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Full text of "The works of Thomas Goodwin"

OCT J 01988 

BX 9315 .G66 1861 v. 3 
Goodwin, Thomas, 1600-1680. 
The works of Thomas Goodwin 







W. LINDSAY ALEXANDER, DD., Professor of Theology, Congregational Union, 

THOilAS J. CRAWFOED, DD., S.T.P., Professor of Divinity, University, 

WTLLTAM CUNNTN'GHAM, D.D., Principal of the New College, Edinburgh. 

D. T. K. DEUMilOND, M.A., Minister of St Thomas' Episcopal Church, Edin- 

WTT.T JAM H. GOOLD, DD., Professor of Biblical Literature and Church His- 
tory, Reformed Presbyterian Church, Edinburgh. 

AJiDREW THOMSON", D.D., Minister of Broughton Place United Presbyteriaii 
Church, Edinburgh 




(Ifllitl) (General preface 



^nti 20emoir 














A Preface to the Reader, ..... xxvii 



Chapter I. 

The design of the Book of the Revelation — That it is a prophecy, 
wherein, as in a vision, the story of all times is represented — The 
prophetical part of it begins at the 4th chapter — An exposition of 
the 4th chapter — The vision of the throne, beasts, and elders — A 
representation of the church in all ages, , . , 1 

Chapter II. 
The exposition of the 5th chapter, .... 7 

Chapter III. 

The scheme and division of the whole prophecy, from the beginning 
of the 6th chapter, . . . . . ,17 

Chapter IV. 
Of the first six seals in the 6th chapter, .... 30 

Chapter V. 
The six first trumpets, . . . . . .53 

Sect. I. — The exposition of the 8th chapter — The four first trum- 
pets, signifying the ruin of the western empire, . . 54 

Sect. II. — The exposition of the 9th chapter — The fifth and 
sixth trumpets betoken the ruin of the eastern empire, v/uich 
was first broken by the Saracens, and at last utterly destroyed 
by the Turks, a.d. 1453, . . . . . Oij 

Sect. III. — The exposition of the 7th chapter — Why reserved tiU 
after that of the 8th and 9 th — "Who are intended by the hundred 
and forty-four thousand persons that were sealed in their 
foreheads, . . . . . .57 

Sect. IV. — A short view of the 10th and 11th chapters — The 
ends for which the mighty angel {i.e. Christ) descended from 
heaven — The seal-prophecy being closed, a new prophecy is 
given, which begins at the 12th chapter, . . . 63 


Chapter VL 

Of the book-propliecy, that begins at the 12th chapter — An account 
of the general design of it, . . . . . 65 

Chapter VIL 

The exposition of the 13 th chapter, in which is set forth the state of 
the false cliurch under Antichrist — What his name, and the number 
of his name, denotes to us — A short account of the time which 
some fix for his fall, ...... 67 

Chapter VIII. 

The exposition of the 14th chapter, wherein the state of the true 
church under Antichrist is described, . . - .76 


Being the story of the church from the times of the first separation 
from the beast, the Pope, until the glorious Jdngdom of Christ; as 
it is laid down chap, xi., aiid from chap. xiv. 6 unto the beginning 
of cha]). XX. 

The Preface, ... . 78 

Chapter I. 
The 13th chapter explained, from the 6th verse to the end, . 86 

Chapter II. 
The exposition of the 15th chapter, ... .92 

Chapter III. 

The exposition of the 16th chapter — A division of the vials — The two 

last briefly touched, . . . . . .97 

Sect. I. — Seven things premised for the understanding the five 

first \ials, which are upon the beast and his company, . 97 

Sect. II. — A particular and more large explication of the five 

first vials on the beast and his company, . .101 

Chapter IV. 

The exposition of the 11th chapter, which was but briefly touched 
upon in the First Part, the larger explication being reserved here, 
as its proper place, . . . . . .110 

Sect. I. — Prolegomena — Five generals premised for the under- 
standing of it, . . . . . .110 

Sect. II. — The measuring the temple, and casting out the out- 
ward court, chap. xi. 1 , 2, . . . . . 119 

§ 1. — An explication of this double computation of 12G0 
days, or iorty-two months ; and why they are together here 
mentioned, . . . . . . IID 

§ 2. — The occurrences that fall out towards the expiring of 
these times here computed : and, first, a general view and 
division of them, . . . . . 122 

§ 3. — The occurrences, ver. 1, 2, (tlie measuring tlie temple, 



altar, &c., and the leaving out the outward court, and 
treading down the holy city,) more particularly and fully 
explained, . . . . , .123 

§ 4. — An appendix to the 1st and 2d verses of the 11th 
chapter, refuting other interpretations given of the measur- 
ing of the temple and outward court, (which you may 
read, or not read, as you please.) . . 133 

Chapter V. 

The exposition of the 11th chapter continued — The description of the 
witnesses, ver. 3-6, . . . .142 

Sect. I. — Some things in general premised — The division of the 
particular acts ascribed to them: with the order and time of 
each, ....... 142 

Sect. II. — The acts of the witnesses : first, in the darkest times 
of Popery, withholding the rain, what 1 — next, in the times of 
separation from Poperj^, in the three first vials, ver. G, . 145 

Sect. III. — The acts of the witnesses in this their last age of 
prophecy — And, first, tneir devouring with fire, ver. 5, what 1 — • 
The allusion thereof unto Moses's destroying Nadab and Korah's 
company with fire, applied, . . . 146 

Sect. IV. — Secondly, their temple-work in their last days, in 
being two olive-trees, explained; from the allusion to Joshua's 
and Zerubbabel's finishing the temple, _ . . 140 

Chaptee VI. 

The killing of the witnesses, ver. 7-10 of the 11th chapter, . 153 

Sect. I. — The time of their three years and a half not yet come — 
A reconciliation of this and Mr Brightman's opinion, in a 
double fulfilling of it, . . . . 153 

Sect. II. — The allusion unto Christ's last passion, in this last 
slaughter of the witnesses, explained, . . . 158 

Sect. III. — That this killing of the witnesses is to be executed 
by and under the power of the beast of Kome; and so could 
not be meant of any of the former persecutions in the re- 
formed churches, which were from among themselves. . 160 

Sect. IV. — The time of the beast's enjoying this full victory 
but three years and a half — The time of obtaining it, and of 
killing the witnesses, may be longer, . . .162 

Sect. V. — The sharpness and the extent of this victory, how great ; 
whether unto death natural or martyrdom discussed, . 164 

Sect. VI. — Of that concomitant of the witnesses' kiUing : the 
nations seeing their dead bodies, and not suffering them to 
be put in graves — Several senses given of it : whether taken 
as an office of favour or an injury; and whether to be un- 
derstood of friends or enemies, discussed, . . 170 

Sect. VII. — Of the universality of this slaughter — Whether reach- 
ing to all churches reformed, and in them to all professors, or 
only to eminent witnesses — That some one may be more emi- 
nently designed — What is meant by the street of the city, ifcc, 175 


Chapter VII. paok 

The rising of the witnesses, from ver. 11 to ver, 15 of the 11th chapter, 180 

Sect. I. — Three things in general observed — Christ's resurrection 
the pattern of this — The proportions between their killing and 
rising — This resurrection a shadow of that to come, . 1 80 

Sect II. — The several steps and degrees of their resurrection 
and ascension, . . . , . .181 

Sect. III. — The events that accompany their resurrection, . 183 

Sect. IV. — The fall of the tenth part of the city, what 1 — Whether 
thereby be meant the ruin of Rome, the fifth vial 1 .184 

Sect. V. — More particularly, that by a tenth part of the city is 
meant one of the ten kingdoms of Europe — How it is said to 
fall — The earthquake in it, what 1 — The names of men, what 1 
and their killing, . . . . . .185 

Sect. VI. — What tenth part of Europe, or which of the ten 
kingdoms, it is most probable that this earthquake and re- 
surrection of the witnesses shall fall out in, . . 188 

Sect. VII. — How this their resurrection and ascension is a fore- 
running shadow of the restitution of all things at the coming 
of Christ's kingdom, . . . . .192 

Sect. VIII. — An interpretation of that clause, ver. 14, ' The second 
woe is past' — A reconciling some difficulties about it, . 193 

Sect. IX. — The conclusion of this discourse — The conjectures of 
some about the time when this killing and rising of the witnesses 
shaUbe, ....... 195 

A Brief History op the Kingdom of Christ, extracted out of 
THE Book of the Revelation, .... 207 

A Discourse of Christ's Reward ; or, of the Glory ■which he 
receives in Heaven (Rev. V. 12), . . . . 219 



Dedication, ....... 231 

Translation op Dedication, ..... 232 

To the Reader, ...... 233 

A Paraphrase upon the words (Isa. L. 10, 11), . . 235 

Chapter I. 

The first and main observation : That a child of God may walk in 
darkness, ....... 237 

What it is to walk in darkness, ..... 237 


That thereby here is not meant — 
First, In sin ; 

Secondly, In ignorance ; but — 
Thirdly, In sorrow and discomfort, .... 237 

Fourthly, Of what kind of sorrow, and for what ? — 
First, not of outward afflictions only ; but — 
Secondly, chiefly inward, from the want of the sense of God's 
favour, ....... 238 

Proved by three reasons, ..... 238 

Chapter II. 

The particulars of that distress, as contamed in those two phrases, 

' walking in darkness,' ' having no light,' . . . 239 

What the condition of such a one is ; as expressed — 

1. By ' having no light,' ..... 239 
Sight distinct from faith, . . . . .239 
A threefold light added to faith to cause assurance — 

(1.) The immediate light of God's countenance, . . 239 

Which a believer may want, . . . 239 

Proved, . . ... 240 

And how the want of it may stand with God's love stUl 

continued, and with the real influence of his grace, 240 

(2.) The light of present graces, . . . 240 

Which he also may want, .... 240 

(3.) Or, light may be taken for the remembrance of former 

graces and evidences, . . . .241 

Which he may Avant, .... 241 

The reason of both, . . , .241 

How grace may be exercised and not discerned, . 241 
The reason, ..... 241 

2. What his condition is, as expressed by ' walking in darkness ' — 

(1.) To be in doubt what will become of him, . 242 

(2.) Stumbling at all comforts, .... 242 
(3.) Filled with terrors, ..... 242 

Chapter III. 

I. The eflScient causes of this distress — three, . . . 243 

1. The Spirit; whether he hath any hand therein, and how far, 243 

The Spirit not the cause of doubting and despairing thoughts, 243 

Yet the Spirit hath some hand in the distress — 

(1.) Privative, by withdraAving his testimony, . . 244 

(2.) Positive, in two things — 

[1.] By representing God angry through immediate im- 
pressions of wrath on the conscience, . . 244 
[2.] By shaking over us the threatenings of eternal 

wrath, ..... 24^5 

Chapter IV. 

How Satan and our hearts increase this darkness and distress, by false 
conclusions from the Spirit's work, illustrated by the like in the 
illumination of temporaries ; the Spirit's work in both compared, 246 


Chapter V. pauk 

The second eflBcient cause of this darkness — 

2. Our own hearts ; the principles therein which are the causes 
thereof, ....... 249 

(1.) By reason of our weakness as we are creatures, . 249 

(2.) Of an innate darkness as we are sinful creatures, . 249 

(3.) Of carnal reason, ..... 250 

Which as in men unregenerate doth reason for their bad 
estate, so in the regenerate against the goodness of their 
estates, ..... 250 

[1.] How potent and prevalent carnal reason is with 

us, ..... 251 

[2.] And how desperate an enemy unto faith; and the 

reason of it, . . . .251 

[3.] The great advantage carnal reason hath in time of 

desertion, . ... 252 

(4.) Of corrupt affections wJiich join with carnal reason in 

this, as jealousy, suspicion, &c., . . .253 

The rise of them, and of their working in the heart, . 253 

(5.) The guilt in our own consciences remaining in part 

defiled, . . . . . .254 

Chapter VI. 

The third efiBcient cause — 

3. Satan : his special malice in this temptation, commission ; access 
to, and advantage over us in this temptation, by reason of the 
darkness in us, . . . . . .256 

Five things in general premised to explain Satan's working 
herein — 

(1.) Satan hath a special inclination to this kind of temp- 
tation, . . . . . .256 

The reasons, ..... 257 

(2.) God may and doth give up his child into Satan's hands, 

and permit him thus to tempt him, . . 257 

Which permission is granted him either — 
[1.1 At Satan's own motion and request, . . 258 

[2.1 Upon the ordinance of excommunication, . 258 

[3.J Or when that ordinance is neglected, in case of 

some gross sin, . . . .259 

Yet this permission is with difference from that 
giving up of wicked men to Satan, . . 259 

(3.) How able Satan is to tempt, . . . 259 

(4.) That the exercise of this his power is much from the 

darkness in us, .... 260 

(5.) A double advantage that Satan hath over us in the 
exercise of his power in tempting us — 
[1.] Of more near and intimate access to suggest in- 
wardly to our spirits, . . . 260 
[2.] Of lit mattpr and fuel in our spirits to work upon, 261 


Chapter VII. pagu 
!More particularly how Satan works upon those three principles in us : 

first, on carnal reason, . . . . . . 2G2 

1. Satan's abilities to invent false reasonings, . . 262 
Increased by so long a time of experience, . . 262 
And his continual exercise in this great controversy in all ages, 262 
Which of all controversies is the most subtle and intricate, 262 

2. Satan knows how to suit his false reasonings to all sorts of 

believers, ...... 263 

The conditions of men are exceeding various, and so are capable 

of the several sorts of temptations, . . . 263 

Satan fitly knows how to apply his temptations unto those 

various conditions, . . . . ,264 

3. Satan is able undiscernibly to communicate the most spiritual 

false reasonings, and in such a manner as to make them take 
with us, ...... 264 

(1.) To suggest even the most subtle and abstracted rea- 
sonings about things spiritual, . . 264 

(2.) To suggest them in such a manner as to deceive us, 265 

4. Satan is able to continue the dispute, and often to make replies 

to answers made to his false reasonings, . . . 266 

Chapter VIII. 

That Satan is able to work upon that other corrupt principle in us, guilt 
of conscience : both how far he is able to know matter by us, in ob- 
jecting against us ; as also, to set on, and work upon the guilt and 
erroneousness of the conscience, . . . .268 

A difference between Satan's sifting us in temptation, and the 
Holy Ghost's searching us, . . . .269 

How Satan is an accuser by charging the guilt of sin upon the 
conscience, . . . . . .270 

And works upon the injudiciousness of the conscience, . 271 

This quaere discussed. How Satan may know matter against us to 
accuse us of ? . . . . . .271 

A caution premised. That it is God's sole prerogative to know the 
heart, . . . . . . .271 

1. In general, Satan might lay to our charge, though in particular 

he know little by us — 

(1.) In that he knows what corruptions are in all men's 

hearts, he might by guess object them to every one, 274 

(2.) By casting in a jealous thought from some one par- 
ticular, he knows he might set the heart a-work 
to examine all the rest, . . . 275 

2. More particularly, he may know all that another man can 

know of us — 

(1.) As all corporal acts done by bodily substances, . 275 
(2.) He sets himself to know what he can of us by study 

and diligence, . . . .275 

(3.) He is or can be privy to all our vocal confessions of 

our sins to God, .... 275 

(4.) He is or can be present at all times and places, and 

so can accuse us — 


1.1 Of all gross sins outwardly committed, . 276 

2. Of ueglect and deadness in duties, . . 276 

3. Of a man's bosom-sin, . . .276 
(5.) From what he sees outwardly, he can guess at inward 

corruptions, . . . . .276 

(6.) He may further view the images in the fancy and the 
passions, and perturbations of our affections in the 
body, ..... 277 

How, notwithstanding, his knowledge falls short of 
knowing the heart, . . . .277 

Chapter IX. 

How able Satan is to work upon that third principle, the passions and 
corrupt affections, and bring home his false conclusions with terrors, 279 

1. That Satan can raise terrors, . . . .279 
A caution, ...... 280 

2. That though he cannot immediately wound the conscience, yet — 

(1.^ He can rake in those wounds the Spirit hath made, 282 

(2.) From the renewing the remembrance of those terrors 
impressed by the Spirit, he can amaze the soul 
afresh with fears of worse, . . . 282 

(3.) He can bring home all the threatenings made against 

hypocrites, &c., .... 282 

(4.) When he goes about to do this, he can excite the pas- 
sions of fear and trembling of spirit, . . 283 
Which, when stirred, all suggestions strike deeper into 
us, '. . . . . . 284 

Chapter X. 

Tlie conclusion : seven advantages, in common, which Satan hath over 
us in all these his dealings — 

1. That he can suggest frequently and familiarly, . . 285 

2. That he can present his suggestions and false reasonings together 

at once, ...... 285 

3. That he holds and keeps the thoughts and intentions of the 

mind fixed to them, ..... 285 

4. That he sets on all with an imperious affirmation, . 286 

5. That he backs them also with terrors, which is an argument to 

sense, ....... 286 

6. That he suggests undisceraed, .... 287 

7. That we cannot avoid his suggesting to us, . . 287 

Chapter XI. 

II. The second general head: The cases wherein God leaves liis unto 
darkness, ....... 288 

The cases of two sorts, extraordinary and ordmary — 
1, Extraordinary — 

(\.) Out of God's sole prerogative, . . . 288 

(2.) "When God intends to make a man wise, and able to 

comfort others, .... 289 

(3.) In case of abundance of revelations and comforts ; 
either — 





After a man hath partook of them, . . 290 

Before God doth dispense them, . . 290 

Chapter XIL 

The cases ordinary wherein God dotli leave his in darkness, . 292 

A general rule premised : That God is exceeding various in 

these dispensations, . . . . .292 

2. Ordinary — 

(1.) In case of carnal confidence ; which is either — 

In trusting to false signs, together with true, 293 

Putting too much confidence upon signs, with 

neglect of Christ, , . . 293 

[3.] Neglect of going to Christ for upholding of graces, 293 

(2.) For neglecting opportunities of spiritual comforts, 294 

(3.) For not exercising our graces, . . . 294 

(4.) In case of some gross sin ; either — 

'1.1 Against light, .... 294 

2. Not thoroughly humbled for, . . 295 

3. Though long since committed, . . 297 
The reason of all, . . . .297 

(5.) In case of a stubborn spirit under outward aflSictions, 297 

(6.) For deserting the truth when called to profess it, 298 
(7.) In case of unthankfulness for former spiritual comforts 

enjoyed, ..... 298 

Chapter XIII. 

III. The third general head : The ends for which God leaveth to dark- 
ness — First, such as are drawn from God, and his faithfulness, &c., 300 

1. To shew God's power and faithfulness in upholding, and raising 

up a man's spirit again, .... 300 

2. The second end, to know the fellowship of Christ's sufferings, 301 

3. To shew the different estate of God's children here and hereafter, 301 

4. To shew the spring of all spiritual comforts, and our dependence 

for them, ...... 302 

Chapter XIV. 

A second sort of ends for the trial and discovery of graces, especially 
of faith — 

5. Especially for the trial of faith, .... 303 

(1.) Of all graces God tries faith the most, . . 304 

(2.) Of all trials this of darkness is the greatest, for three 

reasons, ..... 304 

(3.) In these conflicts consisteth the height of our Christian 

warfare, ..... 304 

Chaptek XV. 
Six ends more — 

6. For the increasing of several graces, and destroying of corrup- 

tions — 

(1.) To destroy corruption, . . . .306 

(2.) To humble, ..... 306 

^3.) To increase assurance in the event, . . 306 

(4.) The fear and obedience of God, . , .306 



(5.) To pray more and more earnestly, . . 306 

(6.) To prize the light of God's countenance, . , 307 

Section I. 

Use I. — ^To those that fear not God nor obey him; what darkness 
reserved for such !.,.... 308 

Use II. — To those that are translated from darkness into light, and 
yet never thus walked in darkness, .... 309 
To take notice of such a condition there is, which is useful — 

1. To prepare them against it, if it should afterwards befall them, 309 

2. To be kept more in dependence upon God, . . 310 

3. To learn not to censure others, . . . .310 
4r. To fear God the more, . . . . 310 
5. To be thankful that God hath spared them, . . 311 

Use III. — To those that have been in darkness, and are now recovered 
out of it, . . . . . . .311 

1. To be thankful to God and Christ, . . . 311 

2. To pity others in that condition, . . . .311 

3. To declare what God hath done for them, and to give warning 
unto others, ...... 311 

4. To take heed of such sins as may bring them into such a condi- 
tion again, ...... 312 

Use IV. — To such as fear God, and walk in darkness, . . 312 

Two sorts of such : some more lightly troubled, some more deeply, 312 

Ten Directions for those who are more deeply troubled ; and means 
to be used how to recover light and comfort — 

Direct. I. — To take heed of rash, impatient, and unbelieving 

speeches and wishes, . . . . .315 

Direct. II. — To make a diligent search and examination, . 316 
Two things to be searched into — 

First, What is the true cause which provokes God to leave 

them to this distress ? . . . .317 

Secondly/, What is the main reasoning in the heart that causeth 
this questioning of their estate ? . . . 317 

Direct. III. — To consider as indifferently what may make for 

them as against them, . . . . .319 

Direct. IV. — To call to remembrance former evidences and pas- 
sages betwixt God and us, . . . .320 
Direct. V. — To renew a man's faith and repentance, . 322 
Direct. VI. — To be resolute and peremptory in believing and 

turning to God, whatever may be the issue, . . 324 

Direct. VII. — Let him trust in the name of the Lord : That the 
name of the Lord is an all-sufficient prop and stay for a man's 
faith to rest upon, when he sees nothing in himself, . 325 

By the name of the Lord two things are meant — 

1. Those attributes of grace and mercy, . . 325 

2. Christ's righteousness, .... 325 
Instances of those that have trusted in his name alone, . 326 

Tliree reasons, . . . . .327 



How tlie name of the Lord answers all objections, 
Direct. VIII. — To wait upon God in the use of all means, . 
Direct. IX. — To seek to God by prayer most earnestly ; together 
with pleas and arguments to be used to God in prayer fur reco- 
very out of this condition, .... 
Direct. X. — Not to rest in ease, but alone in healing, 

Section II. 

Other observations out of the 10th verse — 

Doct. 2. — That though it may befiill one that fears God to walk 
in darkness, yet but to a few, .... 

Three reasons, ...... 

Three uses, ...... 

Doci. 3. — That those few that walk in darkness Christ hath an 
especial eye unto and care of, . 

Two reasons, ...... 

Two uses, ...... 

Doct. 4. — That when the children of God are under terrors, the 
most eminent grace that doth appear in them is fearfulness to 
offend God, and willingness to obey him, . 
Explication of it, 
Reason, ...... 

Two uses, ...... 



A Child op Darkness Walki]S(5 in Light. 

By fire and the light of it two things meant — 

I. Their own righteousness, . 
By sparks, what is meant, 
What by walking in the light of their fire, , 
Use 1. — Examine what fire we offer to God, 
Use 2. — Take heed of walking in the light of such fire, 

II. Outward comforts, . . • . 
Why fire is put for comfort, 
Why outward comfort compared to fire of their own kindlin; 

earthly fire, .... 
The comparison holds in six things, 










The Epistle Dedicatory, ..... 353 

The Coherence of the words (Psalm LXXXV. 8), . . 359 

Chapter I. 
The main observation : That God's people are diligently to observe the 

answers of their prayers, . . . . .360 

The sinfulness of the neglect hereof demonstrated by seven reasons — • 

Reason 1. — An ordinance of God taken in vain, . 360 

Reason 2. — God's attributes taken in vain, . , . 361 

Reason 3. — God in answering made to speak in vain, 361 



Eeason 4. — God provoked not to answer, . . . 362 

Reason 5. — We shall not return thanks, . . . 3G2 

Reason 6. — We shall lose much experience — 

(1.) Of God's faithfulness, . . . .362 

(2.) Of our own ways towards him, . . . 363 

Reason 7. — We shall lose much comfort, . . . 363 

Chapter II. 
Three cases propounded — 

1. The first, concerning prayers for such promises as may bo accom- 
plished in ages to come, . . . . .365 

(1.) Such prayers the church to come doth reap, . . 365 

(2.) Yet we at present may have an answer about them, . 366 

(3.) In heaven, and at the last day, we shall rejoice for their ac- 
complishment, . . . . .366 

Chapter III. 
The second case — 

2. Concerning prayers made for others, of our friends, &c. ; how an- 
swered, ....... 367 

First consideration — Such prayers oft granted, . . 367 

Second consideration — Yet not always in the very thing 
prayed for, . . . . . . 367 

Such promises but indefinite, as all temporal promises 
are, ...... 368 

Our faith towards them not required to be assurance, 
unless God give a special faith, . . . 369 

Third consideration — Such prayers returned into our own 
bosoms, ...... 370 

Fourth consideration — God in the end casts some out of our 
prayers, ...... 370 

Fifth consideration — Those prayers answered in some others, 371 

Chapter IV. 
The third case — 

3. How the influence of our own prayers, when others pray also 

for the same thing with us, may be discerned, . . 372 

(1.) If our hearts are affected with the same holy affection, 372 
Unbeknown each to other, . . . .372 
(2.) By some special evidence ; as — 

"1.] Some notable circumstance, . . 372 

2." By joy in the accomplishment, . . 373 

3. J By thankfulness for the accomplishment, . 373 
(3.) This less to be doubted when the thing prayed for by us 

doth concern our own particular, . . . 373 

Chapter V. 

Common directions helpful in all cases and prayers ; taken first from 
observations from before and in praying, . . . 375 

First, Before; when God prepares the heart, . . 375 

Difference between Satan's motions to prayer and God's, 375 

Secondly, In prayer ; God's speakings in prayer are evidences of 
hearing, and discerned bv four thir-'^s — 



1. Giving a quietness by prayer about the thing prayed for, 376 

2. By revealing his love, in and upon such petitions, . 377 
A caution herein, . . . . .377 
Reasons why God draws nigh when he grants not the 

thing, ...... 378 

3. God sometimes gives a particular assurance, . . 378 
A caution herein. . . . . .379 

4. By giving a restless importunity to pray for a particular 

mercy, ...... 379 

Chapter VL 

Observations made upon the disposition of the heart after prayer, until 
the issue of the thmg prayed for, .... 381 

Fir&t, When God gives an obedient dependent heart, . 381 

Secondly y When God gives a heart waiting for and expecting it, 381 

Chaptee VIL 

Observations made after prayer upon the issue — 

L K accomplished, whether as the fruit of prayer or of common provi- 
dence, ....... 383 

God sometimes answers the prayer in the very thing and manner 
desired, ....... 383 

Directions to discern that things thus obtained are in answer to prayers — 

Direct. 1. — From the manner of God's performance, . . 384 

A more than ordinary hand discovered in things accomplished 
by prayer, instanced in five particulars — 
{\.) By bringing it to pass through difficulties, . . 384 

(2.) By facilitating all means, .... 385 

(3.) Effecting it suddenly, .... 385 

^4.) With addition of other mercies above what was desired, 385 
(5.) By some special circumstance as a token of his hand 

init, . . . . . . 385 

Direct. 2. — From the time wherein it is accomplished; as — 

First, When we were most instant in prayer, . . 386 

Secondly, In the fittest time for us. Then — 
First, When we have most need, , . . 387 

Secondly, When the heart was best prepared to receive it, 387 
Direct. 3. — From the proportion which may be observed betwixt 
God's dealings in the accomplishment and our prayers, . 388 

Chaptee VIIL 
Seven observations more, ..... 389 

Direct. 4. — From the effects which the accomplishment of the 
mercy hath upon the heart — 

(1.) If it draw the heart nearer to God, . . 389 

(2.) Enlargeth the heart with thanifulness, . . 389 

(3.) And encourageth the heart the more to pray for other 

things, ...... 390 

(4.) If it makes more careful to perform the vows made to 

obtain it, .... . 390 

(5.) If by faith a man sees and acknowledgeth God's sole 

hand in the accomplishment, . , . 390 

VOL. m. h 


(6.) By an assurance which conies sometimes with the mercy, 391 
(7.) By the event : things obtained by prayer prove stable 

mercies, . . . . . .391 

Chapter IX. 

Considerations to quiet us, and to help to discern an acceptation of the 
prayer, when — 

II. The thing is not accomplished, .... 393 

The thing not always granted when yet prayer is heard, . 393 

An objection answered, ..... 393 

1. Some blessings not absolutely promised, nor absolutely to be 

prayed for ; in which a denial is to be interpreted as best for 

us in God's judgment, . . . . ,394 

2. There may be a reservation in the denial, for some greater 

mercy; thus — 

(1.) Some great cross is prevented, . . . 394 

(2.) The denial breaks a man's heart, and brings him 

nearer to God, . . . .394 

3. There may be a transmutation into some other blessing of the 

same kind, ...... 394 

4. God, when he denies, yet answereth to the ground of our 

prayers, ...... 395 

5. And yields far in it, to give satisfaction to his child, . 396 

6. We may know that the prayer notwithstanding is accepted, by 

the effects upon the heart; which are four — 

(1.) If we acknowledge God righteous in the denial, . 396 

(2.) If God fills the heart with contentment in the denial, 397 

(3.) If the heart be thankful out of faith, . . 397 

(4.) If not discouraged, but prays still, . . 397 

Chapter X. 

Application : A reproof of those that pray, but look not after the re- 
turns of their prayers. The causes of this neglect are — 
Temptations — 

1. From want of assurance that our persons are accepted, . 398 

2. From the weakness of our prayers; four answers to it, . 399 

3. From not obtaining what we formerly prayed for; answere^i by 

four things, ...... 400 

More sinful discouragements; as — 

1. From slothfuluess in praying, .... 401 

2. Looking at prayer as a duty only, and not as a means to ob- 

tain, ....... 401 

3. Falling into sin after prayers, .... 402 

Tidings of Peace. 

Six observations more out of the text — 

1. That God doth sometimes not speak peace to his own people, 405 

2. The cause thereof some folly, .... 406 

Reason, ...... 406 

Three uses, . . . . . .406 

3. God only can speak peace, .... 407 



Four reasons, ..... 


Two uses, ..... 


4. God easily can give peace, . . . . 


Two reasons, ...... 


Two uses, ..... 


5. God will certainly speak peace to his people, 


Three reasons, ..... 




The Folly op Rfxapsing. 
The sixth observation — 

6. After peace spoken, his people should return no more to folly, 413 
The sin and folly of relapsing shewn by two reasons, . 413 
Two uses, .... .416 

Temptations from relapse into the same sin, after peace spoken 
answered — 
By Scriptures, . . . . . .418 

By three examples, . . . . .419 

By four reasons, ..... 421 

Six cautions, . . . . . .423 

To THE Header, ...... 433 


The sum and division of the words, and the subject of this discourse, 435 
Some observations premised of this parable of the "vine — 

First observation — How Christ is a vine, and the only true vine, 436 
Second observation — How God the Father is the husbandman; 
declared in five things, ..... 438 

Third observation — Two sorts of branches in the vine, fruitful and 
unfruitful, ...... 439 

An interpretation of these words, ' branches in me that bring 

not forth fruit,' by three things, . . . 439 

Three several sorts of branches that prove unfruitful, . 440 
Some differences between true branches and temporary 
branches, grounded on the text — 

Difference 1. — Temporary believers bring not forth true 
fruit ; and what it is that makes a good work to be 
true fruit, ..... 442 

Difference 2. — Temporary branches bring not forth fruit 
in Christ ; what it is to bring forth fruit in Christ 
explained, ..... 443 

The question, Whether in every act a Christian doth all in 
Christ, by his fetching virtue distinctly from him? re- 
solved by three things, .... 445 

That every believer doth five things, which are truly and in- 
terpretatively to bring forth fruit in Christ, . . 446 



Fourth observation — In the most fruitful "branches there remain 
corruptions to be purged out ; the reasons of it, . . 448 

Fifth observation — That yet for their corruptions God takes not 
such away, . . . . . .451 

Sixth observation — Unfruitful branches God in the end cuts off, 454 
Four desjrees of God's cutting them off, founded on the tezt, 455 



Chapter I. 

That all true branches in Christ do grow, proved by Scriptures and 
reasons, ....... 457 

Eeason 1. — From Christ's relations to us as a head, and we his 
members ; and herein — 

(1.) From our conformity to him, . . . 458 

(2.) From his having received all fulness to fill us, . 458 

(3.) From our growth making up his fulness, as he is mysti- 
cally considered one with us, ... 459 
Eeason 2. — From God the Father ; who — 

^1.^ Hath ai)poiuted every one their measure, . . 459 

(2.) Hath promised it, . . . . . 459 

(3.) Hath appointed means for it, . . . 459 

Eeason 3. — From the saints themselves, who cannot be saved un- 
less they grow, ...... 460 

Chapter II. 

An explication how the saints do grow, . . . .461 

Many considerations to satisfy the tentations of those that discern not 
their growth, . . . . . . .461 

I. More general, shewmg what sort of Christians this tentation doth 
usually befall, . . . , . .461 

II. More particular ; as — 

1. That growing in grace is a mystery rather to be apprehended by 

faith than by sense, ..... 462 

2. The eager desire which many have to grow and attain to more 

grace hinders them from discerning their growth, . 462 

3. The progress is not in many so discernible as the change at 

their first conversion is, or as thek first growth, . . 462 

The reasons of it, . . . . , . 462 

4. To discern of growth there must be time allowed, . . 463 
6. There are several ways by which men are brought to that mea- 
sure appointed them, in which some have the advantage of 
others — 

(1.) Some have a greater stock of grace given them at first; 
which is done in two cases — 

[1.] When there is a present use of them, . 463 

2.] When a man is converted late, . . 463 

(2.) In the manner of growing, God puts much difierence — 

Some grow without intermission, . . 463 

Some God sooner ripens for heaven, . . 463 

[1.1 Sc 
[2.] Sc 


Chapter III. paob 

What it is to bring forth more fruit explicated — 
I. Negatively, by removing many mistakes, . . . 464 

1. It is not to grow only or chiefly in gifts, as abilities to pray and 
preach, or in knowledge, but in graces, . . . 464 
Three cautions herein, , . . . .464 

2. Our bringing forth more fruit is not to be measured by the 
success of our gifts, the fruits of our doings, but by the doings 
themselves, ...... 465 

3. It is not simply to be estimated by the largeness or smallness 
of our opportunities of doing good, (which may vary,) but by a 
heart to do good, . . . . . .466 

4. It is not always to be measured by accessory graces, as joy, 
spiritual ravislmients, &c., . . . ,466 

5. It is not to be measured by increasing in profession, and 
seeming forwardness, but by inward and substantial godliness, 466 

6. How in the largeness of the affections to do good there may 
be a decrease ; and how young Christians may have more large 
affections, which yet are not so genuine and spiritual, . 467 

7. We must not measure our growth by our growing in some 
kind or sort of duties, but in the universal extent of godliness, 
and in duties both of our general and particular callings, . 467 

How young Christians abound more often in holy duties for 
a time, and the necessity of this for their condition, . 468 

Chapter IV. 

II. What it is to bring forth more fruit explained positively ; wherein 
many direct trials of such a growth are given — 

1. If we go on to the exercise of new graces, . . . 470 

2. If we find new degrees of the same grace added, . . 471 

3. If fruits and duties grow more ripe and spiritual, though not 
more in bulk : what it is that gives a spiritual relish to this fruit, 471 

4. If the heart grows more rooted into Christ, . . 472 

5. If we learn more to bring forth fruit in season, , . 472 

6. If we grow more constant and even in a holy course, . 472 

7. If, though our difficulties and oppositions be more, and means 
less, yet we continue to bring forth as well as when our means 
were more, and difficulties less, . . . .473 

8. If, though we do less, yet we grow more wise, and faithful to 
lay out our abilities, and improve our opportunities to the greater 
advantages for God's glory and the good of others, . , 473 



Chapter I. 

The observation out of the text propounded, That God goes on to 

purge out our corruptions, . . . . .474 

I. Bounds set to the discourse about it, . , . . 474 

II. The reasons of the point, . . . . .475 


Chapter II. paqe 

III. The ways God useth to purge out corruption out of his cliildren, 
with the means by which he causeth them to grow to a further 
measure therein — 

1. Occasional — 

(1.) By falling into sins, .... 477 

(2.) By casting them into aflSictions, . . . 477 

2. Instrumental, ...... 477 

3. Examples — 

(1.) Of those that have been professors and have fallen away, 478 
(2.) Of holy men, ..... 478 

4. Inward workings ; which consist of five things — 

(1.) A further discovering of corruption unto us, . 478 

(2.) Setting the heart on work to get one's lusts mortified 

more and more, .• . . . . 478 

(3.) Drawing the heart more and more into holy duties, . 479 
(4.) Bringing the heart more and more acquainted with 

Christ, . . . . . .479 

(5.) Assuring the soul of his love, . . . 480 

Chapter III. 

IV. The trial of growth in mortification by — 

1. Negative signs, or such as argue much corruption remain- 
ing unpurged out ; as — 

(1.) If a man doth magnify and set a high price upon worldly 
and carnal excellencies and pleasures, . . .481 

(2.) If our minds be carried out to superfluities, and more 
than needs, and are discontented with our own condition, 482 

(3.) If our minds be so glued to anything, that we know 
not how to part with it, , . . .482 

(4.) If our hearts be distempered under variety of conditions, 
and are very inordinate in them all, whether they be 
prosperous or adverse, . . . .482 

(5.) The more carnal confidence we have in the creature, and 
our spirits being upheld by them, . . . 483 

(6.) The more full of envy^ings and heart-burnings against 
others, as to get the credit from them, &c., . . 483 

(7.) The less able we are to bear reproofs for the breaking 
forth of our lusts, . . . . .484 

(8.) The more quick and speedy the temptation is in pre- 
vailing upon the heart, . . . .484 

(9.) The more power our lusts have to disturb us in holy 
duties, ...... 484 

(10.) If the bare recalling former sins committed prove a new 
snare to entice the heart, . . . .485 

Chapter TV. 
The trial of mortification by — 

2. Positive signs, which argue a good degree of that work in the 
heart ; as — 

(1.) The more insight a man hath into spiritual corruptions, 
joined with a conflict against them, . . . 486 



(2.) The more we grow up to a readiness, willingness, froe- 
ness, and cheerfulness of heart to deny ourselves, . 48G 

(3.) The more stable, even, and constant we are in well-doing, 
and the more durable a holy frame of heart in us is, . 487 

(4.) The more spiritual taste and relish of the spiritual part 
of the word we have, .... 488 

(5.) The more ashamed we grow of former carriages, and 
sensible of former weaknesses, . . . 488 

(6.) The weaker we find our lusts to be in the time of temp- 
tation, . . ■ . . . .488 

(7.) The more ability we have to abstain from occasions and 
opportunities of satisfying our lusts, . . . 489 

(8.) If we linger not after the objects of our lusts, when 
they are absent, but are weaned from them, . . 489 

Chapter V. 

Some cautions to prevent misjudging by false rules : as also this case 

resolved, Whether growth in grace may be judged by the ordinary 

prevailings of corruption, or the ordinary actings of a man's grace ? 490 

Caution 1. — That men are not to estimate their progress in grace 

by having overcome such lusts as their natures are not so prone 

unto, but that a judgment hereof is to be made from the decay 

of the bosom-sin, . . . . . .490 

Caution 2. — We are not to judge by extraordinary assistances 
nor extraordinary temptations, .... 490 

This caution explicated by three things, . . . 491 

This question resolved. Whether we may certainly judge of 
the degrees of our mortification to lusts by the ordinary 
risings and prevaUings of them, or by the ordinary acting 
and exercise of our graces 1 . . . . 492 

Answered afiirmatively, . . . . .492 

An objection, That the Spirit is a voluntary agent, who may act a less 
degree of grace more than a greater, answered — 

1. That yet the Holy Ghost ordinarily assists according to the 

proportion of grace given, . . . .493 

2. That the acting of grace increaseth the habits more, and so it 

comes all to one : two limitations herein — 

(1.) That God for some time of a man's life, may leave a 
strong Christian to greater corruption than a weak, 
and act a weak Christian's graces more, . 494 

God may have four ends in such a dispensation, 494 

(2.) If a weak Christian be more watchful over his lusts 
for a time than a stronger Christian, yet his weak- 
ness is discovered by two things, . . 495 

Chapter VI. 

Five cautions more added to the former two, to prevent such mis- 

Caution 3. — To take into consideration our several occasions to 

draw out corruptions, and means to draw forth graces, . 497 

Caution 4. — To consider the natural temper of a man's own spirit, 
whether it be quick and active or slow, . . . 497 


Caution 5. — To consider what force restraining grace hath in us, 

which often makes mortification seem greater than it is, . 497 
Caution 6. — Not to judge from our present listlessness to sin, 
which may arise from other causes besides true mortification, 
and so may make that seem to be much more at some times 
than in truth it is, . . . . .499 

The difference between listlessness to sin and true mortifica- 
tion, in two things, . . . .500 
Caution 7. — Not to judge of the measure of mortification simply 
by the sharpness and edge of our affections against sin, but by 
our inward strength againsu it, . . . .501 
A discovery how that edge of affection against sin may deceive 
us, and how a young Christian may have a quicker stirring 
against sin when he hath less strength, , . 501 



Chapter I, 

About growth in mortification ; two questions — 

Quest. 1. — Whether every new degree of mortification be always 
universal, extending itself to every sin ? . . . 502 

Answer afiirmative, and that for three reasons, , . 502 

An objection answered, .... 503 

Quest. 2. — Whether in the endeavours of a believer to mortify 
some one particular lust, that lust becomes not more mortified 
than others ?...... 503 

Answered, ...... 603 

Chapter II. 

About growth in vivification ; three questions — 

Quest. 1. — Whether every new degree of grace runs through aU the 
faculties? ...... 505 

Answered affirmatively, . . . . .505 

Quest. 2. — Whether one grace may not grow more than another 1 505 
Answered by three propositions, . . . 505 

Quest. 3. — Concerning the manner of this growth, whether it 
be a deeper radicating the same grace in the heart, or by a new 
addition? ....... 506 

Answered, . . . . . . 506 


The heart compared to a house of common resort, . . 509 

The heart must be washed, not swept only, . . . 509 

We must not lie down with unclean thoughts, . . .500 

The vanity of your thoughts, . . . . .510 


1. What is meant by thoughts — 

(1.) All the internal acts of the mind of man, . , 510 

(2.) Their frame, or how conceived, . . . 511 

When ours, and not the devil's, . . . 511 

How evil thoughts oft-times are punishments of the ne- 
glect of our thoughts, . . . .511 

2. Vanity what, and how diversely taken — 

(1.) For unprofitableness, . . . .512 

(2.) For lightness, . . . . .512 

(3. J For folly, . . . . . .512 

(4.) For inconstancy and frailty, . . . . 612 

(5.) For wickedness and sinfulness, . . .512 

3. Thoughts are sins ; seven reasons for it — 

Q.) The law judgeth them so, . . . .512 

(2.) They are capable of pardon, . . . 512 

3.) They are to be repented of, . . . . 513 

4.) They defile the man, . . . .513 

5.) They are abominable to the Lord, . . . 513 

6.) They hinder all good, . . . .513 

(7.) They are the first motioners of all evil, . . 513 

4. Particulars wherein this vanity of the thinking power consists — 

First, In regard of thinking what is good — 

(1.) In a want of ability to raise holy considerations, 513 
(2.) In a loathness to entertain holy thoughts, . 514 

(3.) The mind wUl not be long intent on them, . 515 
(4.) In thinking of them unseasonably, , . 516 

The difference of Christ's, and Adam's, and our thoughts, 516 
Secondly, Of the positive vanity of our thoughts, and whereby 
it discovereth itself ; and this is seen in five things — 

(1.) In its foolishness, . . . .516 

(2.) In its independency, . . . .517 

(?>.) In its curiosity, . . . .518 

(4.) In its taking thought to fulfil the lusts of the flesh, 5Vj 
(5.) In its representing and acting over sins in our thoughts, 520 
This representation of our sins to our thoughts doth three 
things — 

First, It makes the heart of man vain and empty, 520 
Secondly, It maketh our desires impatient, . 520 

Thirdly, It makes them sinful and corrupt, . 520 
The seeming comforts which men have in speculative 
enjoying of pleasure appear in four things — 

First, In things present, . . . 520 

Secondly, In things future, . . .521 

Thirdly, In things past, . . . 522 

Fourthly, In acting sins on imaginary suppositions, 523 
A sure way whereby to know our natural inclinations, 524 

The uses of the discovery of the vanity of our thoughts — 
Use I. — To be humbled for them. 

