" may be either or both ; the 
fall of one being a step towards the fall of the other ; and this 
double interpretation is frequent in scripture. But, Fourthly, 
I rather understand hereby some tenth part of Europe, (probably 
the same as " the street of the city" v. 8,) that one of the beast s 
ten kingdoms, (by charter allotted to him, c. 17,) where are found 
most faithful witnesses lying dead for the three years and a half, 
and where they shall first begin to rise at the convulsion of the 

ii. What is the great earthquake anddownfal in this tenth 
part of the city ? 

Under the sixth seal, the mighty change wrought in the Roman 
empire turned Christian, through Constantino s deposing all 
heathen emperors and rulers and worshippers, is called an earth 
quake, c. vi. 12 ; and so is this last shaking of states politically or 
ecclesiastically, whereby this one of the ten states of Popedom 
falls off from the rest who belong to the beast, and becomes 


Protestant again, after having again been so enthralled to the 
Pope as to be guilty of the last blood of martyrs : and as earth 
quakes are from inward motions in the bowels of the earth, so this 
glorious revolution may arise from within that kingdom, either 
through the supreme magistrate s beginning to " hate the whore" 
(c. xvii. 16,) or through the people s hearts turning against the 
beast s cruelty, after their consciences are enlightened, while 
their outward court lies trodden dgwn by the Gentiles, the wit 
nesses also having the spirit of life re-enter, so that with one heart 
they join together to break their yoke asunder. Mr. Mede con 
jectures this voice to the witnesses out of heaven, to be that of 
supreme authority, with which the people also shall join, an 
earthquake being a commotion in the people and nations. 

in. What is the seven thousand names of men, and their 
slaying ? 

There is not such another phrase in the Bible as " names of 
men" which are certainly such enemies of the witnesses as had 
the chief hand in their killing, and in subjecting " the nations," 
&c. to the beast s power. First, Mr. Meide takes it for " men of 
name" (as "riches of glory" for " glorious riches," &c.) meaning 
men of office, title, and dignity; (as they are also called in Num. 
xvi. 2 ;) who here are ecclesiastical dignitaries under the Papacy ; 
as they do themselves speak of all the several ranks and orders 
of the hierarchical ministry, from the highest to the lowest, (which 
being so many are here numbered by sevens and by thousands,) 
thus, "By what names or titles soever dignified or distinguished; 
and these are " names of men" being of human invention, and 
not what the Holy Ghost teacheth : and this phrase is aptly con 
nected with the ruin of the Pope s creatures, brought about by 
such evil and error of theirs : But it is proper to civil offices and 
titles to be of men, as human ordinances or creations, (see p. 5, 
for ANTHROOPiNEEi CTISEI, 1 Pet. ii. 13 :) but the foundation of 
the calling and office of ecclesiastical names is of another building, 
"not of men," (Gal. i. 1,) though "by man" the persons may be 
set apart to fill such offices of which Christ is Lord, of whom 
they hold, as truly as gifts hold of the Spirit, and as operations do 
of the Father ; and it is God that hath set (ETHETO,) teachers 
as well as apostles, 1 Cor. xii. 4 6, 28. Therefore Popish 
names, not being " plants of the Father s planting, must be rooted 
out" of this kingdom, where they had caused us much mischief 
even to cruelty against the witnesses ; and where the efficacy of 
working to uphold these names had brought it again under the 
measure of the tenth part of the city, ere the earthquake causes 
it again to fall from the jurisdiction thereof. 

iv. What is the tenth part of the city that fell by the earth 
quake and resurrection ? 


