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fame mankind to spiritual fornication. St. John in these figures copies the ancient prophets. In the fame manner, and in the same words, did Ifaiah foretel the fate of ancient Babylon, (XXI. 9.) Babylon is fallen, is fallen: And Jeremiah hath afligned much the fame reafon for her destruction, (LI. 7.) Babylon hath been a golden cup in the Lord's hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine : therefore the nations are mad. As by the first angel calling upon men to worship God, we understand the opposers of the worthip of images in the eighth and ninth centuries, so by this second angel proclaiming the fall of myftic Babylon or Rome, we understand particularly (4) Peter Valdo and thofe who concurred with him the Waldenses and Albigenses; who were the first heralds, as I may fay, of this proclamation, as they first of all in the twelfth century pronounced the church of Rome to be the apocalyptic Babylon, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth; and for this cause not only departed from her communion themselves, but engaged great numbers also to follow their example, and laid the first foundation of the Reformation, Rome then began to fall; and as the ruin of Babylon was completed by degrees, fo likewise will that of Rome; and these holy confessors and martyrs first paved the way to it.
9 And the third angel followed them, faying with a loud voice, If any man worthip the beaft and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
10 The fame shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation ; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone, in the prefence of the holy angels, and in the prefence of the Lamb:
(4) Mede p: 517, 722, &c. Pred. Lib. 6. Cap. 16. Eorum hæc dog Spanhein. Hift. Chriftian. Sæc. 12. mata ferebantur; Ecclesiam RomaCap. 6.-receffisle a doctrina et praxi nam, quoniam veræ Chrifti fidei rerecepta Romanæ ecclesiæ, noncupafle nunciaverit, Babylonicam meretricema eam Babylonem, ac confufionis omnis elle, &c. p. 221. Edit. Buckley. matrem ; &c. Sect. 4. Thuani Hift.
11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth
up for ever and ever, and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whofoever receiveth the mark of his name.
12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.
13 And I heard a voice from heaven, saying unto me, Write, Bleffed are the dead which die in the Lord, from henceforth, Yea, faith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, and their works do follow them.
But not only the capital city, not only the principal agents and promoters of idolatry shall be destroyed ; the commission of the third angel reached farther, and extends to all the fubjects of the beast, whom he consigns over to everlasting punishment. (ver. 9, 10, 11.) And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead or in his hand, if any man embrace and profess the religion of the beast, or what is the same, the religion of the pope; the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, or rather of the poisonous wine of God. His punishment shall correspond with his crime. As he drank of the poisonous wine of Babylon, fo he shall be made to drink of the poisonous wine of God, 78 xExem. paoneve axpale, which is poured out without mixture, or rather which is mirt unmirt, the poisonous ingredients being stronger when mixt with mere or unmixt wine, in the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. By this third angel following the others with a loud voice we understand principally Martin Luther and his fellow-reformers, who with a loud voice protested against all the corruptions of the church of Rome, and declared them to be destructive of falvation to all who still obftinately continue in the practice and profession of them. This would be a time of great trial, (ver. 12.) Here is the patience of the saints ; here are they who keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And it is very well known, that this
was a time of great trial and persecution; the Reformation was not introduced and established without much bloodshed; there were many martyrs in every country. But they are comforted with a folemn declaration from heaven. (ver. 13.) And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, IVrite, Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord, from henceforth, it' they die irr' the faith and obedience of Christ, and more especially if they die martyrs for his fake: Yea, faith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, for immediately upon their deaths they enter into rest; and their works do follow them, they enjoy now some recompence, and in due time, at the day of judgment, they ihall receive the full reward of their good works. It is most probable that St. John alluded to a passage in Ifaiah, where the Spirit hath made the like declaration ; (LVII. 1, 2.) The righteous perisheth, and no man luyeth it to heart; and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come: He shall enter into peace : they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness. But the greatest difficulty of all is to account for the words from henceforth; for why thould the blessedness of the dead who die in the Lord be restrained to this time, and commence from this period rather than from any other, when they are at all times and in all periods equally blefled, and not more since this time than before ? Conmentators here are very much at a loss, and offer little or nothing that is satisfactory: but the difficulty in great measure ceases, if we apply this prophecy, as I think it should be applied, to the Reformation. For from that time, tho' the blessedness of the dead who die in the Lord
hath not been inlarged, yet it bath been much better understood, more clearly written anii promulgated than it was before, and the contrary doctrin of purgatory hath been exploded and banished from the belief of all reasonable men. This truth was moreover one of the leading principles of the Reformation. What first provoked · Luther's fpirit was the scandalous fale of indulgences;
and the doctrin of indulgences having a close connection · with the doctrin of purgatory, the refutation of the one naturally led him to the refutation of the other; and his (5) first work of reformation was his 95 theses or positions against indulgences, purgatory, and the dependent doctrins. So that he may be said literally to have fulfilled the command from heaven, of writing, Blefjed are the dead which die in the Lord, from henceforth: and from that time to this this truth hath been so clearly afferted, and so folidly established, that it is likely to prevail for ever.
A learned and ingenious friend refers these three proclamations of the three angels to later times, and supposes that they are an immediate prelude to the fall of Antichrist and the millennium. But the clue that has principally conducted me thro' both parts of the Revelation is following the feries of history and the succeslive order of events. After the description of the two beasts, secular and ecclefiaftical, whose power was establithed according to my hypothesis in the eighth century, but according to most commentators much fooner, there would be a very large chasm without the prediction of any memorable events, if these prophecies relate to the time immediately preceding the fall of Antichrist and the millennium. What a long interval would that be without any prophecy? and how thick would the events follow afterward? for all the particulars not only of this 14th, but likewise of the 16th, 18th, and 19th chapters, must be fulfilled before the commencement of the millennium. I can hardly frame, even in imagination, any events which can answer more exactly to these proclamations of the three angels than the three principal efforts towards a reformation. Charlemain, Valdo, Luther, and their followers, certainly deserve as cxalted characters as are here given them: and it would be very strange that there thould be so many prophecies relating to the downfall of popery, and none concerning the Reformation. He conceives that the church cannot be represented in such an attitude of triumph and jubilation, as it is in the former part of this chapter, while it is afflicted and perfecuted during the reign of the beast.
(5) Sleidan's Hift. of the Reform,, Sect. 18. Spanhem. Hilt. Christian. B. I. Ann. 1517:
Father Paul's Sæc. 16. Cap. 6. Sect. In
But the church of this period is not drawn in such an attitude of triumph and jubilation as he imagins; there are some intimations of its suffering persecution in this very chapter : and if it was as he imagins, yet why may not the true church be represented like the Apostles and primitive Christians as forrowful yet always rejoicing, as rejoicing in tribulation, as exceedingly joyful in tribulation, &c? He farther conceives, that the dead are blessed from henceforth, because they will remain a shorter time in the separate state, and be sooner raised again. But why then is not that reason assigned but quite different ones, that they may rest from their labors, and their works do follow them? These are reasons which hold equally good at all times, and cannot be restrained and limited to any particular time: and therefore I conceive that the words from henceforth relate not so much to the blessedness of the dead, which is always the fame, as to the writing and promulgating of this doctrin by Luther and the protestant reformers.
14 And I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and upon the cloud une fat, like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp fickle.
15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that fat on the cloud, Thrust in thy fickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.
16 And he that fat on the cloud, thrust in his sickle on the earth ; and the earth was reaped.
17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp fickle.
18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp fickle, faying, Thrust in thy sharp fickle, and gather the clusters of the vime of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.
19 And the angel thrust in his fickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great wine-prefs of the wrath of God.