The reasons why we should be humbled for them. 
Use II. — To make conscience of them. 
The reasons why, 




Remedies against vain thoughts — ^^°^ 

First, Get the heart furnished with a stock of sanctified knowledge 
in spiritual truths, , . . . .526 

Secondly, Endeavour to keep up holy affections in the heart, . 526 
Thirdly, Get thy heart possessed with deep apprehensions of God's 
holiness, ....... 527 

Fourthly, Especially do this when thou awakest, . . 527 

Fifthly, Observe thy heart all day, . . . .527 

Sixthly, Please not thy fancy too much with vanities, . 528 

Seventhly, Be diligent in thy calling, . . . , 528 

Eighthly, Commit thy ways to God, .... 628 


How unfit I am to perform even this common and usual office of introducing 
thee to the entertainment which the following discourses will afford, the 
knowledge which I ought to have of myself is sufficient to convince me ; 
for it cannot be expected that I should give a due character of the author, 
which hath been already drawn by a more excellent hand,t and which for 
me to attempt, as it would not be comely, so it is above my undertaking. 
It would as ill suit with my disability, who am inconsiderable and so little 
known, to offer my mean judgment needlessly to recommend any of his 
writings to the world. All that is proper and agreeable for me to do is to 
assure thee that these which I have had the care of publishing are the genu- 
ine issue of his thoughts, — most of them the mature fruits of the later years 
of his life, — and to give some short account of their order and general design. 

I have here offered to public view, in a second volume of his works, 
several discourses upon great and important truths ; that what were his own 
retired and profitable meditations may, by the divine blessing, become a 
common benefit. 

The first which presents itself is An Exposition on the Revelation ; a por- 
tion of Scripture so abstruse, that though it has exercised the thoughts and 
studies of many worthy divines, may yet, in some respects, be called ' a sealed 
book;' which will be more perfectly explained when he who alone is found 
worthy to open it, the holy Lamb of God, shall come to unfold all its diffi- 
cult passages in their glorious accomplishment. As the author lived and 
rejoiced in this hope, he has here in this his comment pointed to the founda- 
tion upon which he grounded it, even ' a sure word of prophecy.' But as 
he was fuUy ascertained that God would in his own time make good his 
word, he was not over-curious in dating the day of his performance. You 
will find him modest in this point ; he himself determines nothing, but ex- 

* This preface, by Goodwin's son, prefixed to the second volume of the folio works, 
is inserted here, although but a small part of it refers to the treatises contained ir thia 
volume. — Ed. 

+ Mr Thankful Owen, in his Preface to the ' Exposition upon the Epistle to the Ephe- 
sians.' [Given in this Edition, voL i., p. xxxix. — Ed.] 


presses the opinions of others rather than his own, though he indeed illus- 
trates them with reasons which might make them look probable ; and though 
they have proved to be mistaken in their calculations, yet many things occur 
in drawing them up which are not altogether unworthy of being remarked. 
Their account indeed is now superannuated, yet it was proper enough for the 
author to mention it at the time of his writing this discourse, which was in 
the year 1639. It seems to be the divine prerogative to know the times and 
the seasons; and as he always chooseth the fittest, he reserves to himself 
the exact knowledge of his own appointed day. 

That which comes next in order of these treatises is, A Discourse of the 
Knowledge of God the Father, and his Son Jesus Christ; which I have 
placed the first of these theological tracts, (and of others that are to follow, 
if Providence permits me an opportunity of publishing them, which insist 
upon other the chiefest heads of divine knowledge,) because it is the design 
of the first rudiments of religion to instruct us what due apprehensions we 
ought to have of the Deity. As our Saviour tells us, ' that this is life eter- 
nal, to know God the Father, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent,' so it is 
the firm foundation whereon the beautiful and uuifurm structure of all other 
truths is built ; and sad experience in all ages hath made us understand into 
what wild imaginations, as to the other parts of our Christian religion, those 
unhappy men have wandered, (as the Arians in the primitive times, and the 
Socinians in our own,) who have stumbled, and so made a false step in their 
entrance at this first and principal truth. The author, who considered the 
irremediable mischiefs of the least error in these first articles of faith, and 
saw the proneness in men to mistake, has made it his chief design, in aU the 
parts of this discourse, to direct our thoughts to due conceptions of the 
divine nature, of the Trinity, and the person of Christ. And as his asser- 
tions herein are no other than according to those measures the word of God 
has prescribed, he has fetched his proofs from the same magazine ; and the 
evidence of his arguments is the more convincing, since it proceeds from that 
light which he beats out by comparing places of Scripture together. If 
any should judge some of his notions to be too fine, and condemn his 
thoughts for taking too high a flight, and leaping over the common bounds 
of knowledge ; this may be pleaded in defence, that he has at least asserted 
nothing that contradicts a received truth, or which by any consequence 
may weaken the foundations of religion. Nay, he asserts nothing but what 
divine authority in Scripture does countenance ; he proves all by plain texts, 
and by an easy, unforced explication, without racking or torturing them to 
make them speak his own mind. He is the vender of no new opinions, 
since what he delivers he clearly evinces to be the sense of the eternal oracles 
of truth. Nor is he too boldly curious, since he is not wise beyond what is 
written ; and the inquisitiveness of his mind should not be prejudged, when 
his inquiries have proceeded according to the conduct of an infallible guide. 
And if they have gone further than others, it is only because, having seen 
the glimpse of a truth, he could not leave it till he had pursued it down 
through the most intimate recesses of Scripture. It is certainly allowable to 


Jig deeper in those mines which are inexhaustible, and where those who 
come after the diligence of others may still find new and far richer treasures. 
Our spiritual knowledge surely is capable of increase, and further degrees 
may be yet added to it ; for even after those glorious times wherein God 
has promised to bless his people with larger effusions of his Spirit, who shall 
lead them into all truth, they yet will then know but in part : and indeed all 
the successive ages of the world put together afford too short a time for us 
perfectly to search into the deep things of God, since eternity itself will give 
us but space enough to know and admire them. 

The discourse which follows is. Of the Creahires, and the Condition of 
their State hij Creation; which I have placed before that of Election, because 
though indeed the electing decree externally preceded the framing of this 
world, yet God made his choice out of the creatures which he determined to 
make, and considered them in the state wherein they were placed by crea- 
tion. And the author, when he evinces the necessity of an election-grace 
to save certainly and infallibly any of either angels or men, draws his most 
cogent proof from the mutability of the creature, which absolutely required 
a supernatural grace to secure its establishment. And he therein refers the 
reader to this discourse, wherein he proves that the creature, as such, was 
changeable and uncertain in the best circumstances of its condition, and had 
a very unfixed station when it stood, and flourished in all the glory of its in- 
nocence. It is therefore requisite for the intelligent reader, if he would un- 
derstand the force of the argument, to peruse what is discoursed in this 
treatise concerning the weak and unstable condition of the creatures, which 
renders the grace of election indispensably necessary unto their salvation. 
And as the author had it in his eye and heart, not only to prove the absolute 
need we have of this grace, but also to celebrate unto the height its glory and 
praise, in prosecution of this design he compares all the advantages which 
Adam, as an innocent creature, by nature possessed, with all those signal 
mercies which belong to that condition whereunto grace advances the elect 
since the fall, and endeavours to convince us how vastly those blessings we 
receive from Christ, the second Adam, excel all the benefits which the Crea- 
tor's bounty bestowed upon the first ; how grace instates us in a higher 
happiness than we should have enjoyed, though we had lived with our first 
father in innocence ; how grace makes us gainers by the loss of all paradise's 
pleasures, though we are apt to envy and regret that we have lost them ; 
and how the state of the meanest soul that belongs to Christ, who is blessed 
with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in him, is infinitely preferable 
to Adam's primitive condition, with aU its enjoyments. Thus in this dis- 
course he prepares the mind of the reader to admire and adore the riches of 
that grace, which further to evince and illustrate is the whole design of that 
which follows in the last place of this volume. 

The last discourse, then, is Of Election, which to so many is a hard saying, 
a stumbling-block, and a stone of offence. He discourses this high truth 
with such a wary exactness, that its greatest opposers will not find anything 
in what he asserts whereon to fasten those invidious reflections, those harsh 


and horrid consequences with which they use to deform this doctrine, to 
make it look affrighting. He is very tender in the point of reprobation, and 
expresses himself no otherwise concerning it than the Scriptures themselves 
do : \iz., that there are some of mankind whom God has left out of the com- 
pass of his gracious decrees, as indeed he was not obliged to share equal 
favour to all ; that these are the rest, or remainder, Rom. xi. 7, when God 
has chosen out the others; that these he resigns to the conduct of their 
free-will, and leaves them to go on in their own waj^s. Acts xiv. 16, and to 
reap at last the bitter fruits of their evil actions. After he has proved the 
necessity of such a grace as is derived from the decree of election to assure 
the salvation of both angels and men, and that all whom God hath rescued 
from the misery and ruin of the fall were really saved by this grace, he 
proceeds to illustrate the infinite greatness of it by many considerations : as, 
that it appoints, and certainly brings us to a higher glory and blessedness 
than was the de sign of creation to confer on the creature, though they had 
continued in innocence ; and that it commends itself by a discriminating 
love, which makes a difference between the elect and the other of mankind. 
He then discourses how infallibly God's decrees of election obtained their 
designed issue, and proves largely how an eliectual invincible grace does cer- 
tainly accomplish what the decree and counsel of God's will had determined. 
These were the truths which exercised the thoughts and heart of the author, 
the element in which he lived, the air in which his soul breathed, and by 
which a spiritual life was constantly maintained in it. And as he experi- 
enced that they afforded him comfort and support against all his temptations 
and trials, he committed them to writing, that others might receive from 
them the same solace and refreshing help as he did. 

It renders his loss the more supportable, that he has left behind him, now 
that he is retired out of sight, what may perpetuate a grateful remembrance 
of him among men ; that though God hath withdrawn him to heaven, he 
may yet be useful to His church here on earth; that his service is not ended 
with his life, nor buried with him in the dust ; and ' though he rests from 
all his labours, yet the fruits of them may follow him,' even after he is gone 
hence to receive their reward. He lives again in this offspring of his better 
part, his mind ; and ' being dead, he yet speaks ' in them the same truths, 
which when living were the most delightful entertainment of his thoughts. 

But I forget that I assume too much to myself, in delivering my own 
thus freely, in things which are indeed so much above me ; and I know not 
how a zealous affection for the memory of a father's name, whom I cannot 
but love and honour in the grave, hath carried me beyond the bounds 
of that reservedness and modesty which would perhaps have far better 








2%« design of the Booh of the Revelation. — That it is a prophecy, wherein, 
as in a vision, the story of all times is represented. — The j^rophetical 
part of it begins at the ^th chapter. — An exposition of the Ath chapter. 
— The vision of the throne, beasts, and elders. — A representation of the 
church in all ages. 

The three first chapters contain seven epistles to seven particular churches ; 
but from this 4th chapter to the end of the book, is laid down a more general 
prophecy, from John's time to the world's end. There is therefore this char- 
acter of difference put between that part of this book in those three first 
chapters, and this that begins here: that that concerned things that then 
were past, things that then were, and things to come hereafter, as chap. i. 1 9 ; 
whereas this delivers those things only which 'must be hereafter,' chap. iv. 1. 

In this prophecy, as in a vision, is the story of aU times acted and repre- 
sented. A comedy is the representing of a story past, by men ; this a pro- 
phetical vision of things to come, acted by angels answerably. As in such 
interludes and shows there is first a stage built, a scene or place supposed 
where the things were done, and a chorus or company of spectators sitting 
on the stage continually, and giving their judgment and approbation, which 
was the custom in comedies of old ; so in this chapter the Apostle hath the 
vision of the scene, theatre, or stage, namely the church of Christ, in a 
general view throughout all ages, presented; the members whereof are the 
chorus, who upon any great or solemn occasion give their plaudite or acclam- 
ation of glory unto God. So the four beasts, and four-and-twenty elders, 
you may in this book often observe to do. And then, as in such shows and 
representations there used to be a prologue, so, chap, v., you have as artificial 
a prologue acted as in any poem; from whence, chap, vi., the representation 
of the story of things begins. 

Chap. iv. 1. — John is called up from the earth into the air, (by which 
heaven is here meant, as often elsewhere it is,) the place of John's vision ; 

VOL. III. ▲ 


and in the air a door seemed to open, in at whicli he entering, sees the sights 

Ver. 2, And immediately I was in the Spirit. — The phrase, in the Spirit, 
is like to that when we say a man is in love, or a mill is said to be in the 
wind; as noting out such a repletion or filling with the Spirit, as possessed 
and took up all the powers of his soul to attend this vision. It filled all, it 
carried aU in him unto the thing in hand, and wholly acted his faculties by 
a supernatural motion of the Spirit, so that his understanding and senses 
acted not in their natural way, but as moved by the Spirit. Now this his 
being in the Spirit was extraordinary, and to an extraordinary purpose ; even 
to see these visions, and by the Holy Ghost to write them : yet to us it 
should be ordinary, so far as, in our ordinary course, to walk in the Spirit, 
and be in the Spirit; that is, to give up ourselves, our powers and faculties, 
to the Spirit's rule and guidance, so that he should move all wheels in us. 

Obs. — Now from this immediately/ observe. That a believing soul may pre- 
sently be in the Spirit ; he soon and suddenly comes upon a man. 

The vision that follows is of the church, which is made the scene of all 
things prophesied of in this book; for all things done are either for it or 
concerning it. And though passages of judgments on the world are recorded, 
yet for the church's sake they are recorded, and are done as by God out of 
the church. Now this vision of the throne, beasts, and elders is a represent- 
ation of the church (wherein God hath his throne) of men on earth, universal 
in all ages; set forth according to the form or pattern of institution of a 
church, into which all saints on earth should be moulded. To prove this in 
the several parts of it : — 

I. It is a representation of the church; for — 

1. In the church only is God worshipped; as here, ver. 8-10. In the 
church only is God known ; and there ' they speak of his glory,' Ps. xxix. 9. 

2. The throne here is evidently God's seat in his temple the church; so 
chap. xvi. 17, ' A voice came from the temple, from the throne,' &c. 

3. Accordingly, the allusion in this vision is to Solomon's temple, and to 
the tabernacle, which were the types of the church to come under the new 
testament. Therefore God here sits on a throne, as he did then in the holy 
of holies; and there are seven golden lamps here, as there the candlestick; 
and a sea of glass here to wash in, as there was there one of brass : aU orna- 
ments and utensils of that temple typifying forth ours. 

II. It is the representation of a church of men, not angels ; for — 

1. These elders and beasts sing that they ' are redeemed by the blood of 
the Lamb ;' which the angels were not, chap. v. 9. And — 

2. Ver. 11, the angels are reckoned distinct from these elders and beasts, 
and are said to be 'about them;' as also chap. vii. 11. 

III. It is of the church of men on earth; for — 

1. The allusion is to the marshalling of the church of the Jews about the 
tabernacle; as shall be shewn. 

2. Here are seven spirits; that is, variety of the gifts of the Spirit, which 
in heaven do cease. 

3. Here is a sea of glass, for the priests and worshippers to wash in ; which 
supposeth a remainder of defilement, at least of the feet; as John xiiL 10. 

4. The distinction of beasts and elders in this company, — namely, oflacers 
and brethren, — which iii heaven ceaseth, argueth it also, 

IV. Of the church universal. 

1. In all ages; therefore placed at the beginning here, and often brought 
in in this prophecy as spectators. 


2. In all places; so chap. v. 9, * redeemed out of every kindred, tongue, 
and nation.* 

V. This church universal, represented whilst on earth as cast into the 
pattern of a church, instituted according to the rules of the word, the mea- 
sure to square churches on earth by ; and though in all ages they kept not 
that pattern, — therefore, chap, xl 1, John is bidden to measure the temple of 
that age, as having swerved from the origmal form too far in Antichrist's 
apostasy, — yet such a pattern is given forth here as the only true pattern, 
into which all should be cast ; and God sets forth his church as it should be 
in all ages, and as it was in John's time. All saints, in all ages, should be 
cast into such companies. So that here is the church with her appurten- 

The church consisting of three states — 1. Christ the head; 2. The four 
beasts, the officers ; 3. The twenty-four elders, who are the brethren — 

There are the appurtenances also : as the seven lamps, which are the gifts 
of the Holy Ghost; and the laver, which is Christ's blood, to wash in, &,c. 

First, Ver. 2, 3, / saw a throne — which is an allusion to the holy of holies 
in the temple, where God did sit. Therefore, Isa. vi. 1, when the Lord was 
presented sitting upon his throne, it is said, ' the residue of his train filled 
the temple ;' that is, those other parts of the temple, the throne being the 
holy of holies. Therefore, Ezek. xliii., when the glory of God returned to 
the temple, ver. 4, 5, God calls it, ver. 7, ' the place of my throne, and the 
place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children 
of Israel for ever.' The like you have, Jer. xvii. 12, which throne is here in 
the midst of the four-and-twenty elders and the beasts ; signifying, as himself 
interprets it, Ezek. xliii., his dwelling in the midst of his church, according 
to that saying of Christ, ' I will be in the midst among you.' 

Obs. — To set up a church is to set up God and Christ a throne. A church 
is his only visible throne on earth, till the kingdoms of the world become his 

Now, secondly, for him who sitteth on the throne : Mr Brightman would 
have God in the Trinity, or the three Persons, set forth in those three colours 
mentioned. But to make the rainbow which encompasseth the throne to be 
the Holy Ghost, whenas that rainbow is presented as divided and distinct 
from him who sitteth on the throne, is nimis durum, it is too much. I take 
it, it is God in Christ, in whom he is reconciled unto his church, and by whom 
he rules it; chap. iii. 15, and chap, xii., it is called the throne of God. And 
Ezek. i. 26, in which chapter the same kind of vision is represented, he who 
sits on the throne there is the 'Son of man;' as also in Isa. vi. 1, which 
place Christ in John xii. interprets of himself. So that God, considered as 
in Christ, is he that sitteth on the throne. And, chap. vii. 10, he that sit- 
teth on the throne, and the Lamb, are made distinct, yet mentioned together. 

Ver. 3. — For ' the rainbow that was round about the throne,' it notes out 
the memorial of his covenant of grace ; that as the rainbow was the sign of 
the covenant of nature, to put God and us in mind he would not destroy the 
world any more by water, so this rainbow is to God a memorial of his cove- 
nant of grace to his church : 'This is to me as the waters of Noah; for as I 
have sworn that the waters should no more go over the earth, so have I 
sworn not to be wroth with thee,' saith God, in Isa. liv. 9. Which covenant 
is round about his throne, so to put him in mind, in aU his dispensations 
towards his church, to ' remember his covenant ;' that let him go forth any 
way in his dispensations towards his church, he may still be minded of 
mercy ; and his church again, in all their intercourses with God, and aU dis- 


pensations from God, and occasions coming to him, may be put in mind of 
mercy also, and his covenant of grace, to trust in it ; and that the prayers 
of the church may still pass from them tlirough the rainbow, as all God's 
dispensations to the church do come through the said rainbow also. 

Now for the situation of the church. Both elders and beasts are about 
the throne, ver. 4, 6, 7. It is formed after the enquartering of the people of 
Israel about the tabernacle in the wilderness, Num. ii The Levites were 
next to the tabernacle, and the tribes about the Levites. So here, the beasts 
(the officers) were, as in ver. 6, in the midst of the throne, and round about 
the throne ; that is, as Beza interprets it, their station is between the throne 
and these elders, who did surround the throne about the four beasts. The 
phrase, in the midst, in Scripture being put for between, or among; so Gen. 
xxiii. 6. The beasts, though nearest the throne, yet are mentioned after the 
elders; for though their place be nearer, yet they are but the church's ser- 
vants, and the radical power is in the church, here signified by the twenty- 
four elders. 

Ver. 4. — To begin with the elders, who, as was said, do signify the 
church : — 

First, Tliey are called elders, (1.) because the church under the new testa- 
ment is grown up to an elderly age, in opposition to the church under the 
old testament, who are termed ' children under age,' Gal. iv. 1-3, &c. As 
also, (2.) for that gravity that should be in all church assemblies, and in their 
proceedings and administrations. 

Secondly, For their number. They are twenty-four, in allusion to the 
twenty-four heads of those orders of Levites who were porters and singers, 
established by David in the temple, 1 Chron. xxiv., xxv., and xxxi. 25, 
1%. And this, to shew the increase of the church under the new testament, 
in comparison of that under the old, whereof that proportion made by 
David was a type. The heads of the twelve tribes then were multiplied 
to twenty-four. Now in like manner Solomon's temple had a double pro- 
portion to that of the tabernacle of Moses; that also being an after-type of 
the church's increase under the gospel 

Thirdly, They are 'clothed in white raiment,' signifying that they are 
priests, Exod. xxviii. 40. 

Fourthly, They had ' on their heads crowns of gold,' to shew their kingly 
power, and that it belongs to them to judge matters in the church; as, 1 Cor. 
V, 12, ' Do not you judge them that are within ?' 

Fifthly, They were ' round about the throne.' The meanest saint is as 
near and dear to God as the greatest. Therefore the word in Cant. i. 12 is 
*a round table,' which the saints sit at with Christ; it shews also their 
equality. And Christ is in the midst here, and will be so in heaven. 
We shall eat of ' the tree which is in the midst of the paradise of God.' 

Ver. 5, And out of the throne proceeded lightnings, and thunderings, and 
voices. — By thunderings and lightnings are meant the judgments of God. 
Ps. xviii. 13, 14, ' The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest 
gave his voice, hailstones and coals of fire. Yea, he sent out his arrows, 
and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them.' And, 
Ps. xxix. 3, ' The voice of the Lord is upon the waters : the God of glory 
thundereth : the Lord is upon many waters.' They are said to come * out 
of the throne,' because aU judgments do come from God, as sitting in his 
church, and for his church's sake doth God use them. Ps. Ixviii. 35, ' O 
God, thou art terrible out of thy holy places : the God of Israel is he that 
giveth strength and power unto his people. Blessed be God !' Amos i. 2, 

Chap. I.] an exposition of the revelation. 5 

' And he said, The Lord will roar from Zion, and utter his voice from Jeru- 
salem; and the habitations of the shepherds shall mouni, and the top of 
Carmel shall wither.' Voices also proceed out of the throne ; which is more 
general, and extends unto promises, and answers to prayers. 

Seven lamps, which are the seven spirits of God. — By these are noted out 
the Holy Ghost, and the variety of his gifts and operations, or manifestations 
of himself in the church. That the Holy Ghost is meant is evident by 
chap. i. 4, where John wishes * grace and peace from the seven spirits which 
are before God's throne ;' which he ought not to have wished from any, but 
from the Holy Ghost, who is the third Person. And these manifestations 
are counted seven, because of the variety of gifts. For otherwise, that Per- 
son is but 'one Spirit,' 1 Cor. xii. 11. They are compared to fire, because 
they give light and heatj and the allusion here is to the candlesticks in the 

Ver. 6. — There was a ' sea of glass like unto crystal,' in allusion to Solomon's 
sea ; but this was purer than that, which was only of brass, Exod. xxx. 17-20, 
and typified out Christ's blood to wash in, both for justification of person 
and sanctification of life : so Heb. x. 22, ' Let us draw near with a true heart, 
in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, 
and our bodies washed with pure water ;' 1 Cor. vi. 11,' And such were some 
of you ; but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the 
name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God ;' Tit. iii. 5, * Not by 
works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he 
saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.' 
And this blood of Christ stands in the church, as the sea in which we must 
wash, chiefly when we come to worship. Therefore wash -before you worship. 

And there were ' four beasts full of eyes before and behind ;' by which are 
meant church oflficers : — 

1. Because of the situation of them, between the throne and the elders 
who are round about. 

2. Because they are the leaders of the praise, and so the mouths of the 
congregation, ver. 9, 10. They are not beasts properly, as we understand 
and speak ; not brutes, but living wights : the Greek word, which wants a 
fiill and proper expression in one English word, signifies so. They are called 
living, to shew that they have, or should have, life in them to quicken others. 
They are four, and the throne is four-square, and so they are said to be in 
the midst between every angle ; to shew that they are complete for number, 
and should look every way to all the necessities of the church, both for soul 
and body. 

They are 'fuU of eyes,' because they are to be overseers. Acts xx. 28. 
And they have eyes within as well as without, to see to their own hearts, as 
well as to others. 

Ver. 7, And the first beast was like a lion — who is the ruling elder, 
who needs the courage of a lion, to deal with men's spirits in case of sins, 
that deserve to be brought to the church, or to have admonition to prevent 
that course. 

The second was like a calf, or ox, — for so the Septuagint translates the 
Hebrew word forty times, — the pastor, who is like an ox for laboriousness, and 
taking pains in treading out the com. 

The third beast had a face like a man — the deacons and widows,* which, 
are all one ofiBce in a kind, who have a face of a man; a man's heart being 

* Apparently referring to 1 Tim. v., where widows seem to be spoken of as specially 
eligible as deaconesses. — Ed. 


disposed and inclined for mercifulness and pitifulness, which is proper to a 
man, not beasts. 

And the fourth least was like a flying eagle — the teacher, who hath eyes 
like an eagle, quickly to spy out all errors; and then they soar aloft into 
high mysteries. 

Ver. 8. — They had ' each of them six wings,' to shew their aptness and readi- 
ness to fly and act all manner of ways. So in Ezekiel * the cherubim had, 
who were types of these. ' They rest not day nor night ;' to shew they labour 
continually; crying Holy, holy, holy. These worshipped God in Trinity. And 
they are the mouths of the congregation ; for when they begin, the four-and- 
twenty elders fall down: ver. 9-11, 'And when those beasts give glory and 
honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and 
ever, the four-aud-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, Lord, to receive glory and honour 
and power : for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are 
and were created.' And then they altogether, both one and the other, praise 
him for his works of creation ; acknowledging him both the efficient and the 
end for which they were created : and not only for whom they were created 
at first, but for whom they are so stUl; their being and motion servmg to 
that end, and working for his glory materially. 

* The cherubim in Ezekiel are represented with /our wings ; the seraphim in Isaiah 
with «cc. — Ed. 

Chap. II. J ah iiXPOsiTioN of tue revelation. 

# PHI Be 





The exposition of the 5th chapter. 

The stage being built in tlie 4th chapter, the chorias, which is the church, 
being set, here begins the prologue ; and that so elegant and stately a one 
as was never heretofore invented, or put before any poem. 

First, Here is a ' book sealed,' presented in his hand who sits on the 
throne. Which book contains God's decrees to be executed until the day 
of judgment. 

Secondly, Here is a proclamation made to all creatures, to find oiit one 
who should be found worthy to open it. 

Thirdly, There were none such found in heaven, nor in earth. 

Fourthly, John weeps, thinking there would be an end of his visions, and 
that he must put up his pen. 

Fifthly, In this strait comes Christ, and takes upon him the opening and 
fulfilling of this book, and all the decrees therein contained. 

Sixthly, At this the chorus fall down and worship. 

Ver. 1. — First, What is this book 1 Many make it to be the Scriptures. 
But it is plain, by what all along does follow, that it is a book containing 
the affairs of the world and the church, and God's decrees about them botL 
For upon the opening every seal, John sees a vision containing the matter 
of the ensuing chapters, namely, the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th. And when the 
seals were all taken ofi", chap. x. 8, then John is bidden to ' eat the book,' 
that he might prophesy again the other part of this prophecy. So that it is 
this very book of the Revelation, and the government of the world and his 
church that is set forth therein, which Christ, by taking the book, under- 
takes to manage, perform, and execute, and gives it to John. Which agrees 
with what is said at the beginning of this book, chap. i. 1, ' The Revelation 
of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things 
which must shortly come to pass ; and he sent and signified it by his angej 
unto his servant John.' 

Ver. 2. — A strong angel thereupon proclaims, 'Who is worthy to loose the 
seals of this book?' &c. The use of the seals is not simply to shew that it 
cannot be known, as Daniel's sealed book did shew that the things in it 
could not be known till the end : Dan. xii 4, ' But thou, Daniel, shut up 
the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end : many shall run 
to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.' This signified not only so, 
but it is for the setting out the glory of Christ, and how he was only able to 
take the book, and loose the seals, &c. 

1. God causeth a general proclamation to be made to all creatures ; as 
some kings have done for some noble service, promising a great reward, as 
Saul did, 1 Sam. xvii. 26, 27. 

2, An angel makes this proclamation, to shew that none among men 


could ; and it was a strong angel, that so his voice may reach all creatures. 
The end of which was — 

(1.) To stir up strong desires in John, and all else that read, to search 
into the meaning of this prophecy. What he did exhort to, chap. L 3, and 
by promise provoke unto, here he does the same again by this proclamation. 

(2.) To set out the weakness of the creature, still to the end that so the 
honour of Christ might the more appear, in that he only can do this. It is 
God's manner thus to endear mercies to us, as he did a wife unto Adam. 
He first brought all creatures unto him, that so he might see that there was 
not a meet help for him among them. So in the work of salvation, he lets 
the soul try all means first, as to run to duties, and all other helps, and then 
he brings it to Christ, 1 Cor. i., that his power may appear. First, he lets 
the world try their ' wisdom,' what that could do ; and then sends ' the fool- 
ishness of preaching to save them that believe,' ver. 21, 25. It is a question 
among the school-men, whether any mere creature could satisfy for sin? 
Some say it might ; and some say it is a needless question. But it is a 
necessary thing to know that a creature cannot ; for it glorifies Christ the 
more, as that all creatures here were first challenged : which is an argument 
against that also ; for if they could not open the book, they could much less 
have redeemed us, that being made a greater thing, ver. 9, where they sing 
that ' Christ was therefore worthy to open the book, because he had re- 
deemed us.' 

Use. — Hence learn we to renounce all kings, priests, and prophets, except 
Christ, who is a priest to redeem, a prophet to teach and reveal the mysteries 
of God, and a king to execute all God's decrees. It is good to go over all 
the creatures, and to renounce them, and say, I will be saved by none of you. 
Suppose the work of redemption were yet to be done, and God should make 
this proclamation, as here : ' Find me out a party able to redeem ; call a 
council, and seek one fit for the purpose.' Surely none would be found ; 
and then how would we howl and weep, as John did here, and count our- 
selves undone ! And then, suppose God should set out Christ at last, as 
one able to save to the uttermost, but this not tLU he had tried what you 
could do for yourselves ; surely this would nonplus you. But God would 
not thus put you to it ; and therefore took another course, and the more to 
commend his love unto us, he himself found out Christ, and spake to him 
to die for us, and do the work of redemption to our hands. 

WJio is worthy ? — It is not simply an act of power to break open the 
seals ; but there must be an authority by worth. So that which puts the 
value on Christ's satisfaction was the worth of his person. And thus in 
this act of opening the book, a mere creature might have had as much 
habitual grace, and performed as much duty ; but who is worthy ? It was 
a personal worth which carried it : ' Such an high priest became us, who is 
higher than the heavens,' — that is, than the angels, — Heb. vii. 26. 

Ver. 3, None was found worthy. — Observe the word no7ie ; it is not re- 
strained to man, {iio man,) but never a reasonable creature, either in the 
heavens, as the angels ; nor on earth, as men ; nor under the earth, as 
devils ; nor holy men departed, who are said to go down to the grave : all 
these, nor any of these, were ' able to open the book, neither to look there- 
on,' — that is, so as to understand it, for else John could, and did look on 
it, ver. 1. 

Now to loose the seals, and 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. It is an allusion to those who take a com- 

Chap. II.] an exposition of tue kevelation. 9 

mission, who do it, not only to look on it, but to fulfil it. It is a commission 
sealed, so that this proclamation is in effect thus : — ' Who is able to be God's 
commissioner, to take this book, and make the visions to John, and in their 
times to produce and execute them?' And this appears from chap. vi. 1, 
' And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it 
were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.' 
Still as the seals are opened by the Lamb, there is a vision made to John of 
what shall be done. Therefore the Lamb is presented, not simply as one 
that should take the book, but as one that hath eyes and horns — eyes of 
providence, and horns of power to execute. And this agrees with Gen. 
xlix. 9, 10, where Judah is made a type of Christ, and called a lion's whelp, 
and a sceptre, and a lawgiver, to take God's laws from him, and execute 
them ; for in that respect it is that Judah is called a lawgiver in the place 
above cited, not in respect of making or giving laws, but in respect of exe- 
cutive power to see God's laws kept. So Christ here takes this book as to 
deliver it to us, to execute the decrees of it. 

Ver. 4c, And I wept inuch. — His despairing put him upon weeping; he 
■was called up to heaven to see visions, but meets with a stop. This was to 
set off the mercy, to try his heart, and to render his joy greater. 

Obs. — God in greatest mercies may make greatest stops; he may so bring 
to despair that no hope shall be seen, yet at length shew himself in mercy. 
So to John here. So likewise in the first work of conversion many times ; 
and so in other great works. John was called to see visions, yet a stop and 
pause was in his view made. 

Use. — Here John is comforted, first, by a stander-by, endeavouring to 
uphold his heart ; and, secondly, by the sight of the Lamb, ver. 6. 

Observe here the degrees God useth to comfort his people by ; first, let- 
ting fall something giving hopes of Christ, so to draw the soul patiently to 
wait ; then, secondly, shewing it Christ himself God might have at first 
shewed John the Lamb, but he first comforts him by a stander-by, (as Job 
first heard by the hearing of the ear,) and then his eye saw the Lamb. 

Christ, the only opener of this book and giver of this prophecy, is diversely 
expressed : — 

1. He is called * the root of David,' out of Isa. xi. 10. Christ put this 
riddle to the Pharisees, How David could call him Lord, if he were his son ? 
So here it may be asked, How could he be called the root of David, if he 
were the son of David, and so a branch of that root 1 The truth is, he is the 
root of David, and of all the saints. He was the root of his ancestors, and 
the father of his mother. The root of any family is in Scripture put for the 
eldest son in it, who is as the root of the rest. So, Isa. xiv. 30, ' I will kill 
thy root with famine ;' that is, thy first-born, the root of thy house ; for in 
opposition he says, ' and the first-born of the poor shall be fed.' So Mai. 
iv. 1. Therefore, in that Christ is called the root of David, is meant, that he 
is the first-born among aU his brethren, as he is called in Kom. viii. 29. And 
Ps. Lxxxix. 27, so God calls David in the type, but intends Christ thereby, 
when he says, ' I will make him my first-born, higher than the kings of the 
earth ;' and, ver. 29, ' His seed shall endure for ever.' In this is Christ the 
root of David, that he is the first-born of every creature ; of whom the whole 
family in heaven and earth is named. 

2. He is called the ' Hon of the tribe of Judah ;' and this in a manifest 
allusion to the prophecy in Gen. xlix. 10, wherein Judah, as this place 
shews, is made a type of Christ. And it warrants the application of all 
there unto Christ. Now Judah was called a lion — 


(1.) Because out of Judah came all the worthies and Uon-like men, as 
Joshua,* Othniel, and David, who were all shadows of Christ ; therefore, Gen. 
xlix. 9, he is called an old lion, as the word is, a courageous, hearty Lion. 
So, 2 Sam. xviL 10, valiant men are said to have hearts like Uons. Such 
was Christ, who durst ' engage his heart to draw near to God,' Jer. xxx. 21. 

(2.) Judah had the kingdom, whereof a lion is the emblem ; therefore 
sceptre and lawgiver are attributed to him, ver. 10. So that it is as much 
as to say, Christ, the king by inheritance, as Judah was, shall overcome. 

(3.) Judah did take the prey, the land ; it was done by Judah's worthies, 
Joshua, Caleb, &c. And when, as a lion, they had taken that prey, they 
couched and had rest, as in Solomon's days, 1 Kings iv. 21 ; which was also 
prophesied of. Num. xxiii 24, ' Behold, the people shaU rise up as a great 
lion, and shall not lie down tiU they have eaten the prey.' And, Gen. xlix. 
9, ' He couched as an old Hon; who shall raise him up ?' So Christ, when 
he had led captivity captive, sits down quietly in heaven, as it were, couch- 
ing and lying in wait, especially till the day of judgment, and till before, when 
he shall see an opportunity to avenge the enemies to his church, when he 
will appear as an old lion, who, being roused, suddenly leaps on the prey ; 
especially in the latter days, when ' the gatherings of the people shall be unto 
him,' as the context is, then shall his kingdom be as of a * lion among beasts,' 
;Mic. v. 8, where the prophet speaks of Christ's kingdom and conquest in 
the calling of the Jews, as he had done of Christ's birth, ver. 2. Now that 
kingdom is the scope of this book. 

Ver. 6, And in the raidst of the elders stood a Lamb as it had been slain, 
<fec. — John had heard of Christ as a lion, but 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 he in the end will be found to be a lamb, and a lamb that 
hath seven eyes to run to and fro through the earth for the good of his 
saints ; and seven horns, not to hurt them, but to defend them, and to butt 
his and their enemies. Therefore let not your thoughts of Christ be aU as 
of a lion ; for though he hath the courage and-strength of a lion, yet he hath 
the meekness of a lamb too unto you; who, therefore, have cause to won- 
der at and praise this mixture in him. Christ is called a lamb in allusion 
to the sacrifices of the old law, which were most commonly of lambs ; two 
lambs a day. Num. xxviii. 3. Here he was to be represented as a priest ; as 
before, in being called a lion, he was presented as a king. And therefore it 
follows, * as it had been slain.' 

This Lamb ' stood in the midst of the throne,' nearer than the four beasts 
who stood between the throne and the elders ; and this, for that he is the 
Mediator between his church and God. 

As it had been slain. — That is — 

1. As if he were newly slain, his blood perpetually remaining fresh, as if 
he had been slain but yesterday, Heb. ix. 

2. But as slain, to shew that he doth not remain slain and dead, but is 
alive. So, chap. i. 18, ' I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I 
am alive for evermore.' 

Stood a Lamb. — Standing imports a readiness to afford help. When Ste- 
phen died, he saw Christ standing at God's right hand, as ready to receive 
Mm. It also shews his readiness to intercede. 

Having seven horns. — Horns are put for power, ■ndth which to push. So, 
chap. xvii. 12, ' and the ten horns are ten longs.' So by seven horns here is 

* It is strange that Joshua should be repeatedly mentioned as of the tribe of Judah, 
whereas he was of the tribe of Ephraim. — Ed. 


meant all kingly power. Seven is a number of perfection ; and it shews 
that Christ hath power to open the seven seals. And as there are seven 
trumpets and seven vials, so Christ hath seven horns ; that is, power to fulfil 
all these. Antichrist riseth like Christ, and comes with power, Ilev. xiiL 12. 
But what discovers him 1 He hath but two horns ; the church needs not 
fear him. The Lamb hath seven horns to vindicate himself of his enemies. 
Fear not kings neither, though they be ten ; Christ is King of kings. And 
fear not the devil, who is as a roaring lion ; for Christ, the lion of the tribe 
of Judah, is stronger than he, and wiU bind him sure enough for hurting of 

And seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent forth into all tlie 
earth. — The Spirit, not in his personal subsistence, is here meant, but in his 
instrumental working by gifts and providence, and so is called seven spirits 
before, in chap. iv. 5 ; which seven spirits before the throne are gifts in the 
church which are from Christ, for he is the fountain of spiritual gifts, and 
hath the Spirit without measure. But here, by the seven spirits in Christ 
are not meant gifts poured out, but eyes of providence sent into the earth, 
by which he knows and sees all things; which alludes to that in Zech. iv. 10, 
' For who hath despised the day of small things 1 for they shall rejoice, and 
shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven ; they are 
the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth ;' and 
implies the perfection of the knowledge and providence of Christ, to order all 
affairs on earth for his church's good, as in 2 Chron, xvi. 9 ; and in Zecha- 
riah, before quoted, he ordered the affairs of the Persian monarchy for the 
building of his church. Christ, as man, hath eyes as well as horns, to dis- 
cern and guide all things here below. His human nature is the instrument 
of all God's power ; all goes through his hands ; and all the works of God's 
providence go through his view : he knows whatsoever is done in the whole 
■world. But why should Christ be presented here in this chapter under these 
notions of a Hon of Judah's tribe, and a lamb, and the root of David, rather 
than any other 1 

1. In that he speaks in the language of the Old Testament, and of John 
the Baptist, who was under the Old Testament ; for Christ is everywhere 
spoken of throughout the volume of that book, as appears by Luke xxiv. 27 
where it is said that Christ, ' beginning at Moses, and aU the prophets, did 
expound unto them the things concerning himself.' Now Moses called hini 
' a Hon,' Gen. xhx. 9 ; Isaiah called him ' a lamb,' chap. liiL 7, and ' the 
root of David,' chap. xi. 10; and then John Baptist called him 'the Lamb 
of God, which bears the sins of the world.' Wherefore, as all other things 
in this book are set forth in allusions to the Old Testament, so these de- 
scriptions of Christ also. 

2. He gives Christ these titles in relation to the work of redemption, of 
which mention is made, ver. 9. 

Now to that two things are required : — 

(1.) A price to be paid to God; and so as a lamb he hath * redeemed us 
to God by his blood,' ver. 9. 

(2.) Power to deliver us out of the hands of our enemies ; and so he is a 
Hon that overcomes. 

3. It hath relation especially to the opening of this book, and executing 
the affairs contained in it, and so those titles are most proper; for — 

(1.) He needed to die for it, and so is presented as ' a lamb slain.' For 
that very price that salvation did cost, the same must each revelation to us 
cost also. And his being ^simply the Son of God, and so knowing the 


counsels of God written in his decrees, was not enough for him to make 
them known to us ; but to reveal this counsel, as in a book to be opened to 
us, he must needs die, our sins otherwise hindering it. Hence it is said, 
ver. 9, ' Thou art worthy to open the book, for thou wast slain,' &c. So 
therefore, as a lamb, he is said to take sin away, that hindered the revelation 
of it to us. 

(2.) As a lion he needed courage to encounter God's wrath ; and by 
breaking through a consuming fire, to approach his throne, and take the 
book. ' Who is this that hath engaged his heart to draw near unto me ? ' 
Jer. XXX. 31. No angel durst have presumed to come so near God. 

(3.) As a lion he needed to overcome death, and rise to execute the con- 
tents of this book. They say that a lion sleeps the first three days after he 
is brought forth, but then being roused by the roaring of the old lion, he, 
after that, sleeps the least of any creature. So did Christ rise by the power 
of his Father, to sleep no more. 

4. Being risen, he is set forth — 

(1.) As a lion of Judah ; for that in that prophecy, Gen. xlix. 49, as also, 
Ps. Ix. 7, Judah, in respect of his kingly office, is called God's lawgiver ; not 
simply in respect of giving the laws, — that Moses, of the tribe of Levi, did, 
— but because Judah executed them. Now, in that Christ did here take 
the book of God's decrees, and undertook to execute and fulfil them as God's 
commissioner, therefore he is in this respect most properly here called the 
' lion of the tribe of Judah.' 

(2.) He is here set forth as ' a lamb having seven horns, and as many 
eyes;' and this, in as fit and proper a respect as might be, to signify his being 
one not only fit to give this prophecy, but to effect the things contained in 
it by his horns and eyes. And he is said to have seven horns and seven 
eyes, to shew his full power to open the seven seals, and to blow the seven 
trumpets, and to pour out the seven vials. He is such a prophet as never 
was, in that he not only makes a bare revelation of things, but brings them 
to pass, and makes them good. God gave him the platform of occurrences • 
to come, and power and wisdom to order the accomplishment of them. He 
is also set forth both as a lamb and a lion to shew his priestly and kingly 
office j and how, by virtue of both, he makes us kings and priests, as they 
sing, ver. 10 ; and having his kingdom in their eye, they are confirmed in the 
promise of it by a remembrance of him as a lamb and a lion, thus strong 
and powerful. As a lamb, he purchaseth the revelation of what concerns his 
church ; and as a lamb with horns and eyes, he effects the accomplishment of 
it. And the scope and sum of this book being to shew how Christ rules the 
world and his church, till he hath put down all rule, and how he then takes 
the kingdom himself; therefore he is described as a lamb, in respect of his 
quiet governing the affairs of the world and the church, until that his king- 
dom, which then, as a lion, by open force he assumes, and rescues the 
church, as a prey, out of the enemies' jaws, and that by the right of a pro- 
mised succession from Judah and David ; for which cause those titles of the 
' root of David' and ' lion of Judah' do here come in. 

1. In a word, this title of his being the root of David shews his right to 
that kingdom which he is to receive, of which David and his kingdom was 
but the type, 

2. His being called a lamb slain is to shew both a right and title to that 
kingdom, and also the price by which he purchased it, even his own blood. 

3. His being a lion is to shew the power by which he conquers, obtains, 
and pjJMesses it; therefore this heavenly chorus, or company, here, when 


they once see Christ, by taking the book, to undertake the accomplishment 
of this prophecy, (the conclusion of which is his instalment into his king- 
dom,) they, in the joy and faith of it, shout out beforehand, saying, ' We 
shall reign on the earth ; ' as looking on all that was to forego his kingdom, 
and to come between this vision and his kingdom to come, all as already 
done, and having this kingdom chiefly in their eye which should come. 

Now from the 8th verse to the end of the chapter is a doxology, or a giv- 
ing praise for the Lamb's taking the book ; which song consists of four parts, 
or was sung by four companies : as — 

1. Four-ancl-twenty elders and four beasts — the church of men upon 
earth. They begin and raise the song : ver, 8, ' And when he had taken the 
book, the four beasts and four-and-twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, 
having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are 
the prayers of saints.' 