Though it is rash to determine, it is not hard to conjecture, 
which of the ten European kingdoms or states shall first be 
privileged with so blessed a handsel of the general revival of 
the churches : for God makes new choice of nations and churches 
beyond our thoughts ; for " his ways are past finding out," by any 
designment traced on the face of previous dealings with any of 
the churches. I will therefore only prognosticate, from the face 
of the sky in the churches of tbis present age, where this heaven 
(into which the witnesses shall ascend,) is likely first to clear up 
from under these clouds, and from out of this hour of darkness 
to come upon the world. First, The saints and churches belon 
ging to the kingdom of France, God hath made a wonder to me 
in all his proceedings towards them, first and last; and there 
would seem some special honour in reserve for them. The light 
of the gospel by the first and second angel s preaching, (c. xiv.) 
which laid the foundation of Antichrist s ruin, began from Lyons 
and other places, which have endured the heat of that morning of 
persecution, greater perhaps than any since, wherein the French 
churches have also had perhaps the largest share ; and though 
they have continued a glorious church for so many centuries 
since their separation from Antichrist, (see p. 611,) yet they have 
not had that great honor and privilege of a supreme magistrate s 
professing their religion, (with which other churches have been so 
blest ;) for such have been either their bloody persecutors and 
oppressors, or else have apostatized from them: we may therefore 
yet expect their kings to be wrought upon " to hate the whore 
and to burn her with fire," c. xvii. 16 ; and the voice which calls 
these witnesses up to heaven, may yet proceed from the throne 
of France, where the witnesses have ever prophesied in sackcloth; 
so that that kingdom may have the first stroke in the ruin of Rome. 
But, Secondly, Viewing the face of the present condition of the 
saints and churches in Europe, as it presents itself in this last 
age, (wherein these things are in all likelihood to be fulfilled,) 
together with a retrospect into the times past also ; and putting 
all together, Great Britain and the islands belonging to it, seem 
to have stronger claims than any other of the Reformed churches 
to the glory of being the prominent stage both of this great 
slaughter, and also of the rising and ascending of these witnesses. 
For without being swayed through affection only, (which might 
betray the judgment,) I have seriously and impartially considered 
and weighed things : for since the fourteenth century, there has 
been as glorious a succession of godly witnesses and martyrs, 
(as you may collect among Mr. Fox s martyrology,) as any other 
nation can produce ; and since the Reformation, the descriptive 
marks of these witnesses designed to this slaughter and glory, ap 
pear the liveliest upon those of Great Britain. For 1st, Here 
God hath continued the most faithful, and called, and chosen, 
(c. xvii. 14,) who are of the Lamb s side, and are to overcome, 


with him, the kings that shall hate and burn the whore ; there 
being more that hold forth the power of religion here than in all 
the nine kingdoms besides : and surely where the most eminent 
witnesses are, there will be the most eminent slaughter, and con 
sequently also, their most glorious resurrection and ascension ; 
magnitude of sufferings, multitude of witnesses, and greatness 
of glory, being thus commensurate. 2dly, In this " street of the 
city," (more than in all other churches,) God hath eminently 
stirred up men s hearts to breathe after, and contend for, a further 
and purer Reformation and measuring of the temple; and this more 
or less ev er since the first erection of the English church of 
Frankfort, in queen Mary s days. Now the bitter persecutions 
brought on through such contentions against all false worship, 
have caused our witnesses to prophesy in sackcloth, more appa 
rently than others in other Reformed churches ; whence hath 
followed a greater increase in spiritual light and holiness, and in 
practical knowledge in the ways and works of sanctification, (by 
which the worshippers are to be measured,) and also a clearer 
insight into the institution and true government of a church, (by 
which the temple and altar are to be measured ;) others in the 
quiet enjoyment of this sort of purity having run out into little 
better than an outward-court formal profession, with but few priests 
of the inner temple, those worshippers who worship God in power, 
in spirit, and in truth. By consulting the Exposition of the first 
six verses, and by impartially applying the interpretation given 
to the Protestant professors this day in Europe, how pre-emi 
nently will the state of British saints, and their constant conflict 
with the beast and his abettors, fit the measure thereof, and 
approach nearer the life of that face of things presented in the 
British, rather than in any other European Zion ? 3rdly, The 
description of the eminent opponents of the witnesses in these 
last days, as authors of their slaughter, also fits those open and 
professed enemies in these kingdoms, where are found those that 
receive the number of the beast s name, who yet have rather 
denied, and may still for awhile deny his character, and disclaim 
his name: to whom else shall we liken this generation ? or where 
else shall we find similitudes for them, if the said description in 
these chapters suits them not ? And these number-names being 
the beast s last-named last champions, (as in c. xiii. 17 ; xv. 2;) 
are to hold up the last great quarrel of the beast s cause, and to 
fight the last combat with the witnesses ; and so in this last age 
to be overcome in open field by them, as their predecessors, that 
had the mark and image of the beast, have been overcome by 
the former generation of witnesses in elder times. 4thly, In 
which of the Reformed churches, except in these kingdoms, are 
those names of men continued, (according to the otherwise 
unused phrase, "By what names or titles soever distinguished") 
who are to be the killers of the witnesses, and therefore to be slain 


