« EdellinenJatka »
(Eph. II. 2.) the prince of the power of the air, and is represented (ver. 13.) as a principal actor in these latter scenes ; so that this last period will not only complete the rain of the kingdom of the beast, but will also make the kingdom of Satan every where. Upon the pouring out of this vial a folemn proclamation is made from the throne of God himself, It is done; in the fame fense as the angel before affirmed (X. 7.) that in the days of the seventh trumpet the mystery of God should be finished. Of this vial, as indeed of all the former, the completion is gradual; and the immediate effects and consequences are (ver. 18-21.) voices, and thunders, and lightnings, and an earthquake, and great hail. These portend great calamities. Voices, and thunders, and lightnings, are the usual attendants of the deity, especially in his judgments. Great earthquakes in prophetic language signify great changes and revolutions, and this is fuch an one as men never felt and experienced before, such as was not fince men were upon the earth. Not only the great city is divided into three parts or factions, but the cities of the nations fall from their obedience to her. Her fins are remembered before God, and like another Babylon she will foon be made to drink of the bitter cup of his anger. Nay not only the works of men, the cities fall; but even the works of nature, the isands fly away, and the mountains are not found; which is more than was said before (VI. 14.) that they were moved out of their places, and can import no less than ani utter extirpation of idolatry. Great hail too often signifies the judgments of God, and these are uncommon judgments. Diodorus, a grave historian (3) speaketh of hailstones, which weighed a pound and more; Philoftorgius mentions hail that weighed eight pounds; but these are about the weight of a talent, or about a hundred pounds, a strong figure to denote the greatness and severity of these judg
But still the men continue obstinate, and blaf
(3) xao xanasns atış8 to Mileta 19. de Rhodiorum diluvio. p. 695. pvaaraoyagemilov,esodote vaiuerfose Edit, Steph. p. 689. Édit. Rhodomas Et magnitudinis incredibilis grando: ni. Pholoft. Hist. Ecclef. Lib. 11. minæ enim pondo, et quandoque ma- Cap. 7. jores, deciderant, Diodorus Sic. Lib. VOL. II.
pheme God because of the plague of the hail; they remain incorrigible under the divine judgments, and thall be destroyed before they will be reformed.
C H A P XVII.
As the seventh seal, and the seventh trumpet, contained many more particulars than any of the former seals, and former trumpets : fo the feventh viol contains more than any of the former vials: and the more you consider, the more admirable you will find the structure of this book in all its parts. The destruction of the Antichristian empire is a subject of such importance and consequence, that the holy Spirit hath thought fit to represent it under variety of images. Rome hath already been characterized by the names of spiritual Egypt and Babylon : and having seen how her plagues refemble those of Egypt, we shall now see her fall compared to that of Babylon. It was declared before in general (XIV. 8.) Babylon is fallen, is fallen; but this is a catastrople deserving of a - incre particular description, both for a warning to fome,
and for a confolation to others. But before the description of her tall and defiruction, there is premised an account of her state and condition, that there may be no mistake in the application. Rome was meant, as all both (4) papisis and protestants agree; and I think it appears almost to demonstration, that not Pagan but Christian, not imperial but papal Rome was here intended; and the arguments urged to the contrary by the Bishop of Meaux limfelf, the best and ableft advocate for popery, prove nothing so much as the weakness and badnets of the cause, which they are brought to defend. 1 ND there came one of the feven angels
which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither, I will fhew unto
(4) Certiffimum eft nomine Baby- nem.--Et aperte colligitur ex Cap. 17. ‘lonis Romam urbem fignificari. Ba- Apocalyplews. Bellarmin. de Rom. ronius ad Ann. 45. Johannes in Apo. Pontiff. Lib. 3. Cap. 13, &c. &c. calypfi paflim Romam vocat Babylo. &c. 6
thee the judgment of the great whore, that fitteth upon many waters :
2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabiters of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.
3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness; and I saw a woman sit upon a scarletcoloured beast, full of names of blafphemy, having feven heads, and ten horns.
4 And the woman was arrayed in purple, and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious ftone and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand, full of abominations and tilthiness of her fornica
5 Avd upon her forehead was a name, written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS, AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the faints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.