2. The angels join their voices : ver. 11, 'And I beheld, and I heard the 
voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders ; 
and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands 
of thousands.' 

3. The creatures come in also : ver. 13, ' And every creature which is in 
heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, 
and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, honour, glory, and power, 
be unto him that sitteth on the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever.' 

4. The beasts close all, saying Amen : ver. 14, 'And the four beasts said, 
Amen. And the four-and-twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that 
liveth for ever and ever,' 

Obs. — Observe in the general, That the sons of men are the eminentest 
praisers of God; they are the leaders in this heavenly choir, and they con- 
clude the song. The reason of which is, in that the highest work that God 
ever did is the work of redemption, which concerns us, not the angels ; for 
which, notwithstanding, the angels praise him, in Luke ii, as also here : yea, 
aU the creatures rejoice in our redemption, ver. 13. But still we are the 
first-fruits, we are the leaders in the song, whom the angels follow. It is 
not said by them, ' Thou hast redeemed us to God by thy blood ; ' that con- 
cerns us, though they sing praise too. 

Use 1. — Learn we from hence to bless God for his mercy and goodness to 
others. We see the angels do so for us, who yet cannot sing as we, with an 
interest, and yet they praise God for our redemption; and this is their 
highest grace. 

Use 2. — Learn we to bless God in a sense of our interest. That will 
raise our hearts a degree higher, as it was with the church of men in their 
song here, ver. 9, 10. 

Ver. 8. — The praisers, who were of the sons of men, are described, (1.) as 
having harps ; (2.) golden vials : in allusion to the Levitical service in the 
temple, where tliey had musical instruments, and incense in bowls or vials, 
which, Zech. xiv. 20, are caUed ' the bowls of the altar.' Not that musical 
instruments are to be in the worship of God now, neither incense : which, as 
it was the type of prayer and praises, Ps. cxli. 2, ' Let my prayer come up 
before thee as incense ; ' so those harps were of that ' spiritual melody,' as 
the Apostle calls it, which we make in our hearts to God, even of ' spiritual 
songs,' Eph. V. 19. Therefore John himself interprets the odours or incense 
here to be the prayers of the saints. And their hearts are the golden vials, 
ha\dng faith purer than gold, as Peter speaks, which is the spring of all their 
prayers, and their harps also are their hearts; corda and choi^dcB are near akin. 


And 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 great. 
Though thou hast but little grace, yet God's worship would not be com- 
plete without thee. And whereas John calls these odours the prayers of 
the saints, it makes nothing for what the Papists would hence collect, — 
namely, that the saints in heaven offer up the prayers of the saints on earth. 

1. This company are, as we said before, the church of men on earth. 

2. These here offer not the prayers of others, but their own ; for both 
themselves make the song, and that a new one ; and also the benefit they 
praise God for in it is their own, ' Thou hast redeemed us to God by thy 
blood.' Those words, therefore, ' the prayers of the saints,' are but the in- 
terpretation which John adds ; and do imply only this, that these were saints, 
and their odours were their prayers. 

Ver. 9, And they sung a new song. — 1. You shall find, in the Psalms, that 
when David had a new occasion, in a further degree, to praise God, he says, 
'I will sing a new song;' now here there was a 'new occasion given. 

2. It is called new in opposition to the old song under the old testa- 
ment ; as, John xiii. 34, 'I give you a new commandment;' that is, of the 
gospel, called new, in opposition to the commandments of the old law. In 
the 4th chapter of this book, these elders had sung a song for the work of 
creation, ver. 1 1 ; but here they sing for the work of redemption, as ver. 9, 
which is the eminent work of the new testament, as creation was of the 
old ; and therefore it is called a new song. 

3. There is a more special reason why they should sing a new song, for 
that the New Jerusalem was in their eye : Christ's kingdom and their king- 
dom (we shall reign on earth) ; there ' all things shall be made new.' And 
therefore their song is now a new song for the instalment of their new king. 
Thus, Ps. xcvi. 1, which is a psalm of this kingdom of Christ, as appears 
by ver. 10-13, doth therefore begin with these words, 'O sing unto the 
Lord a new song.' 

Use 1. — Learn we from hence to frame new matter of praise, and to have 
fresh affections upon every new occasion. 

Use 2. — We are to bless God, both for our creation and our redemption, 
and to take in the mention of old blessings when we give thanks for new. 
As a good scribe is said to bring forth of his treasure new things and old, 
so in thanksgiving we are to smg the old song and the new. 

The matter of the song is praise to the Lamb ; where we have — 

First, The person praised, the Lamb, ' Thou art worthy,' spoken in answer 
to the proclamation before made : ' Who is worthy 1 ' Thou, and thou alone ; 
for ' by him, and for him, are all things,' Col. i. 1 6. 

Secondly, The things for which they praise him ; as — 

1. For his death, that he died to redeem them. 

2. For his resurrection, intimated in this, ' Thou wast slain,' the one mak- 
ing us priests, the other kings; as follows. Rev. v. 10. ' And to this end 
Christ died and rose, that he might be Lord and King,' Rom. xiv. 9, 

The word here which is translated redeemed is Tijooccsac, bouglit, in the 
original. ' For thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, 
out of every kindred, and people, and tongue, and nation,' Rev. v. 9. From 
hence observe — 

Obs. 1. — That the blood of Christ was paid as a price to God for the pur- 
chasing of our redemption. So, 1 Cor. vi 20, * bought with a price.' And 
in 1 Tim. ii. 6, it is called a ransom. 

Chap. II.] an exposition of the revelation. 15 

Ohs. 2. — Yet Christ hath not redeemed all men ; for it is not eveiy nation 
and people, but out of every nation, the elect only. 

Obs. 3. — In that they say, Christ is * worthy to receive the book,' because 
' he was slain,' it argues, this book of tlie Kevelation is a special fruit of 
his death, and so should be the more prized by us. Before Christ's death, 
we have his own word for it that he knew not when the day of judgment 
should be ; but now, since he was slain he doth, for he is pronounced worthy 
to take the book, and to open the seals thereof, ver. 9. 

Ver. 10, And hast made us unto our God kings and pHests, and we shall 
reign on the earth. — Christ was before set forth as a Hon, for a king ; so as 
a lamb, for a priest. And both were mentioned, to shew the ground of our 
being both kings and priests : ' We shall reign on earth.' 

From hence observe — 

1. That this comforted the saints of old, even the consideration of Christ's 
kingdom on earth. And how peremptory are they ! ' We shall reign.' They 
mention that, because that is the end and scope of the Eevelation, and the 
conclusion of this book, when the seals are off, and the contents of the book 
accompUshed ; and therefore they have that in their eye. And seeing Christ 
undertakes the accomplishment of aU, whereof this is the issue, they are 
confirmed in the faith of it. 

2. That this kingdom of Christ on earth to come is a far more glorious 
condition for the saints than what their souls have now in heaven ; for these 
here overlook that condition which yet they were to run through, and their 
thoughts fly to this for comfort, ' We shall reign on earth.' 

Ver. 11. — In the 11th verse comes in the other company of angels, and 
their song; who — 

1 . For their number, are ' ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands 
of thousands.' So likewise, Dan. vii. 10, where the same throne and king- 
dom of Christ is prophesied of, there is the same number of his guard of 
angels mentioned : ' A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him : 
thousand thousands ministered unto hiin, and ten thousand times ten thou- 
sand stood before him : the judgment was set, and the books were opened.' 
Observe from hence, that God hath another world of rational creatures 
which we see not. And what a story then will the latter day produce ! 
And what need we fear when there are so many for us, as EHsha said to his 
servant, 2 Kings vi. 16, for they are aU our guardians too 1 

2. For their station; they are behind the elders, yet 'round about the 
throne,' having all in a ring as it were. These are the guard of the * queen 
of heaven,' ' the Lamb's wife,' the church. So, Ps. xxxiv. 7, * The angels of 
the Lord encompass round about them that fear him.' And, Heb. i. 14, it is 
said, ' They are sent out to minister ' for the good of the saints. 

Ver. 1 2. — The song follows in the next verse : ' Worthy is the Lamb that 
was slain, to receive power,' &c. Here observe — 

1. That Christ, though he were worthy by inheritance, yet he was worthy 
oy purchase also ; so the words ' that was slain ' do imply. 

2. As he hath seven horns and seven eyes, so he hath a seven-fold praise. 

3. To express their strong desires to give him sufficient praises, and such 
as were due unto him, they heap up many good things, of which they pro- 
nounce him worthy. 

4. None is worthy to be the king of all the world but only Jesus Christ. 
And indeed it were too much for any creature. The angels themselves were 
top-heavy of their glory, which made them reel out of heaven ; but Christ 
hath the Godhead to poise him. No beast is naturally a king of beasts but 


the lion, says the philosopher; neither is any worthy to be king of all crea- 
tures but this lion of the tribe of Judah. 
The things they attribute to him are — 

1. Power; that is, authority over alL So says Christ, John xvii 2, *To 
me all power is given.' 

2. Riches; that is, possession of all creatures. 'All things are Christ's, 
and so ours,' 1 Cor. iii. 21. Riches of glory, knowledge, aU are his. 

3. Strength, joined to his authority. He is able to work anything ; not 
as other kings, who though they have authority, have yet no more personal 
strength than other men ; but Christ hath seven horns too. 

4. Wisdom; and this as large as his power and dominions. He knows 
all that God means to do ; and sees all with his own eyes, not with other 
men's, as other kings do. 

5. Honour; that respects what aU creatures bring in to him. They all 
adore, and bow the knee to him, Phil. ii. 10. 

6. Glory ; both in his personal excellencies, and also what his Father 
gives him. He sits at God's right hand, and governs with him ; and in his 
person is the brightness of his Father's glory ; and especially shall be made 
manifest when he shall come to judge the world. 

7. Blessing ; which respects that glory which, for his special goodness to 
them, his saints do give him. Others, yea, even the devils, do give honour 
to Christ, but not blessing. That the saints only give ; for that respects in 
God the communication of goodness. They only bless him whom he bless- 
eth first. Take notice therefore, that Christ hath all desirable excellencies 
in him ; power, riches, wisdom, strength, honour, glory, and blessing. 

Ver. 13, And every creature. — Every creature in its kind shall worship 
Christ, PhU. ii. 10, 11. Every creature comes in here, because when Christ's 
kingdom is set up, they shall be renewed, Ptom. viii. 21, and be delivered 
* into a glorious liberty.' 

The church of men began the song, and these continue it; for it is the 
mercy to them is the matter of their song, and the instauration of their 
king. And therefore we are the more to be stirred up to do it, in that we 
see even aU the creatures do it, whom it doth not so much concern. 

Ver. 14, And the four beasts said, Amen. — And with them the elders 
join. Observe that the officers do both begin and end. 

Amen. — It seems to be an ordinance that this word should be used in 
the close ; and that first by the officers, and then by the people. A prece- 
dent for the practice of this you have Hkewise in 1 Cor. xiv. 1 6, * Else when 
thou shalt bless with the Spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of 
the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth 
not what thou say est 1 * 

Chap. IIL] an exposition of the eevelation. 17 


The scheme and division of the whole prophecy, from the beginning of the 

6ih chapter. 

The stage being set, chap, iv., and the prologue acted, chap, v., the prophecy 
itself begins, in several scenes and visions, chap. vi. But ere I can proceed 
to tell you what the six first seals of the 6th chapter, or any vision else, doth 
concern, I must necessarily give you the argument and the division of the 
whole book ; which will afford a better prospect, and a more delectable view, 
than that of the glory of all the kingdoms of this world, although that was 
made once in the twinkling of an eye ; for what can be more pleasant than 
to have an insight, though but a general one, into what is God's design and 
project upon the world, in which the church is seated, and the condition of 
the church itself, in the world, since Christ's ascension? Now this you 
have 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, which may serve both as a 
compass and a chart to us, in sailing over this sea, that we may know still 
where we are, I premise these general propositions or assertions concerning 
the whole prophecy : — 

Prop. I. — That this ensuing prophecy, from the beginning of chap. vi. to 
the end of the book, contains two prophecies, distinct each from other. That 
book mentioned chap. v. is brought in to represent this prophecy of the 
Revelation, as was shewed, to be given to the church, and executed by Christ, 
the Lamb and Lion of Judah. 

Now in that book two things are distinctly to be considered, as given 
with that book : — 

L The seals on the back-side of the book. 

2. The contents of the book itself. Now — 

\. As the book contains matter of prophecy, so do the very seals 
also. And accordingly the visions of those seals do take up the 6th, 7 th, 
8th, and 9th chapters. Both books and seals are mysterious, and do con- 
tain matter of prophecy. The very back-side and cover of this book of 
God is prophetical. This book is all composed of prophecies; and the use 
of the seals is not simply to shew that the matter of this book was difficult 
to be known, as in Scripture phrase a sealed book imports ; but, besides, 
they serve to contain a matter of vision to be delivered. 

2. Add to this, that answerably, ver. 2. of chap, v., in revealing and de« 
livering this prophecy, two difficulties are distinctly mentioned : — 

(1.) The loosing of the seals. (2.) The opening of the book. 

Now if the seals only did import the difficulty of this book, it would not 
have been made a new difficulty to open the book. But it is expressly made 
a distinct difficulty to open the book after the seals are loosened. This 



therefore was, because to loosen the seals, was to deliver one prophecy; and 
to open the book when these seals were loosened, was to deliver another. 

3. Accordingly, in the Gth chapter, when the Lamb opens the first seal, 
a vision is seen, and therein a prophecy delivered ; so when the second is 
opened, there is mentioned another; and when the third, a third vision; and 
so on in that chapter. And the seventh seal produceth seven angels with 
seven trumpets ; six of which are recounted from chap. viiL to chap, x., and 
the seventh trumpet is in the end of the 11th chapter. 

In the second place, when these seals are, the one of them after the other, 
taken off, and the prophecy and \isions of those seals seen and ended, then an 
angel comes with a ' little book ' — alone, without seals — ' open,' chaj). x. 2, 
as containing a new prophecy for John. Now when that this first of the 
seals was past, then accordingly John was bidden to eat it, ver. 9, 10, to be 
enabled for a new prophecy. So, ver. 1 1 , it is expressly said, * Thou must 
prophesy again before many tongues and kings.' And because a new 
prophecy was upon the eating of that book to begin, hence, ver. 8, it is said, 
' The same voice which he had heard before did speak from heaven again.' 
Xow that voice, or speech, he had heard but twice before, and it was both 
times whenas a new prophecy was given ; once when the Revelation first 
began, and the epistles to the seven churches, chap. i. 10. And then 
another time, when this general prophecy begins, chap. iv. 1, which is dis- 
tinct from that prophecy of the seven epistles in the thiee first chapters, 
which is peculiar to the seven churches. And now again, chap. x. 8, as 
beginning a new and third prophecy. 

Ohs. — In that the seals themselves do thus contain a prophecy, observe, 
That in God's book nothing is without a meaning. Christ said, * Not a tittle 
of it shall pass ; ' let it not therefore pass us. The very cover here is pro- 
phetical ; much more does every word written in it contain matter of 
instruction. Search the Scriptures narrowly, and slight not a tittle of them, 
though you understand them not. There is enough in what you understand, 
to admire ; and in what jo\x understand not, to adore ; as judging it the 
word of the great God, every syllable of which has its weight and value. 

Prop. II. — That both these prophecies, both seal and book-prophecy, do 
run over the same whole course of times, from Christ's ascension unto his 
kingdom ; containing in them several events and occurrences successively, 
from that time to this of his kingdom, with which this book ends : namely, 
the seal- prophecy, from chap. vi. to chap, xii., doth act over one story of all 
times, to the end of time ; and then the book-firophecy, from chap, xii., 
beginning at the same time again, doth act over another story of aU the 
same times, unto the end. So that the same whole race of time is run 
over in both, but with several and distinct occm'reuces ; even as the two 
books of the Kings and Chronicles do contain the stories of the same course 
of time from David unto the captivity. But the book of the Kings handles 
most the affairs of the kings of Israel; and that of the Chronicles more 
eminently holds forth the story of the kuigs of JudaL 

Now to demonstrate this apart ; first of the seal-prophecy, and then of 
the book-prophecy : — 

1. For the seal-prophecy ; lay but these three things together, (whereof 
the two first were never denied by any,) and the point in hand wiU neces- 
sarily follow : — 

(1.) That in the Gth chapter the six seals do begin; with a prophecy, 
either from John's time or from Christ's. To prove this, besides those 
evidences which, when we come to interpret them, will more evidently 

Chap. III.] an exposition of the revelation. 19 

appear, as that the first seal begins with Christ's going forth in preaching 
the gospel, so to lay the first foundation of his kingdom ; wliich going forth 
refers to those primitive times. As also that in the fifth seal, you have the 
first mention of the bloody persecution of the saints, professing the gospel, 
in the same primitive times ; which appears by tliis, that they are told that 
when the rest of their brethren, by the succeeding persecutions, should be 
killed, they then should have vengeance upon their enemies for their blood 
spilt ; which argues these in the 6th chapter to be those first persecutions. 
Besides these evidences, I say, it appears more generally, because the pro- 
phecy itself docs but here begin, all in the former chapters being but a pro- 
logue and a preparation. And it begins with John's time at least ; for, 
chap. i. 1, he says, he was to shew to Christ's servants things which should 
shortly come to pass : the things contained in this prophecy entering into 
an accomplishment presently upon John's writing them, and divulging them 
to the churches. 

(2.) The second thing, which also none ever denied, is, that these seals 
and trumpets, which do in order succeed one another, do contain a continued 
prophecy of events following one another in a succession of ages downward. 
To this purpose you may observe the phrase used, chap. x. 7, ' In the days 
of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound,' which im* 
ports that these several trumpets do, as scenes in a comedy, share among 
them the several ages and times succeeding one another. And m like man- 
ner the seals have their days, even as the rest of the trumpets have their 
days proper, and peculiarly given to them. And look how in order they are 
placed, one before the other, as first, second, and third, &c., so do the seve- 
ral times or ages precede or succeed one the other : so as the days of the 
first seal are the first age, and things done in that age after John, and so on 
the second seal, &c. 

(3.) Add to the two former this consideration, that the seventh trumpet, 
in the 1 1th chapter, doth end aU time, and so becomes a period to one dis- 
tinct prophecy of all time. This appears from chap. x. After the seals were 
passed over and seen with their efi'ects, and the six trumpets had sounded in 
the 8th and 9th chapters foregoing, the angel swears, ver. 6, 7 of that 10th 
chapter, that ' time should be no longer ; ' but ' in the days of the seventh 
trumpet,' all should be finished. And therefore, chap, xi., from ver. 15, — 
where the seventh trumpet is brought in sounding in its order, when his day 
and turn comes to sound, — must needs be esteemed the end of that pro- 
phecy : for it brings you to the end of aU times ; that is, of the times which 
God thought fit to allot this world, and his enemies in the world, to rule 
and reign. First, the monarch s and great men of the world are to have 
their time here, and then Christ's time, and the time of his saints, is to be- 
gin ; as, ver. 15, 'The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of 
our Lord, and of his Christ,' &c. ; and, ver. 18, 'The time of the dead ia 
come, that they should be judged.' When this world's hour-glass is run out, 
then that of another world is to be turned up to run, when there shall be a 
new heaven and a new earth. So that, from the first seal to the seventh 
trumpet, is run over all the time that the monarchies and kingdoms of this 
world, whilst they should be in the hands of Christ's enemies, should con- 
tinue and last. For that is the time which, towards the end, under the 
sixth trumpet, the angel that came down under that sixth trumpet sware 
'should be no longer.' I shall set down the words of his oath : in the 6th 
and 7th verses of that 10th chapter, he 'sweareth by him that liveth for 
ever and ever,' — that is, by God, — 'who created the heaven, the earth, and 


the sea,' and the things that are in all these his three dominions, * 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 whole voice, or words, of the sixth angel do import, (1.) That much 
of that whole time had now been passed and run out already in the former 
visions of the seals and trumpets, from the first until now. And, (2.) That 
now the time allotted by God was brought well-nigh to the very last sands of 
it. And that the church might have some warning, and be able to make some 
guess, and compute when this time of the world's monarchy, or kingdoms of 
the world, should have an end ; and so, when the time of the Gentiles should 
be fulfilled and be no longer ; this angel doth, towards the expiration of that 
whole time, give us, in the 11th chapter, the true computation of that time, 
during which the last monarchy — you know there are four — on earth should 
endure, as that which might serve us to compute the period of the whole, and 
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 holy city ; which beast, and his kingdoms supporting him as their 
head, and whose time, from his first beginning to the near approach of that 
seventh trumpet, which shall begin to sound not long after, or but a little 
before his very end, is forty and two months, or, which is all one, one thou- 
sand two hundred and threescore days ; that is, so many years. And with 
him all other rule and dominion on earth shall end ; and Christ shall take 
the kingdom, when he shall have destroyed Antichrist through the bright- 
ness of his coming, which will grow brighter as his coming is nearer. And 
withal, this angel gives a signal of occurrences which should immediately 
forerun the period of this time of his ruin, whereby the church might with 
some nearness discern his approaching ruin; which he does, in that 11th 
chapter, by presenting the face of that church, which shall be before the 
downfall of that kingdom, and the last persecution of the church by the 
beast, foregoing his ruin, that so the church might have both warning, and 
not think it strange at the fiery trial which at last was to come upon them ; 
as also to be comforted, for it should be the last ; and soon after it, the end- 
ing of all time, together with that of the world's kingdoms. 

2. The second part of the foresaid general proposition, viz.. That there is a 
new prophecy that runs over the same whole race of time, from the begin- 
ning to the end of the world's monarchies, unto Christ's kingdom, beginning 
at chap, xii., and so on to the end of the book. 

Now then, the prophecy of the seals, which runs over the whole time of 
the world's monarchies, being thus ended, chap, xi., there begins another 
prophecy at chap, xii., which runs over the same whole race and period of 
times, though with other occurrences. And this is the other part of this 
general proposition, which I demonstrate thus, as I did the former : — 

First, The 12th chapter begins a new prophecy, not only because that the 
other having ended all time, this must needs begin again anew ; but further, 
the vision of the woman and the dragon in the 1 2th chapter must needs be of 
things foregoing the rise of Antichrist, — the beast in chap, xiii., — and there- 
fore concerneth the primitive times, which were the times before Antichrist. 
This is proved thus. The dragon mentioned chap, xii., endeavouring to de- 
vour the woman, is cast down from heaven ; after which, striving to drown 
her with a flood, he is prevented ; and then John, standing, as the best copies 
read it, upon the sand of the sea, spies this new beast arising, and the dragon 
gives his throne and power unto him, chap. xiiL All this, therefore, wMch 

Chap. III.] an exposition op the revelation. 21 

is in the 12th chapter, must necessarily contain a story of things done before 
the rising of Antichrist, and so by consequence must belong to the primitive 
times, as the particular interpretation will make more clear. 

Secondly, Add to this, that unto this beast, from his first rising in the 1 3th 
chapter, there is allowed him to continue forty-two months, or 12G0 years, 
which is the very same period of time upon the expiring of which the seventh 
trumpet begins, which, as you heard, had ended all time before, chap. xi. 15 ; 
and then the 14th chapter, which follows, contains the state of the church 
during the times of the beast, in their separation from him and opposition of 
him. And then, chap. xv. and chap. xvi. contain seven vials to ruin this beast ; 
whereof the last doth end all time again, even as the seventh trumpet had 
done. And this is proved — 

1. In that, as when the seventh trumpet should sound, the angel sware 
* time should be no longer : ' so when the seventh vial is poured out, chap, 
xvi. 17, a voice says, ' It is done ;' that is, time is at an end, all is finished. 

2. It is said, chap. xv. 1, that these vials contain the last plagues, in which 
the wrath of God is fulfilled, and therefore must necessarily make an end of 
all Christ's enemies, and so of their rule ; and together with them, of all their 
time. And — 

3. The same things are said to be done in the pouring out the seventh 
vial, which is the last of plagues, that are presented to be done at the sound- 
ing of the seventh trumpet, which is the last of woes. Thus at the sounding 
of the seventh trumpet, chap. xi. 10, there are said to be 'lightnings, voices, 
thunderings, earthquakes, and a great hail ;' and so likewise upon the pour- 
ing forth of the last vial, chap. xvi. 18, there were 'voices, and thunderings, 
and lightnings, and an earthquake, such as never were on earth before ; and 
80 great an hail, that every stone weighed a talent.' 

Ohj. — But you will say, If there be an end of all when Christ's kingdom 
comes, then what do the 17th, 18th, and 19th chapters contain, and to what 
time wiU you refer them, seeing the description of the kingdom of Christ 
begins but at the 20th chapter, an|^ so on ? 

Ans. — The answer, in general, is, that they contain a larger explication or 
vision of some eminent things that faU out under the time of some of these 
vials. And therefore the 17 th chapter 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. 

But more particularly — 

1. The 17 th chapter contains an interpretation of what was spoken con- 
cerning the beast in chap, xui., and shews who that beast is. And as in the 
prophecy of Daniel the manner of the Holy Ghost was to interpret the 
visions there made, so here. And of the whore carried by the beast, he says 
plainly, by way of explication, ver. 1 8, it is ' that great city that reigneth 
over the kings of the earth,' namely, Eome. And it was necessary that the 
Holy Ghost should give an interpretation of some things in this book ; and 
of this especially, as being that which gives light to aU the rest, which 
therefore fitly comes in after all. 

2. The 18th chapter, and the 19th, to the 11th verse, doth contain a more 
poetical description of the ruining of that city, the seat of this last monarchy ; 
and therefore is but a more copious exphcation of the fifth vial, which, 
chap. xvi. 10, is said to be poured out upon the seat of the beast ; together 
with a triumphing song of the church's concerning those times, sung at the 
whore's funeral, and for the approaching marriage of the Lamb. And this, 
chap. xix. to ver. 11. 


3. From thence to the 20tli chapter, is a more full description of that last 
war of the beast, and all the kings of the earth, and their overthrow by 
Christ : which is therefore all one with the last vial, and the preparation 
thereunto, as none that shall read from the 13th verse of the IGth chapter 
unto the end, and compare it with chap. xix. from ver. 1 1 to the end, will 
be able to deny. For so it pleased the Holy Ghost, towards the latter end 
of this prophecy, to give a more full explanation of the two more eminent 
vials, and the times of them, after he had first, for method's sake, briefly 
set them together, with the rest, in their order : as in like manner, after he 
had compendiously set together in one chapter, chap, xx., the reign of Christ 
during a thousand years, and the universal judgment that follows, he yet 
spends the 21st chapter in a more copious and magnificent description of 
the state of the new Jerusalem, and that kingdom of Chi'ist during those 
thousand years. 

Obj. — But then you will say. Unto what will you refer the 11th chapter, 
from ver. 1 to ver. 15, which is placed, as it were, between both prophecies? 

Ans. — I answer, as before, all that discourse delivered byword of Christ's 
mouth, between the seal and the book-prophecy, doth belong unto both ; as 
containing an exact chronology of that last period of the time of the world's 
monarchies. By means of which we may easily compute how much that 
whole time is that both the prophecies do run over, as shall be shewed in 
the interpretation of that chapter. And withal, there is a signal given of 
such eminent occurrences befalling the church, as should be most proper 
and smtable signs of the dawning of Christ's kingdom shortly after to follow; 
and so of the ending of the time of both proj^hecies. That as the old 
Jerusalem, before it was destroyed, had signs given of its destruction immi- 
nent; so hath the new Jerusalem also, before it is reared. 

Now that these passages in the 11th chapter do belong thus unto both 
prophecies, appears — 

1. In that he speaks of matters contained, and afterwards mentioned in 
the book-prophecy, chap, xiii., xvi : as likewise of matters mentioned in 
the seal-prophecy ; namely, of the ending of the sound of the sixth trumpet; 
which is declared in chap. xi. 14, and called ' the passing away of the second 
woe.' And — 

2. The angel therein mentions how and when the expirations of the 
times of both prophecies do meet in the sixth trumpet of the seal-prophecy, 
ending about the time of the date of the beast in the book-prophecy. And 
thus to insert a chronological table, as it were, between both prophecies, 
serving them both, and knitting together the times of both in one period; 
how agreeable is it to the way of historians, who when they run over much 
time and several matters, use to affix a table of times unto that their history ; 
and so doth our historical prophet John in that 11th chapter. 

Prop. III. — The third general proposition, or head, shall be an inquiry 
into what is the matter or argument prophesied of in this whole book ; as 
also, more particularly, what are the differing subjects of these two several 
prophecies, the Seal and Boole- Prophecy. 

I shall unfold and clear this by several steps and degrees in these proposi- 
tions following : — 

1. It is certain that the subject of both prophecies is the fates and 
destinies of the kingdoms of the world which should be after Christ's 
ascension, untU he take the kingdom to himself Therefore at the end or 
conclusion of the seal and trumpet-prophecy, there is an acclamation that 
the kingdoms of the world were then become Jesus Christ's, chap. xL 15, aa 

Chap. III.] an exposition op the eevelation. 23 

ha-ving all that while before been under other monarchs' hands, and of which 
the former part of the prophecy had S2)okcn all along. And therefore he 
says, * Time shall be no longer ; ' that is, for the kingdoms of the world, 
(that is, not for their worldly kingdoms,) unto which he opposeth that of 
Christ's. And therefore the book-prophecy also, wliich begins chap, xii,, 
when it came to be first given, chap. x. 11, hath this prologue or preface 
unto it, * Thou must prophesy again before kings and nations,' &c. : before 
kings, that is, about kings, as the style of the prophet is; and that word 
acfain implies his having prophesied about them before, in the seal-prophecy, 
although other occurrences in them, and also his being to do it again in tlua 
other prophecy following, in new occurrences that concerned the church. 

2. The second proposition is, That the whole prophecy concerns only 
such kingdoms or monarchies of the GentUes as had to do with the church 
of Christ. For — 

(1.) 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. And this you may observe 
throughout both of them; as in the fifth seal, chap, vi., you have blessed 
martyrs then calling for vengeance for their blood ; and under the trumpets, 
which are miseries upon kingdoms, there are men sealed, as being servants 
of God, scattered and mingled amongst those nations upon whom those 
trumpets blow. And the like may be observed in the following chapter. 
So that they extend but to such kingdoms or monarchies in the world 
where the church in all ages still was ; therefore, not to the West Indians, nol 
Tartarians, nor Chinese, nor East Indians, &c., where the church hath not 
been, or not to any considerable purpose; not any of these kingdoms doth 
this prophecy concern. This hkewise agrees with God's manner in the pro- 
phets, who prophesied of such kingdoms only as had to deal with his church, 
thereby to shew Christ's power in ruling kingdoms for his church's good. 

(2.) This book being written for the comfort of his church, and all the 
judgments therein mentioned coming out of the throne of the temple, which 
is the church, and likewise upon the prayers of the church ; it containa 
therefore the fates of such kingdoms as the church should have to do withaL 
Now, if so, then — 

3. The third step, or proposition, is this. That the Roman monarchy, 
or empire, with the territories both in the east and west sea, which were 
under its jurisdiction, (which empire when John wrote was in its height and 
flourish, and with which the church had most to do, and in the jurisdiction 
of which the church had always been chiefly, and in a manner only seated,) 
must needs be, in the several revolutions and changes of it, the main subject 
of this book of the Revelations, together with the state of the church under 
it. Now this empire, and the dominions of it, was extended weU-nigh as 
far for circuit as the dominions under the Turk in the east, and the teu 
European kingdoms in the west. All which, in John's time, were whoUy 
and solely under the emperor of Rome, And in this empire, and through- 
out all the territories of it, did God place his church and gospel ; and 
throughout aU which the Christian profession doth remain unto this day, 
even in the east as well as in the west, though darkly and corruptly, and 
in a manner here only. This empire therefore, with its dominions, is in the 
New Testament called the world, even all the world, for the greatness of it ; 
and because indeed this was the w^orld which God had set up to act his 
great works upon. Thus, Luke ii. 1, 2, the whole world is said to have 
been taxed by Augustus ; and, Acts xi. 28, there is foretold a famine that 


should rage throughout all the world, in the time of Claudius Caesar. And 
this world was the line, as the Apostle's phrase is, beyond whose reach the 
apostles' preachmg never stretched to any considerable purpose. This was 
their chief auditory, as appears by Matt. xxiv. 14, where, before the destruc- 
tion of Jerusalem, foretold ver. 15, IG, as a sign forerunning it, it is said 
the 'gospel should be preached to all the world;' that is, over all the domin- 
ions of the Roman empire, as it was by the apostles before the ruming of it. 
Now th.at this empire, and the territories under it, together with the church 
in it, should be the main subject of this book, there are these reasons for it : — 

(1.) Because, as hath been said, it is the chief, and in a manner only seat 
of the church ; which was, and still is, extended so far, and no further. 
And by the power of this empire, and the several successions of it, hath the 
church been mainly oppressed in all ages. K therefore this book-prophecy 
be of the church, then surely of the church under this empire ; and if of the 
judgments upon any kingdoms for their oppression of the church, then 
surely upon this, for the church's sake. And if the judgments which are in 
this book, set out under seals, and trumpets, and vials, do come for the 
church's sake, and be made to fall upon her chief enemies, then they must 
eminently light upon this grand enemy, for such it hath been ; and so, this 
prophecy must note out the judgments and wars that ruined the empire for 
its persecuting the saints, who, chap, vi 10, do cry out for vengeance; and 
the trumpets are the hearing of their prayers, chap. vui. 3. 

(2.) The Eoman empire, and the successions of it east and west, was that 
fourth and great monarchy that should oppress the earth, now only left, 
when Christ ascended. ISTow, in the prophecies of the Old Testament, their 
main subject was the great monarchy then in bemg, or presently to come. 
So in Daniel, two or three chapters are chiefly taken up with the successions 
of the Grecian monarchy, and then of the Roman. And Daniel foretold 
that this Roman should be the most terrible of aU the rest. And therefore 
surely God, in this prophecy of the New Testament, doth, according to his 
manner in the Old, lay out the fates of that fourth monarchy now only left ; 
as he had done of those others that were gone and past ere Christ ascended. 

(3.) This must needs be so, especially seeing the scope of this book is the 
instalment of Christ into his kingdom, and so to shew how, in the meantime, 
he puts down all rule that keeps it from him, and takes it to himself; so 
erecting a fifth monarchy, succeeding the other four. Now then, this Roman 
monarchy, in the several successions of it in the east and west, being the 
chiefest rule and power that was left on earth for Christ to put down, and 
which his own kingdom was immediately to succeed, it is therefore fitly 
made the subject of this book, to shew how he puts down the rule of it, and 
preserves his church under it. And so it answers yet more fuUy unto the 
like scope of Daniel's prophecy ; who being to proj^hesy of the kingdom 
of Christ, chap. vii. 9, God doth first, on purpose, give him a vision of the 
four monarchies that were to precede that of Christ ; and especially insist 
on the fourth, namely this of Rome, ver. 7, as being that which Christ, after 
his ascension, was to encounter with and put dowoi, ere himself take the 
kingdom. And then he shews Daniel how Christ will ruin it, ver. 11, and 
then take the kingdom to himself. So that this Revelation, which is the 
prophecy of the New Testament, doth more largely and particularly set forth 
that which Daniel in the Old Testament, according to the dispensation then, 
saw more generally; even the ruin of the fourth monarchy, which Christ's 
monarchy succeeds. 

(4.) That this should be the subject of this prophecy, suits also with the 

Chap. III.] an exposition of xue revelation. 25 

chief prophecies delivered by other of the apostles in the New Testament, 
which were reduced to three heads : — 

[1.] Foretelling the ruin of the Roman empire, which, 2 Thess. ii, Paul 
calls a taking out of the way him that lets. 

[2.] The discovery of the Pope, (who is the last head of that last fourth 
monarchy,) and his ruin. 

[3.] The Idngdom of Christ to succeed. 

These three things were ordinarily preached by the apostles, as appears 
l)lainly by 2 Thess. ii. 2-9, where Paul, having spoken of these three 
things, says, ver. 5, ' Remember you not, that, when I was with you, I told 
you these things 1 ' So that the apostles did certainly tell the churches of 
these three things, which surely, therefore, are the main subject of this 
prophecy also, but they are more largely delivered unto John. Wherefore 
this Revelation may answerably be divided into these three parts : — 

First, The story of the Roman empire, and the taking of it out of the way, 
which is the subject of the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th chapters of this book. 

Secondly, The discovery of the man of sin, and his ruin, chap. xiii. 14-19. 

Thirdly, Christ's coming and kingdom, chap, xx., xxi. 

4. Now then, the fourth and last consideration shall be spent in an in- 
quiry after the difference of the subjects of these two prophecies, the seal 
and book-prophecy. For in this Roman empire, and the several successions 
and revolutions of it, there are these two things to be considered in the 
story thereof : — 

(1.) The empire, or political body, and the state thereof. 

(2.) The church under it, and the state and condition thereof. 

And therefore some writers have written the ecclesiastical story, or story 
of the church in aU ages, apart by itself. Others have writ the story of the 
empire, and its several revolutions. As among us here in England, (to give 
you this instance only for an illustration,) the Book of Martyrs is chiefly a 
story of church affairs, and the conflicts of it with Antichrist, in England ; 
but Speed's Chronicle is chiefly a story of the affairs civil falling out in that 
kingdom, in the several invasions, wars, conquests, and intestine broils of it. 
Now the like method hath the Holy Ghost been pleased to observe in this 
prophetical story of this empire, and the church spread through the territories 
and dominions of it. These two prophecies before mentioned, namely the 
seal and book-prophecy, do share these two between them. The one does 
apart contain, more particularly, the several wars, events, and revolutions of 
the empire itself ; and that is the seal-prophecy. And the other, whif h is 
the book-prophecy, contains the several conditions and states of the church 
of Christ in all ages. Now this difference of the subjects of those two pro- 
phecies doth appear in the several characters, and in the very place and 
situation of the visions themselves. 

First, The differing shows or faces of the visions in these representations 
do argue this difference : for in the first prophecy, you read of seven seals, 
and four horses, chap, vi., and then of trumpets, chap. viii. and ix., noting 
sometimes sealed judgments and devastations by plagues, famines, and wars ; 
of which latter, trumpets are in all nations the signal and symbols, and in 
Scriptures used to signify wars ; and so do note out the several judgments 
by conquests, and devastations by war, brought upon the civil state of the 
empire. But in the book-prophecy, the chief actors are women ; fit em- 
blems of the church. Thus, chap, xii., it speaks of a woman with child, ready 
to be delivered ; and, chap, xiv., of virgins, free from her fornications ; then 
of a whore, representing the false church, chap. xvii. and xviii. j and then, chap. 


xix., of a bride, preparing and prepared, personating tlie state of tlie church, 
when Christ shall come to fetch her, and bed her everlastingly in his Father's 
house and kingdom. Thus artificial is the Holy Ghost in handling things of 
differing nature apart. 

Secondly, answerably, the dififering situation and place which these two 
prophecies had do shew this. The seals which contain the prophecies of the 
empire were on the oacJc-side, as containing matters exttu ecdesiam, without 
the church ; but the book itself contains things within, even as the church 
is said to be within, 1 Cor. v. 12, ' For what have I to do to judge them also 
that are without 1 do not ye judge them that are within 1 ' Whereas those 
that are not of the church are said to be without, Kev. xxii. 15, 'For with- 
out are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idola- 
ters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.' And so the prophecy thereof 
is cast to be, as it were, without the book, even upon the seals of it ; as de- 
noting that the seal-prophecy treats of things outward, and of the temporal 
state of the church : whereas the book-prophecy treats of spiritual things 
within the church. And as in the general division tliis appears, so it will 
appear in the interpretation of all particulars throughout this book ; for 
John jjuts things of a sort together, as the best historians use to do. Only 
take this caution along with you : that neither in the one nor the other of 
these prophecies, the things of the empire or the church are so handled 
apart as that nothing at all of the church affairs were handled in the seal- 
prophecy, or that nothing of the affairs of the empire were mentioned in the 
book-prophecy. But it is so to be understood as that eminently the ecclesi- 
astical story is contained in the one, and the imperial story in the other. For 
as in the books of Kings and Chronicles, though the first does more eminently 
and setly contain the story of the kings of Israel, yet so as matters of 
Judah are withal intermingled ; and again, in the story of Judah, Israel's 
affairs are interwoven ; even so is it here. Some things appertaining to the 
church are scatteredly mentioned in the prophecy concerning the empire ; 
and some things touching the empire are diffused through the prophecy of 
the church, or the book-prophecy. 

Now briefly then to sum up all this book : — 

It is a tragi-comical vision of the occurrences of the world, and of the 
church in the world, through all times and ages ; whereof this may truly be 
the title, ' The story of Christ's kingdom, and the removal of the several diffi- 
culties of his coming to it.' 

Chap. iv. — The stage for this is set up in chap, iv., where there is a repre- 
sentation of the universal church in all ages, set forth according to the 
exact pattern of a church visible and instituted ; into which aU saints on 
earth should be cast. 

Chap. V. — Then enters the prologue, chap, v., in which is set forth Christ's 
taking upon him the kingdom and government, by taking the sealed book ; 
as thereby shewing he undertaketh to be God's commissioner, to execute the 
decrees contained in this book, and to give the vision of it unto John. At 
which instalment of him into his kingdom, there is a song of praise sung to 
the Lamb, by the four-and-twenty elders and four beasts, who are the 
chorus in this show, with a triumphmg assurance and expectation of what 
wUl be the happy conclusion of all ; even our reigning on earth with him, 
say they there. 

Now the scene or place where all was to be acted, which these visions 
here hold forth, is the Roman empire, and the several dominions of it in the 
east and west, called oixou/isvri, the whole world. 

Chap. III.] an exi'osition of tuk liEVJiLATioN. 27 

Tlien begins the story itself at chap. vi. ; the general argument of which 
is : That whereas Christ's government was to be executed, and seen, Jlrst, in 
putting down all opposite rule and poAver that stand in his way, as St Paul 
speaks, 1 Cor. xv. 24, 25, ' Then cometh the end, when he shall have 
delivered uj) the kingdom to God, even the Father ; when he shall have put 
down all rule, and all authority and power : for he must reign, till he hath 
put all enemies under his feet ;' and, secondly/, in a visible taking the king- 
dom to himself and his saints, which makes the fifth monarchy: accord- 
ingly here the story of this book — 

1. Shews how Christ doth put down all the opposite rule, and power, and 
dominion, whatsoever, in the fourth and last foregoing monarchy of the 
Eomans, in the several successions and revolutions of it, one after another, 
till that he hath worn them all out that were ordained to stand up in it. 
And these many difficulties of his coming to and obtaining his kingdom do 
exceedingly serve to make the story of it appear the more glorious. Then — 

2. It closeth and endeth in a glorious visible kingdom which Christ sets 
up on earth, and peaceably possesseth together with his saints, as the catas- 
trophe of all. 

More particularly the story is this, according to the several contents of each 
chapter : — 

Christ when he ascended up to heaven, found the Roman monarchy, whose 
room he was to possess, stretched both over east and west, even over all those 
parts of the world where he was to seat his church and kingdom ; and all 
this wholly in the hands, and under the dominion and power of one monarch 
or emperor ; under whose government all that were subjected were altogether 
heathenish and idolatrous, and wholly brought under the power of Satan, who 
was set up therein as the ' god of this world.' 

Hereupon, Christ, the designed king, first sets upon the conquest of Satan's 
dominion and worship in it ; and by the preaching of the gospel, overturns 
that vast empire as heathenish, throws down Satan from his throne and height 
of glory in it, and brings it into subjection and acknowledgment of himself 
as king ; and turns both it and its emperors to Christianity, within the space 
of three hundred years. This is the sum and mind of the 6th chapter of the 
seal-prophecy, and likewise of the 12th chapter of the book-prophecy. 

But this empire, though wholly turned Christian in outward profession, yet 
having persecuted his church whilst idolatrous, and also after it was Christian, 
when Arian, therefore at the prayers of the martyrs slain, mentioned chap. 
vi. 9, and in vengeance of their blood, he further proceeds to ruin the civil 
imperial power of the empire itself, by the trumpets in the 8th and 9th 
chapters. And the empire then becoming divided into two parts, the eastern 
and western empire, as they were commonly called, first he ruins the imperial 
western state and power in Europe, by the four first trumpets, the wars of 
the Goths, by four several steps, in the 8th chapter ; and then the imperial 
eastern state, which stood after the other, and this by two degrees — first, by 
the Saracens, then by the Turh, (and these two are the fifth and sixth trum- 
pets,) which two possess all that eastern part unto this day. And this is the 
contents of the 9th chapter only. Before these trumpets bring these evils 
upon the empire, he seals up a company of a hundred and forty-four thousand 
Christians in the eastern part, as chap. vii. 2, to be preserved and continued in 
the true profession of his name, under these two sorest and longest (and there 
called the woe, woe) trumpets, which were to fall upon the eastern part of the 
empire, in which these servants of his there sealed were to be ; as appears by 
chap. vii. 4. And this their sealing is the sum of the seventh chapter. 