by this earthquake, in their revenge ? which several names and 
titles and dignities, from the highest to the lowest, may haply 
amount to just seven thousand, (or a great number,) even besides 
such ministers of parishes and assemblies, as for the substance 
of their office have a warrant from God, though their usual names 
be of man s devising. Yea, is not this very thing made the 
quarrel now, Whether these same ranks of ministry be names of 
God or of man, about which the witnesses have contended from 
the beginning ? And is it not the suspicion and general opinion, 
that to continue and secure these their names, men would again 
introduce Popery ? for this the witnesses have been silenced, 
fined, deprived, and deposed from their ministerial charge, lest (as 
the Pharisees said of Christ,) the people s running after their doc 
trine should endanger their names, credit, and dignity ; and so 
" take away their kingdom." This hath been the secret cause of 
the continuation of the quarrel, though under other outward 
pretences; yea, this will be the provocation for the ensnaring 
slaughter of these witnesses, which now approacheth ; they say 
within their hearts, " Let us kill these witnesses, and the vineyard 
will be ours." 5thly, On all the above grounds, how plainly 
probable does it seem, that these accompaniments of the witnes 
ses resurrection, are to fall out in this tenth part of Europe, and 
in one, or both, of these our kingdoms? and how just were it with 
God to give up these "names of men" (who havebeen the enemies 
of his witnesses in all times since the Reformation,) to receive at 
least " the number of the beast s name" and under his name and 
power, as his trained band and leaders in this his last war, to 
become in the end the killers of these witnesses ? And how 
wonderful and wise a dispensation of God will it be towards his 
own in these kingdoms, to have reserved the utter extripation of 
these long contended for " names of men" unto such a time and 
occasion as this ? and that after they shall first have done this 
feat and exploit for the beast, in killing the witnesses, they 
should then be sacrificed, (as Baal s priests were by Elias ;) 
when these witnesses, whom they so persecuted, shall rise to die 
no more ? thus the ruin of those their enemies is made their 
triumph, and the removing them out of the way by this earthquake 
is the foundation of their ascension into heaven : after which the 
work of measuring the temple, by these Samaritans interrupted, 
shall go forward in the hands of Joshua and Zerubbabel ; and 
the people, before afraid, shall begin to cry " Grace, grace, unto 
it :" so the rearing of these purer churches shall be upon the 
rubbish of this Samaritan mountain of the false church. 6thly, 
If the fifth vial be also aimed at in this earthquake, and the fall 
of Rome, the seat of the beast; how comely will it be, and suitable 
with the long expectation of God s witnesses and holy ones, that 
the ruin of these sees and seats of those that shall do Antichrist 
such service, shall fall out with, or be preparative unto the fall of 


that great bishop s see, (as expounded in the fifth vial ;) when both 
shall go down together, as alike pertaining to the same building of 
man, not of God ! Lastly, If this prove the issue of God s deal 
ings with these kingdoms, how gloriously shall God thereby ac 
quit himself in the conclusion of all his dispensations towards 
them ? For to see two such contrary streams running so strong 
ly one against another in the same channel, hath indeed caused 
a wonderment in the godly- wise of this last age, what God means 
to do, and what end he means to make with England : how 
equally God means to proceed here both towards them that fear 
him, and towards the opposite party, that arc and have been 
here, is the great expectation of the churches ; for it is miracu 
lously strange to see how God upholds in the same state two such 
contrary factions and parties, one of his own people, rising higher 
and higher in spiritual light, against superstition, and breathing 
after further purity of holiness and perfection of public worship ; 
and herewith at the same time another strong party, looking 
towards Rome, and increasing in superstition, darkness, and an 
impudent outfacing the light of truth, even when shining clearest 
and brightest on them. Now for the all-wise God, whose art and 
skill " knoweth how to preserve the righteous, and to reserve the 
wicked unto punishment," (2 Pet. ii. 9,) to come off at last so 
gloriously ; what more equal and likely dispensation, than the 
course chalked out in this chapter, towards both parties in our 
kingdom ? which course, according to God s dealing throughout 
the scriptures, the godly-wise might have hoped he intended to 
run, even though this prophecy had not been left us in this chapter 
concerning these very times. 