One of the seven angels, who had the seven vials, (ver. 1.) calleth to St. Jolin. Molt probably this was the seventh angel; for under the seventh vial great Babylon came in remembrance before God, and now St. John is called upon to see her condemnation and execution. Come hither, I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore, that fitteth upon many waters. So ancient Babylon, which was feated on the great river Euphrates, is described by Jeremiah (LI. 13.) as dwelling upon many waters : and from thence the phrase is borrowes, and signifies, according to the angel's own explanation, (ver. 15.) ruling over many peoples and nations. Neither was this an ordinary prodiitute'; the was the great whore, (ver. 2.) with whom the kings of the earth have committed forniçation : as Tyre (it. XXIII. 17.) committed fornication with all the kingdoms of the world upon the face of the earth. Nay not only the king's, but inferior persons, the
inhabiters of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication; as it was said of ancient Babylon, (Jer. LI. 7.) the nations have drunken of her wine, therefore the nations are mad. Fornication in the usual stile of fcripture is idolatry; but if it be taken even litterally, it is true that modern Rome openly allows the one, as well as practices the other. Ancient Rome doth in no respect fo well answer the character; for the ruled more with a rod of iron, than with the wine of her fornication. What, and where were the kings, whom the courted and debauched to her communion? What, and where were the people, whom she inveigled and intoxicated with her idolatry? Her ambition was for extending her empire, and not her religion. She permitted even the conquered nations to continue in the religion of their ancestors, and to worship their own gods after their own rituals. She may be said rather to have been corrupted by the importation of foreign vices and fuperftitions, than to have established her own in other countries.
As Ezekiel, while he was a captive in Chaldæa, was conveyed by the spirit to Jerufalem, (Ezek. VIII. 3.) so St. John (ver. 3.) is carried away in the spirit into the wilderness; for there the scene is laid, being a scene of defolation. When the woman, the true church, was perfecuted and afflicted, she was said (XII. 14.) to fly into the wilderness : and in like manner, when the woman, the false church, is to be destroyed, the vision is presented in the wilderness. For they are by no means, as some have imagined, the fame woman under various representations. They are totally diftinct and different characters, and drawn in contrast to each other, as appears from their whole attire and behaviour, and particularly from these two circumstances; that Huring the 1260 years while the woman is fed in the wilderness
, the beast and the scarlet whore are reigning and triumphant, and at the latter end, the whore is burnt with fire, when the woman as his wife, hath made herself ready for the marriage of the lamb. A woman sitting upon a beast is a lively and fignificative emblem of a church or city directing and governing an empire. In painting and
sculpture, as well as in prophetic language, eities are often represented in the form of woinen: and Rome herself is exhibited (5) in ancient coins as a woman fitting upon a lion. Here the beast is a scarlet-coloured beast, for the fame reason that the dragon was (XII. 3.) a red dragon; to denote his cruelty, and in allufion to the distinguishing color of the Roman emperors and magistrates. The beast is also full of names of blafphemy, having seven heads and ten horns; fo that this is the very fame beast which was described in the former part of the 13th chapter: and the woman in fome mealure answers to the two-horned beast or false prophet: and consequently the woman is Christian and not Pagan Rome: because Rome was become Christian, before the beast had completely seven heads and ten horns, that is before the Roman empire experienced its last form of government, and was divided into ten kingdoms. The woman is arrayed too (ver. 4.) in purple and scarlet color, this being the color of the popes and cardinals, as well as of the emperors and senators of Rome. Nay the mules and horses, which carry the popes and cardinals, are covered with scarlet cloth, so that they may properly be said to ride upon a scarlet colored beast. The woman is also decked with gold and precious stone, aud pearls : and who can sufficiently defcribe the pride, and grandeur, and magnificence of the church of Rome in her vestments and ornaments of all kinds ? Alexander Donatus (6) hath drawn a comparison between ancient and modern Rome, and asserts the fuperiority of his own church in the pomp and splendor of religion, You have a remarkable instance in Paul II, of whom (7) Platina relates, that, “in his
pontifical vestments he outwent all his predecessors, “ especially in his regno or mitre, upon which he had “ laid out a great deal of money in purchasing at vast
rates, diamonds, faphirs, emeralds, chrysoliths, jaspers, “ unions, and all manner of precious stones, wherewith
(5) Vitring, p. 757. Emmeness. (7) Platina's Lives of the Popes, ad Virg. Æn. VI. 854.
translated by Sir Paul Rycaut. p. (6) Vitring. p. 759. Donat. de. 414. Vrbe Roma. Lib. 1. Cap. 29.