Now then, that old Roman empire, as under those emperors, being thus in 
both parts of it removed ; yet still, as that eastern part of it is left possessed 
by the Turks, chap, ix., so this western part of it, in Europe, being by the 
Goths broken into ten kingdoms, they all consented to give their power to 
the beast, the Pope, chap, xiii., who so becomes a successor to the western 
emperors, and possesseth their seat and power, though under another title, 
and so heals that wound given to the Roman monarchy, and restores it. 
And this beast the 1 3th chapter describes, and gives the vision of his rise, 
power, and time of his reign, which the 17th chapter doth expound and 

Under whose antichristian tjTanny, as great as that of the Turks them- 
selves towards Christians, Christ yet preserveth another like company, of ' one 
hundred forty and four thousand virgins,' who are in like manner sealed, 
Christians, in the west, (as, under the tjrranny of the Turks and Saracens, 
he had done the like in the east, chap, vii.,) himself so keeping possession 
still, by preserving his church under both these parts of the empire, as being 
his inheritance. And this company of a hundred and forty-four thousand 
Christians, opposite to the whore, are there called virgins ; and their separa- 
tion from her, and opposition to her, is recorded in chap. xiv. 

But now these two, the Pope and Turk, both enemies to Christ, thus suc- 
ceeding in the empire and sharing the two parts of it between them, we see 
that Jesus Christ is still as far off from his kingdom designed him, which is 
to be set up in these territories, as he was before; for Mohammedanism, 
under the Turk, tyranniseth in the one, and idolatry, under the Pope, over- 
spreads the other, even as heathenism had done over the whole empire at 
first. And so Christ hath a new business of it yet, to come unto his king- 
dom, and as difTicult as ever. 

Therefore he hath seven vials, which contain the last plagues, (for ha 
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 
heathenism, and the trumpets had done the civil power of the empire ; and 
the plagues of these vials are the contents of the 15th and 16th chapters. 

The first five vials do dissolve, and by degrees ruin the Pope's power in 
the west ; then the sixth vial breaks the power of the Turk in the east, so 
making way for the Jews, (whom he means to bring into the fellowship ol 
his kingdom in their own land,) there called ' the kings of the east.' 

But by these six vials their power and kingdom being not wholly ruined, 
both the Turkish and Popish party do together join, using their utmost 
forces (and together with them all opposite kings of the whole world) against 
the Christians, both of the east and west, who, when the Jews are come in 
and converted, do make up a mighty party in the world; unto the help of 
whom, against those and all opposite power whatsoever, Christ himself comes 
and makes but one work of it, with his own hand from heaven destroying 
them. And so it is done, as the voice of the last vial is, in the 16 th 

The 17 th chapter is an interpretation concerning the beast, shewing who 
he is, and where his seat is. 

The 18th chapter sings a faneral song of triumph for the whore's ruin, 
which is the fifth vial ; after which comes in Christ's kingdom, the New 
Jerusalem, and the preparations to it; which new kingdom of his shall be 
made up — 

1. Of eastern Christians, who endured the bondage of the two woe-trum- 
pets, the Saracens and the Turks, yet continuing to profess his name. And 

Chap. Ill] an exposition of the kevelation. 29 

therefore unto those hundred and forty-four thousand in the 7th chapter 
is said to succeed an innumerable company, with ' palms in their hands,' 
who have the very same promises of the New Jerusalem made to them that are 
mentioned in the 21st chapter, which shews their interest therein. And — 

2. It is made up of western Christians, whose hundred and forty-four 
thousand, in chap, xiv., do arise to an innumerable company also ; who there- 
fore, after the rejection of the whore, chap. xix. 1-9, are brought in singing 
in like triumphant manner, decking themselves for the marriage in fine linen. 

3. And especially, it is also to be made up of Jews dispersed both east and 
west, and over all the world ; and from them hath this kingdom the name of 
the New Jerusalem. "With whom — 

4. Come in, as attendants of their joy, other Gentiles too, who never had 
received Christ before. The ' glory of the Gentiles ' is said to be brought 
into it. 

And so both east and west, Jew and Gentile, and the fulness of both, do 
come in, and become one fold under one shepherd for a thousand years, and 
one kingdom under this ' Root of David,' their king, Eling Jesus the con- 
queror, even as it first was under one heathen idolatrous emperor, when 
Christ had first set to conquer it. And so that prophecy of this his king- 
dom, in Isa. lix. 19, is fulfilled, where, after the final destruction of all 
Christ's enemies, foretold ver. 18, he says, 'They shall fear his name, from 
the east unto the west, and the Redeemer shall come unto Sion ;' which 
words Paul interprets of the Jews' final call, and this restauration of the 
world with them, Rom. xi. 26. 

Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly I 



Of the first six seals in the 6ih chapter. 

Having thus 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 ; yet I shall largely insist only on the 6th 
chapter, as being taken off by other occasions from commenting so copiously, 
with observations, upon the rest, which I shall pass over with a more slight 
glance of interpretation, as hastening to the Second Part, which I more espe- 
cially aim at ; which, although it arise not to a fuU and copious commentary, 
shall, notwithstanding, serve to hold forth that to be the true portrait of the 
Holy Ghost's mind in this story, which in the general argument foregoing 
I have given it out to be. 

The seal-prophecy concerns the state of the empire from John's time down- 
ward. Which state, as all story will represent unto you, is to be considered, 
either — 

1. Whilst heathenish, when false gods were worshipped, as Jupiter, Mara, 
(kc, and the professors of Christian religion were persecuted and massacred ; 
during all which time the empire stood whole, undivided, and entire, under 
the government of one emperor, under whom both east and west were sub- 
jected, and this for the space of three hundred years after Christ. Or else — 

2. When turned Christian, as by Constantine it was ; from whose time 
the whole empire more generally was subjected to the outward jjrofession of 
Christ ; but withal, it began to be divided and broken into two parts : which 
rent was afterwards established by Theodosius, the eastern part of Europe 
(whereof Constantine made Bj'zantium, from him called Constantinople, the 
seat) being allotted to one emperor, which eastern part the Turk now po^es- 
seth ; and the western part, which had Piome for the seat of it, unto another, 
which western part the Pope for many hundred years hath entirely had under 
him; so that the one was called the eastern, and the other the western 
empire. And according to this division, the seal-prophecy divides itself into 
two parts : — 

First, The first six seals, chap. vi. 

Secondly, The first six trumpets, which the seventh seal brings forth in the 
8th and 9th chapters ; from the woe of which trumpets the servants of God 
are sealed, chap. viL 

Here, in the 6th chapter, the first prophecy begins, and that with the 
primitive times ; of which these two things are evidences : — 

1. That in the first seal is the 'going forth' — the preaching of the gospel 
— 'conquering, and to conquer ;' for as then, and in that manner, it had begun. 
This was the foundation of aU God's after-proceedings, the first corner-stone 
of Christ's obtaining and setting up his kingdom. 

2. That the fifth seal mentions the martyrdom of saints, crying out for 
vengeance ; which being the first mention of any such martyrdom in this 

Chap. IV.] an exposition of the i^velation. 31 

book, must needs refer to those fiimous first persecutions under heathenish 
Rome, which was followed by the Arian a little after ; as ver. 1 1 . 

These six seals are several stops and degrees, setting forth the moving 
causes and means of God's plaguing and ruining the empire of Rome as 
heathenish. Christ being to put down all adverse power, he finds not only 
this em])ire to stand in his way, but Gentdism, the worship of false gods, 
and of Satan, under those idols of Jupiter, Saturn, ilars, &c. First there- 
fore he encounters Satan's worship, heathenism, which had all the power of 
that empire to back it ; and then in the trumpets he encounters the empire 
itself : he ' went forth conquering, and to conquer,' and that but by degrees. 
The first judgments on that empire left the empire standing. Therefore, 
the martyrs, after those punishments foregone, in the second, third, and 
fourth seal, do yet (seal fifth) cry for vengeance on the empire itself. 

They are called seals — 

1, In a general relation to this whole prophecy ; it being — 

(1.) A book of decrees to be executed by Christ, and these are the seals of 

(2.) This book being not to be opened till the time of the end, as Daniel 
foretold, is sealed up till just before the end of aU; as there it is prophesied, 
Dan. xii. 4, ' But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even 
to the time of the end : many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be 
increased.' Towards this end of all you have (mark this) the same angel in 
Dan. xii. coming in the 10th chapter of this Revelation, with a book in his 
hand open ; which as it was to give a new prophecy, so to shew that when 
all the seals were ofi", (that is, when these judgments were all executed on 
the world,) then the book should be understood ; and accordingly, not till all 
these seals were passed, was the Revelation understood. 

2. More particularly they are called seals, because — 

(1.) They are judgments decreed by God, that should certainly come upon 
that empire. Now what is decreed inevitably is said to be sealed. So the 
salvation of the elect is said to be, 2 Tim. ii. 19, 'The foundation of God 
standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth who are his.' So also 
judgments decreed are said to be sealed, Deut. xxxii. 34, 'Is not this laid up 
in store with me, and sealed up among my treasures'?' even to punish them; 
for so it follows, ' to me belongeth vengeance,' &c. Thus, Job xiv. 1 7, ' My 
transgression,' says he, ' is sealed up in a bag;' that is, God had before ap- 
pointed surely to punish it. 

(2.) They are said to be sealed, in that they are judgments hidden, stealing 
in upon the world ere they were aware of them, and which they knew not 
the meaning of. And accordingly we find, by the Apologies of Tertullian, 
Cyprian, Arnobius, and others, that the heathenish Romans, observing such 
strange, unheard-of famines, civil wars, and plagues of pestilence, t37jified out 
here by the red, black, and pale horses, did exceedingly wonder at the reason 
of them, and laid it on the new sect of the Christians, as with whom their 
gods were angry for contemning their worship ; for it was never so with 
them before, and therefore they attributed it to that cause. These judgments 
were sealed, and Christ here opens the cause of them, the contempt of the 

(3.) They are sealed judgments, for pledges and assurance of all that fol- 
low. That is the use of seals, to give assurance ; for that end is the seal of 
the Spirit. And so here, there being other things in this prophecy foretold, 
as the ruin of the empire itself, the rising of Antichrist and of the Turk, the 
ruin of them both by the seven vials, and then Christ's kingdom ; that all 


these things should certainly come to pass in their time, God first sent these 
judgments as seals : that as we read in story the truth of these to be evidently 
fulfilled, so we may assure ourselves of the accomplishing all the other. 

Obs. — Observe from this general, a ground of confirming your faith about 
all these 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, and 
no adorers of those pagan gods left, as this chapter shews, which was more 
firmly rooted, beiag of four thousand years' continuance, than ever Popery 
was, is a seal to us that Popery shall be ruined. You see many things past 
and fulfilled ; the beast of Ptome (the Pope), then, when John wrote this, 
not risen, is now up in your days; which may confirm your faith that he 
shall as certainly be ruined : for the same prophecy foretells his fall, chap. 
xviiL, as his rise, chap, xiii., and that after this there is a glorious king- 
dom to come, of which all these are seals. You find in the 11th chapter, 
before the end, the temple measured anew, and the outward court of 
carnal worshippers and worship cast out ; and you see it now in your days 
fulfilled ; yea, yourselves fulfil it. You may therefore as certainly expect 
that which follows in the same chapter, and prepare for it. Thus Zechariah 
begins his prophecy, so to assure them of the truth of it : Did you ever know 
prophecy fail ? ' My words,' says he, Zech. i. 6, ' did they not take hold of,' 
or arrest, 'your fathers?' by the judgments threatened; and 'like as the 
Lord thought to do unto us, so hath he dealt with us ;' therefore believe 
the rest. 

Now the four first seals are represented unto us under the vision of four 
horses, iu allusion to the visions in Zechariah, chap. i. and vi. Christ in the 
1st chapter of that book, ver. 8, is presented riding on a red horse ; and 
behind him stood other horses, red, speckled, and white ; and, ver. 1 0, they 
are interpreted to be angels, who walk to and fro through the earth ; and, 
chap. vi. 5, to be four winds, or spirits, that go forth from standing before 
the Lord of the earth. So the good angels, Heb. i. 14, are called minister- 
ing spirits, sent forth, &c. Thus, Ps. civ. 3, 4, compared with. Heb. i. 7, 14, 
and Ezek. i., where they are called vrinds, as in that of Zech. vi 5. So in 
like manner are the evil angels sent forth to do mischief, as 1 Kings xxii. 21, 
and Job L 7. The angels are the executioners of all God's great designs ; 
and therefore whatsoever is done in this book by men is still said to be 
done by angels. So, chap. viii. 2, seven angels with seven trumpets, &c. 

Here the vision is of horses going forth in like manner with commission 
from God. And this allusion to those horses, who there were angels, shews 
either that these executions, under these seals, by whomsoever visibly 
executed, were yet performed under the conduct of Christ the first horse, 
presented here, as also in that of Zech. i., as an angel, accompanied with 
other angels his followers, who are those other horses; or else, however, to 
shew, that as those angels upon horses in Zechariah went their circuit over 
the earth, so that here were commissions sealed to these executioners, to 
traverse and compass the earth, as angels use 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 horses is but for variety's sake. 

The Revelation takes all the eminent visions of the Old Testament, and 
makes use of them. The elegancies of all the types in the prophets serve 
but to set forth and adorn the visions of this book ; as if you should make 
up one beautiful picture out of all beauties, by taking whatever is elegant 
and excellent in any one. The vision of the throne, chap, iv., is borrowed 
from Isaiah and Ezekiel; that of the book sealed, from Daniel; this of horses 

Chap. IV.J an exposition of the revelation. 33 

here, from Zechariah ; and so that of the olive-trees, and candlesticks, chap, 
xi., from Zoch. iv., <fec. 

Observe from hence — 

06s. 1. — The perfection of this book It is a posy of all flowers, a vision 
composed out of all visions ; as Solomon's Song was a song of songs. All 
the types in Moses' law, and all the stories and visions of the prophets, are 
borrowed to adorn it. 

Obs. 2. — That the occurrences under the new testament, and the story of 
the church under it, have all the perfections of all kinds that were under the 
old. For in the new testament the old is more eminently acted over, in all 
passages of providence. Was there a temple ? Here is one more glorious ; 
this second exceeds the first. Was there an Egypt, a Sodom, a Babylon ? 
Here also is one far worse than all those were. So Rome is called in this 
book, chap. xi. and xviii. Was there a restoring of the temple, decayed in 
the captivity of Babylon ? Here is the like, and that at twice, and by de- 
grees, as then. Had they a Jerusalem? The Revelation hath a better, a 
New Jerusalem. Did the bondman of old persecute the free? Even so it 
is now : Gal. iv. 24, 29, ' Which things are an allegory : for these are the 
two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, 
which is Agar. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him 
that was born after the Spirit; even so it is now.' We have all the same 
things befall us that befell them, and that more eminently; as Paul said, 
' Are they apostles ? I much more.' Had they persecutors ? We much 
more, and those worse. Had they Pharisees, that sinned against the Holy 
Ghost and crucified Christ ? So hath the new testament, such as shall, 
after this great conviction wrought by the gospel, prove like a generation of 
Pharisees, scorched with the heat of hell-fire, as in the fourth vial, and that 
shall kill the 'witnesses,' chap. xi. The allusion is to these times. Tha 
apostle hath said it in one word, and given the reason of it, 1 Cor. x. 1 1, 
' All these things happened unto them for types :' so also did all their vision.% 
being written for ' our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are 
come ; ' you may read it, ' perfection of the world is come : ' we have the 
perfection of everything under the old testament, both good and bad. 

This may serve to give a general light into the stories and visions of this 
prophecy. As for the several visions themselves : — 

The first horse is a white one, and his rider crowned, (fee. This rider is 
Christ himself, ' going forth,' in the preaching of the gospel, ' conquering, and 
to conquer;' alluding unto Ps. xlv. 4—6, where Christ, having a kingdom 
to possess, — as ver. 6, ' Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever,' speaking 
of Christ, as appears by Heb. i. 8, ' But unto the Son he saith. Thy throne, 
O God, is for ever and ever : a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy 
kingdom,' — he is set out in his going forth to conquer it ; for he must win 
and wear it. And he is described as here, ' In thy majesty prosper thou, ride 
thou,' or ride thou prosperously, that is, go forth conquering ; and that being 
accoutred with bow and arrows, as ver. 5, ' Thy arrows are sharp in the 
hearts of the king's enemies,' that is, his own enemies, who is king. 

Now answerably this book also tells us that Christ was to have a king- 
dom; and here you have his first setting out to conquer it. The first foun- 
dation of his kingdom laid was the preaching of the gospel in the Roman 
empire by the apostles, which was now begun; therefore he is said to go 
forth conquering already. And he goes first forth ; for all the other horse- 
men do but attend him ; he is the general of these horses. Thus likewise, 
in Zech. i., he is described with other horses with him. And he goes forth 

VOT^ III. o 


first on a white horse ; which, as it was a sign of triumph, that he was to con- 
quer, — for so in triumph their chariots were drawn with white horses, — so 
especially of meekness and candour, offering at first conditions of peace in 
the gospel, unto the empire of Rome, and to all nations, if they would sub- 
mit to him as their king. God had given him the nations for his inheri- 
tance, and he goes forth peaceably to challenge it ; with conditions also, that 
the world should yet hold their crowns of him, only turn Christians they 
must, and do homage to him as their king. This the colour of white denotes ; 
for here it is opposed to the colour of the red horse that followed, which colour 
betokened blood. Thus Tamerlane, before he denounced war, first hung out 
a white flag, in token of peace offered. Therefore, in Ps. xlv. 4, Christ is 
bidden to ' ride on, because of the word of meekness ; ' and the progress of 
the gospel is compared to that of a horse and his rider, for it had its pro- 
gress over the earth, from one country to another, by commission : ' Their 
sound went out to all the earth,' Ptom. x. 18 j 'Come to Macedcnia, and 
help us,' Acts xvi. 9. His weapons to conquer, if men yield not, are here 
but arrows: but, chap, xix., when his conquest is to be fiiiished, you have 
him with a sword. In Ps. xlv., he is described with both. The threatenings 
of the gospel are arrows, striking secretly and dartingly into men's hearts, 
and wounding them mortally ; hceret lethalis arundo. 

He is crowned ; for God, when Christ first ascended, made him a king. 
* We see Jesus, crowned with glory and honour ; though yet we see not all 
things put under him,' Heb. iL 8, 9 : yet we see him crowned, for all 
must be subject to him. 

He goes forth conquering ; for whether men obey or not, Christ still 
conquers. Paul speaks like a conqueror, 2 Cor. ii. 14,' God always causeth 
us to triumph in Christ.' For if men turn, there is a triumph of grace par- 
doning, and so subduing traitors ; and if not, it is a savour of death. Like a 
box of venomous ointment, which poisons by the smell. 

Now if you ask, how the preaching of the gospel can be a step of ruin, 
and a sealed judgment, it being in itself so great a blessing 1 — the answer is, 
that it was truly a step unto the ruin of heathenism in the empire, which 
was the first opposite that Christ encountered. When Christ first sent hia 
disciples forth, speaking of the event of it, he says, ' I saw Satan fall from 
heaven like lightning.' The devil was struck dumb in his oracles when 
Christ began to publish his. And so Chiist already conquered, in part ; but 
ere he had done, he threw Satan out of heaven, as the sixth and last seal 
shews. So that though the gospel was a blessmg to the world, yet it was 
a curse to GentUism ; as the first \dal, by converting many people's hearts 
from Popery, is called a vial on the earth. 
Observe from hence — 

Qls^ 1. — The mercifulness and meekness of Christ. He goes not forth 
first on a red horse, but on a white, and makes offer of peace ; but if men 
turn not, he hath other horses to do that work of destroying them. He 
loves unbloody conquests. Who therefore would stand out against such a 
Saviour ? 

Obs. 2. — The strangeness of Christ's course to get his kingdom ; even by 
no other means at first but preaching the word. He takes no weapons but 
a bow, the tongues of men, to dart arrows into the hearts of them that resist. 
It was a strange, unlikely course to set twelve men scattered, and fishermen, 
to conquer the world, the Roman empire ; as if twelve men should be sent 
into Turkey to conquer the Great Turk, and throw down Mohammedanism : 
*Not by power, nor by might, but by my Spirit,' Zech. iv. 6. 

Chap. IY.] an exposition of the revelation. 35 

Obs. 3. — Observe, That where Christ begins to conquer, he will go on to 
perfect hia conquest. Fear not the cause of God in England ; there is a 
battle to be fought : Christ in his angels growing more and more holy, and 
fuller of light ; and Satan in his growing Avorse and worse, deceiving, and 
being deceived. Christ comes up with fresh sui)plics of new light, with his 
bow and arrows bears up as hard as they. iVnd it is certain that Christ 
will not be foiled. The primitive Christians, although their light grew 
dimmer and dimmer, yet they conquered heathenism. These now must 
needs conquer much more. 

After the going forth of this white horse, there follow three others, as 
light horsemen, attending this their general. So, Zech. i. 8, he saw ' a man 
upon a red horse, and behind him were other horses, red, speckled, and 
white.' Now that man was Christ, ver. 8, who hath always other horsemen 
his attendants to fulfil his will, as here he hath. Christ there was upon a 
red horse, for so he appeared, as being to revenge himself on the enemies of 
his church ; but here he is on a white horse, as being to send forth the 
gospel. But those other horses that do here follow after him are indeed 
judgments that follow for the contempt of that gospel, and which plagued the 
empire successively. Their colour is suitable to the plague they brought; 
therefore the second horse is red, a colour betokening blood, Isa. Ixiii. 2. 
And answerably, this horse is war, for his commission is ' to take peace from 
the earth,' — that is, the Roman empire, the subject of this seal-prophecy. 
And civil war it is, as those words note out, that ' men should kill one 
another ;' not persecution of the saints, as some take it, but mutual blood- 
shed, as that phrase imports. All which was for their contempt of the 
gospel. For — 

1. If they take peace from the saints, it is a suitable plague that God 
should take peace from the earth. 

2. If they will not embrace the gospel of peace, it is suitable that God 
should take away their peace. And — 

3. If they will kill the saints, is it not a proportioned judgment that God 
should turn their swords into their own bowels 1 

And this power is said to be ' given him.' It proceeded from a commis- 
sion from God ; and so was a ' sword given him.' God puts the sword into 
an enemy's hand, and gives it its commission. As magistrates do bear God's 
sword, so soldiers ; who therefore, in the prophets, are often called God's 
sword. Now, how after the preaching of the gospel in the apostles' time, 
such wars feU upon the empire in the west is most evident in story ; nor 
are tbere greater civil wars mentioned than in the Roman stories. John 
wrote his Revelation just before Trajan's time, in the reign of Domitian, 
about the year of Christ 94, and died in 104, ten years after. Now in 
Trajan's time, in whose sixth year John died, these wars began. And so 
then, when the apostles were all dead, and had preached the gospel to the 
world, the Jews rise, and with armies raged through all the parts of the 
empire ; and so devastated and depopulated Lybia of her inhabitants, that 
Hadrian was afterwards forced to send thither new colonies. About Cyrene 
they destroyed 22,000 ; in Egypt also, and in Cyprus, 24,000 ; and in Meso- 
potamia likewise a great number. And Hadrian afterwards succeeding in 
the empire, destroyed 58,000 of them. Then after Trajan's time, the Par- 
thians revolt, and the empire was lessened, having in his time had the largest 
extent. And in Antoninus's time, anno 140, all the northern nations came 
down upon the east, and upon all Illyricum ; yet they, as a land-flood, were 
dried up ; so that the empire stood entire. And that these wars might 


be the more eminently taken notice of, as following upon the apostles' 
deaths, as they had none before, so for forty-four years after this there was 
a universal peace, and wars ceased through the empire. 

The third horse is famine; his c()lour, answerably, Mack, for famine 
makes men's countenances such. So, Lam. iv. 6, 7, ' Her Nazarites, that were 
purer than snow, and more ruddy than rubies, their visage is blacker than a 
coal ;' and this by reason of famine, as appears by ver. 9. His rider hath 
scales in his hand, to shew that he sells corn by weight, not by measure ; — as, 
Lev. xxvi. 'iQ, ' When I have broken the staff of your bread, women shall 
deliver you your bread by weight ; ' and a small quantity of corn, even so 
much as serves a man in bread for a day, for so the chsenix was, was sold 
for a penny, which amounts to 7|d. ; — yet with commission not to hurt the 
oil and the wine. Now because historians are silent concerning any notable 
famine and universal, that fell out in the next age after these wars in the 
Roman empire, therefore Mr Mede carries it to the justness of those em- 
perors, signified by the balances, which in Severus and others was eminent; 
especially in laws against thieves, and in public provision for corn. But 
this was heterogeneal to the rest, which are all steps to the ruining or plagu- 
ing of the heathenish empire. And for the Holy Ghost to take notice of a 
moral virtue, and to insert it thus among the midst of his judgments, I can- 
not be induced to believe it. But this scarcity being not of oil and wine, 
but of corn only, might well be slipt over by historians; when yet the 
Christians of that age, as TertuUian and others, do mention a famine of corn 
as a judgment on the empire for their contempt of Christ, and their perse- 
cuting of the saints. I have searched diligently for such footsteps in them 
of that age, 200 years after Christ and upwards, as might confirm the truth 
of this. 

And, first, I find, that in Commodus's time, anno 190, there was a 
commotion made for bread, within the city of Rome, by the poorer sort. 
Thus says Herodian, fames Romanos afflixit, the Romans were afflicted by 
reason of famine and scarcity : when Cleander, Commodus's great favourite, 
detained the com from the common people, he being keeper of the store- 
house of it ; upon which they mutiny, requiring him to be put to death ; 
and proceeding further in their rage, they throw down houses, oppose the 
soldiers, stone the captains, &c., so that Commodus was enforced to cut off 
his favourite's head, and set it upon a pole, and to destroy his children also, 
so to pacify the people. Yea, in those very words which Mr Mede quotes 
for Severus's justice, and care about oil, &c., there is an intimation of the 
exhausture of the corn of the public storehouse through that famine. The 
words are these, Eei frumentariae quam minimam reperiehat; ita consuluit, 
&c. So likewise there is such an intimation in that other place which he 
quotes for Alexander Severus's care, anno 118, which only was occasioned 
by Heliogabalus's having overthrown the public stock of corn ; frumenta 

Then, secondly, for the Christian writers of these times : TertuUian, who 
lived in anno 203, doth more confirm this; for in his Apology for the Chris- 
tians, he brings in this calumny as usual among the heathens, that they laid 
the cause of all their miseries upon the Christians. His words are these : 
Si caelum stetit, <fec., — if it rained not, if Nilus overflowed not Egypt, 
(which was the granary of the empire,) from whence arose a famine, or if 
the pestilence devoured them, &c., — statim, says he, they cried, Christi- 
anos ad leones: Away with these Christians to the lions ! I observe, he in- 
fitanceth most in famine, and the causes of it, as being that which then they 

Chap, I"\ .] am exposition of the revelation. 37 

were most punished with. And he, in his Apology, pleading for Christians, 
how they fasted in times of judgments, he instanceth in that of famine only, 
saying, ' If famine be threatened by want of rain, so that their annona,' or 
provision of corn, as De la Cerda reads it, ' were in danger to be spent, that 
then they Christians fast, whilst other llomans pour themselves out to all 
licentiousness.' It is observable that he still instanceth in the judgment of 
famine. And in his Apology to Scapula, the African president, he, shewing 
that no city that persecuted the Christians did go unpunished, instanceth 
how lately, under Hilarian's presidentship, his predecessor, the Christians 
begging a floor of corn, a voice was heard from under-ground, saying, Arece 
non sunt. And indeed they were not, for they had no harvest nor corn the 
next year to thresh in them, it being spoiled through a great wet in the time 
of harvest, as he there says. And you, says he, condemning a Christian to 
the beasts, statim hcec vexatio suhsecuta eat; which Baronius understands 
of that wet year before spoken of, which brought ruin to the corn. 

But Origen speaks more clearly to this, who, presently after, (about 226 
years after Christ,) writing upon Matt, xxiv., and taking occasion to answer 
the same calumny objected so generally against the Christians by the hea- 
thens, — namely, that because of the multitude of Christians among them, they 
had been vexed with wars, famine, and pestilence, — although he reckons up 
all those three plagues as objected, yet to make it good that the heathens 
did so object, he especially instanceth in famine : Frequenter enim, says 
he, /amis causa Christianos cultores cidparunt Gentiles; — 'For the heathens 
oftentimes laid the fault of their being afflicted by famine upon those of the 
Christian religion.' Though they did so because of other plagues also, yet 
they often laid their famines in the dish of the Christians ; which evidently 
argues this punishment to have been very frequent in those times, as being 
taken notice of by the heathens themselves, and also by Origen, to have 
been the eminent punishment of that age, which made up the third seal. 

Now then, the fourth seal produceth a fourth horse, and that a pale one, 
for his rider is death ; mors pallida, pale death, as they use to call it. And 
this horse brings death upon the fourth part of the empire, called the earth, 
and his work was to kill with all sorts of death, both plague, and famine, 
and wars, and wild beasts ; all God's plagues let loose at once. Before, civil 
wars came alone, and famine came alone ; but now, for their impenitency, he 
lets loose all four judgments mentioned in Ezek. xiv. 21. God now brings 
forth all his ' treasures of wrath.' Pestilence is here, ver. 8, called death, as 
it is likewise by the Chaldee paraphrase and the Greek ; and by the fathers 
it is called mortality, as by us the sickness. Now, from the year 240 after 
Christ, it is wonderful to read what a stage of misery and blood the empire 
was made, by reason of all these plagues raging at once. Civil wars so raged, 
that, in the space of thirty-three years, there were ten emperors killed. 
Under Gallus and Volusianus, anno 250, the barbarous nations came down 
upon the empire and harrowed it ; and among them the Scythians, from 
whose rage no place under the Roman jurisdiction was exempt, but almost 
all towns were by them depopulated. And this was followed by an extreme 
famine. When we had a breathing time from them, then came the greatest 
plague of pestilence, worse than all the former, says Dionysius Alexan- 
drinus, who lived in those times ; the greatest plague, says L)^sius, that 
ever was read of in any age, a plague of fifteen years' continuance. And to 
add the last hand for the making the misery of those times complete, God 
let loose thirty tyrants at once, who, as so many wild beasts, preyed upon 
and made havoc of the empire. 


Now to come to some observations : — 

06s. 1. — Take notice, that after the going forth of the white horse, then 
go forth these other three. The gospel is always followed by terrible judg- 
ments upon the world for the contempt of it. You know what Peter says, 
'The time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God;' but it 
will not rest there, as he says. The time of the gospel's preaching was a 
time of judgment, which began with the church, but after that fell most heavj' 
upon the empire, and upon the heathens in it. So that as you look for 
storms in autumn and frosts in winter, so expect judgments where the gospel 
has been preached ; for the quarrel of the covenant must be avenged and 
vindicated. If men despise it, God cannot hold his hands. 

Use. — Wonder not, therefore, if God go over all the churches in judg- 
ments, as he hath done by Germany, Bohemia, &c. They had the gospel 
first, and so the cup of tribulation first ; but God will visit the rest in their 
order, and, it may be, that of Holland last, because they have had the gospel 
but a little whUe. 

Obs. 2. — Observe, That God useth to rise higher and higher in his judg- 
ments. He began with civil wars ; and they not working, he sent famine, 
which is worse ; and then war, as Lam. iv. 9 ; and then he came upon them 
with the pestilence and all the other three at once : which agrees with that 
in Lev. xxvi. 24, ' If you repent not, I will punish you seven times worse.' 
So in the trumpets, the three last are the woe-trumpets. And so in the vials 
too, God will rise higher and higher, as here he does. 

Obs. 3. — Observe, That all plagues have their commission from God; they 
go forth only when Christ openeth a seal. Of the second it is said, ' Power 
was given him, and a sword.' And so to the third a commission of restraint 
was given, not to hurt the od and wine. And to the fourth, only to kill the 
fourth part. They are therefore compared to horses sent forth, that are 
guided by riders ; God's providence to direct them, and have their way 
chalked out, as the Egyptian plagues had. Ps. Ixxviii. 50, it is called ' a 
path made for his anger,' chalked out where it should go, and into what 
houses. So, Jer. xv. 2, ' Those that are for the sword, to the sword ; and 
those that are for the famine, to the famine,' &c. Now in all these circuits 
of God's judgments, let us wait for his turning towards us in mercy. ' In 
the way of thy judgments have we waited for thee.' 

Obj. — And whereas it may be objected, that these are plagues that were ever 
common in the world, and in all times as well as these, — for answer, these 
considerations made these plagues then more eminently to be set down : — 

1. They were as eminent in the Roman empire in those first ages as in any 
other afterwards. 

2. Though the empire had such plagues in after-times also, yet these were 
all the plagues which it had whilst heathenish, and so were proper punish- 
ments of their Gentilism, and contempt of the message of the white horse, 
and so intended by God, and therefore brought in here as such. Neither 
did these at aU ruin the empire, which stood unbroken, but simply punished 
it for its idolatry. But such plagues as fell out after these had other effects 
accompanying them, even the ruin of the impeiial government, by dividing 
it, lessening it, and the bke; which these did not. But — 

3. And more especially, the Holy Ghost doth mention these plagues here, 
although the like were in other ages, as punishments attending upon the 
gospel, because this was the very observation and objection that the heathens 
of those times made : that since the Christian religion began in the empire, 
wars, pestilence, and famine raged more than ever they did in former times ; 


and SO laid it upon the Christians as the cause, in that they, contemning the 
gods, provoked them to send tlieso plagues. This we find to be the main 
complaint and calumny which the Christian writers of those times writ Apo- 
logies to wipe off; as appears in Tertullian, Cyprian, Arnobius, <tc., whose 
Apologies I purposely read, and found these judgments to be most frequently 
taken notice of by the heathens themselves, and this calumny by the fore- 
mentioned authors answered. Yea, Cyprian, in his Apology, says, that to 
wipe oti" this calumny was the sole motive and occasion that put him upon 
writing. ' I held my peace,' says he, ' till they laid all these plagues upon 
us, as the cause of all.' Now, how properly, therefore, did the Lord Christ 
single out those eminent plagues following the gospel, and present them 
under these seals, as the most notable occurrent punishments of those times, 
rather than any other ! 

And how fitly are they called seals, seeing they were so hidden that the 
heathens were utterly mistaken in the causes of them ! For they being 
punishments of their persecuting the saints, they turned the matter clean 
contrary, and imputed it to the anger of the gods for the Christians' con- 
temning their heathenish religion. But though they were hidden sealed 
plagues, in respect of the causes of them, to the heathens, yet the four beasts 
did then instruct John, who personates the church, and so the church in him, 
concerning the true cause of them ; and therefore every seal hath a voice of 
one or other of the beasts, saying, ' Come up and see.' For the oflBcers or 
ministers of churches instructed them how that all these plagues were from 
the gospel, and the contempt of it, and their persecuting the professors of it. 
Tills you may read in the Apologies of Tertullian, Arnobius, and Cyprian, 
whose Apology I will instance in for all the rest ; who, as he lived under 
the fourth seal, in the rage of these four plagues, so he speaks in the very 
language of the fourth seal. He writes against one Demetrianus, who had 
long barked at Christian profession. And, says he, I forbore till he laid to 
our charge that all these miseries on the empire we Christians were the 
cause of : Cum dicas 'plurimos conqtieri, quod hella crehriiis surgant, quod 
lues, et fames sceviant, ultra tacere non opoHet; — * When I hear you say that 
many complain of us as the causes why those wars so often arise, and why 
the pestilence and famine rage so, I can be no longer silent, but must needs 
give you an answer ; ' and he plainly declares, from the Lord of hosts, that 
their idolatries and persecutions of the Christians were the cause, and that 
these punishments non eveniebant casu, came not by chance, but were the 
vengeance of God, who hath said that ' vengeance is his,' and that he will 
judge the cause of his people. And he withal tells them, that if they repent 
not through these plagues, hell would then follow. Manet postmodum, 
says he, career ceternus, jugis Jlamma, et pos7ia perpetua; — 'There remains, 
after all this, an eternal prison, a continual llame, and an everlasting punish- 
ment.' He speaks in the very language of this fourth seal, not knowing it, 
nor referring to it, for he lived under it. 

Thus doth Tertullian also in his Apology, wherein he attributes the cause 
of their famine and other plagues unto their persecuting the Christians. 
And this is the mystery of the four beasts calling upon John to ' come and 
see,' and behold the mind and meaning of these judgments on the world ; 
the ofiicers of churches in their sermons so instructed them. 

Obs. — The only observation I shall raise from this instruction of the four 
beasts is this : That during the first four seals, which indeed bring us to two 
hundred and sixty years after Christ, the ofiicers of churches remained 
according to the institution in the purer churches ; but afterwards you hear 


not of tliom, corraptions coming in upon all the churches, and perverting 
their right institution and end. You meet not with any more mention of 
them till the vials begin, chap, xv., which was in the first separation from 
Popery ; and then you read not that all four, but only one of the beasts 
. gave those vials. But after a second measuring the temple before Rome's 
ruin, as chap, xi., you read of four beasts, chap, xix., in their right order 
again, praising God. 

The fifth seal is that great and bloody persecution which followed after all 
these plagues in the time of Dioclesian, about the year 300, which was, of 
all the ten persecutions foregoing it, the greatest, and therefore is put in for 
all the rest. Under it, there suffered one hundred and forty-four thousand 
in one province of the empire ; how many, therefore, in the rest 1 Now 
this last is here mentioned instead of aU the rest — 

1. Because indeed those other plagues, for the contempt of the gospel, did 
but enrage the heathens the more; for they thought that all this came upon 
them for their suffering the Christians to live. 

2. This, being the last and greatest, is brought in as crying for vengeance 
in the name of all the foregoing martyrs ; for so their cry intimates, ' How 
long, Lord, wilt thou not avenge our blood?' 

The vision is — 

1. Of souls severed from their bodies, even of men slain, or of martyrs. 

2. These men are presented as new sacrificed, and with their throats cut, 
lying bleeding at the foot of the altar, alluding to the sacrifices, for martyr- 
dom is no other than a sacrifice. 2 Tim. iv. 6, ' For I am now ready to be 
offered, and the time of my departure is at hand;' and Phil. ii. 17, ' Yea, and 
if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy and rejoice 
with you all.' And whereas many understand this altar to be heaven, that 
comes in afterward, when white robes are given them. It is an allusion to 
the altar of burnt-ofierings whereon their bodies were offered ; but, chap, viii, 
their prayers are offered up upon the altar of incense. 

3. They are presented as crying for vengeance for their blood. Mark it, 
it is not simply the blood that cries, as it is said of Abel's blood, but the 
souls themselves that cry, and that for vengeance and utter ruin on the em- 
pire. A Lapide makes it liberationem, so the Hebrew word signifies; and 
so vindicare is to free, as praying for the liberty of the church below. But 
these cries are in the behalf of their own blood already shed, and for that 
there was no such liberty to be sued for. 

The satisfaction to their cry is double : — 

1. A reason why vengeance is delayed ; they had brethren to be made 
perfect as they were. 

2. In the meantime they are received to glory. 

1. For the reason ; it consists in this, that the empire was yet a while to 
stand in power, because they had other brethren to be perfected as well as 
they, after a little season. So that it refers not to the persecutions of Anti- 
christ, wliich were a thousand years after, but to those of Arianism, when, 
under those emperors, as cruel persecutions, for the time, were raised some 
thirty years after this as ever before; and then the trumpets sound, and 
they ruin the empire itself through their prayers, as chap. viiL 

2. For their glory; it is expressed by white robes given them. Which is — 
(1.) A sign or badge of heavenly glory; so, chap. iii. 4, 'They shall walk 

with me in white.' So Christ, when he gave a shine of the glory of his 
kingdom, he caused his garments to look as white as any fuUer could make 

Chap. IV.] an exposition of tui; EKviaATioN. 41 

(2.) It denotes joy. In triumphs, they were wont to wear white robes, as 
a token of gladness ; ' Let thy garments be always white.' 

(3.) Ilobcs were worn only by noble personages. Mulier stolata was dif- 
ferenced from togata, as calling for a more special honour. Thus Mordecai 
was apparelled in the royal robes, Esth. vi. 11. 

This giving them white robes is an allusion to the bringing the priests 
first into the temple when their thirty years were expired ; they clothed 
them in white. 

Obs. 1. — In that this persecution was the last and greatest of all, take 
notice that it is God's manner to bring sorest trials just before deliverance. 
So to David at Ziklag, a few hours before he was proclaimed king. In chap, 
xi. there is a persecution and war of Antichrist yet to come, for the space of 
three years and a half, when for ever the witnesses shall cast off their sack- 
cloth. I fear it, for it is the last. 

Obs. 2. — That though great punishments had befallen the empire by those 
three horses, yet tliis is not vengeance enough for martyrs' blood, which 
nothing will slack but the ruin of that kingdom and state which shed it. 
This punishment, therefore, is brought in after all the other. So Manasseh's 
bloodshed nothing would pacify but the captivity and ruin of that state. 

Obs. 3. — That in a business wherein many ages have an interest, the 
saints in the last age foregoing do put up their prayers in the strength of all 
prayers and cries of blood preceding. So do these theirs in the name of all 
foregoing martyrs ; ' How long,' &c. That as in a generation of wicked men 
the last of them do inherit the sins and punishments of aU their forefathers, 
so do a generation of godly men go forth against their persecutors in the 
strength of all their forefathers' prayers and bloodshed. How comfortably, 
therefore, may we pray against Rome and Spain, and the abettors of them, 
the bishops, who all have even wallowed in the blood of the saints, and 
against whom we have the prayers of all ages to join their forces to ours for 
the more sure prevailing; and we may justly cry in the strength of them, 
'How long,' &c. I have seen many cords so linked together upon a pidley, 
and with such an artifice, that a child might draw up a mighty weight, for he 
pulled in the strength of aU the cords. So here, though we be weak, yet 
praying in the strength of all the saints' prayers, and of their blood, we must 
needs be heard. It is but a little resting till our brethren, (it may be our- 
selves,) the witnesses, are killed; and then down goes Rome, and the hier- 
archy with it. In this respect, it is good living in the last ages of the world, 
for we drive a trade with aU our forefathers' stock. 

Obs. 4. — That the power of persecutors stands no longer than tiU they 
have finished the great work of persecuting the saints. The empire stood so 
long as it did mainly for this end, and therefore this reason is here given. 
Thus, Hab. i. 12, 'Thou hast ordained them for judgment' on themselves, 
' and established them for correction' of thine. We think much that they 
should have so great power ; why, they have it to this end, to persecute. 

Obs. 5. — That the souls themselves are here said to cry, and not their 
blood only. A wicked man being murdered, his blood calls for vengeance ; 
but not only the blood of a godly man, but his soul also calls and cries for 
vengeance ; which cry must therefore needs come up with much clamour in 
the ears of the Lord of hosts. Think you that he will not avenge his elect 1 
Yes, he will do it speedily. And from hence raise up your thoughts higher, 
that if Abel's blood hath a force in its cry, and his soul, that still lives, a 
greater force ; then how much more hath Christ's blood, and how much 
more yet hath Christ himself, who liveth to make intercession for us ! Thus 


the Scripture riseth in expressing the efficacy of the intercession of Jesus 
Christ for us. 

Obs. 6. — That the souls in heaven, following their interests on earth, they 
prosecute the revenging of their blood. There is the same reason for other 
interests; as for friends, for children, for businesses, and the like; which 
having prayed for on earth, they still do prosecute them in heaven. 

Obs. 7. — That the souls in paradise know the reason of God's dispensa- 
tions and his counsels, which are satisfactory to them. God here opens his 
utmost reason why the empire was as yet to stand ; and that was, to kill a 
few more martyrs. They are guided by a spirit of prophecy, as Christ is, 
they being prophets as well as priests. 

Obs. 8. — That in all dispensations, if we knew what reason God hath for 
them, we should rest. So the souls do in this standing of the empire. Let 
our faith apprehend that God hath a reason for what he does, otherwise we 
should have no persecutions. 

Obs. 9. — That saints that were not yet born are called their brethren, as 
being such in God's election. This persecution came not tUl forty years 
after. So Christ calls all his people brethren, God having given them unto 
him before all worlds. He knows perfectly who are his, and their number 
in all ages ; and chose not qualifications, but persons. So says Christ, ' I 
have sheep which are not of this fold.' Labour we therefore to love the 
Jews, as those who are to be called; and the saints departed, as those who 
are our brethren. 

Obs. 10. — That martyrdom is a perfection ; it is said, ' tUl they are fulfilled,' 
rrXjjswtroiTa/. So Christ calls his suffering : ' I will watch to-day and to- 
morrow, and then,' says he, 'I shall be perfected.' If thou hast all hoUness, 
and wantest this coronis, thou art not so perfect as martyrs for Christ are. 