v. This resurrection and ascension, is a shadotv of "the res 
titution of all things" 

To make appear yet more glorious all that hath been said 
about the great privilege and honor to befall one tenth part of 
Europe, let me add, That this resurrection of the witnesses seems 
the commencement of the first great turn of things in the church 
hastening to the new Jerusalem, and the dawn of the fulnes of 
Christ s kingdom, and the final restitution of the church s libe 
ration from under the yoke of Antichrist. " Wilt thou at this 
time restore the kingdom to Israel ? " was the disciples question 
after Jesus resurrection, (Acts i. 6, 7 :) Jesus denies not the 
fact, but denies them only the knowledge of " the times or sea 
sons, which the Father hath put in his own power." But now 
these times and seasons drawing near, tho rising of these witnes 
ses, (which being figured out by his resurrection, and the fulfil 
ment of it, is called in c. xx. 5, C, " the Jirst resurrection" ) is 
here mentioned as the signal of that restitution : and so the ancients 
generally spake of that day, That this killing and rising again of 
the two witnesses, (though interpreted by them of Enoch and 
Elijah,) are the harbinger-signs of that joyful day of Christ s 

2 Y 


kingdom, which they called the day of judgment : And this 
particular occurrence in but a tenth part of Europe, is here men 
tioned, rather than others likely to fall out with it or after it, (as 
the ruin of Rome, in itself a greater one,) that this one pas 
sage might more properly become a sign, (to give which is the 
Holy Ghost s scope in this chapter,) of the approaching of the 
new Jerusalem, under the seventh trumpet : For it is not only 
the first step of the restauration of the church after Antichrist s 
last scattering of it, for ever to go on increasing till the full resti 
tution of all things ; being the first turn of the stream after that 
last low ebb, whose waters still rise to full sea never to ebb again ; 
(these witnesses now rising, as Christ did, never to die again, 
but to cast off their sackcloth for ever ;) But further also, being in 
many particulars the liveliest picture and model of that great re 
volution to come, this passage is singled out as the fore-running 
type and resemblance of what is to begin with the seventh vial, 
(which is all one with the seventh trumpet,) when " old things 
are to be done away, and all things made new," (2 Cor. v. 17 ; 
c. xxi. 5 :) and as here, so there, there is said to be a great earth 
quake ; one " dividing the remainder of Babylon into three parts," 
and precipitating " the cities of the nations," (c. xvi. 18, 19 ;) the 
other precipitating the tenth part of the city, and slaying those 
" names of men :" and as the one is ushered in with the first 
resurrection, so the other with a revival of dead witnesses to a 
better life than they had before : for this wonderful work and 
change shall be, (like the conversion of the Jews,) as "life from 
the dead," Rom. xi. 15. 

vi. Conjectures about the time of the witnesses killing and 

Two periods have been especially pitched on, by writers of the 
seventeenth century, for great changes in the churches of Christ; 
one about A.D. 1650-6, the other A.D. 1666, (see p. 603,) con 
cerning which, and also any other conjectures out of these pro 
phecies, this general caution must be taken in : That in such 
computations a mistake of a few years may occur, from the years 
since the incarnation being uncertainly kept ; as Arnobius saith, 
" It is about three centuries, more or less, since we began to be 
churches ;" and therefore Helvicus, (one of the best chronologers,) 
makes A.D. 1650, to be A.D. 1652 ; and others allow four years 
difference : And an unknown English writer, in a little book de 
dicated to the church of Rome, A.D. 1539, first gave this obscure 
hintof the year A.D. 1666: "Yet two months, two weeks, two days 
and ahalf; and thy number six hundred three-score and six shall be 
fulfilled ;" reckoning from Pope Innocent s time, A.D. 406. Simp 
son, the Scotch abb re viator of the church s story, and Mr. Wood 
in his manuscript on the Revelation, incline also to A.D. 1666. 
The other period, A.D. 1650-6, some make the time of the Jews 
first calling, and others the expiring of Antichrist, and the fall of 