Obs. 11. — That saints departed do presently enter into bliss. They sleep 
not, but have white robes given them, as the priests had when they were 
first brought into the temple. These have the like when they are brought, 
as priests, into the inner temple of heaven. And their robes of glory are 
new ones, which they had not before ; for they are given them anew. Glory 
clothes them, till they and their bodies meet again : and these are called 
robes, as reaching from head to foot ; they are all over happy and glorious. 

Obs. 12. — They reckon us fellow-servants and brethren, though we be sin- 
ful; and do hold a communion with us. Let us do the like towards our 
weak brethren, and esteem them such notwithstanding their infirmities, and 
although we be holier. There is a greater distance between us and these 
saints in heaven, in respect of purity, than can be supposed between us and 
the meanest saint here below. 

Obs. 13. — That the cause for which they are reckoned martyrs is 'for the 
word of God,' and their testimony to it. So that if it be for any truth in 
the word, though never so small, it is accepted as if it were the greatest. 

Obs. 14. — God may defer to answer prayers for the present. He doth so 
to saints in heaven ; he puts them upon staying a while ; much more, there- 
fore, may he deal so with us. And yet God in the meantime recompenseth 
this demur some other way. As he gave these white robes of glory, so wiU 
he give thee other blessings that are better, in which thou mayest rest satis- 
fied and content. 

The sixth seal follows, from ver. 12 to the end of the chapter. Now as 
the former seals contained several punishments upon the heathenish Roman 
state, so this sixth expresseth the final accomplishment of God's wrath upon 
the heathenish religion in it, in throwing it down; and upon heathenish 


worshippers, and upholders of Gentilism, in confounding them ; and is there- 
fore called, * the great day of the Lamb's wrath.' Now, because it is thu3 
called, and some phrases arc used concerning it that are used of the imme- 
diate forerunners of the day of judgment, as Matt, xxiv, 9, when before the 
Son of man's coming the sun is said to be darkened, &c., therefore some 
interpreters have understood it of the great day of judgment only ; and so 
you may have heard it often quoted by such as by piecemeals take up inter- 
pretations of this book, not having framed them to the series of the whole. 

But, first, the great day of judgment it cannot be ; the series of this pro- 
phecy will not admit that exposition. Which is argued — 

1. From what goes before it; for John having but now spoken of the 
primitive times in the five former seals, and brought us but to three hundred 
years after Christ, in the tenth and last persecution, now to make a leap 
over the thirteen hundred years since passed, and after those primitive per- 
secutions to bring in the day of judgment, were too great a stride, too wide 
a chasnia and gulph in this orderly story. 

2. From the series of things after this ; for there is a seventh seal yet to 
be opened, and that to produce seven trumpets, which are new and fresh 
succeeding punishments upon that empire. And it is certain that there are 
no such punishments to come after the great day of judgment. 

And as for the phrases here sounding so like those used of that day, it is 
certain that there is never a phrase here used but is frequently and ordi- 
narily used to express great mutations and overturnings in kingdoms, and 
great calamities brought upon men in those kingdoms by God, long before 
the day of judgment. As — 

1. That it is called the 'great day, in which who can stand?' ver. 17 ; 
and that the sun and moon are said to be darkened, &c. ; you shall find the 
same expressions used, Joel ii. 10, to set forth the great overturning the 
Jewish state by the armies of the Chaldeans in the captivity. Their armies 
the prophet describes, ver. 2, 3, 8, and their sacking Jerusalem, ver. 9 ; and 
the confusion and calamities brought upon that state he expresseth by the 
same metaphors that are here used: ver. 10, ' The earth shall quake before 
them ; the heavens shall tremble : the sun and the moon shall be dark, and 
the stars shall withdraw their shining.' And, ver. 11, because these were 
God's executioners of his vengeance, therefore he is described as their general, 
making a speech to them : * The Lord shall utter his voice before his army; 
his camp is very great.' Therefore that time is called, as here, ' the great 
and terrible day of the Lord ;' and ' who can abide it ? ' as here, ' who can 
stand"?' Thus, Isa. xxxiv., where the prophet plainly describes the overthrow 
of Edom, as appears by ver. 5, though he calls all the world to consider her 
example as a warning to them, as ver. 1 ; that he would go on to do the 
like to them, as ver. 2 ; yet thus he describes it, just as here, ver. 4, 'All the 
host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together 
as a scroll : and all the host' — or stars — 'of heaven shall fall down as from 
a fig-tree.' And yet all this foretells but the sword upon Edom, overturning 
that state, as appears by ver. 5, 8. It is the day of the Lord's vengeance for 
their persecuting of Sion, just as here. 

2. And those other phrases also, of ' hidmg themselves in caves and rocks 
of the mountains,' and ' calling upon the hills to cover them ;' they are but 
expressions of such shames, and miseries, and calamities, as the vengeance of 
God in such great changes doth work. Thus, Isa. ii. 19, when God comes 
to punish Israel for their idols, and to send forth the light of the gospel 
unto them, the idolaters, as confounded, are said to go into ' the holes of the 


rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the Lord, and the glory of 
his majesty.' And when the ten tribes were carried captive by Ashur, their 
calamities were expressed by this, Hos. x. 8, ' They shall say to the moun- 
tains, Cover us ; and to the rocks. Fall upon us.' So that Christ, the giver 
of this vision, and opener of this seal, hath but borrowed the similitudes and 
expressions used by the prophets in several places, to set forth the like 
change, calamity, and confusion that befell the heathenish state of the Roman 
empu-e. But then — 

Secondly, Because these places of the prophets alluded unto do speak of 
the overthrow of kingdoms by wars, therefore ]\Ir Forbes would have this seal 
to be that utter overturning of the western empire of Rome, by the Goths 
and Vandals, which began four hundred years after Christ ; and so to note 
out the ruin of the empire itself, and not of heathenism in it. And but for 
these reasons following, I should have thought so also : as — 

1. That the first seal beginning but with the conquest of heathenism in 
the empire, (for Christ in the preaching the gospel did at first seek out- 
wardly to overcome or plague nothing else,) here in this seal must be the 
accomplishment of that victory or full conquest gotten, described, and set 
forth ; and so the same thing made the subject of the complete conquest 
described here, that is made the subject of the first onset in the first seal, 
ver. 2, 3 ; and that was the heathenish religion of the empire, and the up- 
holders of it. And so Christ's first step, or degree of conquest in order to 
his kingdom, is completely in this chapter presented, vdth his first full 
victory over the first enemy whom he encountered in the world, even Satan, 
and his false worship ; to shew that what Christ began with he makes an 
end of. And so this book still shews how he makes a clear and full 
despatch of such enemies first, as first he encounters. He encountered 
heathenism first by the gospel, then by plagues ; but now, as one grown 
angry, he completes the victory by power and might, and by a violent con- 
cussion and shaking of that state. And ha\ing despatched this enemy, and 
so made clear work as he goes, as wise conquerors use to do, then he falls 
upon the empire itself, in the trumpets. And that is the reason why this 
last act of this tragedy is represented under such metaphors as the great day 
of judgment is set out by ; even for this, that it imports a full and a com- 
plete victory, and a final overthrow of that which he had encountered. That 
as the day of judgment is a final conquest of all enemies by the Lion of 
Judah, so is this a like final conquest by the Lamb of this first enemy whom 
he did set himself to conquer, even Satan and his false worship set up by 
that Roman monarchy. 

2. The trumpets that come after are reserved for the nain of the empire, 
as a distinct thing from heathenism in it ; and the vials for the overthrow 
of Popery and the faction of Mohammed. And — 

3. Thus the parts of this prophecy are found to run on similarly, 
and things alike are put together in distinct visions. Here are three sorts 
of enemies, and so of plagues to ruin them, in this prophecy : — 

(1.) The six seals ; which are the beginnings of sorrows to the world ; 
and they fall upon Satan's false worship, which stood in Christ's way. 

(2.) The six trumpets; which fell upon the empire itself, for having 
persecuted and prosecuted the church. 

(3.) The vials; which fall on the Pope and his idolatry, and on the 
Mohammedan faction, the Turks, his last enemies. These, therefore, are 
called the last plagues, chap. xvL 

4. And for a fourth reason, obsenre, that the 12tli chapter, which begins 

Chap. IV.] an exposition of the revelation. 45 

and contains the story of the church in the first primitive times, as this doth 
of the heathenish empire, doth wonderfully agree with tliis chapter here, con- 
tainino; the like space of time, and describing the same conquest and victory 
over Satan (the dragon) in the lloman empire (in heaven) : only with this 
difference, that here the calamities and confusion that befell the kings or 
emperors, and the chieftains of heathenish worshippers, that did seek to 
uphold that religion still, are set out; whereas there, only Satan's confusion in 
being thrown down is described, which was very suitable, that being the 
story of the church, this of the empire more eminently. 

So then, two things are distinctly set out unto us under these phrases and 
metaphors : — 

First, By the darkening the sun, moon, and stars, according to the ana- 
logy of the prophets, is expressed the deposing of those heathenish emperors 
and governors in that state, considered as they did strive to keep up heath- 
enism, with whom Satan and his worship also fell. So as though the state 
stood still, yet those governors and the heathenism of the state were re- 
moved and destroyed, and thrown down from their heaven, the superior 
government of that state ; which was done by Christ's sending madness and 
diseases upon Dioclesian and Maximinian, heathenish emperors ; insonmch as 
they, out of a sense of the Lamb's wrath, gave over their government, whilst 
they were in the meridian of their glory, to the wonderment of the world. 
And afterwards Maxentius and Maximin, heathen emperors also, were over- 
come by Licinius, whilst he favoured the Christians, and was colleague with 
Constantine. By which Constantine it was afterwards more completely 
furthered and carried on ; for when the foresaid Licinius made a revolt unto 
heathenism, Constantine subdued him and his chieftains, (for heathenism 
went not down without blows,) and turned that whole state Christian, when 
he had deposed heathenish persecutors. 

Now, such a deposing of governors in a state, and overthrowing their 
armies, is in the prophets expressed by darkening the sun, moon, and stars, 
as well as the overthrowing the state itself. So, Isa. xiii. 10, the depos- 
ing the Babylonian monarch and his nobles by the Medes is set forth by 
the 'darkening the sun,' their king; 'the moon,' their queen; 'the stars,' 
their nobles. And in another place it is said, ' How art thou fallen, O 
Lucifer, thou son of the morning!' speaking of the bright star the king of 
Babel, who, Isa. xiv. 13, said he would ' ascend to heaven, and exalt his 
throne above the stars.' In the dialect and phrase of speech used in the 
eastern countries, (as among the Arabians and Jews, &c.,) to throw down any 
one's excellency, is expressed by casting down his heaven to the earth. And 
so it may be said, that which also some interpreters would have, that that 
which after follows expresseth but the same thing which was at first meta- 
phorically uttered under the prophet's allusions of sun, moon, and stars : all 
which John afterwards hterally expoundeth, ver. 15, when he says, ' and the 
kings of the earth ;' that is, those Roman emperors, the suns of this firma- 
ment, were stepped off from their glory; and their stars, the heathenish 
nobles that adhered to them, were deposed ; their mountains removed, that 
is, their chieftains and strong men, as such are called, Isa. ii. 14 ; so that the 
one is but an exposition of the other. And thus only the miserable over- 
throw of the heathenish worshippers is here described, as became the seal- 
prophecy ; even as the putting down of Satan and his worship is expressed in 
the book-prophecy. 

And that which may strengthen this interpretation is, that the rest of the 
prophecy being to proceed with the like metaphors, of plagues upon the sun, 


moon stars, earth, trees, etc., (for in such, language and metaphors are the 
contents of the trumpets and vials expressed ;) he, therefore, here gives one 
literal explanation of them in this, which is his first mention of such, which 
one may serve for all; that so, by the analogy of the Holy Ghost's own ex- 
position here, the rest might be interpreted, who makes kings to be as the 
sun, and nobles as the stars, &c. To this purpose, you must know that in 
Scripture descriptions and expressions, (the prophets using to point things 
out by similitude,) every kmgdom, state, or body of men is compared and 
assimilated to a world, in which what is superior and highest is called the 
heavens ; and therein, the highest the sun, the next the moon, and next to 
them the stars, &c. ; and what is of lower rank is called the earth, sea, rivers, 
and trees, (fcc. And therefore pimishments on states and kingdoms in this 
book are expressed by casting them down from their heavens, and by 
miseries falhug upon the rivers, the sea, (fee, whereby such things are under- 
stood as answering in states amongst men in nearest resemblance unto the 
sea, earth, &c., in the great world. And this is the key, as of this vision, so 
of the trumpets and the vials that follow. And sometimes the Scripture 
expresseth the alterations of kingdoms themselves, and of all places of rank 
and of government, by this darkening the heavens, the sun, &c. So Hag. 
ii 21, 22, ' Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I wUl shake the 
heavens and the earth ; and I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I 
will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen ; and I will over- 
throw the chariots, and those that ride in them ; and the horses and theii 
riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his brother.' And some- 
tunes only the deposing of persons from those places and dignities, the 
places standing still. IS'ow, in the trumpets, the casting down the sun, 
stars, &c., is spoken of in the abstract, even the altering the very state, 
(together -with deposing the persons,) power, and dignity of the empire. But 
here it is to be understood of deposing the persons only, in the concrete, who 
had that power, but were put down from it. And so it imports the throw- 
ing down the chieftains of heathen emperors, and the dej^osing them from 
their places, not yet meddling with the places themselves in the empire. 

The second thing that these expressions hold forth is not simply the 
overthrowing of kingdoms and states, or of governors, &c., and so to be 
understood of political mutations only; but they are used to set forth a 
change and mutation of worship and of religion in a state. For as bodies 
pohtic are compared to a world, as was said, so religious bodies and states, 
considered in respect to their worship or rehgion, are thus compared also. 
So Jesus Christ is said to have his world, Ps. viii. 3, ' Thy heavens, thy 
moon and stars,' (fee, where the sun is not mentioned, because Christ himself, 
who is the ' Sun of righteousness,' is the sun therein. Now, Heb. ii. 5, 6, 
that psalm is interpreted of Christ's world, the world to come, as it is 
called, ver. 5 ; both this of the gospel, in opposition to Adam's world, and 
Christ's kingdom hereafter. 

Moreover, for the present, the state of Christ's worship and worshippers 
imder the gospel, and his ordinances, are compared to a world wherein are 
heavens, and moon, and stars. Thus, Ps. xix. 1, 'The heavens declare the 
glory of God ;' which is interpreted of the preaching of the gospel, Rom. x. 
18, ' But I say. Have they not heard ? Yes verily, their sound went into all 
the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.' The apostles and 
their doctrine are the heavens, the lights in this heaven of Christ, to declare 
bis glory to the world ; and therefore the words of the 4th verse of that 19th 
Psalm are there in the 10th to the Romans applied to their preaching. And 


you know ministers are called stars in the first chapter of this book of the 
Revelation. So likewise churches are called heavenly lights shining in the 
world, Phil. ii. 15 ; <pu(Sr^^ic, light-bearers, the same word that is given by 
the Septuagint to the stars, Gen. i. 14. And it appears by that place that 
they irradiate the world; not a house, as a candle or torch does, but the 
world, as stars do. And the apostles' ministry is compared to twelve stars, 
which the primitive church was crowned with. Rev. xii. 1. And so, Heb. 
xii. 27, it is one part of the meaning of shaking the heavens; that is, the 
ordinances of the gospel, which are called the heavens. 

I'hat frame of worship which Christ hath erected and instituted to be 
under the gospel, is interpreted to be meant by the heavens, — for as they are 
the ordinances of day and night, so are these of the church, — as oppositely, 
the legal worship is there called the earth. Yea, the temple-worship, with 
the priests and elders of that religion, are so called. Therefore, Dan. viii. 9, 
10, Antiochus's causmg that worship to cease, and putting down those priests, 
is expressed to us by his prevailing over the host of heaven, and his cast- 
ing down some of the host and stars unto the ground. Yea, ver. 11, he is 
said to magnify himself against the prince of that host ; that is, against God 
and Christ, the sun in this firmament, as the sun is prince of the stars. 
Now then, as Christ thus hath his world, so Antichrist also hath his heavens, 
and sun, and earth, &c., which are to be interpreted spiritually as well as 
politically. And thus Satan's heathenish religion and worship in the Roman 
empire is in like manner here expressed unto us. The false gods of the hea- 
thens are called in Scripture the ' host of heaven,' as Deut. xvii. 3, not only 
because some of them worshipped the sun and stars immediately, but also 
because the Romans and Grecians did entitle the stars by the names of their 
gods, or men famous among them whom they worshipped ; and so they wor- 
shipped both at once under one and the same name. The sun they entitled 
Apollo, and the other planets by the names of other gods and goddesses, as 
Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus; and the moon they called Phoebe, or the great 
goddess Diana; all which had once been men and women among them, 
though now, being dead, they were worshipped for gods and goddesses. So 
that they worshipped the host of heaven under the names of men ; though 
really and indeed, under both these, they Avorshipped Satan and his devils, 
though not immediately, yet interpretatively. Thus speaks the Apostle, 
1 Cor. X. 20, ' The things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils.' 

Now then, this advancement of Satan, under the names and titles of the 
host of heaven, was truly his heaven, wherein the devils, by that religion, 
were set up as the gods of this world, as 2 Cor. iv. 4. And answerably the 
throwing down of Satan's worship and religion is expressed by a change Oi 
the heavens, even as Christ expresseth the throwing down the heathenish 
worship by the apostles' preaching to be its ' falling from heaven like light- 
ning ; ' which Christ speaks of their casting out devils then, when sent out 
to preach, as a certain omen which his faith had beforehand, that Satan, in 
like manner, with all his worship, should be thrown down by the preaching 
the gospel in the empire. And so accordingly, chap, xii., Satan and his 
angels are said to be cast down from heaven, when he and they were acknow- 
ledged for gods no longer. 

Now, the alteration of this heathenish worship and change of this religion 
in the empire is the shaking the heavens and earth here meant. The word 
for earthquake is not to be confined only to the earth, (in English we have 
no word large enough,) for it imports the concussion or throwing down by a 
commotion of that heathenish world, the heavens and earth, and all of that 


religion, even of all that had a station in that accursed frame. Thus, Hag. 
ii. 6, 7, you have the like allusion for the alteration of the Jewish worship 
into the gospel worship ; and then, that alteration yet to come, of this gospel 
worship, when the kingdom of Christ shall be set up. The one is expressed 
by shaking the earth ; the other, the heavens. And that shaking is inter- 
preted, Heb. xii. 27, to be 'removing away of the things shaken.' 

And so the throwing down Satan and his devils from being worshipped 
any longer under the names of the host of heaven, and those appellatives 
given the stars, and titles to men departed, whereof he received all the real 
honour, may fitly be here understood to be the darkening the sun and moon, 
and the falling of these stars from heaven. As Christ is the sun in his hea- 
ven, so Satan, the prince of devUs, the prince of this host of heaven, as 
Daniel's phrase is, was the sun in this firmament. And the lesser devils, mth 
him worshijjped under the title of the lesser gods, and of the stars, are the 
stars here which fall from heaven. And as the moon is Christ's church, and 
the queen in his heaven, so the college of priests, (who were then in Rome, 
as the Pope and cardinals are now,) that were the instruments of his worship, 
they were the moon in his heaven. And so his consecrated places, his islands 
and mountains, the high places of his worship, were removed out of their 
place ; that is, diverted from that use which they were once put to in that 
idolatrous worship. 

So then this mutation of the heathenish religion, from Constantine's time 
downward, during the space of one hundred years, for so long was it ere 
heathenism could be utterly extirpated and wholly abolished for ever rising 
again, is here set forth unto us by two things, here distinctly and apart laid 
down : — 

First, The overthrowing the worship and religion itself, expressed by those 
metaphors before mentioned. As — 

1. By the eclipsing of the sun and moon : ' The sun became black, and the 
moon as blood ;' that is, the glory of these their chief false gods, and the 
priests of them, was darkened. 

2. By ' the falling of the stars, as figs not fully ripe ; ' that is, by a violent 
wind ; shewing that men's hearts were not loosened of themselves to a dis- 
like of that religion, nor brought so freely off from it at the first. They 
would have stuck on stUl, had not the wind of power and authority shook 
them do^vn. 

3. By the vanishing of the whole heaven of this worship, as * a scroll folded 
up.' The manner of the Jews was to write on parchment, which, from being 
folded or rolled up, they called vohimen, a volume ; and with us parchment 
is from thence called vellum to this day. 

Which metaphor imports — 

(1.) That as when a scroll is folded up, not a letter of it is to be seen, but 
immediately upon the rolling up all do disappear ; so these gods vanished, 
not any of their worship retains the same name now that was then used. 
There is not a tittle of those gods left ; they have had no worshippers these 
thousand years. 

(2.) As a book or scroll folded up is not used, so neither is this religion. 

In the second place, this mutation is represented unto us in the confusion 
that befell the upholders of that ethnic worship, the Atlases of these heavens, 
that endeavoured to support them, and opposed Constantine and other em- 
perors in the discarding of this, and bringing in the Christian religion. The 
devil goes not out of a man possessed, nor out of our hearts, without blows, 
nor tUl a stronger than he comes. So neither did he leave that station of 


his in the empire easily and without resistance, but egged on kings, namely, 
some empert)rs and generals, and the common sort of people with them, to 
join together for the upholding of the old religion and worship of his. These 
the Lamb encounters, and in his wrath confounds. Now, it is observable 
how John useth some of the very names which were given the Romans in 
their several ranks; for here are three several ranks mentioned : — (1.) Highest 
governors, as kings. (2.) The middle sort of men, as the rich and strong. 
(3.) The inferior multitude of false worshippers, as bondmen and free. 

1. Kings; that is, emperors, for which the Greek tongue had no word but 
^aaiXiTg, which, therefore, the apostles used for emperor ; so Peter, 1 Pet. 
ii. 1 3, and Paul, 1 Tim. iL 2. Then xf^'^-V/J^i captains of thousands. The 
Roman legions, over whom these were captains, consisted of seven thousand. 

2. Rich men and mighty men, who made up the middle sort of men. 

3. Bondmen and free, who made up the lower and inferior rank of men. 
These were usual distinctions of men's ranks among the Romans, 

Now their confusion is expressed — 

1. By their shameful overthrow ; they fly for shame, and hide themselves 
in dens, a phrase expressing shameful confusion and disappointment. 

2. Their despair of help, mtimated in that phrase, ' They shall say to the 
mountains. Fall upon us,' &c. So Luke xxiii. 30, and Hos. x. 8, where when 
common calamities came upon the ten tribes, and upon the state of Jeru- 
salem, their being at their wits' end, in respect of getting rid out of them, is 
expressed by their calling to the mountains to cover them, and the hills to 
fall upon them, as wishing for death rather than the present miseries. Not 
that they should use these very words, but that their state should be such 
as should make them wish some such thing, or anything, rather than that 
misery then brought upon them. Those of other nations who are reduced 
to some extreme and miserable exigent, are wont to express their grievance 
by wishing the earth to swallow them ; but this particular phrase is peculiar 
to the Jews, who had a rocky country, full of caves, to which they for refuge 
were wont to fly, — and therefore it is usual in Scripture to say, ' Enter into 
thy rock, and hide thyself,' as Isa. ii. 10, — and being in those caves, their 
fear and despair did oft-times put them upon wishing that those rocks would 
faU on them, and make an end of them. 

3. The phrases import that all this is done with a sense and conviction in 
the hearts of these enemies of Christ, that it was by the power of Christ, 
whom they called accursed, and derided ; and that he was indeed the king 
of the world, and conqueror of them. For they that are thus confounded 
do within themselves call to the rocks to cover them from ' the face of the 
Lamb,' with whose anger their consciences were struck, in those victories 
got over them, and miseries brought upon them. And therefore it is here 
brought in as their speech, to bid the rocks cover them from the face of the 
Lamb, for the great day of the Lamb's wrath is come, * and who shall be 
able to stand,' or 'to abide it ?' as Joel ii. 11. 

Now the story of those times, when the heathenish religion was altered in 
the empire, presents such a face of things as this seal doth. For Dioclesian 
and Maximinian, the greatest persecutors that ever the church had, in the 
height and ruff of their imperial glory and rage, did give over their authority 
and empire, and retired themselves, whereof no historian could give the rea- 
son, but imputed it to madness; but indeed they did it so, as it were, to 
hide themselves from the face of the Lamb. To these succeeded Galerius, 
and Maximin, and Constantius, the father of Constantine. Maxim in, per- 
secuting the Christians, was smitten with a strange disease, and being ever 

VOL. HI. p 


and anon convinced that Christ was king, he recalled his edicts for the per- 
secution of them ; and yet, like Pharaoh, he afterwards put them forth again, 
till at length he died miserably, acknowledging Christ's wrath. Then was 
Maxentius set up by the Romans, a defender of the heathenish cause. But 
being overcome by Licinius, he threw away his imperial robes, fled, and lay 
hid for the safeguard of his life, and acknowledged Christ by a decree ; but 
his flesh was eaten of worms. Then Licinius opposing Constantine, joined 
in the empire with him, was overcome by him, and he and his complices 
condemned, at the place of execution acknowledging Christ to be God. 
What afterward befell Julian, who attempted to set up that heathen religion 
again, — as how, being shot in his wars against Persia, he took his blood, 
and flinging it into the air, cried out, Vicisti Galilcee, — you cannot be 
ignorant of. 

Obs. 1. — Learn, when you see any notable overthrow given the enemies 
of Christ, to raise up your hearts to thoughts of the day of judgment. "We 
find, as here, so elsewhere, notable judgments on God's enemies set forth and 
described under the language of that day. It is frequent in Scripture, as 
Psalm xviii. and elsewhere. They may mutually help to strengthen our 
faith in each other ; a particular judgment, in that of the great day, that it 
will also come ; and that great day doth also assure us, that Christ will here 
be avenged on his enemies, Christ hath many great days that forerun that 
great day ; and wicked men, and wicked causes, have days of judgment 

Obs. 2. — How easy it is for the Lamb to make an alteration of religion in 
a kingdom, causing the new one which he brings in to prevail Thus in a 
few years he turned the whole empire Christian, even when heathenism was 
rooted in all men's hearts, and when Satan had a throne fixed in appearance 
to continue ; then, by his power possessing himself of the emperor's heart, he, 
as the phrase is, 1 Kings ii. 15, 'turned the kingdom about ;' and this, when 
men's hearts of themselves were not turned, but were as figs not fully ripe, 
yet shaken off by this wind. And he folded up the heavens as a scroll ; not 
one constellation or star of all those false gods, that then shone so bright in 
all men's eyes, having shined in the world these many hundred years. And 
Christ hath promised to do the like agamst Popery. Which state, as it is 
the image of that empire and religion, so it shall bear the likeness of its 
punishment. What a mighty change was wi-ought in the hearts of kings and 
princes upon the first Pteformation ! And God will work the like upon the 
second Eeformation, before Rome is destroyed, and will put it into their 
hearts to ruin her utterly. 

Obs. 3. — Christ thinks it not enough for him to confound his enemies, but 
he will make them also to acknowledge his truth. Thus he did by Nebuchad- 
nezzar, by Antiochus, and by those persecutors ; and thus he will do by all 
the proud of the earth. He will not only confound the false church and 
synagogue of Satan; but he will make tliem come and acknowledge that 
God hath loved the Philadelphian, Rev. iii. 9. How often in the prophets 
is this made the fruit of their punisliment ! and by this it is expressed, 'They 
shall know that I am the Lord.' It is ill standing out with Christ in any- 
thing. Christ will have, not only every knee to bow, but every tongue to 
confess his name. Learn we therefore not to stand out against convictions 
of any kind. The Lamb will in the end have, not only a real victory in 
men's punishments, but he will have men render it more complete by their 
confessions and acknowledgments, 

Obs. 4. — How in dispensing punishments, Christ meets with persecutors 

Chap. IV.] an exposition op the revelation. 51 

in their kind : they caused poor Christians to fly into caves and dens, and to 
worship the Lamb in corners, as the Apologies of those times shew ; now 
Christ comes forth and appears openly, and drives them into comers, wherein 
to hide their heads. 

Obs. 5. — What a glorious and long time Satan, the god of this world, and 
his devils with him, had of it, when they were counted as the only true gods, 
and were worshipped for such by the whole world during the space of three 
hundred years. They who are reserved in chains for hell were then counted 
'the Immortal Gods,' possessors of Leaven ; and had their seat, in aU men's 
opinions, above the stars, having all the world for their devout and zealous 
worshippers. What, therefore, is it to have a great name, or the best name, 
the name of a saint, for a while here ? The devils had not only the names 
and titles, but the hononrs of gods, and that for some thousands of years ; 
for whom, notwithstanding, the lowest place in hell is designed. 

Obs. 6. — You will not wonder at the prosperity of wicked men, that they 
carry it so long in the world, if you consider but how long the devil carried 
it, without encountering any stop in his way ; as having all nations for his 
inheritance. God was worshipped but in one poor corner of the earth ; but 
the devil possessed the heavens, and was as the sun in the firmament, and his 
priests as the moon and stars, as if they had been perpetual ordinances. 
Think not much at the continuance of Popery for twelve hundred years. 
Heathenism stood far longer, and Christ will make more quick work in the 
last days than in those past. 

Obs. 7. — That Christ, though he be a lamb, yet he can, and wUl be angry. 
Men have all such sweet thoughts of Christ, as if he had no anger in him ; 
but ' when his anger is kindled but a little, then blessed are all they that 
put their trust in him.' 

Obs. 8. — That God punisheth idolaters and their idols together. Here 
both the heathenish emperors and their religion and gods are together 
removed. Thus, Isa. ii. 17-19, 'And the loftiness of man shall be bowed 
down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low : and the Lord alone 
shall be exalted in that day. And the idols he shall utterly abolish. And 
they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for 
fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake 
terribly the earth.' Which place is parallel to this here, and a prophecy of 
the kingdom of Christ. Thus God punished Egypt, as appears by Num. 
xxxiii. 4, where it is said, 'upon their gods also he executed judgments.' 
The like you have in Jer. xliii. 11-13. So also was Babylon and her gods 
punished, as Jer. 1. 2, ' Declare ye among the nations, and publish, and set 
up a standard ; publish, and conceal not : say, Babylon is taken, Bel is con- 
founded, Merodach is broken in pieces ; her idols are confounded, her images 
are broken in pieces.' And thus God also did, when he began to ruin 
Popery, the spiritual Egypt and Babylon. He punished monks, pulling 
down monasteries and their idols together ; his anger was against them, as 
well as against their persons. And so superstitious ceremonies and will- 
worship will down together. 

Obs. 9. — How fearful and terrible will the day of judgment be, when 
Christ shall come as the lion of the tribe of Judah, if now, when he reigns 
as a lamb, carrying things meekly, and with much patience, he brings such 
confounding judgments ! All vengeance here is but the vengeance of a lamb, 
in comparison of the rending of a lion that is to come. For, as I take it, he 
is set forth as a lamb in respect to his governing and dispensations until 
the day of judgment ; but then he will come as the Hon of Judah, and shew 


himself so mucli more terrible then, as a lion is more terrible than a lamb. 
All terrors of conscience which men suffer here, which yet make them call 
for the hills to cover them, are but the wrath of the lamb in comparison of 
those roarings of the lion at the great day. Oh, consider this you that forget 
God, lest he come and tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver you ! 
I shall now proceed no further by way of a large commenting, or raising 
any more observations, until I come to the Second Part. 

Chap. V.] an exposition op the revelation. 53 


The six first trumpets. 

Now the six first trumpets contain several steps and degrees of ruining the 
imperial government of the empire itself when turned Christian, by several 
wars and incursions of barbarous nations upon it, whereof trumpets are 
suitably made the denouncers ; and this in revenge of so much Christian 
blood as was spilt when the empire was heathenish : even as the captivity 
of Babylon did break the Jewish state for shedding innocent blood in the time 
of Manasseh, at wliich time that state was idolatrous, though he and all 
Judah did afterwards turn to the true worship of God again. And accord- 
ing to the division of the empire, east and west, accordingly was God's 
method in the ruining : — 

First, Of the western parts of it, by the Goths and Vandals, who utterly 
shattered the government of the occidental emperors, and broke it into ten 
kingdoms ; over which the Pope succeeded. 

Then, secondly, after that, overturning the oriental part : — 

1. By the Saracens ; of whom Mohammed was the head, who wrung one 
great part of the eastern empire, in Arabia, Egypt, and Assyria, out of the 
emperor's hands, and subjected those dominions unto Mohammedanism. 
And then — 

2. By the Turks, professing Mohammedanism also ; who conquered and 
subdued, not only what the Saracens before them had done, but also that 
other part of the eastern empire remaining still Christian, namely, in NatoUa 
and in Greece, over which the Greek emperors, successors of the Roman, till 
then continued, but were now wholly subjected, together with Constantinople 
itself, the seat of their empire, unto the Turks, who thus alone possess the 
whole eastern empire unto this day. 

And according to this method of ruining the empire, the trumpets are 
answerably divided by the Holy Ghost. 

The four first trumpets, which are made the lesser evils and miseries, 
are the wars of the Goths and Vandals, in four several incursions, chap. vui. ; 
but the two latter, the fifth and sixth trumpets, which are made the woe- 
trumpets, chap. viii. 13, chap. ix. 12, chap. xi. 14, and so are distinguished 
from the former, are those infinite calamities and inbondagements which 
were brought upon the eastern part of the empire by the Saracens' wars 
and conquests, who are the fifth trumpet, and by the Turks, who are the 
sixth trumpet ; both longer for continuance, and greater for extremity, than 
the four first, and that by far. 

Now to give a little general light into these trumpets, as I have done into 
the seals. The trumpets are the vengeance upon the empire itself, for the 
blood of the saints therein shed; which therefore was promised unto the 
martyrs under the fifth seal, chap. vi. 1 1, whose prayers are here, chap, viii 


5, oflfered up by Christ, the time being come for the vengeance promised, 
and so the trumpets sound. 

Section I. 

The exposition of the 8th chapter. — The four first trumpets signifying the 
ruin of the western empire. 

The four first trumpets are chiefly upon the western empire extended all 
over Europe ; which was performed by four steps or degrees. 

The first falling on the earth, ver. 7 ; the second on the sea, ver. 8 ; the 
third on the rivers, ver. 10 ; the fourth on the sun, moon, and stars, ver. 12. 

You must remember, as before was said, that kingdoms and empires are 
represented in Scripture by a world that hath heaven, earth, sea, &c., as Jer. 
iv. 23. Wherein — 

1. The earth, and grass, and trees thereon, are the lower sort of people, 
both the richer and poorer ; as, Zech. xi. 2, ' Howl, fir-tree ; for the cedar is 
fallen ; because all the mighty are spoiled : howl, ye oaks of Bashan ; for 
the forest of the vintage is come down.' 

2. The sea is the extent of the jurisdiction of an empire or kingdom over 
several dominions. Therefore Rome is said to sit on many waters, and to 
arise out of the sea, which is but the collection of many waters ; that is, 
many nations. The like phrase to which is used of the Babylonish 
monarchy over many kingdoms; they are called 'her sea,' Jer. li. 36, 44, 
compared : ' Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will plead thy cause, 
and take vengeance for thee ; and I will dry up her sea, and make her 
s]5rings dry.' ' And I will punish Bel in Babylon, and I will bring forth out 
of his mouth that which he hath swallowed up : and the nations shall not 
flow together any more unto him; yea, the wall of Babylon shall fall.' And 
the many nations under the Assyrian monarchy are so called, Ezek. xxxi 4, 
' The waters made him great, the deep set him up on high with her rivers 
running round about his plants, and sent out her little rivers unto all the 
trees of the field.' 

3. The rivers are the several cities, and magistrates over them, who have a 
lesser kind of jurisdiction over those cities or provinces. 

4. By the sun, moon, and the other stars in this world, are meant the 
superior magistrates, and the glory of them, as Isa. xiii. 10, ' For the stars of 
heaven, and the constellations thereof, shall not give their light ; the sun 
shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light 
to shine.' Jer. xv. 9, ' She that hath borne seven languisheth ; she hath 
given up the ghost ; her sun is gone down whUe it is yet day ; she hath 
been ashamed and confounded : and the residue of them will I deliver to 
the sword before their enemies, saith the Lord.' 

Now these four trumpets contain four several degi'ees of calamities by 
wars that befell the western empire, and the city of Rome, the head of that 
empire, by the incursions of the Goths and Vandals, from the year of Christ 
400 to the year 540. Of which — 

The first harrowed the earth, the people of that empire, as wars at first 
used to light most heavy upon them. It proceeded to no further harm 
than the burning up of the trees and grass; as, Rev. viii. 7, 'The first angel 
sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were 
cast upon the earth ; and the third part of the trees was burnt up, and all 
green grass was burnt up.' 

The second fell on the sea ; for the Goths did break off from the imperial 

Chap. V.] an kxposition of the eevelatio:*. 53 

yoke those nations that were subject to it, and gave them opportunity to 
set up ten kingdoms, which remain in Europe to this day, beginning in 
France, anno 413 ; and by 450, all the ten were up, as the chronicles shew. 
And this rending of the kingdoms from it, with the burning of that great 
mountain, the sacking of Home itself, which, as Babylon of old, Jer. li. 25, is 
called a ' destroying mountain,' as overshadowing all cities ; and her sacking 
by Cyrus is there called the 'burning of the mountain ;' so this spoiling and 
sacking of Rome by Alaricus, king of the Goths, anno 410, is called the 
' burning of the mountain,' chap. viii. 8 : ' And the second angel sounded, and 
as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea ; and the 
third part of the sea became blood.' 

The third trumpet produccth the fall of that bright star which is called ' a 
great star burning as a lamp,' that is, a blazing star, or comet ; which was 
the utter extinguishing and putting down of emperors, anno 476, who ceased 
in Augustulus, whose fall is expressed like that of the king of Babel's, Isa. 
xiv. 12, ' How art thou fallen from heaven, Lucifer,' or morning-star, 'son 
of the morning ! ' Which prince, upon his fall, hath his name given him, 
Worimvood, for that he was a prince of bitterness and sorrows. And to- 
gether with him, many provincial cities and magistrates (which are called 
rivers and fountains) had their dignity taken from them*; and this is the 
third trumpet, ver. 10, 11, 'And the third angel sounded, and there feU a 
great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamji, 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.' 

Rome now being in the hands of the Goths, was the seat of those kinga 
that won it, who yet conserved in it the senators, consuls, and supreme 
magistrates, in their ancient glory. But then comes the fourth trumpet : 
ver. 1 2, ' And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was 
smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars ; so as 
the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part 
of it, and the night likewise.' And this totally deprives this city of Rome of 
her ancient form of government, under consuls, senators, &c., with the glory 
and majesty of which it had shined many hundred years, before ever the 
imperial power was placed over it ; and therefore that government is here 
called the sun, &c., because of the glory and majesty of that state, under 
which it had won to itself the monarchy of the world ; which ancient 
government had still continued under the emperors, but was now wholly 
and utterly subverted ; and this was done in the last war, anno 542. Here 
was the glory of the western empire and Rome utterly extinguished, but 
that the Pope (whom you shall find in the 13th chapter, when we come to 
the book-prophecy) obtains a power there, though upon another title than 
these emperors had, over these ten kingdoms, and builds up another Rome 
upon the ruins of the old, and so possesseth the seat of the former beast, the 
empire. But because the title he pretends is the title of the church, 
although a false one, therefore his story comes not in in this seal-prophecy, 
but in the church-prophecies, chap. xiii. 

But these four trumpets that fall uj)on the west are but lesser evils in re- 
spect of those that are to fall upon the eastern part, which during all these 
alterations in the west stands entire and whole, professing the Christian 
faith. The other two trumpets, which are their portion, chap, ix., do, for 
continuance and extremity of calamities, infinitely exceed the other; and 
therefore they have this preface to them, chap. viii. 13, 'Woe, woe, woe, to 


the inhabitants of the earth by reason of the voices of the other trumpets, 
that are yet to sound ! ' for so God ordered it, as his manner is, that that 
eastern part, standing longest, should be reserved unto the sorer punishment. 

Section II. 

The exposition of the 9th chapter. — The fifth and sixth trumpets betoken the 
ruin of the eastern empire, ivhich ivas first broken by the Saracens, and 
at last utterly destroyed by the Turks, a.d. 1453. 

Here the fifth trumpet sounds, which produceth the falling of a star from 
heaven, wliich opens the bottomless pit, and lets out smoke as out of a fur- 
nace, which darkens the sun and air, and lets out an innumerable company 
of locusts, whose cruel description you have, ver. 7-10, 'And the shapes of 
the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle ; and on their heads 
were as it were crowns of 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 Avere 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 ;' who torment 
men so that they shall seek death, but shaU not find it. Such shall be the 
calamities of those times. By all which is set out the bringing in of Mo- 
hammedanism, the greatest imposture that ever the world knew, which 
darkens the sun and air by putting out the light of Christian profession. 
And this was done by Mohammed, who is that star that feU from the pro- 
fession of Christianity, and opened hell to brmg forth that damned religion 
of his, making himself the prophet of God ; unto whom an innumerable 
comjDany of Arabians, his countrymen, — who are here called locusts for their 
multitudes, as the Midianites and Amalekites are also called. Judges vii 12, — 
did cleave, and set him up as king : ver. 11, 'And 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 tongue hath his name ApoUyon.' 
Wringing from out of the hands of the eastern empire Arabia, Egypt, Assy- 
ria, Armenia, and much of Asia the Less, and extending their dominion 
further over Persia, East India, and a great part of Africa and Spain, they 
became almost as great an empire as that of Rome had been, although this 
dominion of Mohammed extended another way, yet withal possessing the 
one half of the eastern empire. Only these are bidden by God not to ' hurt 
the servants of God sealed in their foreheads,' ver. 4, for God had some true 
believers in that part of the eastern empire who yet remained Christian ; 
and among them God had some also whom you read to have been before- 
hand sealed, chap, vii 3, ' saying. Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor 
the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads,' ere 
that any trumpets blew. Such was God's care to prevent all hurt unto 
them, of which I shall afterwards particularly speak. And this kingdom 
began to be set up anno 630, and contumed many hundred years. 

Then succeeds the sixth trumpet, which is the second woe-trumpet, and 
ordained to bring calamities on the other part of the eastern empire, which 
was left standing still under the successors of the Roman monarchy, and 
professing the Christian religion in Asia the Less, and in Greece, known com- 
monly in historians by the name of the empire of Greece ; to ruin which, God 
had ready prepared four angels, with four several armies of horsemen, which 
amounted to 200,000,000, as chap. ix. 14-16, 'saying to the sixth angel 

Chap. V.] a.n exposition of the revelation. 57 

which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great 
river Euphrates. Aiid the four angels were loosed, which were prepared 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;' which armies, with 
the angels their leaders, being a long while restrained, lay hovering about 
the borders of the river Euphrates. Whom the angel of this trimipet lets 
loose by the command of God, like so many furies, to fall upon the last part 
of this eastern empire remaining, and also to conquer those other dominions 
which the Saracens, under the fifth trumpet, had before overrun. Now, 
according to all the characters and footprints which we find in the Turkish 
stories, no prophecy doth or can more punctually describe any nation or 
event than this doth the Turks, and their irruption upon the eastern empire ; 
who, when they came first out of their native country, about the year 1040 
after Christ, did seat themselves first by the river Euphrates, and were 
divided into four several governments or kingdomaj known commonly in 
historians by these four names — first Iconian, seated at Iconium ; the second 
at Aleppo ; the third at Damascus ; and the fourth at Bagdat, or Babylon, 
bordering on the river Euphrates. Who having lain hovering thereabouts for 
the space of two hundred years, did, about the year of Christ 1300, overrun 
all Natolia, or Asia the Less, and joining all into one kingdom under Otto- 
man, the forefather of the present Great Turk, did not cease till they had 
won Constantinople itself and all Greece, the empire of which they put 
down, which was now the only relic of the ancient Roman empire, and this 
in the year 1453, which is a hundred and eighty-six years since;* who 
possess that whole eastern empire unto this day; for the number of the 
Turk, which is an hour, a day, a month, and a year, is not yet fulfilled or 
ex[)ired, being by computation three hundred and ninety-six years from his 
first breaking out. The raising of the Turkish empire by Ottoman in Asia 
the Less, was a.d. ISOO.f 

Section IIL 

The exposition of the 7th chapter. — Why 7'eserved till after that of the Sth and 
9th. — Who are intended hy the hundred and forty -four thousand persons 
that were sealed in their foreheads. 

Having given you the meaning of the six trumpets, chap. viiL, ix., I must 
now return to shew you the meaning of those twelve thousand out of every 
tribe, in all a hundred and forty-four thousand, which you read of chap. viL, 
and to tell you who they are that were there beforehand sealed. For though 
God, to shew his care, is said to seal them before these trumpets blew, yet I 
could not tell you who they were so fitly until after you should have heard 
upon what parts of the world these trumpets chiefly blew. 

The persons sealed are, ver. 3, called ' servants of God,' so that they are 
true believers ; they are also called Jews, not that they were so by birth, 
both for that the company they grow up into, and of whom these are the 
predecessors, are said to be ' out of all nations, kindreds, and tongues,' ver. 9, 
and therefore are of the Gentiles ; as also because the Jews have generally 
been hardened all along the times of this proj^hecy, to this day. But the 
Eevelation, speaking in the lang-uage of the Old Testament and the tjpea 
thereof, calls true believers Jews, and the Israel of God : Gal. vi 16, 'And 
as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and 

* This being writ 1639. + Laonicus Chalcocond. de Rebus Turcicis, lib. L 


upon the Israel of God ;' and folse and idolatrous Christians it calls Gen- 
tiles, as chap. xi. 2, * But the court which is without the temple leave out, 
and measure it not ; for it is given unto the Gentiles : and the holy city shall 
they tread under foot forty and two months.' 'Who say they are Jews, and 
are not,' — that is, profess themselves Christians, and are not, — ' but do lie,' 
chap. iiL 9. 

These are numbered up by thousands, in allusion to ' the thousands of 
Israel,' as the phrase commonly is in Moses's writings, — Israel's seventy-two 
persons brought into Egj-pt being now multiplied by thousands, — as Num. 
X., xxxi. And these are said to be sealed, in allusion to that sealing of the 
mourners before the captivity of Babylon, Ezek. ix. : so these, before the 
miseries and captivity of these trumpets, as those that were to be preserved 
under them in all ages. God preserving by a kind of miracle, (for it is no 
other to consider it,) in the midst of all this Mohammedan tyranny, both 
under Turks and Saracens, in the eastern part of the world, thousands of true 
believers, even a hundred and forty-four thousand ; as he did, under the 
tyranny of Ahab, preserve seven thousand that did not bow the knee to 
Baal; and as he did the like number of a hundred and forty-four thousand 
under the like antichristian tyranny in the west, as in chap. xiv. in the 
book-prophecy will appear. Only there, chap, xiv., they are more roundly 
in the general summed up together, to the number of a hundred and forty- 
four thousand ; whereas here they are only reckoned by twelve several par- 
ticular parcels, twelve thousand out of the twelve tribes : whether to shew 
their more scattered and divided condition, happily alluding to the twelve 
tribes, then, when the apostles wrote, scattered (as James speaks, chap. i. 1) in 
those eastern parts ; or if not so, yet to the twelve tribes, as living apart in 
several quarters of the land of Judea, and not as assembled at Jerusalem in 
the temple. 

So likewise these dwelling scatteredly in several nations, which were to be 
overcome by the trumpets, not assembled in public worship or churches, 
such as were acceptable to God, but remaining single ; they are numbered 
by a set number, to shew that they shall be few. For this defining of their 
number is in opposition to the ' innumerable company ' that are to grow out 
of them, as ver. 9, ' After this, I saw a great multitude, which none could 
number ;' and their number being multiplied by twelve, as their root, and 
a thousand, hence it is a long number, extending in length much further 
than in breadth ;* to shew that he speaks not of Christians as in one age 
arising to this number, but through many ages continuing. And they are 
multiplied by twelve to shew their breed and kind to be from the apostles, 
and of the apostolic faith, which, chaj). 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 successors are to be made partakers, therefore it is 
that those promises of the New Jerusalem, and the representation of it, come 
in from the 9th to the end, to shew their partaking therein, as the reward 
of the great tribulation they come out of: ver. 14, 15, ' And I said imto 

• The idea involved in this conceit seems to be founded upon the twofold meaning of 
the term square, as denoting both a figure whose breadth is equal to its length, and the 
number which results from the multiplication of a number by itself. As one hundred 
and forty-four is a square number, and may be regarded as representing a square figure; 
BO one hundred and forty-four thousand may be regarded as representing a rectangle, 
whose sides are twelve and twelve thousand respectively. — Ed. 

Chap. V.] an kxposition of the revklation. 59 

him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to mc, These are they which camo 
out of the great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white 
in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, 
and serve him day and night in his temple : and he that sitteth on the 
throne shall dwell among them.' 

Now these seem to be a differing company from that hundred and forty- 
four thousand in the 1 4th chapter : for those there do not remain till 
the New Jerusalem, in that dark and loose condition, upon Mount Sion, but 
long before do break forth into a separation from Antichrist, and set up 
glorious temples, filled visibly with the presence of God, as smoke, out of 
which come the vials ; but these continue in one uniform condition, still 
alike, until the very approach of the New Jerusalem, and do then come 
newly out from under a sore and long bondage, here called ' great tribulation,* 
and are presented as more scattered and divided, as being more spread over 
the face of the earth, singly here and there, and therefore reckoned up by 
several tribes; whereas those there are summed up together only in their 
total number. They are alike, being but a few both of them, and in like 
times of darkness and desolation ; yet with this difference, that the one con- 
tinues to the very New Jerusalem, but the other long before grows up to a 
glorious light, and then outgrows that number. 

Now, who these hundred and forty-four thousand are, out of whom, 
as being the predecessors of them, do come that ' innumerable company,' 
that shaU, together with the Jews, possess the New Jerusalem, is made the 
inquiry of John, and is one of the wonders of this book ; which therefore 
one of the twenty-four elders would have John especially to mark and ob- 
serve, as a strange thing, beyond the expectation and imagination of men, 
that God should ever take those, so numerable a company, into so great a 
privilege, as to be made denizens of the New Jerusalem, and have their names 
found there. This you may observe by the question which the elder asketh 
John, to provoke and stir up his observation, ver. 13, 'What are these 1 and 
whence come they V Thence ! where, when you are told, you will scarce 
believe that God should intend this so great a privilege unto such, even the 
poor Christian elect believers, dispersedly scattered over the eastern parts of 
the world, the now Turkish dominions, which were anciently called the eastern 
empire, and the churches therein, called the Grecian churches. And for this 
I take the Holy Ghost's own designation, and as it were his pointing with 
the finger at them, to be my guide and warrant for this interpetation ; as 
also the characters of, and notes of difference of, the hundred and forty-four 
thousand here and in chap. xiv. 

1. It is evident their sealing here is for their preservation from hurt — as 
ver. 3, ' saying. Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we 
have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads ' — from the four winds 
that were to be let loose, mentioned ver. 1, ' And 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 ;' by which are meant the cruel blasts of devastating and de- 
populating wars of fierce and cruel nations, dashing against each other, as 
winds use to do. Thus the wars that scattered Elam, or Persia, in Jeremiah's 
prophecy, are expressed, Jer. xlix. 36, ' And upon Elam will I bring the four 
winds from the fouj quarters of heaven, and will scatter them toward all 
those winds ; and there shall be no nation whither the outcasts of Elam 
shall not come.' Now these wars, or winds, are all one with the blasts of 
the ensuing trumpets, chap. viii. 9 ; for to prevent the hurt of these servants 


of God undsr these trumpets is it that these are thus beforehand sealed. 
Only, what is there particularly expressed by trumpets, is here in general ex- 
pressed by the four winds. 

Now then, according to reason, look, which of these ensuing six trumpets 
are the sorest, and bring most hurt and danger to the servants of God, the 
sealing of them must most respect the times and plagues of those trumpets. 
Now, according to the note of aggravation which the Holy Ghost himself 
hath put upon the fifth and sixth trumpets, that they are the voe-tuhcc, 
the woe-trumpets ; so, chap. viiL 13, ' And I beheld, and heard an angel fly- 
ing through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice. Woe, woe, woe, 
to the inhabitants of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet 
of the three angels, which are yet to sound !' in respect of which the four 
first are but mild and gentle. And then, according to the former interpe- 
tation given, these two woe-trumpets being the overrunnings of the Saracen 
and Mohammedan nations, the greatest plague in respect of outward war and 
bondage that ever befell the Christian world. Which trumpets were to be, 
and have been, for time, five times double the continuance of the other four 
trumpets ; for it is already one thousand years since they began, and the 
other four took up but two hundred years ; and for extremity of bondage, 
there hath been no comparison between those four first trumpets and these 
two latter. 

The wars of the Goths, indeed, did rather relieve the servants of God 
against the flood of Arian persecution, — as,chap. xii. 16, 'And the earth helped 
the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood 
which the dragon cast out of his mouth,' — although it did break and harrow 
the empire. Hence, therefore, surely the hurt aimed at by God, which these 
hundred and forty-four thousand were in danger of, must needs in reason 
be from these two trumpets especially, and therefore must chiefly respect the 
elect Christians in the eastern parts, where these trumpets sounded ; for the 
Christians in the west were in no danger of them. It must, therefore, re- 
spect these tribes seated among them. Add to this, that even the winds of 
some of those four first trumpets also reached unto great devastations of 
some of these eastern parts. And the first breaking forth of those Goths 
and barbarous nations was upon Thrace, Maccdon, Thessaly, and Greece, 
ruining aU the cities therein, except Athens and Thebes ; and then after five 
years' harrowing the east, they fell upon the west, but first began in the east. 
So then, the two first, and longest, and sorest being upon the eastern Chris- 
tians, and they beginning and ending thus also with them ; in reason, the 
sealing of them must principally and eminently be intended, according to 
the proportion that the trumpets feU upon them, which was tenfold to what 
they did upon the western. 

2. And as in reason it must be so, so the Holy Ghost hath declared that 
the preservation from the hurt of those Mohammedan invasions was the aim 
of this sealing thus beforehand ; so great was God's care ; and that therefore 
these servants of God, the hundred and forty-four thousand sealed here, are 
indeed the Christians of the east, who were only in danger to be hurt in 
their souls by apostasy, through the tyranny of these trumpets. You may 
read in the 9 th chapter, ver. 4, that when these Saracen locusts, under their 
ringleader Mohammed, were first let loose, and had their commission, that 
then comes in this clause of exception, that ' they should hurt only those 
men that were not sealed.' In that therefore then, and not till then, and 
there only, the mention of this privilege of their being sealed comes in, it 
manifestly argues that the main and primary intention of the sealing of 

Chap. V.] an exposition of the revelation. 61 

tliis company bad its place and accomplishment in persons that were under 
the blasts of these locusts. The Holy Ghost hath set this as a hand in the 
margin, to point at them ; and to shew, that although in the vision their 
sealing comes in beforehand, chap, vii., yet here especially it receives its 
intended aim and fulfilling in the real execution of it : as if he had said. 
Now comes in the mystery of the sealing of those hundred and forty 
four thousand, chap, vii., in these two trumpets, the fifth and sixth. Neither 
can it be objected, that even the Christians in the Avest were preserved 
from the hurt of these incursions, in that these Mohammedans were re- 
strained from breaking in upon these ten kingdoms, and that so they might 
be meant; for — 

(1.) The mystery of sealing notes the singling out and marking of 
some here and there, from the crowd of others, designed to ruin, by God's 
special hand of providence ; even as the door-posts of the Israelites were 
marked, as a man marks his sheep when he puts them in among other 
droves. And so the mourners going into captivity with the rest were 
marked. But so not the servants of God in the west only, but all the 
kingdoms of the west should have been said to be sealed ; which is contrary 
to the mystery of sealing here intended. And therefore it must mean God's 
scattered ones, under the blasts of those trumpets scattered, like the twelve 
tribes, James i. 1, here and there in those countries, but their souls preserved 
faithful unto Christ, maugre all the Mohammedan seducements or bondage 
they were then subjected unto. And — 

(2.) They are said, when they partake of the New Jerusalem, ver. 14, 
15, to 'come out of great tribulation;' and therefore it must be meant of 
Buch as were not wholly kept free from Mohammedan incursions, but were 
under them, and in great tribulation by reason of them. For, as Forbes well 
observes, that great tribulation, chap. vii. 14, must needs be the danger of 
those locusts, chap. ix. 4, from the hurt of which, so as not to damn their 
souls, though afflict them they might, they should be preserved; although 
he indeed interprets both this tribulation, and the hurt done by the locusts, 
to be that antichristian persecution in the west; but it is rather that tyranny 
of Mohammedans in the east. 

Add to all this the many characters in the text that carry it to these 
eastern Christians, affording probable reasons that they should be intended : 
as — 

First, That the angel who seals them is said to ascend from the east, 
ver. 2, or from the rising of the sun, as it is in the original, as coming up 
like the sun when it riseth, in the eastern part of the horizon, or of the 
world. And his standing there to seal these Christians manifestly thereby 
draweth our eyes to the eastern parts of the world, as the place where these 
sealed ones are to be found. 

And, secondly, that they are presented as a few that may be numbered, 
and as making up but a few in many ages, as was said, and living in that 
condition, even to the very times of the New Jerusalem, under great tribula- 
tion, and scattered apart like to the twelve tribes; and that from the primi- 
tive times, in this uniform condition of paucity, and tribulation, and dark- 
ness ; which, as was observed, those hundred and forty-four thousand in chap, 
xiv. are not, but do arise up to a greater light and victory, before the time of 
the New Jerusalem under the vials. Now how doth this agree with those 
poor, forlorn eastern Christians, whose churches have remained corrupt and 
dark, and overwhelmed with superstition and ignorance under all these 
times, and so but a few among them holyj and have been under these Moham- 


medan tribulations a thousand years, the one half of them, and the other 
half two hundred years, and continue still to do so under the Turks, without 
any ease from niisery, or restoring to light and beauty t And yet Christ 
hath had a company among them, though scattered and divided ; for so they 
are jjarted into several sects and companies, as the Grecian and Armenian 
Christians, &c. And therefore God hath preserved among them the know- 
ledge and profession of Christ, and of much more truth than is in the 
Romish church, in the dark times of it, to be found; which God sanctifies 
to some of them. And in that, according to all the best interpreters, this 
Turkish tyranny and tribulation is to continue, even till the New Jerusalem, 
— for the Turk is to be overthrown, to make way for the Jews, the kings ot 
the east, under the sixth vial, and to be destroyed by the seventh, — how 
doth this accord also with this, that the state of these eastern saints is re- 
presented here to consist of so few, and those to be under great tribulation 
until the time of the New Jerusalem, as that which should prove their first 
deliverance; and when they come into the New Jerusalem, to be as it were 
but new come out of that great tribulation ? 

And the wonder that is made at this God's gracious dealings with a 
people so of all Christians forgotten, and not accounted of, — that ever they 
should be taken into this New^ Jerusalem, — doth further confirm it. For that 
the western churches, that have borne the heat of antichristian persecution, 
and overcome Antichrist, and shall in the end perfect their victory, and have 
set up temples, increasing more and more in light and glory, even until the 
New Jerusalem; that these should be made partakers of the New Jerusalem 
is no wonder, no strange thing; for they growing up unto it, it were strange 
if it should prove otherwise. And therefore, chap. xix. 1, &c., we find them, 
after the ruin of the whore, preparing themselves yet more for the marriage 
of the Lamb. But that these forlorn Grecians should be taken into it, 
among whom we scarce imagine any believers at all to be, this might well 
be made one of the greatest w^onders of God's richest grace and mercy, and 
hath as much affected my heart to consider, since the time God led me into 
the thoughts of it, as anything through the whole book; that, as the prophet 
saith, this Ephraim should be his pleasant child, who would have thought ? 
But this is just like God, whose ways are unsearchable, and his works past 
finding out. And therefore one of the elders says here unto John, ver. 13, 
as provoking him to observe this passage, as much as anything in this book, 
'What are these? and whence come they?' And John says unto him, 
' Thou knowest ; ' and he said, ' These are they who come out of great 
tribulation, ' and indeed the greatest tribulation that ever the servants of 
God were under. 

And there are these probable likelihoods for this also, even according to 
the course of God's ways and dealings, for God to choose such a people from 
under so great tribulation, and who are of all the lowest; and therefore, or 
for this cause, as it is ver. 14, to make them partakers of so great a privi- 
lege, this is just like God, who loves to do acts of mercy which may justly 
set all the world a- wondering. And they having borne the heat of the day, 
and continued in the profession of Christ as well as we, reason is, they 
should be recompensed, and have their penny also. And they being seated 
in those very dominions where the Turk is seated, who is to be overthrown 
by or for the Jews, to make way for them to get possession of their own 
land, which lieth in those eastern countries, and in the midst of those 
nations, who are therefore called 'kings of the east,' chap. xvi. 12; how 
probable is it therefore that upon the ruin of the Turks they shall be. thus 

Chap. V.] an exposition of the revelation. C3 

delivered, and tliat if any Gentiles be partakers of tlie Jews' privilege, 
those Christian Gentiles should, who have been oppressed by this their 
common enemy, and who dwell and inhabit in countries near and about the 
land of the Jews : especially if their land shall be made, as is thought by 
some, the chief seat of that fifth monarchy. Then surely, these nations that 
are nearest them are like most to partake the benefit and light of it ; which 
also the prophets have foretold, that the Gentdes, yea, and these Gentiles, 
should walk in. 

Lastly, If mention be not made of the Grecian churches here in this 
place, then there is none, or scarce any, according to the course of the best 
interpreters, in all this book. The book-prophecy is wholly taken up with 
the state of the western churches opposing Antichrist, chap, xiv.-xix., as 
being they whom God means chiefly to use for the ruining of that great 
Antichrist, among whom therefore he hath continued the knowledge of Christ, 
and the face of churches in the greatest power and purity; and therefore the 
Revelation speaks most of them. But yet, there having been a continuance 
of the profession of the Christian name in those Grecian and Armenian 
churches, even from the primitive times, and at this day their number 
amounting to as many as the professors in Europe do, notwithstanding 
Mohammedan incursions ; can we think that God hath passed them over in 
silence in this book ? Surely no. Seeing therefore that the book-prophecy 
is taken up with the western oppositions to the great Antichrist of the west, 
hence, most fitly, in this seal-prophecy, wherein the Mohammedan oppressors 
bear so great a part, does come in the representation of the state of those 
eastern Christians under ]\Iohammed, Christ so keeping possession, both in 
the east and west. And the event hath been according to the prophecy. 
True believers have been, and yet are continued among them, even as our 
eyes may read in all stories of those eastern parts, and our ears have heard 
the report of to this day : whose Confession of Faith you may read, being 
printed in English, anno 1629, set forth by Cyril, the present patriarch of 
Constantinople; and you may, with joy, find it in all fundamental points as 
our own Confession is. See also Field of the Church, book iii., chap. 1-3, 5. 

Section IV. 

A short view of the 10th and llth chapters. — The ends for which the mighty 
angel (i.e. Christ) descended from heaven. — The seal-prophecy being closed, 
a new prophecy is given, which begins at the \'2th chapter. 

Thus the seal-prophecy, under the visions of these seals and trumpets, hav- 
ing run over the stoiy of all times, which concern the ruin of the Roman empire 
downward, from Christ's time even to our days, — for the miseries of the sixth 
trumpet still continue, and shall last till near the time of the seventh trumpet, 
which is to bring in the kingdom of Christ, chap. xi. 14, 15, with whose 
sounding this first seal-prophecy, as do all kingdoms and times, ends, — 
Jesus Christ therefore, in the likeness of a mighty angel, comes down from 
heaven ; and that to a double end : — 

First, To give the world and the church warning by an oath, that now 
time should be no longer, but till this woe of the sixth trumpet — that is, the 
Turks' dominion — should expire and pass away ; as his speeches in the 10th 
chapter, ver. 6, 7, and in the llth chapter, ver. 14, 15, compared together, do 
shew : ' And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, 
and the things that therein are ; and the earth, and the things that therein 
are; and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time 


no longer. But in the days of the voice 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.' ' The second woe is past; and, behold, the third 
woe Cometh quickly. And the seventh angel sounded, and there were great 
voices in heaven, saying. The kingdoms of this world are become the king- 
doms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.' 

And, secondly, to give withal a new prophecy, this seal-prophecy being 
thus ended. Wherefore he now comes with the book open in his hand, which, 
chap, v., John saw sealed, the seals being now taken off, and the visions of 
them already past ; which book contains another distinct prophecy to be 
given anew unto John, which therefore he is bidden to eat, as Ezekiel of old 
was, and he should be enabled to receive and write a new prophecy, as 
appears chap. x. 9, 11, 'And I went unto the angel, and said unto him. Give 
me the little book. And he said unto me. Take it, and eat it up; and it 
shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.' 
' And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and 
nations, and tongues, and kings.' Which new entire prophecy begins chap, 
xii., after this angel had further, by word of mouth, a while discoursed what 
should be the state and face of his purest churches in the western part, ver. 
1, 2, in those last days, to which this seal-prophecy had brought John; 
namely, the times immediately, or not many years, before that seventh trumpet 
was to bring in his kingdom, and after that this angel had forewarned those 
churches of a great and sore conflict which they were to have with Antichrist 
towards the end of all ; out of which they should rise again. And then comes 
the end of Antichrist, and of the Turk also. After he had given all this as 
a signal or warning to the church when the end should be, — all which he 
doth chap. xi. 1, and from ver. 7 to ver. 14, — then, I say, after that short 
digression made by this angel (Christ), who came principally to give John a 
new complete prophecy, doth that new book-prophecy begin in new visions, 
at the 12th chapter, which contains the fates that should befall the church 
in all ages from Christ's time, as the seal-prophecy had done those of the 

Chap. Vi.] an exposition of the revelation. C5 


Of the hodk-vrophecy, that begins at the \2th chapter. — An account of the 

general design of it. 

The state of the church, from Christ's time until the kingdom of Christ, may 
be divided into two : — 1. The state of the church during the first four hun- 
dred years after Christ, usually called the primitive times. 2. The state of 
the church during the times of Antichrist, whom Jesus Christ is to destroy 
with the brightness of his coming. 

1. The state of the church, during those first four hundred years, may be 
divided into its condition until the time of Constantine, the first Christian 
emperor ; and the state of the church from his time, under the Arian 
emperors, and others Christian, until the rise of Antichrist, about a hundred 
years after the beginning of Constantine's reign. These were the two 
eminent various conditions of the church in those first four hundred years. 

2. For the state of the church during the times of Antichrist, namely, the 
Pope, who succeeded the western emperor here in Europe, — for of the state of 
the church in the eastern part of the empire, especially under the Turks and 
Saracens, you formerly heard in the seal-prophecy, chap, vii., and therefore 
this book-prophecy speaks little of it, but, in a manner, only of the western 
church, which now indeed was made the more eminent stage, as for Anti- 
christ, so for Christ to play his part upon; — this state of the church in the 
west, I say, was either — 

(1.) That of the false pretended church, whereof Antichrist is and was the 
head; or — 

(2.) The state of the true church under Antichrist, and during his time, 
whereof Jesus Christ is the head. 

Now, answerably to this division are the ensuing chapters to be divided. 
The 12th chapter shews you the state of the church under the first four 
hundred years; and chap, xiii., xiv., &c., shew the state of the church after- 
wards, during Antichrist's times. These are the divisions of the state of the 
church from Christ's time hitherto. 

And, first, this 12th chapter shews the face of the church in these primi- 
tive times, and that under those two forementioned eminent conditions: — 

First, As under heathenish Rome until Constantine's time, when the 
empire turned Christian; from the 1st verse to the 13th, under the vision 
of a woman bringing forth a male child to rule all nations, — that is, a Chris- 
tian emperor, — wherein she is opposed by a dragon, the devil, in the power 
of a heathenish emperor, endeavouring to devour her child. 

The vision and appearance of this woman is such, and so glorious, as it 
fits no state of the church but that pure and glorious church of the primi- 
tive times. She is a woman, weak, yet glorious, as being clothed with the 
sun, (the righteousness of Christ ;) crowned with a crown of twelve stars, (the 
twelve apostles;) her head, the first part of that church, having been honoured 



with their preaching, and holding forth the light of their doctrine. She 
had the moon under her feet — she was above the world, and the rage of 
heathenish persecution, for ' they loved not their lives unto the death ;' and, 
as a woman, all that while labouring in sore travail, under ten sore throes 
of jDersecution, yet labouring with God, day and night, in hopes and prayers 
in the end to bring forth and obtain Christian emperors, that should set 
Christ in the throne to rule with them, and throw down heathenism from 
the imperial throne, in which the devil ruled; the empire being all that 
while under the heathenish throne of Satan, and is therefore represented 
under a ' dragon having seven heads and ten horns,' which are ever in this 
book the character of the Roman empire. And it is now called the dragon, 
because Satan did openly and visibly act it. Now the throwing down the 
dragon from the throne, which was his heaven, and where he was worshipped 
as God, doth this woman in the end obtain, and prevails through the help 
of ]\Iichael (namely, Jesus Christ) and his angels, (the apostles and preachers 
of the gospel.) 

And then, secondly, the state of the true church, when the Roman world 
was now turned Christian, for the first hundred years after Constantine ; which 
church was also persecuted by Arian emperors, though Christians, and was 
like to have been ruined by the multitude of carnal professors ; insomuch 
as she is presented as 'hasting to fly into a wilderness,' — that is, into a 
hidden, retired condition, — and in her flight, hath a flood of Arian persecution 
sent after her, to drown her, but that the earth, the Goths and Vandals, 
whom you heard of under the first trumj)et, came in accidentally, by God's 
providence, and helped her, by breaking the Arian faction ; which is the 
* swallowing up the flood.' The Arians, though they professed Christ, yet 
they denied him to be God ; into which heresy the whole empire fell, and 
persecuted the church for professing the contrary, as much as ever the 
heathen emperors had done. And this state of the church you have described 
from the 13th verse to the end of the 12th chapter. 

Chap. VII.] an exposition of the revelation. 67 


The exposition of the \Ztli chapter, in which is set forth the state of the false 
church under Antichrist. — What his name, and the number of his name, 
denotes to us. — A short account of the time tvhich some fix for his fall. 

The state of the cliurch, and ber conflicts -with Satan the first four hundred 
years, being thus described, chap, xii., in the following chapters is set forth 
the state of the church from that time, during the times of Antichrist ; all 
which time there was and is both his false antichristian church and the true 
church under him running along together. Now, the description of Antichrist 
(the Pope) and his false church, in his rise, power, greatness, and extent of his 
dominions, and of the company that should cleave to him, is set forth in the 
visions of the 13th chapter, which afterwards, in the 17th chapter, the Holy 
Ghost himself interprets and makes a comment on. And then the opposite 
company of the true church, who have the Lamb for their head, are described 
in the 14th chapter; and that in all those several states and conditions which 
during all that time they should run under, and this from the first rise of 
Antichrist until these very times wherein we Live ; with which, I take it, the 
visions of that 14th chapter do end. 

First, for Antichrist and his church in the 1 3th chapter, and this set forth 
unto us under the \'ision of a twofold beast, which points at the Pope accord- 
ing to his double pretended claim of power and headship in the church ; 
which is — 

1. Temporal; which he claims over all kings and kingdoms, to depose and 
excommunicate them and their subjects at his pleasure. Unto which the ten 
kings and kingdoms of Europe, into which the western empire was now by 
the Goths reduced, did tacitly and with one consent submit themselves, and 
gave their power up, as you may read it interpreted, chap. xvii. 12-17. 
And so the Pope, together with the body of these ten kingdoms joining 
into one, whereof he becomes the head, is that first ' beast with ten horns,' 
described in this 13th chapter, ver. 1-1 1 : which new beast is a true image 
of the former Roman monarchy in the 12th chapter; which being wounded 
and slain in the emperor's being deposed, is healed and restored to life again 
in this beast ; and so the Roman monarchy comes still to continue, though 
under another head, namely, the Pope. 

2. Besides this temporal power which he receives from the kings of these 
ten kingdoms, who in that respect do together with him make up one beast, 
he and his clergy do claim a spiritual power of binding and loosing, of par- 
doning sins, and of cursing men to hell, which is peculiar to Christ alone. 
And in that 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 ; and 
this description you have of him from ver. 11 to the end of this 13th chap- 


ter. He being head of two bodies, ecclesiastical and temporal, is described 
under two beasts. Now this spiritual beast, the Pope and his clergy, is he 
who by his lying doctrines did persuade the ten kings and their subjects to 
subject themselves in one body under him as their head, and is said to make 
the 'image of the first beast,' — namely, of that dragon mentioned in the 
12th chapter, — that is, of the former heathenish empire, and the religion 
thereof; which is therefore said to live again. For — 

(1.) Both these kingdoms becoming one under the Pope as their head, are 
in their very form of government the image of the empire under one emperor 
formerly; and so the Roman monarchy, in the joining of these ten kingdoms 
under one hend, the Pope, may be said stUI to continue. But besides — 

(2.) This new beast is called the image of the first beast, not simply in 
respect of like form of government and tyranny; but further, in a religious 
respect, in that the Pope and his clergy do mould the Christian religion, 
which now they profess, and the worship thereof, into a true likeness 
and conformity to the heathenish religion, which the empire before was 
framed unto. For all the Popish worship is but the translating of those 
ceremonies, wherewith those false gods, Jupiter, Apollo, &c., who were cast 
down under the sixth seal, were worshipped, into religious ceremonies in 
their worship, wherewith they worship Christ and his saints. So as, were 
any of the ancient heathen Romans now alive, and should come into their 
assemblies, and behold their priests in white, their processions, their sprink- 
ling with holy water, their altars, tapers, images of saints departed, and their 
worship of them, their Pontifex Maxivius, or great bishop and high priest, 
&c., they would cry out and say. This is just our old Roman heathenish 
religion ; only Jupiter is turned into Christ, and the priests of the gods of 
old into Popish bishops ; and our ancient gods, Mars, Janus, .^^^sculapius, 
&c., who were men departed, are changed for saints departed. So that the 
life of the 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, so hath mystical Babylon — for to that 
Babel and to that image is the allusion — set up an image of the old heathenish 
religion and worship, and upon the like penalty enjoins the adoration of 
this image, and a conformity in worship, to all the subjects of these ten 

Now, the company that cleave unto this beast, and may more or less be 
esteemed the followers of him, are, as Mr Brightman hath well observed 
upon ver. 16, 17, distinguished into three ranks of men in several degrees, 
some more, some less, acknowledging or clea\dng to him, and to this his 
image and worship. Some receive his mark or character ; others his name 
only ; others the number of his name : but so as thooc who will not receive 
or submit to one of these, more or less, during the time that is allotted him 
to 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, which was to print on the forehead of 
servants the names of their masters, and on the hands of soldiers the names 
of their emperors or generals. So these men that do belong unto this great 
lord, and that are of his faction, do accordingly, more or less, receive that 
whereby they may be known to be his. 

1. Some receive his character, as all priests and religious persons do, 
whether they be Jesuits or others, who are this grand seigneur's janissaries, 
Lis sworn soldiers and Praetorian band. Their doctrine is, that a man 

Chap. VII.J an exposition of the revelation. 69 

entered into holy orders doth, by his ordination, receive an indelible char- 
acter, a secret invisible stamp or impress, which can never be rased out. 

2. Others receive his name; and so, though not in orders under him, 
yet so cleave to him and his worship, as themselves openly profess that they 
are his, by suffering themselves to be called by his name, which is that 
whereby they own him. Thus as he is called Papa, the Po])e, they profess 
themselves Papists, or to be of the Pope as their head. And as he is called 
Pontifex, they are called Pontificii. And even as Christ is called the ' high 
priest of our profession,' Heb. iii. 1, and so we accordingly called Christians 
from the profession of him ; so the Pope being their pontifex, or high priest 
of their profession, they, to shew so much, do hold forth the profession of 
him, by taking his very name, and in all things fully subjecting themselves 
unto him as his sons. But now — 

3. What should be meant by the number of his name ? That Mr Bright- 
man carries rightly to a company taking part with him, by a more remote 
kind of subjection ; but he not knowing well whom to fasten it upon, 
brings in the poor Grecians, that are strangers unto him, and out of the 
dominion of any of his ten kingdoms ; who, although they renounced all 
acknowledgment of the Pope for 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 of Constantinople for 
a while, brought to yield a subjection thus far, as to acknowledge him for 
their head, and so were called Latins, or of the profession of the Latin 
church, (which name I find some to this day, that are Popish Christians 
among the Greeks, to be called by, by way of distinction from the other ;) 
and so received, says he, the mimber of his name, Aanlvoc, Latinus : the 
numeral letters whereof, in the Greek tongue, make six hundred and sixty- 
six, the number that follows in the last verse of this chapter. But this 
forced subjection of the Grecians, so remote, as it might be intended, for 
those more ancient times, yet withal I think that it is not only or princi- 
pally meant : — 

First, Because these Grecian Christians are not inhabitants within the 
jurisdiction of those ten kingdoms of Europe, the subjects whereof are mainly 
intended, as being those ' inhabiters of the earth ' that should be the wor- 
shippers of this beast, and cleavers unto him, ver. 8, 14 ; and so of them, 
and among them, must be found this number of his name, as well as those 
that receive his name. 

And, secondly, because the Christians in the west, who assist the pouring 
forth the vials, are as well said, some of them, to overcome the number of 
his name, as others of them do his image, or idolatrous worship, or his char- 
acter of lying priests, or the beast himself ; so chap. xv. 2. I take it, there- 
fore, that this number of his name must be found in Europe, in some of 
these ten kingdoms where that company are that pour out the vials. 

Now, take the times of Popery before the Reformation, — that is, before 
the time that Protestant kingdoms did first begin to cast ofi" the Pope, — and 
there were none that were suffered to have such a remiss, no, nor any lesser 
kind of owning the beast, but must all, as they did, receive his mark, or his 
name, and be professed Papists, coming to mass, acknowledging the Pope, 
and worshipping his image ; or they might not buy and sell, they might not 
live quietly as others did. Therefore these that receive the number of his 
name must be some generation of men risen up since, and that also within 
those kingdoms, some of them, that have renounced the Pope. For within 


tlie Popish dominions, unto tliis day, either tlie Inquisition suffers none to 
profess less than the receiving his name at least ; or in others, those that 
are of Papists the most moderate yet receive the name of the beast at least, 
and so more tlian the number of his name. 

But this number of his name seems to be a company that proceed not so 
far as to receive his character, professing themselves to be priests of Rome ; 
nor to receive his name, for they do not profess themselves to be Papists ; 
and yet are of the number of his name — that is, do hold and bring in such 
doctrines and opinions, and such rites in worship, as shall make all men 
reckon, account, or number them among Papists in heart and affection. And 
so they are of the number of his name ; that is, in account such. They be- 
have themselves so as they are, and deserve to be, accounted and esteemed 
Pajiists, and to aim at Popery, in the judgment of all orthodox and reformed 
Protestants, and that justly. For although their profession deny it, yet 
when their actions, and their corrupting of doctrine and worship shall speak 
it to all men's consciences, they cannot but judge that the Pope, and the fear 
of him, is before their eyes, as David speaks of wicked men. And as those 
in Titus, that profess they know God, j'et in their works deny him, are justly 
accounted atheists ; so those that shall profess the reformed religion, yet in 
all their practices and underhand policies depress it, and advance the Popish 
party, are justly to be accounted Papists, and to have received the number 
of his name. 

The phrase, ' number of a name,' is not only taken for a name consisting 
of numeral letters, and so not only for number arithmetical ; but the word 
'number' is in many languages put for the account, reckoning, or esteem 
that is commonly had of men : as in Latin we say, he is one nullius numeri, 
of no number or account ; and so among the Grecians, h rroX'sfiu iva^ldfiiog 
is used by Homer for one in great account in war, being numbered or 
esteemed a soldier. 

So then, number of a name is a common esteem or account to be such or 
such a one ; and so the number of the beast's name here is the common re- 
pute or esteem to be a Papist, procured through underhand advancing of the 
Popish cause. It being therefore spoken in a distmct and lower degree from 
receiving his name or his mark, which note out an open profession, doth yet 
necessarily import so much inclining and cleaving to him, though secretly, 
as shall deserve that account and repute to be so numbered, as being indeed, 
tacitly and in heart, as truly of his company as those that receive his name. 
Now if in opening the meaning of the Holy Ghost in the phrase here, this 
description shall seem to the life to picture out a generation of such kind of 
Popish persons as these in any, even the most famous of the reformed 
churches, certainly there will not want good ground for it. For though 
they, with an impudent forehead, renounce the Pope's character and the 
name of Papists, and will by no means be called ' priests of Baal,' though 
priests they affect to be called, but boast themselves to be of the Reformation, 
and opposites to the Papal 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 and the like, so to make up a full likeness in the public service to 
that of the Popish church. They bring in the carcase first, which may after- 
wards be inspired with the same opinions. And all this, not as Popery, or 
with the annexion of Popish idolatrous opmions, but upon such grounds 
only as upon which Protestants themselves have continued some other 

Chap. VII.] an exposition of the revelation. 7 1 

And as in worship, so in doctrine, they seek to bring in a presence in the 
sacrament of the Lord's supper, beyond that which ia spiritual to faith, 
which yet is not Popish transubstantiation ; a power in priests to forgive 
sins, beyond that which is declarative, yet not that which mass-priests arro- 
gate ; justification by works, yet not so grossly as in the way of Popish merit, 
but as a condition of the gospel as well as faith ; and many the like to these : 
thus truly setting up an image of old Popery in a Protestant reformed way, 
even as Popery is an image of heathenish worship in a Christian way. Say 
these men what they will, that they hold not of the Pope, nor any way in- 
tend him, or the introducing of his religion into these churches, yet their 
actions do, and cannot but, make all men number them as such ; and there- 
fore we say, they have gained that esteem at home and abroad in all the 
churches. And it is no moi'e than what the Holy Ghost prophesied of, who 
hath fitted them with a description so characteristical, as nothing is more 
like them than this of these here who are said to receive ' the number of his 

And they doing this in a way of apostasy from their former profession and 
religion in which they were trained up, and in a church so full of spiritual 
light, where God hath more witnesses than in all the rest of the churches, 
and with an intention and conspiracy in the end to make way for the beast, — 
this going before, as the twilight doth serve to usher in darkness, — therefore 
the Holy Ghost thought them worthy of this character in this prophecy, 
and of a discovery of them unto whom they do belong ; especially seeing they 
would so professedly deny it. And though haply but in one of the ten king- 
doms, — although the Lutherans elsewhere look very like this description also, 
— yet seeing they were to grow so potent a faction as to have power to hinder 
the ' buying and selling,' quiet living of others amongst them, who will not 
receive this worship and doctrine, which is a new refined Popery, and with 
it the number of his name ; that is, those opinions and practices which do 
deserve that esteem ; and further, because they were to be the Pope's last 
champions before his fall, whom those that are the true saints (of whom the 
greatest number in the last age before the Pope's ruin is in, or belonging to 
that one kingdom) are to encounter and overcome before the ruin of Rome ; 
therefore the Holy Ghost thought not fit to leave such a company out of the 
beast's number and followers : and that also although they were to con- 
tinue but a short time. For the doom of these men we have in another 
prophecy, as their description also, 2 Tim. iii. 1-10 : the prophecy there being 
of a generation of men to arise in the last days, — the Papists' rising is attri- 
buted to the latter days in 1 Tim. iv., but the rise of these to the last of the 
last days, — who shall set themselves principally against the power and spirit 
of true worship, and set up a form or image instead of it, ver. 5 ; but their 
doom is, ver. 9, ' These shall proceed no further,' they shall have a stop ; 
and their folly, and madness, and hypocrisy, to attempt to bring in Popery 
with denying it, and when it is going down, then to build this Babel again, 
shall appear to all men ; and being discovered, will be their overthrow. But 
notwithstanding, they must ' proceed further ' than as yet they have done, 
even to the ' killing of the witnesses ' in that kingdom, or tenth part of the 
city, as chap. xi. will shew, when in its due order it shaU be opened. 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 last named, and 
are said to be last overcome by the witnesses and pourers forth of the vials, 
as chap. xv. 2. 

There is but one seeming objection or difficulty in this interpretation ; and 


that is, that in the next verse the number of the beast is made six hundred 
and sixty-six. 

But the answer and solution is, that the ' number of his name ' in this verse 
is one thing, and the ' number of the beast ' in the last verse is another. It 
is not said that the number of his name is six hundred and sixty-six, but the 
number of the beast, which betokeneth another thing, as we shall presently see. 
Only the Holy Ghost, by a wise transition, passeth from the mention of one 
unto the other, as agreeing in phrase of speech, yet differing in sense ; which 
is frequent in Scripture, and particularly in this book ; as, chap. xxii. 17, ' The 
Spirit and the bride say. Come,' as speaking unto Christ to come to judgment 
quickly, as ver. 20 ; but in the following words, ' Let him that is athirst 
come,' there the word come is spoken of the coming of a soul unto Christ, by 
believing, as unto the waters of life. Even so the number of the beast, and 
the number of his name, are here mentioned, the one upon occasion of the 
other, because of the affinity of the phrase in speech, yet to a differing sense. 

Now the number of the beast in the last verse is the time or term of his 
ending ; which is spoken in reference to the time allotted him for his reigning, 
ver. 5, which is to be, as there, forty-two months ; which counting thirty days 
to a month, according to the Egyptian account, which is the account of this 
spiritual Egypt, is twelve hundred and sixty years from his first rising, being 
the same space that the church hath to lie hid in the wilderness, chap. xiL 6 ; 
Avhich though she began to hasten into from Constantine's time, yet she first 
began to enter into her desolate condition, wherein she still remains, but then 
when the Pope's power began to rise. And during the same space of twelve 
hundred and sixty years, the witnesses are said to prophesy in sackcloth, chap, 
xi. 3 ; that is, in a mourning and mean condition ; for the eminent professors 
of the truth, and opposers of the beast, who with their prophecy do feed the 
church in the wilderness all that while, as chap. xii. 6, these are the two 
witnesses, chap. xi. 3. 

Which dates of time, both of the witnesses' casting off their sackcloth, the 
woman's coming out of the wilderness, and the beast's dejection from his 
kingdom and seat, (Rome,) will all expire about the same time ; which some 
think will be about the year 1650, or 1656,- — which if not the Pope's ruin, 
yet the Jews' call, as they say it to be, — or, at the furthest, in 1666 ; to which 
latter some incline, as thinking it probable that it may be the meaning of 
that account mentioned in the last verse of this 13th chapter, which doth 
cast up the number of the beast ; that is, the date and period of his time 
and power, which was given him to continue forty-two months, as ver. 5 : 
which days shall then be numbered, that is, finished, as the jDhrase is of old 
Babylon's ending, Dan. v. 26, ' God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished 
it;' and this his number the Holy Ghost hath computed to be in the year 
that, according to man's computation, shall be called six hundred and sixty 
six. And for the confirmation of this interpretation, the word number is 
often put to express time ; the very definition which the philosopher makes 
of time is, numerus motus secundum, prius et jwsterius ; it is the number of mo- 
tion. And therefore Johannes Viterbiensis, in his gloss upon this place, plainly 
renders it thus : numerus est illius tempus, — ' this his number is his time.' 
Therefore some have made this number to design out the year of the beast's 
beginning, or confirmation in his kingdom, in the year after Christ 666. 
But number, when it is put to signify time, doth not so properly signify the 
beginning of it, as the ending of it, when the number is finished and made 
complete, and cast up, as I may so speak ; for then his time is numbered, 
and the account of it summed, and not before. And therefore Daniel, whoso 

Chap. VII.] an exposition of tui; KLVi-LAXiuN. 73 

phrase, as whose visions, this vision in this 13th chapter exactly follows, 
useth this plirase to note out the ending of the time of a khigdom, and not 
the beginning ; ' thy days are numbered.' And, whicli is strange, Irenseus 
himself, who was the first thut interpreted this six hundred and sixty-six to 
contain the numeral letters of Akt-e/Vo?, as the name of this Latin kingdom, 
does withal seem to think that the end of the times of the beast should in a 
mystery be hiddcnly contained, {Adver. Ilcereses, lib. v., towards the end of 
the book :) refert hunc mimenim Q(j(^, ad sexies viillenos annos mundi in 
quibus (ait) diabolica maliiia consummahitur. He mistakes indeed, refer- 
ring it to the six thousandth year of the world, according to the old tradi- 
tion of the Rabbms, commonly received among the fathers ; but yet in this 
he agrees, that it should signify the time of the consummation and ending 
of the beast's reign and the devil's malice, as that which is to determine with 
tJie end of the world. 

And I observe the Holy Ghost puts an especial wisdom on it, to reckon 
this number ; which if it had lain in numeral letters only, had been no great 
point of wisdom to have such an emphasis put upon it ; the like whereof is 
used but once more in this book, and that in chap. xvii. 9, when the beast, 
and the time of his rising with the ten kings, is set forth, as there, from the 
9th to the 12th verse; and so now here, when his ending is spoken of : for 
this wisdom indeed lay in reckoning the time of his beginning with the ten 
kings, and so the time of his ending, by computmg the whole time of his 
reign twelve hundred and sixty years. 