the city ; so that holy man Hiltenius, (the great forerunner of 
Luther, in Germany,) who foretold the very year of Luther s 
rising after him to teach his doctrine ; which Melancthoii saw writ 
ten under his own hand ; this being one of his last sayings, (re 
corded among the lives of the German divines, by Melchior Adam ;) 
"That A.D. 1651, shall be the time of the change of this, and the 
beginning of the new world. Since him Finch, in his book of " The 
Jews calling," (and many others also,) makes that the time "when 
God will leave off to scatter his holy people, for then shall the 
Turk s first declining come," &c. and the most learned Rabbi in 
the world communicated this period to Mr. Forbes, as the utmost 
time of the advent of their Messiah. Mr. Mede also makes An 
tichrist s commencement, A.D. 395 ; so that thus there would be 
as many years from Christ to the beginning of the new world, as 
from the creation to Noah, to which age Christ compares his coming. 
In Dan. xii. 11, this same angel says, " That from the time that 
the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that 
maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and 
ninety days " or years" added to Julian s time ; for from Vespa 
sian and Titus time, they would have been out near five hundred 
years ago. Hiltenius, (who was a great studier of Daniel s pro 
phecies,) first made this conjecture ; and Wood, Finch, and others 
followed him, as did most of the Jews. Now these two compu 
tations of A.D. 1656, and A.D. 1666, may be reconciled by the 
two gradual accomplishments of the fifth vial ; whereof the one 
is the preparation to the other, some portions being poured out 
at the top, and others at the dregs of God s wrath ; the first degree 
of it beginning at the rising of the witnesses, with the fall of the 
tenth part of the city, (or Romish jurisdiction;} the other com 
pleting the ruin of Rome itself, (c. xvi.) which is but a tenth part 
of the original Rome. Now this angel here, declared in Dan. xii. 
1, 7, That about the same time the children of his people, (the 
Jews,) should be called by Michael their prince, (Christ,) and be 
also delivered out of the greatest distress from the Turkish empire, 
(the second woe to pass away, v. 14,) ever nation was in ; after 
which restoration of the Jews, and resurrection of the witnesses, 
the church s reign on earth will begin to be established on the ruins 
of Antichrist, at the blast of the seventh trumpet. But the other 
period of" the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days," 
(or years,) being about forty-five years anterior, would have brought 
it down to A.D. 1690-9 ; and these two periods are set as two 
posts, the one at the beginning, and the other at the ending of the 
whole style of time allotted for the fulfilment of events before 
Christ s kingdom. Again in Dan. xii. 7, the angel seems to men 
tion Antichrist s " three and a half times," distinct from the " ac 
complishing to scatter the power of the holy people " by killing 
the witnesses ; and then " all these things, (about the ruin of the 
Pope and Turk,) shall be finished," or a finishing ; for they would 
scarcely all end together at one time. So that the twelve hun- 

2 Y 2 


dred and ninety years designs not so much Antichrist s time, as 
the first turn of things at the saints scattering, preparatory to 
Christ s kingdom ; this expiring of his time being somewhere 
within these forty-five years : For, 1st, The angel s fixing a latter 
period for the final end of all, leaving so many years between, 
augur the former to be the punctum beginning the time for the 
accomplishment of these great things, whereof Antichrist s ruin is 
one, and that of the Turk is a great one also. 2dly, Having re 
peated this scattering, &c. as a preface to his answer about the 
time of its being finished ; " Many, (says the angel,) shall be 
made white, and tried, and purified " by this scattering ; and then 
is subjoined, " And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken 
away, (under Julian, as some interpret,) shall be twelve hundred 
and ninety days," to the killing of the witnesses : Now these 
three years and a half were prefigured by those of Antiochus, 
and accompanied with the same trial, Dan. xi. 35 ; " Many shall 
fall, to try them, to purge them, and to make them white ;" the 
scattering in the apostate Emperor s time being a strong resem 
blance with that to come under apostate Rome : But the Pope s 
" three times and a half" would have been reckoned from some 
more eminent and suitable mark than tliis heterogeneal passage 
of Julian s persecution, as hornogeneal with this killing of the 
witnesses. 3dly, As the latter period emphatically blesses him 
that cometh thereto, it intimates a blessedness also on the dawn 
of it, forty-five years before, in comparison of the scattering 
times previous thereto ; though thrice blessed are the timesof which 
the angel saith to Daniel, " Thou shall stand up in thy lot," &c. 
as he saith in c. xx. 6, " Blessed is he that hath part in the first 
resurrection." It is in explanation of Daniel, that the angel here 
insists so largely on this last killing of the witnesses, and their first 
resurrection ; the forty-five years ending also with another resur 
rection still more glorious, the Pope and Turk being destroyed ut 
terly in the interim : and in further confirmation of this harmony, 
the twelve hundred and ninety days are pitched on by some for 
the conversion of the Jews, and the fall of Turcism ; the taking 
away the Jews sacrifice being pitched on as the eminent mark 
and post, whence to reckon the account : for the Jews last at 
tempt to erect their temple-worship in Julian s time was over 
thrown by an earthquake ; thus fulfilling the prophecy of Christ 
then again, "not to leave one stone upon another" even under 
ground : The time therefore of their turning to the Messiah is 
reckoned from temple-matters of which he is the substance ; and 
if the resurrection of the European witnesses, and the conver 
sion of the Jews, should fall out together, how famous would Dan 
iel s days be made by two so glorious resurrections, accompanying 
the foundations of the new Jerusalem ; the enemies of Jews and 
Protestants, hitherto letting, being now " taken out of the way," 
that the Son of man might be revealed ; as the Roman empire did 
let the revelation of " the man of sin " and his kingdom. Thus 