The vulgar computation of years kept now in the world is, as we all know, 
from the year of Christ's birth, by an account from which we difference one 
year from another. And that is the style of the whole Christian world, to 
say, such a year of our Lord, reckoning from Christ. And this computation 
is called the ' number of a man,' for it is the ordinary vulgar way of reckon- 
ing years, and the measure of time used by men ; and therefore so called, in 
that man doth use so to number the years. Even as the measure of the 
wall of the city, chap. xxi. 17, is said to be a hundred and forty-four cubits, 
' according to the measure of a man,' — that is, the ordinary cubits in use with 
men, or taken from the proportion of the measure of man's stature : so here, 
say they, the beast's year of ending, when his number shall be complete, wiU 
be in the year which, according to man's computation of the years from 
Christ, shall be ordinarily termed QQQ. Now the number of the thousand is 
not mentioned, as in vulgar phrase among the Greeks and Hebrews it seldom 
was, neither among other nations is it ordinarily used to this day ; we using 
to say, in '88, for 1588. And here especially it was needless; for if his 
number was to end in a year which, according to man's account, should 
be called 666, it could be no other, according to them, but that of 1666 
after Christ; for the year &QQ after Christ, which is past, it could not be, 
there being not two hundred of his years allowed him to continue, as then 
run out ; aud in the year 2666, to come, the years allotted him would have 
been well-nigh doubly run out, his years from his first rising to this his 
ending being to be but twelve hundred and sixty years. 

Now then, according to this their account, so as to end his time in 1666, 
his time of rising must begin in the year 406 after Christ; and that the 
Pope's rise did about that time begin, we are not altogether without the 
Holy Ghost's warrant, who tells us, that the Eoman empire, seated at Rome, 
over the west, must begin to be taken away, ere this man of sin could be 
revealed, or come up and appear in the world, 2 Thess. ii. 7, 8. And it was 
the western empire which was that which letted, whereof Rome itself was 


the head and seat; and therefore the Holy Ghost affixeth this empire to the 
city of Rome as the seat of it, which he calleth seven-headed, in respect of 
her seven liills, and so meaneth not that eastern empire, whereof Constanti- 
nople was the seat. Now this western empire, whose seat was Rome, began 
then to be taken away, and the first foundation of its ruin laid, when the 
Goths and Vandals, of whom you heard under the trumpets, began to break 
that emiDirc into these ten kingdoms; and the beginning of the first kingdom 
broken off from the empire was in the year 410, the emperor by covenant 
allowing the Goths to set up a kingdom in France. Then was Rome also 
first sacked and taken by those barbarous nations, and first lost her virginity ; 
and Honorius the emperor, to recover Rome again, and restore it to her 
former flourishing estate, was forced to part with one piece of the empire, 
namely France, which was the first of all the ten kingdoms that were broken 
oft". And in the year 412, he was forced to grant to the Huns to do the 
Hke. And anno 415, he was forced to grant the like to the Goths in Spain.* 
And by the year 456, all the ten were up who gave their power to the 
beast. And this punctually agrees with Avhat the Holy Ghost says more 
expressly of the very hour of Antichrist's rising, chap. xvii. 12 : that the 
ten kings should begin to receive power as kings, one hour with the beast, 
and the beast one hour with them ; the Koly Ghost reckoning from the be- 
ginning of the first of these ten kingdoms the rising of the beast, because 
therein was laid the first foundation of his empire over these ten kingdoms, 
for they were to set him up. And, which is strange, Jerome, who lived in 
the times of this first incursion of these barbarous nations, and wrote so 
complainingly of it, who died about the year 420, when he saw Rome taken, 
and the Goths obtain pieces of the western empire, said, then in those times 
when it was a-doing, in his Epistle ad Gerontium: Qui tenehat de medio fit, 
et non intelUgimus antichristum ajjpropiiiquare. He seeing the empire 
begin to break, said. Antichrist must needs be at hand. 

Some read fj^sra rb '^tjpIov, as importing the rise of these ten kingdoms, to 
be after the beast first risen : which, if meant of the time when these ten 
horns were completely grown up, is true ; for in nature the horns grow up 
after the birth of the beast that beareth them. But whether it be after the 
beast, or with the beast, it was but one hour after the beast, or 07ie hour 
with the beast; stiU implying, that both the rise of the one and of the 
other were near in time, and in the same age. And if the time be reckoned 
from the very first rise of that first kingdom in France, granted unto the 
Goths, anno 410, it will appear that it fell out together, or not an hour 
after the rise of that beast, from whose time the centurists and others have 
made the birth of the beast to have been, though his conception were before. 

And indeed it so happened, through God's providence, who made all 
things concur in this one hour, that he who was as then Pope, namely Inno- 
centius I., — created Pope, as some say, anno 404, some 406, — began to usurp 
and challenge jurisdiction over all churches, (as I could out of many autho- 
rities shew, but you may see it in Simpson's History of the Church, in 
English, Book ii. , 5th century,) and did set on foot that famous falsification 
of the canons of the Nicene Council, as pretending that they gave these 
bishops of Rome that power ; for which there is an epistle of this Innocen- 
tius among the epistles of Augustine, (Epist. 91,) where he writing to Augus- 
tine, and the rest of the African bishops assembled, challengeth power over 
all, ex patrum illorum institutis, from the decrees of those fathers of Nice, 
which his successors afterwards prosecuted: so that a copy out of the 
* See Sigonius de Imperio Occiden '-ali, lib. x., xi. 

Chap. VII.] an exposition of the eevblation. 75 

authentic records of that council, held in the time of Constantino, was sent 
for, by which this falsification was detected. This man also began first to 
arrogate a power over princes ; for he excommunicated the eastern emperor, 
Arcadius, who yet was out of his jurisdiction, for banishing Chrysostom, 
which no bishop of Home before him had ever adventured to do, and this in 
the year 407, the copy of whose bull of excommunication is extant to this 
day, given at length in Baronius. In his time also, the Emperor Honorius 
granted the clergy an exemption from secular power and civil tribunals; so 
making them a distinct body for the Pope, their head. See here the first 
and second beast in this chapter rising both together : first in this Pope's 
proud usurping over churches and princes, and then in exempting his clergy, 
to make up and constitute that second beast, with him as their spiritual 
bead; and the ten kingdoms which were to constitute the first beast, under 
the Pope as their head, then also beginning to arise. 

And thus I have given an account of their opinion who fix the time of 
Antichrist's faU in 1666; together with the arguments which they urge to 
prove it. 



The exposition of the \ith chapter, wherein the state of the true church under 
Antichrist is described. 

As in tlie IStli chapter you have the false antichristian church, whereof the 
Pope is the head, so in this 14th chapter begins the description of the 
true church during the time of Antichrist, whereof the Lamb is the head : 
which church is made up of that ' seed of the woman' mentioned chap. xii. 17 ; 
whom, during her lying hid in the wilderness, Satan through Antichrist's 
power did persecute. Now the several conditions of the church, during 
those times of Antichrist unto this day, may be reduced to three heads : — 

1. The state of true believers in those darker times of Popery, when they 
were mingled with Papists, as making no open separation from them, and 
yet preserving themselves pure from much of their idolatrous worship and 
opinions; and this during the space of seven hundred years from the Pope's 

2. The state of the church when first a separation began to be made from 
the church of Rome, and the gospel to be preached, from the year 1100. 

3. The state of the church under the Reformation smce the times of 
Luther and Calvin, for these last hundred years. 

Into these three several states the church of God doth eminently fall 
divided, to the view of any that are skilled in ecclesiastic stories. And these 
three states are lively deciphered in this chaj^ter. 

1. The state of that confused company under Antichrist's first times, 
ver. 1-6. 

2. The church's first separation from the company of Antichrist, in three 
several degrees of it, ver. 6-1 4. 

3. The state of the Reformation since Calvin's time, ver. 14 to the end. 
First, The state of believers mingled among Antichrist's company, and 

not setting up churches distinct from those under him, though opposing the 
grossness of his idolatry, and keeping themselves pure from it. And these 
?.re set forth in characters suitable to that condition. They are a scattered 
company of a hundred and forty-four thousand, joining themselves to the 
Lamb Christ, having his Father's name written in their foreheads, — that is, 
professing the true God, in the sincere obedience and worship of him, — whilst 
the opposite company of Antichrist went ' wondering after the beast,' even a 
xoorld of them, as chap. xiii. 3, and received his mark, ver. 17. These are 
set forth by the same number of a hundred and forty-four thousand that the 
Christians in the east, under the Mohammedan bondage and darkness, are, 
who were the fifth and sixth trumpets, their state and condition being much 
alike in this, as they are a company of persons singly to be numbered and 
scattered ujj and down, here and there, as they were, in the midst of the 
corruptions of those eastern churches, under the darkness and oppression of 
^lohammedanism. So in like manner, these are a company of true believers 

Chap. Till.] an exiosition of the revelation. 77 

scattered up and down under the growing superstitions and increasing dark- 
ness of Poi)ish antichristianism ; which, until the year of Christ 1100, did 
increase more and more u|)on the world. Tliey stand upon Mount Sion, 
which was called the city of David ; as not yet having a tenij)lo, or instituted 
churches distinct from Antichrist, erected and built, as in David's time Mount 
Sion had not. And though they sung a ' new song,' — the truth of the gospel 
which themselves believed, — yet so confusedly and indistinctly, as none could 
hATTi it, or understand that they differed from them. It was a new song, 
differing from what the Papists taught about Christ ; yet they did not j^ro- 
pagate it to many ; there were few or none, it is said, that could learn it. 
And they are said to sing it secretly, before this representative chorus of the 
four beasts and the four-and-twenty elders, — as they are considered as a stand- 
ing company, that do view all the visions of this book, — but themselves were 
not cast into such an order of worship, they not having churches or officers 
to begin the song, as in other times you may observe that it is said, the four 
beasts began, and the four-and twenty elders sung that song. So that they 
had no distinct churches and assemblies, nor officers of their own who sung 
this song ; their voices being sometimes as the voice of many waters con- 
fusedly murmuring against the superstitions daily arising in those times, 
and thundering aloud. First, against setting up of images, anno 707, both 
in France and Germany ; and then, against transubstantiation : sometimes 
sweetly harping melodious strains of true devotion, which believers, and 
some writers of those times, as we in their writings find, were full of. Those 
kept themselves virgins from the gross idolatries of the whore, not defiling 
themselves with the rest of those women ; by which are meant the daughters 
(if the whore, — that is, those cities and kingdoms in which they lived, — which 
(as the daughters receiving themselves the fornications of Rome, the mother 
city) allured these also unto spiritual fornication with them. Thus during 
those times of gross idolatry, we read of those who professed their detestation 
of images, and that idol of transubstantiation. 

The second state of the church is, that of the separation which believers 
made from antichristian churches, having a new and a further light broke 
forth among them ; which we have described unto us by three degrees, rising 
higher and higher, presented under three several angels, from the 6th verse, 
and so on, according to the usual course of this book : the first of which flies 
in the midst of heaven, being to publish his message unto many nations, 
having the gospel to preach ; that is, Jesus Christ, and justification by him, 
and the true worship of him : which in those times was counted a new 
gospel; therefore in opposition to that made calumny, the Holy Ghost here 
calls it the everlasting gospel. And this began to be done about the year 

But because I mean to begin the Second Part of this my Exposition of this 
book with the story of the church's first separation from Popery, which here 
begins at the 6th verse of this chapter ; therefore I reserve the particular 
exposition thereof unto that Second Part in its due place, and break off this 
First Fait here, although in the middle of a chapter, yet at a right joint or 


PAPJ n. 






The main thing I aimed at, both in my first studying this book, and also in 
this my exposition of it, was to search into such passages therein as did con- 
cern and fall upon the last days, especially the present times of the church ; 
and to inquire and find out under which of these constellations our own 
times do fall, and what is certainly yet to come. Now, what hitherto hath 
been expounded by me I found, by the general consent of the best expo- 
sitors, though upon diverse grounds, to belong unto more ancient times, long 
since past. And hence it is that, in the exposition of those 6th, 8th, and 
9th chapters, I have been the less inquisitive, therein especially following Mr 
Mede, whose scheme and division also of this whole prophecy into the Seal- 
prophecy and Book-prophecy, and making the one to contain the fates of the 
empire and the other of the church, I ever accounted a happy notion for the 
understanding of this book, and have therefore enlarged it ; although, in the 
exposition of the 7th chapter, I altogether differ from him, as also in some 
few things else. Now, those parts of this prophecy which belong to more 
elderly times being thus briefly run over and despatched, I have now selected 
and singled out all that I find, both in the seal-prophecy and in this book- 
prophecy, to have an eye to these present times, or to those yet to come, 
and have cast them apart by themselves, as being those things in this book 
which it concerns us more especially to search into. And to the end that I 
might begin at a right joint, without mangling the whole, I have chosen to 
begin from that state and time of the church's separation from Popery, and of 
the Keformation, which this book-prophecy begins at, — namely, chap. xiv. 6, — 
and so to give upon this, but especially what concerns the present age, a larger 
exposition than upon the former I have done : having written that First Part, 

Treface.] an exposition of the revelation. 79 

especially that brief exposition of the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th chapters, but to 
make way for the understanding of that which now follows ; it being impos- 
sible for any man to be contirmed in the true interpretation of any part 
without some general insight into the whole. 

Now, in general, if you would know what belongs to these latter times in 
this prophecy : — • 

1. The seal-prophecy, from the Gth chapter to the 12th, running over all 
time from John's days unto the kingdom of Christ, and the passages thereof 
in the 10th and 11th chapters, (being the last under that first prophecy,) do 
therefore belong unto the last times, as hath been abundantly declared in 
that general scheme given in the First Part ; and, indeed, most of the things 
in the 11th chapter do belong to the times of the vials, chap, xvi., as will 
appear in the exposition of it. Then, again — 

2. At the beginning of the Gth verse, chap, xiv., in the book-prophecy, 
begins the great restoration of the gospel from under Popery, and so the 
story of the last days, which is continued along in such things as shall 
befiill the church unto the kingdom of Christ, which begins not until chap. 
XX. Hence, therefore, all these passages in those chapters mentioned out of 
both prophecies, being put together in their due place and order, do fitly fall 
in together, to make the story of the church complete, from the first separa- 
tion from Popery unto Christ's kingdom ; and do indeed take in all that in 
this book of the Revelation is spoken of these times : which, therefore, I call 
a Second Part of the exposition of this book. 

A particular scheme and division, presenting, in their due order and succes- 
sion, all the contents of those chapters ivhich do concern our times. 
Because the right ordering and ranking of the particular visions of this 
book in both prophecies in their due times, either of succession after each 
other, or their synchronising or falling out together at the same time, is the 
chief key of interpretation ; therefore, as I gave a more general scheme and 
division of this whole book at the first, to make way for the exposition 
thereof, so I will now premise a particular scheme of these chapters men- 
tioned, so to make way for the understanding of the exposition thereof also. 
First therefore I will set together the materials therein contained, accord- 
ing to that right and due order, either of synchronising each with other, or 
due succession after each other ; that is, shew what times the several visions of 
those chapters do belong unto ; which of them are, in order of time, before 
the other, and which fall out at the same time with other. The full proof of 
which method, and my so ordering them, I shall in part reserve to the larger 
exposition itself, which follows ; only now take it briefly, for the better 
clearing the exposition. 

Two representations of the church, from the separation to the New 
The church of Christ, from those times of separation unto the New Jeru- 
salem, is presented, either — 


I. In the various conditions wliich in itself it should run through, all the 
time until then, in several ages, both in respect of the progress of its separa- 
tion further and further off from Rome, and so of its increase of light, purity, 
and reformation ; as likewise in respect of persecutions and judgments upon 
it, and its restitution and deliverance again from under them. Or else — 

II. It is presented in one uniform, entire, and general condition, suiting 
with all those times of it, first and last, both as within itself it partakes of 
Like privileges all that time, and especially also in relation to the execution 
of plagues and punishments, poured out of the seven vials, on the enemy of 
the church, whom this true church is to be the instrument of raining. And 
both these ways the Holy Ghost hath been pleased to represent the story 
of it. 

The churcKs uniform and alike condition entirely set forth together 
in the 15th and 16th chapters. 

This same entire condition of it, during all this long time, as I take it, 
is set forth in the 15th and 16th chapters, 

1. In the 15 th chapter is set forth the common, uniform, and like state 
of the church all that while — 

(1.) As within itself, ver. 2-5. 

(2.) In the common and like description of the angels or powers out of 
the vials which come out of those churches, from ver. 6 to the end. Which 
representation of the church, and of these angels, all that whole time, is also 
made as the immediate sign, great and wonderful, or the forerunner, of the 
New Jerusalem, ver. 1, 2. There being after these vials, and this state of 
the church, a more glorious state of it to come ; which, ver. 5, is called the 
opening the temple of the tabernacle, (so called by way of distinction from 
the temple of the seven angels,) as wherein the ark, Christ himself, is to be 
seen, as chap. xi. 19 ; which, until the vials are all poured out, stands veiled, 
as the holy of holies did. And so this present state of the church, which is 
the temple out of which the seven angels come forth, ver. 6, holdeth but the 
proportion and allusion of the inward court of the priests unto the noly of 
holies in the Jewish temple, in comparison unto that other church or 
temple to come after this, as ver. 5 speaks. And so the erection of it is 
made the sign or immediate forerunner of this holy of holies, as ver. 1, 5, 
compared, do evidently shew. And then — 

2. In the 16th chapter, you have the execution and pouring out of these 
seven vials by the angels out of this church or inner temple, erected from the 
first separation from Antichrist, all along those times unto the New Jerusa- 
lem ; which, in their several orders and successions, are in one view exhibited 
in that 1 6th chapter. 

The various condition of the church scatteredly presented in three parts. 

Now, although this common, uniform condition of the church all this 
time is set thus, in relation to the execution of those vials on the enemies, 
in one entire view, in the 15th and 16th chapters ; yet that other various con- 

Pkkfau::.] an exposition of the revelation. 81 

<^liti()n (if the church, as in respect to its own particular and diverse state in 
all those times, the Holy Ghost was pleased variously, and in several places 
of this jirophccy, to describe and set forth, as best suiting to a special end 
and occasion, yet with such infallible characters of their times, of the vials 
they belong unto, and also unto what times of each vial, as cannot deceive us. 

Thus, the first part of the story of the various condition of the church 
during the four first vials is set forth, chap, xiv., from the 6th verse to the 
end ; at wliich 6th verse the separation of the true church from Antichrist 
beginning, there began also the first erection of true churches, or the temple, 
first made mention of in that chapter, when Waldus and his company first 
fell off fi'om Rome. And the reason why this was first done, ere the vision 
of the vials was presented, was because it was meet to shew how the temple 
was first built and reared, ere the seven angels and their vials poured forth 
out of this temple should be mentioned. And therefore chap. xiv. shews 
that first part of the church's story in all its first comings forth from Anti- 
christ, and laying the foundation of churches ; but then it breaks off at the 
times of the fourth vial, for that so far precedes the reformation of the true 
church, as it respected a separation from Antichrist, and so runs along with 
such vials as should by degrees first prepare for his ruin, as the three or four 
first vials do. 

But then the next state of the church, from the time of the fourth vial to 
the fifth vial, when Antichrist's time of forty-two months is to expire ; that 
the 11th chapter, which comes in as a chronology to shew the end and ex- 
piring of those times of Antichrist, doth supply the story of it, ver. 1-14. 
And this story comes in there, rather than here in chap, xiv., because that 
was to be as an immediate signal of Antichrist's downfall ; and so comes in 
most fitly there in that 11th chapter; that chapter being intended as an 
exact chronology or computation of the times of the beast's reign, to the end 
it might be discerned when his time should end : and so the immediate sign 
before it is therefore annexed, for the church's warning and comfort against 
the approaching of the time of his ending, and a fatal prevailing of Anti- 
christ over them just before. And so the story of that 11th chapter doth, in- 
deed begin where that 14th chapter endeth, or about the same time. And 
as the 14th chapter presented us with the story of the reformation of the 
church from Antichrist and his false church, and so what befell the church 
during that time , so the 1 1th chapter begins with a new reformation of the 
reformed churches among themselves, and what should befall them upon that 
reformation — namely, the killing the witnesses between the fourth vial and 
the fifth, or, at the utmost, before the sixth viaL 

And then the third part of the church's story, from after the fifth vial 
unto, the New Jerusalem, — which New Jerusalem begins chap. xx. of the 
book-prophecy, and chap. xi. 15 of the seal-prophecy, — the 19th chapter pre- 
sents us with in its due place : for the 17th and 18th chapters being, the 
one but an explanation who was the beast, and where his seat was, that so 
the church might be able to discern this Antichrist ; and the other being a 
funeral-song for the pouring out of the fifth vial, when the seat of the beast, 



-the whore, (tLe city described in the 17th chapter,) is ruined, when also Anti- 
christ's kingdom, as it is most probable, doth end : therefore fitly, after both 
these digressions, comes in, in its due order, the state of the church from the 
time of that fifth vial, or the ruin of the city, unto the New Jerusalem. And 
therefore the 19th chapter thus begins, 'And after these things, I heard the 
voice of an innumerable company,' <fec., — that is, after the ruin of the city 
and whore described in chap, xvii., and ruined, chap. xviiL, — and so goes 
on to describe the state of the church then until the New Jerusalem. 

Now to sum up all. As the story in the 14th chapter containeth the 
first reformation and separation of the church from Antichrist in several 
degrees, and the 11th chapter containeth a second reformation of the church 
within itself from profane mixture ; so this 19th chapter contains a third 
reformation personal, of the saints themselves in it, as then with might and 
main preparing and adorning themselves for the marriage of the Lamb, which 
then they shall evidently see approaching, now when the whore is cast off 
and burnt ; and there you may see them getting all the fine linen they can, — 
that is, of holiness and growth in grace, ' the righteousness of the saints,' — 
that so their Lord and Husband might greatly delight in their beauty, as you 
may see, ver. 7, 8. And this is the true general coherence and order of what 
yet ren^ins to be interpreted. 

The particular synchronism of the several visions and contents of all those 
chapters : and, first, of the \ith chapter, from ver. 6, with the loth and 
IQth, to its 8th verse. 

Now because, according to this division and general scheme given, the 
visions of the 15th and 16th chapters, namely, those of the vials, do run 
along the same whole course of time through diverse ages that the visions 
of the 14th chapter, from ver. 6, and also of the 11th chapter, to ver. 15, 
and of the 19th chapter also, do, (though the one in a uniform continued 
way, the other in a scattered successive representation of the church's 
condition, aU along the same tract of time through many ages ;) therefore it 
will be expedient to shew which of these several parts of these two repre- 
sentations do synchronise and fall out together in the same age, and which of 
them do succeed each other. 

I win therefore a little more particularly set together the several parts of 
these stories ; both of that of the seven vials, which are put together, chap. 
XV., xvi., and those other several pieces and scattered passages of those 
other chapters, in aU their due tim^s as they fell out together. 

1. That same temple filled with smoke, chap. xv. 8, out of which come 
the seven angels, I conceive to have been begun to be set up in the times of 
the first separation from Antichrist, chap. xiv. 6. When also the everlasting 
gospel was begun distinctly to be preached, both by Waldus and his follow- 
ers, who did erect true churches unto Christ, (as the history of the Waldenses 
shews,) when those harpers on the glassy sea, chap, xv., began more dis- 
tinctly to sing the song of ]\Ioses and the Lamb ; that is, the doctrine both of 
the law and gospel, which the hundred and forty-four thousand, in the darker 

Preface.] an exposition of tue revelation. 83 

times of Popery, had but muttered, and that so confusedly as none could 
learn it. For this, compare chap. xiv. C, 7, with chap. xv. 3, 4. So that 
the doctrine of the gosjjel, and the erection of the temple out of which the 
vials do come, and the separation from Popery, do all begin together. 

2. This erection of the temple, and preparation being thus made by the 
first angel, chap. xiv. 6, the first vial out of that temple, chap. xvi. 1, 2, 
began with the voice of the second angel, chap. xiv. 8. So that the first 
angel, chap. xiv. 6, sets up the temple, and the second angel brings forth 
the first vial. And therefore, accordingly, the voice of that angel, chap. xiv. 
8, is, ' Babylon is fallen, Babylon is fallen ; ' that is, now is the first founda- 
tion of her ruin laid, (as in opening the vials I shall afterward shew,) or, now 
do those vials begin which shall be her ruin. 

The second vial, chap. xvi. 3, follows with the voice or cry of the third 
angel's preaching, chap, xiv, 9, then when the sea of Antichrist's doctrine 
was both proved and pronounced damnable by Luther's doctrine, and the 
waters which the whore sat on fell from her ; that is, those kingdoms and 
commonwealths which had subjected themselves unto her. For this, com- 
pare the year of Luther's preaching, recorded chap. xiv. 9-11, and that 
second vial, chap. xvi. 

The third vial, chap, xvi. 4, hath been pouring out since that harvest 
began, chap. xiv. 14, since the snmnier weather and settled peace of the 
reformed churches, meant by rivers and fountains, as in the opening the 
meaning of that vial will appear. 

The fourth vial, chap. xvi. 8, I take it, began about the time of the vint- 
age, chap. xiv. 18, whereof this to me is an infallible character, that an 
angel who had power over fire is said to excite unto it. Now, chap. xvi. 8, 
the fourth angel, who poured out this fourth vial, is said to have ' power 
given him to scorch men with fire.' And so that description, chap. xiv. 18, 
is of the same angel, to shew that these two (the fourth vial and this vint- 
age) fall in the same times : and so it is evidently evinced that the 14th 
chapter, and the times of it, reach but to the fourth vial. 

The synclwonism of the vision of the 1 1 th chapter, in the age between the 
fourth and fifth vial; and of the 17 th and 18th chapters, with the times 
of the fifth vial; and of the 19 th, ivith the age after the fifth vial unto 
the New Jerusalem. 
Come we next to the 11th chapter : — 

Which, first, under the seal-prophecy, begins (now about the times of 
the fourth vial) before the expiration of the world's monarchy. Antichrist's 
times, and the church's oppression, and before the seventh trumpet, which 
blows, ver. 15. And it begins with the representing the temple of the re- 
formation, the same which the 14th chapter had represented, (out of which 
the angel, with his sickle for the harvest, did come, chap. xiv. 15,) in 
which these reformers, who erected that temple in the 14th chapter, having 
committed this error, to lay an outward court unto it, — John there bearing 
the persons of the godly of this age, — are bidden to measure that temple 


anew, as not fully conformed to the pattern, and to cast out the outward 
court. And so it contains a further reformation of the temple in that lith 
chapter erected. And as in the vintage, chap, xiv., the Popish Gentiles had, 
as was said, trod down the grapes in Germany; so here, chap. xi. 1, the Uke 
outward court in other churches elsewhere is given unto these Gentiles to 
tread down, and so with that exploit to end their date of treading down 
the holy city for forty-two months, (or 1260 years.) with this their re-entry, 
which shall be their last upon the churches of the Reformation. And so you 
see the 11th chapter begins where the 14th chapter ends. 

Then, secondly, ver. 5, 6 of that chapter, in the description of the wit- 
nesses, you furthermore expressly have the first four vials briefly summed up ; 
and no more of them than the first four mentioned therein, to shew that these 
witnesses, in these latter times of their prophecy, are the same with those 
angels that pour out the vials, chap. xvi. And observe, that that mention of 
them comes in but by way of parenthesis in this speech of the angel unto 
John, that he might discern who they were, and know them again in this 
new book-prophecy ; and all to this end, to shew what after these four vials, 
or from the time of the fourth and before the fifth, should befall them in the 
expiring of the 1260 years allotted them to prophesy in, in sackcloth, or in a 
mourning condition; which now should end with the beast's reign also, 
which ends with the fifth vial. And so, ver. 7, when they shall be about to 
finish their testimony, — that is, just now, at the ending of their prophecy, — 
they that formerly have had the power to execute four such vials on the 
beast's company already, must now, before they do fatally darken and over- 
come his kingdom by the fifth vial, be themselves once more overcome by the 
beast. Which kilHng of them, being thus mentioned after four of the vials, 
summed up, ver. 5, 6, and in the end of their prophecy, and in the very ex- 
piring of their time of mourning, must needs therefore be from after, or upon 
the time of the fourth vial, and before the fifth, or at furthest with the sixth. 
And then, ver. 13, the witnesses, they rise, and the tenth part of the city 
falls, which some have interpreted to be the fifth vial, the ruin of the city of 
Eome. But of that hereafter in the exposition. 

After that, ver. 14, the second woe passeth away, which notes the re- 
moving of the Turkish power and t}Tanny, — which was the second woe, or 
sixth trumpet, spoken of chap. ix. 12, 13, — which is all one with the sixth 
vial, chap, x^i., the drying up the river Euphrates, or the preparation 
unto it ; as in the exposition wUl appear. 

Then foUows the seventh trimipet, chap. xi. 15 to the end; at which time 
the seventh vial begins, as is evident by comparing chap. xi. 9 and chap, 
xvi. 18-21, as also chap. x. 7, in that it is said in one place that 'time shall 
be no longer ' than until the seventh trumpet blows, and in the other, ' It 
is done,' says the voice, when the seventh vial is poured out, chap. xvi. 17. 

And, lastly, as under the seventh trumpet comes in the holy of holies, 
which, as was said, is the opening the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven, 
in which the ark is seen, chap. xi. 18; so you may read, chap. xv. 5, that 
after the vials, (he says there, fura raZra, ' after these things,') this temple of 

Peeface.] an exposition of the revelation, 85 

tlie 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 which 
was begun to be erected, — for else they had no true churches, — from the first 
separation, but polluted with the adjoining of the outward court by the re- 
formers. But under the times of the fourth vial, this temple is measured 
and purged, and that court cast out, chap. xi. 1, now ending in the holy of 
holies succeeding it. 

But whereas still what should befall the church from the time of the 
rising of the witnesses, — which falleth out about the fifth vial, — is not ex- 
pressed in that 11th chapter, nor what should be the church's condition from 
that space between the fifth vial and the seventh trumpet and holy of 
holies; but we are still to seek that, for the 11th chapter does setly describe 
only what befell the church just before the expiring of the reign of Antichrist, 
as a signal added for the church's warning: therefore this part the 19th 
chapter supplies, — the 17th and 18th chapters being but a larger explication 
of the fifth vial, as all agree, namely, the ruin of the city, — the first verse 
of which begins thus, * After these things, I saw an innumerable company in 
heaven, praising God for the downfall of the whore,' (at large set forth chap, 
xvii., xviii.,) and therefore it must needs set forth the state of the church 
now after the fifth vial until the seventh, as in the exposition will appear. 
Acid then that great battle at the Lamb's marriage-supper, which follows in 
that chapter, how that agrees with the seventh vial, let any one judge that 
shall read chap xvi. from the 14th verse to the end, and chap. xix. from the 
11th verse to the end. And then come in the thousand years, and New 
Jerusalem, chap. xx.-xxii, which ia all one with the holy of holiea. 



The \Zth chapter explained, from the 6th verse to the end. 

"Now liaving ordered and cast these chapters, remaining to be expounded, 
into this mould, I begin this exposition here, where the story of the church's 
first separation from Antichrist doth indeed begin, where also I brake off the 
First Part of this exposition. 

In which my ranking of these chapters was shewed, that as the 13th 
chapter does throughout set forth the condition of the false antichristian 
church, and the several sorts of that company which shall cleave to the beast, 
so that this 14th chapter does in like manner set forth the company of true 
believers, which shall apart by themselves cleave unto the Lamb, and that 
in those several conditions which they are to run through. As — 

1. The condition of the church in the dark times of Popery, fi'om his 
first rising until the gospel's light did break forth more clearly, and a separa- 
tion was made from the church of Antichrist. And this, as I have opened 
it, you have from the 1st verse unto the 6th. Or — 

2. The condition of the church from that first separation from Popery, 
and believers erecting churches and assemblies by themselves, from ver. 6 to 
the end. Which now begins to be expounded. 

And the scojje of the Holy Ghost in this remainder of chap. xiv. is but to 
shew by what degrees the gospel should first break forth, and how churches 
should at first be erected and a glorious reformation made. And so it reach- 
eth no further than till the times of that prevailing again of the beast, which 
after this great reformation he should a second time obtain to have over these 
churches, about the times of the fourth vial, which is executed by the angel 
that hath power over fire, who is mentioned ver. 18. Which prevailing of 
his, the 11th chapter (the scope whereof is to shew how the beast's reign is 
to end) does more fully shew forth. 

Now when as the Holy Ghost had in this 14th chapter given the story of 
that first separation and reformation, as being sufficient to shew the founda- 
tion and progress of this new temple and true church, erected in opposition 
to the false, he then breaks off, and presents the general and common condi- 
tion and station of believers in this new erected temple, separate from the 
church of the beast and from its doctrine and worship, and shews the judg- 
ments to be executed upon the false church all that whUe, until the king- 
dom of Christ, entirely together in one view, in the 15th and 16th chapters. 

Now this state and condition of the church, as first breaking forth from 
under Antichrist, and so coming out of Babylon and Egypt, laid forth in 
this 14th chapter, imtH Antichrist's second prevailing, spoken of chap, xi., 
hath two parts : — 

1, Their first separation, in the dark and elder times of the gospel, before 
the Preformation. 'fe 

2. The Reformation itself, made by Calvin and others. 

Chap. I.] an exposition of the revelation. 87 

1. The first separation, made and continued in the elder times before 
Luther, hath three degrees of it orderly set forth, as light increased in the 
church, from ver. 6 to 14. 

2. The Reformation itself, from the 14th verse to the end. 
First, Of that first separation : — ; 

It hath three degrees, as was said, set forth by three angels, as by whose 
ministry all the great things done in the church and world throughout this 
book are still said to be effected, who in their voice and cry rise higher and 
higher, and louder and louder, against Antichrist and his company. 

The first angel, who lays the foundation of all, is said to have the * ever- 
lasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every 
nation, and tongue, and people,' and so to ' fly into the midst of heaven,' as 
reaching his voice to all. And he also calls upon men to fear and worship 
God alone, who made heaven and earth, ver. 7. So that the matter of his 
preaching is the gospel, which brings to light the free grace of God in Christ 
for the justification of a sinner, and also the true worship of this God alone ; 
withdrawing men from idolatry and false worship of saints and angels, which 
the world was then overwhelmed with : which because in those times it was 
called the Neiu Gospel, therefore, in opposition to that calumny, the Holy 
Ghost calls it the JEverlasting Gospel, which was now restored and brought 
to light. And by the preaching of these two things to all nations, was the 
foundation of that whole separation from the Pope that followed first laid. 

Now this first angel's preaching doth most lively set forth the first pro- 
ceedings of Waldus and his followers, who first began to make separation 
from Popish doctrine and worship. This Waldus, an alderman of Lyons in 
France, about the year of Christ 1100, being converted by occasion of the 
sudden death of a friend of his, as they were walking abroad together, — which 
mightily terrified and amazed him, God using that as a means to humble 
him and bring him to Christ, — fell a-preaching in that city, and converted 
many others to the saving knowledge of Christ. And he being a man learned 
also, as even Popish writers say of him, opened the Scriptures, and turned 
them into the vulgar French. And he and his followers, thinking it their 
duty to preach this gospel unto others, as did the apostles, they forthwith 
sent abroad some of their company a-preaching. Which when it came to 
the ears of the Pope, they were prohibited, as being laymen. But they, 
affirming it was better to obey God than men, and it being an article of 
their faith, unicuique licere verhum Dei lihere prcedicare, — that it was lawful 
for any man to preach the gospel, — they went on in the course they had 
begun, though they were persecuted for it. And look, as in the primitive 
times, when persecution arose after the death of Stephen, and that the 
church of Jerusalem was dispersed, it was an occasion of further spreading 
the gospel unto other nations : so Waldus, being himself excommunicated, 
came into Picardy, and so into the Low Countries, and there, by his preach- 
ing, made many disciples, and then went into Germany, and last of all into 
Bohemia; and his followers were dispersed into Savoy, Lombardy, and the 
countries on this side the Alps; and Arnoldus, his companion, went into 
Spain. Insomuch that Poplinerius the historian gives this testimony of 
them, that these Waldenses, maugre the power of all Christian princes, about 
the year 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. Of these things you may read at large in the English History 
of the Waldenses, and in Bishop Ussher's book. Be Successione EcclesicB. 
Thus you see they preached, as here; yea, it was their profession; and they 


preached to all nations, and tlie doctrine they preached was only the goispel, 
and to call men from idolatry to ■worship God aright, (as you may read at 
large in those books mentioned,) as the angel is here said to do, ver. 7. 

Ver. 8. — But in an age or two following, their number increasing in all 
kingdoms, and their light growing more clear, there follows out of this com- 
pany a second angel, who with open mouth proclaims that Rome was 
Babylon, and the Pope that beast, and that Antichrist, in this Revelation 
described, and ordained to ruin. Which thing Waldus did at the first but 
begin to mutter ; for in one more ancient breviary of the articles of their 
opinions, (as you have them in that forenamed book, De Successione Eccle- 
sice, cap. vi., n. 16,) this is the first, concerning the church of Rome, in these 
modest words only, Romanu^n Prcesulem reliqiiis pare7ri esse episcopis, — that 
the Pope of Rome was but equal to all other bishops. But afterwards in 
the following ages, their followers grew more bold ; and in another edition 
of their articles, in the same chapter, n. 17, you find this, Romanam ecdesium 
esse meretvicem Bahylonicavi, — that the church of Rome was the whore of 
Babylon, Which thing the professors in those next ages did inculcate, and 
insist on, and made it the eminent article of their profession and confession. 
But this was especially done by Wicklifi" and his followers, beginning about 
the year 1371, in England; and after him by John Huss, and Jerome of 
Prague, and their followers, anno 1400. 

But then follows a third angel, more vehement than the rest, — and that 
was Luther and his followers, — and he proceeds further, and says, that not 
only Rome is Babylon, but that aU those who cleave unto her doctrine 
and superstitions 'shall drink of the wrath of God for ever;' that is, be 
certainly damned, and go to hell. He shewing that her worship and doc- 
trine, the image of the beast, was a damned doctrine, and laying open the 
falsehoods and errors of it so manifestly, that now under so clear a light of 
the gospel as this age held forth, it could never stand with salvation to live 
therein. And so he urged a separation from Rome under pain of damnation. 
The voice of this angel is from ver. 9 to ver. 12. 

Then follows an intimation, once for all, of those martyrdoms and bloody 
persecutions of all those three angels and their followers, as the effect of 
this their preaching, and as a trial of the truth of their doctrine, and their 
own sincerity. So, ver. 12,13, 'Here is the patience of the saints;' that 
is, here comes in matter for the trial of it. And for their encouragement, 
there is a comfortable acclamation subjoined, ' Blessed are those that die in 
the Lord.' Now how, upon the preaching of all those angels, persecutions 
were raised, — which from the times of the heathenish and Arian persecutions, 
for the space of eight hundred years past before, in the dark times of Popery, 
the church was free from, — and there followed the martyrdoms of the fol- 
lowers of Waldus, Wickliff, Huss, and Luther, and of those that embraced 
their doctrine, especially upon and after this third angel's preaching ; tliis 
the Book of Martyrs will infoi-m you. 

In the second place comes the time of the Reformation, after Luther ; the 
state of which is presented to us under a double vision : the one of a harvest, 
the other of a vintage, which useth to come after harvest. 

The first betokens that glorious peace and sunshine of the gospel which 
followed after those persecutions in Germany, England, &c., for sixty years 
and upwards, and this from ver. 14 to ver. 17. By a harvest, in Scripture, is 
meant the conversion and gathering in of the elect by the preaching of the 
gospel. So in the Old Testament, Isaiah prophesying of the conversion of 
the Jews in Egypt and Assyria, chap, xxvii. 12, 13, he useth this expression. 

Chap. 1.1 an exposition of the rkvelation. 89 

that God would thresh or * beat off,' all along from the river Euphrates unto 
Egypt, those his elect people, that, as corn, should grow upon the shores 
thereof; and that he would thresh so clean, that they should be gathered 
'one by one ;' not leaving one grain of election behind, nor one ear of com 
standing uurcaped. It is an allusion to a harvest, and having in of corn, 
and threshing it. Like unto which is that speech of Christ, when he sent 
out his disciples : * Lo, the regions are white, and ripe for the harvest,' and 
'the harvest is great.' Which he spake when there were multitudes of 
people ripe and ready to receive the gospel. And since the preaching of the 
gospel by the third angel, what multitudes of such hungry souls have there 
been in these kingdoms 1 And what a glorious time of summer and harvest 
have we had 1 And this preaching of the gospel, that hath reaped this com, 
hath been authorised by the chief magistrates, and by kingly power, even 
whole kingdoms professing it. And therefore he who in this vision hath the 
sickle given him to reap is presented 'crowned with a golden crown ;' which, 
according to the analogy 'udth the other contents of this book, chap. xii. 5, 
is when Jesus Christ, the Son of man, is visibly set in the throne, ruKng by 
Christian magistrates, they using their power for him ; as when the emperors 
turned Christians, you find the like expression used, chap. x. 

The other vision is of a vintage, from ver. 17 to the end; which, as a 
vintage comes after harvest, so this falls out in the end of this summer, and 
after the harvest of the Reformation, and so shuts up the story of it. Wherein 
God, after he hath had in his corn, falls upon the grapes, the wild grapes, 
and cuts them down ; but with another manner of sickle than he had done 
his own corn. He had reaped them with a sickle of conversion, but these 
he cuts down with the ' sharp sickle ' — twice so called — of vengeance ; and 
therefore, it is said that they are ' cast into the wine-press of God's wrath.' 
And these grapes are those carnal Protestants and professors of religion, who, 
together with the elect, have enjoyed the heat of this fair long summer, and 
hung like to grapes in the sun, but retaining their sourness, have been ripened 
indeed, but only for wrath and vengeance. And lo, how this sharp sickle 
hath gone up and down in Germany for well-nigh these twenty years, being 
such a wine-press of fierce wrath, and such a treading down to an overflow- 
ing of blood and misery, as hath scarce been paralleled in any age ! For it 
is the vengeance of the temple, not so much destroyed, as defiled and dis- 
honoured by their mixture ; which as much provokes God unto wrath as 
the persecution of his temple would have done. And therefore, the angel 
that is the executioner of it is provoked unto it by the cries of an angel that 
comes from the altar, as one who is zealous of God's worship, and disdains as 
much that the temple and altar (the ordinances of worship) should be pes- 
tered and defiled with such as call themselves the church, saying, ' We are 
the temple of God,' and so cause God's name to be blasphemed, as that the 
idolatrous Papists, whom this book calls the Gentiles, chap. xi. 1, should 
tread down this holy city and sanctuary. For even these are no better than 
GentUes also, who ' say they are Jews, but are not.' 

And that this vengeance should be meant of this execution of it upon the 
Protestant party seems evident unto me by this, that the wine-press is said 
to be * trodden without the city ;' that is, without the jurisdiction or reach 
of the power of the city of Rome, — for so that word city, according to the 
style of this book, doth stUl import, as chap. xi. 8, chap. xvi. 19, &c., — and so 
is on purpose added to shew that it befalls even such kingdoms and places 
as had cast off the Pope's supremacy. And it appears also by this, that it is 
mentioned apart from the vials which follow, which are all the judgments 


that fall upon the Popish and Turkish enemies of the church ; but this upon 
a third sort of enemies within the church itself And although it be true, 
that so far as there hath befallen, through these German wars, a plague upon 
the Pojiish party in Germany, (as upon the emperor, and those Popish princes 
under him,) so far indeed as upon them, it is to be reduced to one of the 
vials, which do contain all the last plagues on the Popish party, and particu- 
larly comes under the fourth vial ; yet so far as these wars have brought 
miseries and desolation on the Protestant party, so far in that respect it is 
presented in this vintage. And therefure you may observe, that the angel, 
who it is said hath ' power over fire,' — whb is indeed the angel of the fourth 
vial, as the angel of the third is called the ' angel of the waters,' — because 
he hath ' power to scorch men with fire,' chap. xvi. 8, that angel it is that 
incites and provokes this angel here, with the ' sharp sickle, to cut down and 
tread these grapes.' So that this vintage is a distinct execution from that of 
the fourth vial, and yet contemporaneous w^th it. In a word, these wars, so 
far as they hurt the Popish party, are the fourth vial ; and so far as they 
hurt the Protestant party, they are the vintage here meant. 

That horses are mentioned as treaders of this wine-press most fitly carries 
it to these German wars ; the German horses being the most approved war- 
horses in Europe, and these wars having been chiefly maintained and acted 
by them. And then also this allusion of grapes trodden in a wine-press was 
as suitable to express the miseries befaUen those countries ; which are famous 
for vines and vintages, as the Palatinate and other places in Germany are. 
And for the like reason the judgments upon Edom and Bozrah are expressed 
by a vintage, Isa. Ixiii. 1, because it was a country famous for vines. And 
then again, haply the space of 1600 furlongs here mentioned, which some 
make more miles, some less, may, for the length, be found as fitly to agree 
unto the chief seat of these wars and wine-press ; which, take the length of 
the Protestant part of Germany trodden down, and here only intended, may 
not every way extend much further. But the computation and measuring of 
this I leave unto others. 