both these typical resurrections will become pledges of " the re 
surrection of the just," and that of the witnesses will prepare 
the effusion of the fifth vial on the ruined Romanist, as that ot the 
Jews will prepare the effusion of the sixth vial on the ruined Turk. 
And it may be observed, that these forty-five years correspond 
with the period of the Exodus of Israel, adding the five years of 
battling for the promised land to the forty years in the wilderness, 
as in Joshua xiv. 10. 


The three last trumpets being called three woes, and one woe 
being past when the fifth trumpet had done sounding, (c. viii. 13 ; 
ix. 12 ;) as soon as the time of the sixth trumpet is being finished, 
it is said " The second woe is past, and behold the third cometh 
quickly," v. 14. Now the sixth trumpet being the empire and ty 
ranny of the Turk, and the sixth vial being that great and deadly 
blow that shall be given to that empire, to make way for the kingdom 
of " the kings of the east," (the Jews,) mentioned in that vial, 
Mr. Mede interprets this passing away of the second woe, to be 
the very sixth vial, and the fifth to be the fall of the tenth of the 
city. But the last blast of the sixth trumpet seems here to 
synchronize with the earthquake, and the resurrection and ascen 
sion of the witnesses, and the fall of the tenth of the city ; all end 
ing in one period : for as soon as the Holy Ghost had narrated all 
these, he concludes w ith, " The second woe is past." If then the 
fifth vial be the period of the Pope s reign, and if the witnesses 
putting off their sackloth be at their rising, and at the fall of the 
tenth part of the city ; how can the passing away of the second 
woe, (if it be the sixth vial,) fall out and synchronize with these ; 
seeing the vials, seals, and trumpets, fall out successively, each 
after other, if not in equal distances of time ? To reconcile this 
difficulty, 1st, Either the fifth and sixth vials shall fall out about 
the same time ; and so the conversion of the Jews, and the rising 
of the European witnesses, fall out together as preparations to both : 
(and so Dan. xi. 45, with xii. 1, seems to connect the fall of Anti 
christ with the rising again of the Jewish nation from that paroxysm 
of Turkish trouble, accompanying their first conversion ;) Or, 
2dly, As the witnesses not only rise with an earthquake, but 
afterwards ascend also into heaven ; there may be a space of years 
between, (as there was of days from Christ s resurrection to his 
ascension,) wherein all their enemies and other obstacles are 
removed : so though their rising be preparatory to the sixth 
vial, their ascension may not be until the sixth. But 3dly, The 
angel s scope in introducing this clause, " The second woe is past" 
may not be to denote the exact period of all these occurrences, 
or to shew the synchronism of the sixth vial and the end of the 
sixth trumpet, with this earthquake, &c. but rather, (as the Turkish 
tyranny was one part of the second woe 011 the eastern Christians, 


[c. ix.] and another part the treading down the outward court of 
carnal Protestants by the Papists, and killing their witnesses,) 
having related and put them both together, he comes in with 
" TJie second woe is past" q. d. " I have now fully declared what 
a woe God will bring on the eastern and western Christians, per 
fecting together the second woe, and making up the story of the 
sixth trumpet ; and having done with these two parts, I pass 
therefore to speak of the third woe, which now cometh quickly" 
&c. So that this passage seems to shew materially what pertains 
to the sixth trumpet, rather than chronologically to shew the expir 
ing of it : and this great punishment from the Popish Gentiles 
on the Protestant party in the west for their sins, is fitly cast un 
der the trumpets, and joined to that great plague on the eastern 
Christians by the Turk, as a part of the sixth trumpet ; and severed 
from the vials, as no part of them ; they being to fall only on the 
enemies themselves of both these Christian companions, viz. on 
the Pope and the Turk. Thus the Holy Ghost homogeneally 
puts together the punishment of carnal Christians, eastern and 
western, under the woe of the trumpets ; and in like manner 
involves these other two grand enemies to Christ s profession and 
religion, wholly under the plagues of the seven vials : and this 
may be why the " treading down the outward court" and the 
" killing of the witnesses," come in here ; and why the "treading 
of the winepress," (c. xiv. 20, which is part of the treading of the 
outward court,) is reckoned no part of the vials, it being to fall on 
the Protestant party : yet so as that, what with the trumpets and 
what with the vials, God will be sure to meet all sorts for their 
sins, and by a like just and impartial rule proceed both towards 
friends and enemies, without any respect of persons. 4thly, As 
the calling of the Jews is but tacitly intimited in this book, 
which is chiefly written for the Gentiles; may not this passage 
intimate the foundation of the Turk s ruin by the Jews conversion 
happening together with the resurrection of the witnesses ? for 
the height and bitterness of the Turkish tyranny is past, (though 
the empire may stand for a while,) when the Jews are called ; the 
woe of it lying in its hinderance of the Christian religion, now to 
revive among the Jews in his territories. When the foundation 
of the ruin of any state is laid, and its dominion is past the 
meridian, and begins to decline, it is prophetically past ; as things 
are said to be finished, when begun to be accomplished : as 
Babylon is said to be fallen, (c. xiv. 8,) when but the first vial 
was began to be poured out, and the open discovery of Antichrist 
made ; and again her fall is finally pronounced, when she is 
unseated for ever, c. xviii. 2. Old Babylon is said to be fallen, 
(Isa. xxi. 9,) at the first revolt of the Medes : so the second woe, 
or sixth trumpet, (or Turkish empire,) is said to be past, when the 
Jews first begin to revolt in their conversion to Christ ; therefore 
the angel proceeds to warn us, that " Behold the third woe com 
eth quickly," at the blast of the seventh trumpet, introducing the 

REV. XI. 1 14.] OBSERVATIO>s 7 S ON 670 

new Jerusalem of Christ s kingdom. Thus this chapter is a 
complete comment on the twelfth chapter of Daniel, and makes 
mention of all these things therein mentioned. 


On the fulfilment of prophecy relative to this chapter. 

1 have already observed, that God is wont to fulfil prophecies, 
and the computations of them, over and over, in several degrees 
of accomplishment, as in Daniel s twelve hundred and ninety days, 
and John s twelve hundred and sixty ; and also in the witnesses 
three days and a half, whereof some gradual accomplishments have 
transpired several times in Europe ; yet I have proved a far greater 
slaughter of them yet to come. Now the observation of the revo 
lution of time in the centuries past, wherein the killings of the 
witnesses fell out, may indigitate the time when the great and 
last slaughter, in the centuries running on since, may fall out ; 
that is, as the partial and smaller killings of the witnesses fell 
out in A.D. 1547 9 in Germany, and in A.D. 1556, in England, 
(under Mary ;) so about the time of the revolution of the same term 
of a hundred years, in the middle of a following century, the time 
of this last killing of the witnesses may also be. Thus John Huss 
who suffered martyrdom at a stake about A.D. 1417, said, " After 
a hundred years you Papists shall be called to account;" which 
remarkable speech the Bohemians had stamped upon their coins : 
accordingly in A.D. 1517, Luther arose, and with him the gospel 
in Germany ; and again after another century, about A.D. 1618, 
began those notable alterations in Germany, which still go on to 
this time, the Deformation of the gospel proceeding with as strange 
a hand against the church as, through God, the Reformation did 
for it : so that I confess myself suspicious of the revolution of every 
century, since those former killings of the witnesses, fore-running 
the final one : and if England, Scotland, &c. as the tenth part of 
the city, is to be the eminent stage of this slaughter, then will it 
fall upon some centenary after the former trial of England ; and as 
upon the rising of England and Scotland began that glorious 
harvest of blessed times, which lasted till the German wars began ; 
so in the revolution of other hundred years, far more blessed 
times are likely to arise at the beginning of the forty -five years, 
(before spoken of,) allotted for the accomplishment of all. But 
I leave these conjectures to further light, lest I presume too far in 
fixing the times and seasons for God s great works of wonder : for if 
chronologers even now are not agreed whence to date the seventy 
years captivity, how much more difficult must it be to fix the 
period before the accomplishment of any prophecy ? Yet let an 
indefinite warning that these things are approaching, and our 
selves within reach of them, suffice to move us to prepare for them ; 
(which is the only use of knowing them;) as it is said of death, The 
day is hid, that every day may be watched : And though we may 



think this dismal and black hour of temptation not likely to come 
soon, as the clouds rise not fast enough so suddenly to overcast 
the face of the sky with darkness ; yet living in the extremity of 
times, when motions and alterations, being so near the centre, 
become quickest and speediest, we are at the verge and within 
the whirl of that great mystery of Christ s kingdom, which as a 
gulf will swallow up all time in its haste to make a full end of 
all. And for the Jews call, which is conjunct with this killing 
and rising of the witnesses ; as it depends not on ordinary means, 
there are like to be no preparations at all unto it, until it comes 
with this extraordinary voice, (t Shall the earth be made to bring 
forth in one day, or shall a nation be born at once ?" Isa. Ixvi. 8 : 
so that in the year before there will be no more outward appear 
ances or probabilities of it, than there are now, or have been 
for centuries past : therefore our faith need not be put off from 
this, by our not seeing any stirring or motion towards it ; the truth 
is, Both the killing of the witnesses and the calling of the Jews, 
may fall out sooner than we are aware. 

The Reader will perceive, 1st, That he is left to make his own table of errata, 
except that in p. 577, is Gyrene for Cyprus ; 2dly, That the Iota subscript is 
expressed by I after Eta and Omega, (or double E and ;) 3dly, That some few 
passages of Scripture are not quoted verbatim ; and 4thly, That he is relieved 
from the necessity of any reference to the date of the Author s writing, except in 
p. 603, where the Editor has inserted a short parenthesis, suggesting the year A.D. 
606, as that of the rise of the beast, (when Boniface III. by flattering the traitorous 
murderer Phocas, emperor of Constantinople, procured himself the title of Universal 
Bishop ;) to shew how nearly the fall of Turk and Pope would synchronize, 
according to one of the dates in p. 596. If however our Author looked not beyond 
his own century, how shall we look beyond the eventful middle of ours, as the 
centre of all woes, and " the hour of temptation which shall come upon all the world 
to try them that dwell upon the earth? and if the outlines of these our days, which 
were so strongly depicted by his hand, are being filled up so strikingly by us, how 
sha/jj is generation pass away till all these things be fulfilled ?" For while our State 
(win -y two Acts of the Legislature, tolerates blasphemy against the holy Trinity, 
an. I iuu.<.>ves the disabilities of idolatry,) holds out her right hand and left to Turk 
and Pope ; our Church, by a long-standing apostacy of her members, and by a more 
recent "falling away" among her ministers, is being robbed of the crown of her ekclion 
of God, and of that brightest jewel on its front, her justification by CHRIST ALONE 
through faith only : but if this Jachin and Boaz of our temple be shaken, what can 
bar our re-union with Rome, between whom and ourselves there will soon appear 
no more difference in sense or sound, than between Aholah and Aholibah ? Such rapid 
retrogading into Laudean days must soon precipitate us backwards into the Bonnerian 
age : and what true Protestant hath not " great heaviness and continual sorrow in 
heart," anticipating " such a time of trouble as never was, since England was a 
nation, even to that same time ? yet let us " rejoice with trembling," knowing that, 
although "all shall war ship the beast, whose names are not written in the Lamb s book 
of life ;" " At that time her people shall be delivered, every one that shall be 
found written in this book;" see Dan. xii. 1. Rev. xiii. 8. 

Preserve us, Lord, by thy dear word ; 
From Turk and Pope defend us, Lord : 

Both these would thrust out of his throne 
Our Lord Christ Jesus thy dear Son. 

Old Ver.