And whether or no God will bring this wine-press into any other of his 
vineyards, as England, Scotland, &c., and by bloody wars tread down the 
grapes there, as he hath done in Germany, keeping still to the same propor- 
tion of 1 600 furlongs, as our Brightmau reckons the length of England to 
be, and fulfilling it over and over in other several Protestant kingdoms and 
dominions. He only knows who is the Lord both of this harvest and vint- 
age. Only this may be more confidently aflSirmed, that the rest of those 
carnal Protestants in England and other places, who. Like the outward court, 
have been laid and joined to the people of God, shall yet, before the expira- 
tion and ending of the beast's kingdom and number, be more or less given 
up to the Papists, and to the jurisdiction of the city of Rome, and be trod- 
den down, and made to veil to them, if not all of them by bloody wars and 
conquests, yet by some base and unworthy yielding to them, as a just pun- 
ishment of their carnal profession of the gospel And this in England, we 
eee, they begin to do ; and this, I take it, chap. xi. 1 doth foretell and pro- 
phesy of. Which chapter being intended to give a signal or forerunner of 
the beast's ruin, and the expiration of his 1260 years and period of his king- 
dom, which now is approaching, doth present the state of the church, and 
what shall befall it, not long before his ruin ; and so withal that face of the 
church just before is presented there, chap, xi 1. And the setting down 
what should befall it, ver. 7-14, must necessarily belong to these times, and 
80 is to be subjoined unto this 14th chapter, (though it comes in there as a 

Chap. I.] ak exposition of the uevelation. 91 

common signal of the ending of both prophecies, and therefore between both,) 
to make the story of the church complete. 

And this I shall hancUe nnd make to appear when I have first opened the 
meaning of the vials, especially of the four first of them : which though for 
order's sake are, by the Holy Ghost, put (as in this book things of a sort use 
to be) with the rest after this 14th chapter, yet they have been a-pouring 
forth upon the beast and his company from that first preaching of the gospel 
until now, as will further appear. And the reason why I would open these 
four first vials, ere I open the 11th chapter, is, because they synchronise with 
this 14th chapter; and because four vials are mentioned as poured out, 
chap, xi., ere the witnesses are slain, which cannot be understood till these 
be first explained. 



The exposition of the 15th chajiter. 

The Holy Ghost having thus first of all shewn how the reformation from 
Popery was to be brought about and churches erected, he here beginneth to 
set before us the uniform state of believers 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, from the first 
separation from Popery until Christ's kingdom. Concerning which, in gene- 
ral, I shall premise three things. 

First, The difference between their condition here and the condition of the 
churches under the dark times of Popery, as is uniformly described chap, 
xiv. 1-6. And observe this difference in these four particulars : — 

1. Those, chap, xiv., were virgins, but not separate; but these here stand 
alone in a temple by themselves, washing themselves from the defilement of 
Popery, as being separated therefrom. 

2. Those sung a new song confusedly ; but these sing the song ot Moses and 
the Lamb — that is, the law and the gospel — distinctly. 

3. Those there stood naked upon the hill of Sion, as it was ere a temple 
was reared upon it ; but these here are gathered into a temple, and roofed 
over their heads. 

4. Those sung their song in Egypt ; but these are come out of Egypt, and 
so sing Moses's song. 

The second thing to be premised is, that these seven angels and their vials, 
and this company here, are in the general description of them, or in that 
preface to their description prefixed, ver. 1, called ' a sign, great and marvel- 
lous,' and ' another sign.' 

1. It is called a sign. A sign is always a forerunner of something to 
come. Now, what it is that is here pointed at as to come, ver. 5 tells us ; 
namely, that ' after these things,' — that is, after these vials, — ' the temple of 
the tabernacle of the testimony was opened in heaven.' So then, these vials, 
they are the sign of that glorious holy of holies which John saw was to come 
after them ; or they arc the sign of the JN^ew Jerusalem, — for by that ' temi)le 
of the tabernacle of the testimony ' is that state meant, — and also of Christ's 
coming ; and so they are that ' sign of the Son of man ' spoken of Matt. 
xxiv. And these plagues do here go before him, as m like manner the pro- 
phets use to describe his progress with plagues and pestilence before him. 
And therefore, if you observe it, just when the last vial approacheth, chap, 
xvi. 15, then warnmg is given, 'Behold, I come as a thief,' &c. 

2. It is called another sign : for that sign, chap, sii., was the sign of the 
devil's being thrown down in heathenism ; but this, of the devil's throwing 
down out of Popery, and Christ's coming to set up his kingdom. So that 
we of this age do indeed stand in the midst of the times of these vials, and 

Chap. II.] an I'.xrosixioN of the rkvklatiux. 9.3 

so may see how much of Christ's train is gone before, and what is to come 
hereafter, himself being to come in the rear of all. 

The third thing to be premised and observed ia, that they are called the 
* last plagues.' 

Christ had three sorts of enemies to subdue, by three several sorts of 
plagues : — 

1. Satan and his false worship, together with the heathenish empire ; 
which he despatched by the six seals, chap. vL 

2. The Roman empire ; which he ruined by the six trumpets. 

3. The Pope in the west, and the Turk in the east, who succeeded in the 
place of the Roman (both eastern and western) empire ; and for these he hath 
prepared seven vials. And because these are the last enemies, therefore 
these vials are called the last plagues. 

Thus nuich in general ; now more particularly to descend to the several 
contents of this chapter. 

There are two things which are more eminently presented to our view in 
this 15th chapter : — 

First, The church or company of believers standing in the temple, de- 
scribed ver. 2-5, and ver. 8. 

Secondly, The angels, who are executioners of the viaLs out of that temple, 
described ver. 6-8. 

First, For the company from among whom the angels come : — 

1. They have a temple over their heads, as ver. 8, ' continually filled with 
smoke ; ' as at the first dedication of Moses's tabernacle, Exod. xl. 34, 35 ; 
and at the dedication of Solomon's temple, which was a larger edition of 
that which Moses had given the pattern of, 1 Kings viii. 16. To shew that 
during the vials there should be new erections, and editions, and reforma- 
tions of the temple ; unto all which God still gives the testimony of his pre- 
sence. As — 

(1.) When that first separation from Popery was made, and true churches 
were set up by the Waldenses, and smoke filled their temples. 

(2.) In the Reformation made by Luther and Calvin there was a farther 
edition of the temple, and smoke did afresh fill it also. 

(3.) In the 11th chapter, ver. 1, you will meet with another reformation, 
and casting avray the outward court ; and smoke will afresh fill those new- 
measured temples also : God still giving new testimonies of his presence, as 
new editions of purer churches do come forth. 

2. Their station in this temple is upon a sea of glass ; which, as you 
heard out of the 4th chapter, was an allusion to that brazen sea in which the 
priests washed themselves : to shew that this company of beUevers, from out 
of which the vials do come, should be such as should stiU more and more 
purify themselves afresh in their several ages from those defilements of doc- 
trine and worship which Antichrist had brought into the church. And they, 
in their several successions, discovering new and further defilements, are 
therefore still presented as coming forth fresh and anew out of the sea of 
glass ; and accordingly are presented standing upon the brim, as being new 
come out from wasliing themselves, and so growing purer and purer, until 
they become a bride fiilly prepared for their Lord and King. 

3. They are also presented as victors and conquerors, — for such, through 
pouring forth these vials, they do become, — and in the end shall fully prevail 
over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number 
of his name ; which are several degrees of Popery and antichristianism, 
whereof some are more gross and some more refined. All which they m like 


manner do by degrees, in their several successions, go on to discover and to 
overcome ; until by that time that these vials are aU poured out, they have got 
a fuU and perfect conquest over all. And therefore, in this general description, 
they are set forth as those that had such a full conquest ; for that, take them 
first and last, they shall have a perfect and complete victory over aU these. 
The meaning is not, as Mr Brightman understands it, that this company had 
first got a complete victory over aU these before the vials began ; but this is 
spoken of the whole company and succession of them first and last conjunc- 
tively, the intendment being to give a general description of them, and to 
set down what they should do and accomplish by that time their whole time 
is expired, and to shew how, by that time they shall have poured out their 
vials, they shall obtain the victory. Thus, in like manner of speech, it is 
said, ver. 1, that ' in them is filled up,' or fulfilled, ' the wrath of God ; ' ex- 
pleta est ira Dei. Which is spoken as if it were already accomplished and 
fulfilled ; but the meaning is, that by that time they are all emptied, the 
wrath of God v/illbe thoroughly exercised and fulfilled through them and by 
them. And so doth this here note out, not a full victory before the vials, 
but a complete victory in and through the pouring out of these vials; and 
that this company, ere the time of the vials is fully expired, obtains it. For 
the vials are themselves the means by which they do overcome ; and for each 
degree of which victory they sing a triumphant song. 

4. These ' sing the song of Moses :' for the former of the vials are allusions 
to the plagues of Egypt; and by that time that the fifth vial comes they will 
have drowned the Egyptians in the Red Sea, and so will sing that song, 
Exod. XV. And after that they will sing the song of the Lamb, even hia 
marriage-song, as in the 19th chapter, (which comes in after the funeral- 
song of the city of Rome, or the fifth vial in chap, xviii.,) ver. 6, 7, 'Let us 
be glad and rejoice, for the marriage of the Lamb is come;' that is, is 
approaching. Or this song may refer to the doctrine of the gospel, which 
now began to be taught among them more clearly ; for Moses's song, 
Deut. xxxii., was doctrinal; and so in the Old Testament it was ordinary to 
utter matters of doctrine in songs. And thus in this book the doctrine of 
the church is still expressed, and is called a song. And so whereas, during 
the dark times of Popery, they sung as it were a new song, differing from 
Popish doctrine, yet so confusedly that none could learn it, as chap. xiv. 3 : 
now they have the everlasting gospel to preach, as chap. xiv. 6, and they 
sing Moses's song and the Lamb's distinctly ; they preach the law and the 
gospel clearly and rightly, and make manifest his hnatu^iiara, which we 
translate judgments, but signifies his justiUcations (as Rom. viii. 4) of poor 
sinners made manifest, as ver. 4. The doctrine of justification by Christ being 
eminently revealed and made known in the time of these vials, and the 
works of redemption most clearly manifested. 

And, moreover, these do also set up Christ, both in himself and in his re- 
lations to his church; as calling him — 

1. The Lord Almighty ; 2. King of Saints ; 3. The only Holy One. And 


\. As the only ruler and lord of his church ; 2. And king that must give 
laws unto it ; 3. As the fountain of all grace and holiness : in a word, as a 
God only to be believed in and worshipped, as being only and alone holy. 
They magnify nor saints, nor temples, nor the Pope; no, nor any creature 
whatsoever. For so, Jer. x. 7, the like speech is uttered in opposition to all 
false gods ; and therefore, say they, ' Who will not fear thee ? ' or worship 
thee, and that according to thine own ways prescribed in thy word, and not 

Chap. II.] an exposition of the revelation. 05 

according to men's inventions. ' Just, and true, and righteous are thy ways,' 
that is part of their song, and all superstitions and human inventions in 
worship are false. So says David, ' I hate every evil way, but thy law do I 
love,' as being only true and righteous, Ps. cxix. — Thus much for their song. 

Second/i/, The description of these angels, and their preparations to pour 
out their vials, you have from ver. G of tliis 15th chapter to the end, as you 
have the execution and pouring out of their vials in the 1 6th chapter. 

The angels are described as ' clothed in white,' as priests, and ' girt with a 
golden girdle' of alacrity, strength, sincerity, and truth ; for in Scripture men 
are said to be girt with all these. And ' one of the four beasts' — that is, of the 
officers of the churches, whose mouths in praying the officers still are — is said 
to ' give these vials unto these angels,' in that theirs and the church's prayers 
do fill up these vials in their several successions. And the plagues they 
execute are said to be in vials, both because the prayers of the saints do fill 
up the wrath poured out, — for, chap, v., the vials are interpreted the prayers 
of the saints, — and also in allusion to the expression in the Old Testament, 
where God's wrath is described by a cup or vial in the hand of the Lord j as 
often in the Psalms you have it. And Rome's sin being expressed by * a cup 
of abomination in her hands,' her plagues are therefore fitly expressed by 
vials and cups of wrath, irresistibly poured out upon their heads from 
heaven. And they are said to be ' filled with the wrath of God, that liveth 
for ever and ever,' for that these plagues are spiritual as well as corporal, as 
I shall shew, and are but the beginnings of an everlasting wrath, as that 
fire from heaven upon the Sodomites is said to be ' an everlasting fire,' and so 
called by Jude. 

Again, these vials are said to come * out of the temple / that is, out of the 
church or churches then erected. Which because it follows the mention of 
the ' opening the temple of the tabernacle in heaven,' therefore some have 
mistaken it, as if these angels had come out of the ' temple of the testimony,' 
mentioned ver. 5 : whereas that temple there is, by way of distinction, called 
the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony, even the holy of holies ; and 
the opening of that temple, not spoken in relation unto the angels coming 
out, as opening upon their coming forth, but for the discovery of the ark, 
as you have it interpreted under the seventh trumpet, chap. xi. 19, in allusion 
to the holy of holies, which was kept veiled. Now, by that 11th chapter, 
it evidently appears that the vials are poured out before the opening of this 
tabernacle of the testimony in heaven. For, ver. 5, 6, you read of four 
vials before the killing of the witnesses ; and the fifth vial is after their 
rising ; and the passing away of the second woe is the sixth vial ; and then 
the seventh vial and the seventh trumpet are all one, as hath been often- 
times shewed ; and then comes the tabernacle of the testimony, or holy of 
holies, to be opened, and the ark to be discovered and seen in it, ver. 19 of 
that chapter. And in like manner here also, the opening of this tabernacle 
is said to be fi,sTa. Taura, after these things, — that is, after these vials, — which 
is a phrase in this book always noting out things in a several succession 
performed, and a diff'ering vision, as chap. iv. 1, and chap. vii. 9 ; and the 
mention of it comes in here only to shew the event of these vials. The 
temple therefore that these angels come out of is at the purest but the 
temple of priests ; and yet ' filled with smoke from the glory and power of 
God,' it betokening his special, glorious, and powerful presence in and with 
the church during the time of the vials, which the smoke that filled the 
temple at the dedication was a sign of. And this smoke here implies, and 
is the sign of, three things : — 


1. Of God's presence in these churches ; so, Isa. iv. 5, under the allusion 
to the smoke in the temple, God's presence in his assemblies under the 
New Testament is there spoken of. And here it is interpreted the glory of 
the Lord : for so it follows, ' the temple was filled with smoke from the glory 
of the Lord ;' that is, his glorious presence, which, Isa. vi. 1, is said to fill the 

2. Of God's defence and protection of his church ; and therefore it is here 
also added, ' and from the power of the Lord.' So that none can enter in 
to hurt them within the temjjle. And thus also, Isa. iv. 5, the smoke is 
interpreted ' a defence ;' and, ver. 6, there is said to be ' a covert and a refuge 
from the storm,' &c. 

3. Of offence also to their enemies. So in the 18th Psalm, smoke is made 
a sign of God's anger and wrath ; ' a smoke ascended in his anger.' And 
so, whereas it is said, that ' no man was able to enter into the temple,' one 
probable meaning of that expression, to me, is, that whereas God poured 
forth upon the enemies of his church vials of wrath, and these plagues were 
rained abroad upon them, — against which this temple, as was said, was the 
only refuge and covert, men stUl using to fly unto the temple, and to the 
horns of the altar, as being their sanctuary, — God in his just judgment 
hardeneth, and so keepeth those his enemies of the Popish party from 
joining themselves to this his temple ; so that they, through the obdurate- 
ness of their hearts, of which you may still read in the vials, are not able 
to enter into it, and so perish, and are destroyed by these plagues. And 
whereas it is said, ' they entered not in till the seven plagues were ful- 
filled,' the meaning is, that they never entered ; as, Gen. viii. 7, and Psalm 
cxii. 8, and Acts iii. 21,* until is put for never. 

* Perhaps more apposite passages than any of these V/ulc' be Psalm ex. 1, and Matt. 
L 25.— Ed. 

Chap. III.] an exposition of the uevelation. 97 


TJie exposition of the \(jth chapter. — A division of the vials. — The two last 

bnefly to?iched. 

The execution of these two last vials doth follow the five first, from ver. 1 to 
ver. 12; and they are vials upon the beast, the Pope, and his adherents; God 
by degrees plaguing them as he did the Egyptians, until the fifth falling 
eminently upon the seat of the beast, Rome itself, his kingdom be so darkened 
and despoiled of its gloiy and power, that although the beast may remain, 
for Jesus Christ himself, at his coming under the seventh vial, to have the 
last blow at him, and the full glory of the conquest, yet so weakened and 
darkened as that I believe the period of his power to do (as the word is in the 
original, chap. xiii. 5) for forty-two months, or 1260 years, is there set, and 
the date of his lease expired. 

Now for the sixth and seventh vials : because they are further off to come, 
and that the seventh vial, and the preparation unto it, from ver. 13, belongs 
to the kingdom of Christ, as being the immediate maldng way thereunto, 
therefore I will but briefly touch upon these, and despatch them first. The 
five first, especially the fourth and fifth, being those that concern these times, 
and which chiefly serve for the opening the 11th chapter, I shall treat more 
largely upon. 

Now the sixth vial is upon the great river Euphrates ; that is, the Turk, 
whom the sixth trumpet left standing in the east. And he is compared 
to the great river, (which is the epithet given to the river Euphrates in 
the Old Testament,) as the Assyrian monarch and his army are called in 
Isa. viii. 7 ; and to the river Euphrates, for his first seat was, as you heard 
out of chap. ix. 14, upon that river. Now this river is to be dried up for 
the kings of the east, the Jews, to possess their own land, according to that 
prophecy of their last conversion, Isa. xi. 13, 14, compared with the 15th 
and 1 Gth verses of the sam_e chapter. 

The seventh vial is general, upon the air, the whole power of Satan all the 
world over. The relics both of Turk and Pope, and of all the church's 
enemies throughout the world, as ver. 14, mustering up all their forces 
against the Christians in the west, and the Jews in the east, are to be over- 
thrown by Jesus Christ himself and his armies ; as you may read more at 
large in the 19th chapter, from the 11th verse to the end, that being an ex- 
plication of this vial, the last upon the world, as the 1 8th chapter is of the 
fifth vial, the most eminent upon the beast. 

Section I. 

Seven things premised for the undei'standing the five first vials, which are upon 

the beast and his company. 

Now for these five first vials upon the beast, Antichrist, and his adherents; 
I shall premise these things for the true understanding of tliem : — 
VOL. III. a 


First, That for the times of them, they, as was said, began with the times 
of the first separation from Rome, recorded chap. xiv. 6, and so do indeed 
contain all those steps and degrees of ruining Anticlirist, first and last, from 
the first time of the church's attempting to come forth out, and separating 
from this Egypt. And therefore the three first vials are an allusion, as you 
shall see in the next jireniise, unto those plagues which Moses and Aaron, in 
bringing Israel out of Egypt, executed upon the Egyptians ; and so do refer 
to the times of the church's separation and first reformation. It appears 
also from the thing itself; for how can we think that all those discoveries 
of the Avhore's nakedness, and the falling off of these kingdoms from her — 
although they for a time should begin to court her again — should not be 
reckoned among the vials, they having been well-nigh as great plagues as are 
like yet to befaU her, except that her last ruin 1 

And it appears likewise from this, that in the vintage of the 14th chapter, 
we find, as was observed, mention made of the angel of the fourth vial. 
Therefore the times afore that vintage must belong unto those three vials 
which preceded this fourth. And for the time of the beginning of them, 
whether at the harvest, or the voices of those angels that made the separa- 
tion, the Holy Ghost hath not left us without some character whereby we 
may discern it, in the story of that 15th chapter, where the song which the 
church sings, when the vials do begin, is, as you may see it there, ' Who 
shall not fear thee, Lord, and glorify thy name ? for all nations shall 
come and worship before thee ; for thy judgments are made manifest,' &c. 
Of which this is one meaning, — though there is another, — that the plagues 
of these vials now beginning, the judgments of God are made manifest. 
Now see what the voice of the first angel is, he who began the first separa- 
tion from Antichrist, and first preached the gospel to every nation, chap 
xiv. 6, 7. His message unto all nations is, ' Fear God, and give glory to 
him; for the hour of his judgments is come: and worship him who hath 
made heaven and earth.' That angel did but begin to give warning to Anti- 
christ and his company of the vials that approached. But then observe the 
voice of the second angel, and you will find that the first vial did begin as 
the effect of these two angels' preaching. Tor this second not only calls 
Ptome Babylon, and discovers the Pope to be Antichrist, but says, ' Babylon 
is fallen, is fallen ;' that is, the foundation of her ruin is laid. Now here began 
the first vial, even in this discovery of him to be Antichrist, whom before 
that the superstitious world did never so much as suspect. 

And whereas it is said, ' Babylon is fallen,' the Scripture speaks of a thing 
as done when the foundation of it is laid. So the western empire is reckoned 
as taken away then when the wars of the Goths began, and when the first 
of the ten kingdoms was broken off from the empire, anno 410 ; as was before 
said in the exposition of the 13th chapter. And the Pope is from that time 
reckoned to rise with his ten horns, though it was forty years after ere all 
the ten kingdoms were fully erected ; yea, and seventy years after ere the 
power of the western empire was wlioUy extinct. Thus in the like manner, 
Isa. xxi., the prophet says of old Babylon, ' She is fallen,' he prophesying at 
the very time when the Medes first revolted from that monarchy, and began 
to set up a kingdom of their own, which afterward was to destroy Babylon, 
being also enabled thereto by that revolt. Now so is it here : when the first 
open and professed revolt from Home, as from a second Babylon, was made 
by our predecessors, then was the foundation of her fall laid ; then, says the 
angel, ' Babylon is fallen ;' and so there begins the first vial, for the viala 
are the means of ruining of it. 


A second thing to be premised is, That these vials are expressed in an 
allusion unto the plagues executed in Egypt by Moses and Aaron ; of which 
the first were not so great, but they ended in the drowning of those Egyp- 
tians in the Red Sea, even as these do in the utter ruining of the seat of 

The first is i;pon the earth, and the efi"ect of it a noisome and grievous 
sore on the men who have the mark of the beast ; in allusion to that plague 
of throwing dust in the air by Moses, which caused a botch on man and 
beast then in Egypt. 

The second on the sea, and the waters thereof. 

The third on the rivers and fountains, turning all their waters into blood. 
All this is a manifest allusion unto that turning the Egyptian rivers, &c., 
into blood by Moses. 

The fourth is upon the sun, and tormenteth men with fire. Which may 
be an allusion to the punishment of Sodom. For so in the 11th chapter, 
where these four first vials are enumerated, ver. 5, 6, the antichristian state 
is called Egypt or Sodom. Or rather it alludes to Moses's consuming by 
fire that company that ofi"ered up strange fire in the wilderness, when they 
were come out of Egypt. 

A third thing to be premised is, That as in the trumpets the Holy Ghost 
compared the empire to a world, so here in the vials he useth the same com- 
parison, comparing the kingdom of the beast, and the several parts of it to 
be plagued, unto several parts of the world. And as the four first trumpets 
were so many degrees of mining the western empire, so are these vials of 
ruining the beast's world or ompire. The first trumpet was on the earth, 
the second on the sea, the third on the rivers, and the fourth on the suii. 
And whereas it was there shewed, that in Scripture any kingdom or body is 
usually compared to a w'orld, which hath an earth and heavens, die, wherein 
what is lowest is the earth, and what is highest is the heavens, the sun and 
stars, &c. ; so in that empire then, and now in this antichristian kingdom 
here, the parts of it are compared to an earth, sun, sea, rivers, &c. 

Fourth premise. And as I observed in the 13th chapter, that the Pope 
and his company were resembled by a double beast, one representing the 
political state of these ten kingdoms, which made up one body under him as 
a head ; and the other the spiritual state of his church and clergy, as they 
call it, which make up a distinct body under him as their high priest and 
spiritual head : so, answerably, this his earth, and rivers, and sun, which are 
the parts of these his kingdoms, may, according to the analogy of this repre- 
sentation, be interpreted in a double sense ; either his spiritual earth, sea, &c., 
or his political earth, sea, &c. 

Fifth premise. Seeing that in the 11th chapter, ver. 8, his kingdom is 
called spiritual Egypt and Sodom, and this in relation to these very plagues 
of the vials, which are enumerated there, ver. 5, 6 : ' The city,' says he, 
' which is spiritually called Egypt and Sodom ;' and that is more than merely 
or aUegorically such, it importing that this his kingdom is a spiritual Egypt 
and a spiritual Sodom ; — and it is a state, we know, that claimeth spiritual 
jurisdiction in spiritual things, and over the souls of men, as chap, xviii. 
13 hath it, and not only or principally in things outward and political, 
but in oi^dine ad spiritualia, in order to things spiritual : now therefore the 
plagues (and so these vials, they being the plagues upon this Egypt and 
Sodom) upon this city, must needs be understood of spiritual plagues, upon 
the souls and spirits of Antichrist's adherents, as well as outward. For they 
must be answerable to the Egypt upon which they are plagues ; yea, and 


seeing that it is both a spiritual state, and yet withal a temporal kingdom 
also for outward power and pomp, having an earth, sea, &c., as other worldly 
kingdoms have; therefore they shall have double plagues, spiritual and out- 
ward also, on their spirits and also on their outward worldly kingdom. 
Even thus it became the righteous God, as in relation to these plagues he is 
called, chap. xvi. 5, to proportion their plagues to their sins, and so to 
* double unto her double according to her works,' as the phrase is, chap, 
xviii. 6. For him to ruin this beast and his adherents but outwardly only, 
as he hath done other monarchies, was not enough ; for he sinned, not only 
in assuming outward power, pomp, and glory, and a kingdom like to other 
monarchies, under the name and pretence of having Christ's power, but a 
spiritual kingdom also. The merchandise of this city was not only gold and 
precious stones, &c., chap, xviii. 12, but likewise the souls of men too, as it 
is there. She traded in spirituals as well as temporals ; and therefore the 
highest spiritual judgments, as well as temporal, shall beMl that state, and 
the abettors of it. And as the plagues of Pharaoh and his Egyptians were 
spiritual, in the hardening of their hearts, as well as temporal ; so such a 
spiritual hardness and impenitency is made mention of in some of these vials, 
as well as outward plagues. And therefore they are also said, chap. xv. 7, 
to be ' the wrath of God that liveth for ever,' an eternal wrath seizing upon 
the souls of them on whom they are poured. And such are these four first 
vials, and so to be understood both of spiritual and temporal plagues. 

I mention the four first especially, because there where this city is called 
spiritually Egypt, these four are enumerated ; namely, chap. xi. 5, 6. And as 
it is evident that these vials are in that 11th chapter to be understood spi- 
ritually, so it is as evident that the same vials, as here in chap. xvi. they are 
made mention of, are to be understood of outward plagues, and so meant of 

Sixthly, For the right understanding these vials, I premise. That though 
there be a first, second, and third vial in order succeeding each other, and 
which in a successive order begin after each other, and have some special 
precise time for their eminent pouring out and execution ; yet so as some 
sprinklings of the first may continue still under the second, third, and fourth, 
and some relics of the second under the third, fourth, &c., and so of the 
rest. And this seems evident to me, in that their soi'es begun under the first 
vial are made mention of under the fifth vial, ver. 11 of that chapter. And 
so in like manner the same effect, namely, blaspheming, which is a part of 
the fourth vial, and an efi'ect of it, is also continued in a further height imder 
the fifth. And so again, on the contrary, it may fall out that some droppings 
of a succeeding vial may begin in the times of the vial foregoing it, and go 
before, as the droppings of storms do, before their strength and fulness 
comes; and so may these, before the extremity of pouring forth the vial 
itself. As for example, during the times of tbe fourth vial some droppings 
of the fifth may begin, and some preparations to it, though still the fulness 
of that and every other vial hath a special time in its due order succeeding. 

The seventh and last thing to be premised is, That all the plagues on the 
Popish party, first and last, are reducible to one of these vials. For, chap. 
XV. 1, they are said to be 'the last plagues, in which the wrath of God is 
fulfilled' upon that party ; and so every drop and sprinkhng of wrath and 
vexation poured out goes to fill up some vial or other, as a part of it. 


Section II. 

A particular and more large explication of the five first vials on the least 
and his company. 

Now for a more particular explication of them : — 

The first vial is piinciiially upon the beast's earth, the lowest part of his 
kmgdom ; and this, accordhig to that rule given, both spiritual and political. 
Now this vial was the effect of those first and second angels' preachings, 
chap, xiv., especially of that second angel there. For the preaching of the 
gospel, and the discovery of the Pope to be that Antichrist, did draw away 
many of his inferior subjects, and of tlie common people in all kingdoms, 
namely, the ten European kingdoms, whicli are his earth political. And so 
his authority and interest in the hearts of the people all Europe through was 
weakened, and the number of the worshippers of the beast lessened. So as 
all the world did not now, without contradiction, go after him as they had 
wont. And there was an effect of this vial also upon his spiritual earth ; 
which his clergy were. For the Waldenses and their ft^llowers, by their 
preaching in those ages, discovering the uncleanness, idleness, and hypocrisy 
of the priests, monks, and nuns, who were the beast's enchanters, they did. 
as it were, cast up dust in their faces, as Moses did ; and so they brake out 
in botches, and became odious to all the people. So speaks the vial, ver. 2, 
* There fell a noisome and grievous sore vipon the men that had the mark oi 
the beast.' Now they are properly his clergy, who, being exempted from 
the civil power, are more peculiarly his subjects and sworn vassals ; and, 
indeed, by ordination do receive from him a character indelible — (for this, 
see the exposition upon chap, xiii.) — who are also called the worshippers of 
his image, they being the upholders of his idolatrous doctrine. And, accord- 
ingly, we find in story that all those first gospellers before Luther made it 
the chiefest subject and end of their writings and disputes, to render odious 
and vile the pharisaical Popish clergy, as in the Book of Martyrs abundantly 

Neither was this judgment merely outward, as only bringing shame through 
such an outward discovery of their hateful and abominable iniquities, which 
was also the beginning of their ruin, for it made way for it in aU men's 
hearts; but further, it is most certain, that the effect of the light of the 
gospel, which in their preaching was discovered, proved really a curse unto 
this Popish clergy, in order to this their breaking forth in filthiness and 
botches : in that for this their not embracing it, but shutting their eyes 
against it, God gave them up, by way of a curse, unto all manner of gross 
sins, of uncleanness, sodomy, &c., so as after this to commit them with more 
greediness than before this j^reaching of the gospel ; even as he did the 
Gentiles, Rom. i. : because ' they withheld the truth in unrighteousness, 
therefore he gave them up the more unto vile affections.' So these, after 
the first light of the gospel began to dawn, they daily brake out into botches 
and boils more than ever they did before. And thus this vial was a spiritual 
judgment upon them, as well as an outward, in discovering their sores unto 
their shame. And this is the first degree of their spiritual judgment under 
the first vial. 

The second vial is upon the sea. And this is the fruit and effect of the 
third angel's preaching, naiuely, Luther and his followers ; who as in their 
doctrine they were raised up to a greater light, comparatively to the former, 
so the fruit of their doctrme was a further plague, both upon the political 


and spiritual sea of the beast. The sea, in a kingdom or body politic, is put 
for jurisdiction over many people, as was shewed in the second trumpet, 
chap. viii. ; and so here the sea of the beast are those many kingdoms, and 
peoples, and nations, and tongues, which she sits upon, as you may see it 
expounded, chap. 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 ; and some of the ten horns 
of the beast wrung off, so becoming like as members when divided from the 
body, and, as the similitude is, ver. 3, to express that division, as ' the blood 
of a dead man.' And every living thing died in those seas divided from 
him ; in that now those of the Popish faction could not, through the altera- 
tion of religion by law. Live in their idolatrous worship, so quietly, safely, 
and peaceably as before. There was no free living or breathing for them in 
these se^jarated kingdoms. 

And in like manner his spiritual sea also had a vial poured upon it, even 
his abominable doctrine and worship ; as the doctrine of purgatory, indul- 
gences, merit, &c., in which, as in the sea, his merchants — namely, his priests 
— had brought in gain, both to themselves and to the Pope's custom-house, 
as the expression is, chap, xviii. 17. 

This sea of the beast's doctrine is turned into blood, and does, like the 
blood of a dead man, begin to putrefy and stink ; yea, and, which is a further 
plague, to be damnable. Insomuch that those who, after so clear a light of 
the gospel now discovered, will still continue in that doctrine, die and perish 
eternally. And so in that sense also it is true which is said, ver. 3, that 
' every living thing died in the sea.' And see how this agrees with the 
preaching of the third angel, chap. xiv. 9, 10 ; he preaching, that not only 
that Ptome was Babylon, as the former was, but that ' if any one did worship 
the beast or his image, the same should drink of the wine of God's wrath.' 
And by that wrath is meant hell : for it follows, ' the smoke of their torments 
ascends up for ever and ever ;' that is, now they shall be sure to be all 
damned who know the truth but embrace it not. And this was a further 
sphitual punishment upon them, above what their doctrine was unto them 
in former times, wherein through ignorance men remaining, many more of 
them were saved than now there are. 

The third vial is upon the rivers ayid fountains ; that is, those who serve 
to enlarge or any way recover that his sea again, or to sweeten it. They 
are therefore called rivers, because as rivers run from the sea into the sea 
again, so do these. 

I shall now explicate both the rivers and fountains severally. 

First, For hi's, fountains ; they are the lesser springs; and those — 

1. The spiritual ones. "When the Egyptian waters were turned into blood, 
we read that they digged fountains and wells ; and that they also were 
turned into blood by Moses. So here, they, when their sea is become bloody, 
dig fountains to live in. Which fountains are their writings and writers 
since the Keformation, that with learning and eloquence would labour 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 as still those among them that shall read the one and the other, cannot 
but so be convinced, that if they persist still in their doctrine they will be 
damned, as the curse is, 2 Thess. ii. 11, 12. 

2. Their fountains temporal and political also. Such we may account those 
politic agents, the Jesuits, and others that have, in aU these separated king- 

Chap. III.] an exposition of the revelation. 103 

doms, attempted to restore this his lost power and jurisdiction. And the 
lesser springs, namely, particular persons, have many of them been turned 
to blood, whilst laws enacted against them (in England, 1581 ; in Holland, 
1586 ; in France, 1584 ; and again in England 1G05) cut off many of them, 
and gave them blood to drink, many of them being martyred ; insomuch 
that tlioy have a martyrology, or book of martyrs, even as we have. Thus 
they have had a just reward, as the angel from the altar cries, ver. 7 ] that 
is, true worshippers in churches, who through their prayers had procured 
these edicts, and therefore do now return the praise unto God's justice, in 
retaliating to them and upon them. That phrase, ' from the altar,' notes not 
out martyrdom, as some think, neither here nor chap. xiv. 18, — but this 
phrase, ' the souls under the altar,' is that which importoth martyrdom, as 
chap. vi. — but altar is here put to signify worship ; and so, the angel out 
from the altar, or place of vorship, is put to signify those public worshippers 
and priests of God that stand at the altar, or in public assemblies, and give 
thanks for these judgments upon all occasions. Their acclamation is, that 
as they had dealt by us, so now themselves were dealt with ; and, indeed, 
just in the same manner : for they had singled out particular persons, and put 
them to death by bloody laws established; and these kingdoms, being fallen 
off, have enacted the like, and put them to death in the like public manner."* 

In the second place, this third vied is upon his rivers also, and greater 
streams, namely, those armadoes and navies from out the sea of those king- 
doms that continue stUl to uphold the beast, and endeavour to lay all king- 
doms into this one sea again. As the Spaniards, both against England in 
'88, and against Holland often since, sent out to regain Rome's jurisdiction ; 
who yet have stdl been defeated. And unto this head may be reduced the 
defeatment of that late navy, 1639, sent forth to the same end, as a sprink- 
luig of this vial — though now be the times of the fourth vial — still going on, 
according to the rule given in the sixth premise. 

The fourth vial is upon the sun; and to the angel that is executor of it, 
there is ' power given to scorch men with fire.' The effect whereof is their 
blasphemy. This vial seemeth to me to have two distinct parts : — 1. The 
effusion of this vial upon the sun. 2. The scorching with fire those that 
adhere to the beast. And according to my former general rules, I do inter- 
pret it both of outward and of spiritual plagues, and both of them falling 
on the Popish party; and so the former [lart of the vial to import an out- 
ward plague, and the latter a spiritual punishment. Now — 

1. For the vial upon the sun. The sun here, according to the third 
premise or rule given, may be put for 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. And this must be either the emperor, or the 
king of Spain, or, as it may be, both ; they both being of the same family 
of Austria. 

The issue of these German wars, when the Popish party shall once have 
had blood enough given them to drink, shall be either the ruin of the one or 
the other, or both ; and if not of them both, then of the Austrian family in 
Germany, as Mr Mede first well conjectured; though it may be the hint of 
his conjecture might have been taken from what was Mr Parker's opinion of 
this vial long before ; who interpreted this sun to be some Protestant prince 
in Germany, who should first have a part of this vial poured upon him by 

* It cau scarcely be necessary to point out that the author's manifest approbation of 
persecution and persecuting ordinances, is a blot that, originally derived from Rome, 
long attached to the Reformed churches. — Ed. 


the Popisli party ; but loeing thereby provoked, and afterwards raised again, 
should, like the sun, scorch them with his heat, and so only the latter part 
of this vial should fall on them. Thus Mr Parker, anno 1616, did first 
interpret this vial, long before these German wars. But I do much rather 
incline to Mr Mede's opinion, because these vials are wholly peculiar to the 
beast and his company, and to those professed enemies of the church who 
adhere unto him. And so this first part of the vial upon the sun cannot 
be understood of any Protestant, but of those that do adhere to the beast, 
even as well as the latter part of it, ' scorching them with fire.' 

Now if this sun be one of these two, either the king of Spain or the empe- 
ror, I rather take the latter : for the king of Spain, though now the greater 
light in the present horoscope, and so would, rather of the two, seem to be 
this sun ; yet considering those more elderly and former times, the empire 
of Germany hath, for this 800 years, been the eminentest principality in 
Europe, and hath upheld the Pope the most, and in those times done more 
that way than any other king, though indeed some of the emperors opposed 
the Pope. Now God, in bringing punishments on kings and kingdoms, 
reckoneth with them for what their predecessors in state have done, and 
respecteth former times as much if not more than present. And besides, 
this German empire was peculiarly of the Pope's creation, being by him set 
up in the first foundation of it in Charlemain ; even as God is said to set up 
' the sun in his firmament, the work of his hands,' Psalm xix. So the Pope 
may be said to have set up this sun in his. And so the ruin of the emperor 
is more peculiarly a punishment, respecting the papal seat and authority, 
than the ruin of any other prince, he having so pecuhar an interest in him, 
as in his eldest son and chief begotten. 

This vial Mr IMede thought to have been in execution in that great pre- 
vailing of the king of Sweden against the emperor, whose death diverted 
many men's thoughts from that interpretation. But surely, though he pro- 
ceeded not to throw down that sun from his heaven, yet those glorious vic- 
tories of his, and quelling of the Popish party, may weU be accounted in 
itself a vial, although it should proceed no further, and such a darkening of 
this sun as he will never more recover his ancient glory and splendour. And 
that king did lay such a foundation of weakening his power as may end in 
the utter ruin of that family in the issue of these wars. Others have inter- 
preted this vial to be upon the Pope's o^\ti temporal and spiritual authority, 
which is his sun or chief glory; for so sun in the Old Testament, and the 
darkening of it, is put for glory, and the obscuring of it ; as Isa. Ix. 20, Jer. 
XV. 9. And so that power and authority which the Pope once had in tem- 
porals is here to be understood ; he so eminently and conspicuously shining 
over princes in their temporal power, that, as their own decretals speak, 
they used to call the Pope and the emperor the two great luminaries in 
heaven, the sun and the moon, entitling the Pope the sun and the emperor the 
moon. But how hath this his glory, in the consciences of his own vassals, 
and in the eyes of those princes who sometimes were subject to him, waned 
more and more ; which now at last may haply grow yet more dim ? The 
whole kingdom of France ever denied him that absolute temporal power he 
once challenged. And in these latter times, how is the king of Spain 
rather become the sun, and the Pope the moon, who is glad to beg light 
from him, and to flatter other princes, to be by them upheld, who once flat- 
tered him, and whom he excommunicated at his pleasure 1 So that the 
Pope indeed is but the chaplain to the king of Spain, whom he makes use 

Chap. HI.] an exposition of tuk kkvklation. 105 

of for the acquiring of a universal monarchy. But which of these, or 
whether both of these, are here meant, the event must judge. And thus 
much for tlie first part of this vial. Now — 

2. For that otlier part which follows, ' and power was given him to 
scorcli men with fire.' Tliis hath been much mistaken ; as if because the 
sun useth to scorch with heat, therefore that power were here given to this 
sun to scorch with fire, and so it should refer to the sun's heat. Whereas, 
I take it, it is mentioned as a distinct j)ower given to this fourth angel ; that 
as he hath power to pour out a vial on the Po[)e's sun, be it taken as political 
or otherwise, so also that he hath a further power given him to scorch all 
those with fire that shall continue to advance the Pojie in these his declining 
times. Which, as I take it, doth, according to the rule given, properly refer 
to a further and greater height of spiritual punishments — and so this latter 
part makes up the spiritual plague, as the former did the political and out- 
ward plagiie — inflicted upon the upholders of the beast in the times of this 
vial ; even upon the learned among them, especially those who now take 
pains to write for him, or to bring in his authority into these European king- 
doms again, where the light of the gospel shines so clearly and perspicuously 
as they cannot but long since have been convinced of it ; their sea being 
turned into blood, and discovered to be corrupt, and their writings (their 
springs) so clearly refuted and turned to blood also, that those that live in 
those kingdoms, and still labour to bring in Popery again, cannot but mani- 
festly go against their own light and knowledge. 

Now, to punish this so presumptuous and high rebellion against so much 
light still shining, and age after age increasing, the angel (or the executioners 
of this vial) hath power to ' scorch them with fire.' And this is manifestly 
interpreted, chap, xi., where the Holy Ghost, speaking of this vial, says, 
ver. 5, ' I will give power to my two witnesses,' — who are all one vdth these 
angels, — ' and if any man will hurt them, fire shall proceed out of their 
mouths, and devour their enemies ; and if any will hurt them, he must in 
this manner be killed.' The punishment there recited is spiritual, as all the 
rest there mentioned are ; for they do execute it as Avitnesses by prophesy- 
ing, and therefore this fire is said to come out of their mouths. And those 
other plagues, (as their stopping the rain, &c., ver. 6,) must needs be so un- 
derstood, namely, in a spiritual allusion. And so this of devouring with fire 
notes out the highest kind of punishment that men are capable of, as being 
killed with a witness ; ' in this manner must they be killed.' And it is also 
there made the punishment of a wilful sinning of men, even of those that set 
their wills against God, and these his witnesses. For so the emphasis is put, 
' if any man ivill hurt them ;' and it is twice said, as maldng them go wholly 
and fully against knowledge, and so to sin wilfuUy. 

Now both this here and that in chap. xi. do seem to be an allusion either 
to the fire of Sodom, the city being called spiritually Sodom, which, Jude 7, 
is called ' the vengeance of the eternal fire,' because that fire that came down 
from heaven upon the Sodomites was but a beginning of hell unto them, and 
a type of it unto us ; or else, to which I rather incline, it is an allusion unto 
that fire that came out of Moses's mouth, namely, at his prayer, unto Nadab 
and Abihu, for offering strange fire unto God, Lev. x. 1,2, and upon Korah's 
company. Num. xvi., when they said, ' All the people are holy.' Which, 
Heb. x. 27, 28, is brought in as the type to express their punishment who 
sin wilfully after the knowledge of the truth, and so sin against the Holy 
Ghost : ver. 26, 'If we sin wilfully, after we have received the knowledge of 


the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful 
looking for of judgment,' (i-/.'6o^ri TtPi'a-co:,') or receiving judgment in their own 
consciences, which he there calls ' fiery indignation, that shall devour the ad- 
versaries,' uTTsvair/ouc, underhand adversaries, (so the word is,) as that company 
was unto Moses, pretending to be for God and his people. ' All the people 
are holy,' say they, and so themselves were. And that unto this ' fiery in- 
dignation ' that fell on that company, the Apostle's allusion there was, — who 
in that epistle openeth many types, — as making it a type of the torment and 
punishment of such kind of wilful sinners under the New Testament, is evi- 
dent by what follows in the next verse, ' He that despised Moses's law died 
without mercy under two or three witnesses ; then of how much sorer pun- 
ishment shall he be thought worthy,' &c. Now, bring but Paul's exposition 
of that type there unto this allusion that is used both in chap. xi. and also 
here, and it helps fully to expound this part of this vial, as I shall shew when 
I come to open the 11th chapter, ver. 5, unto which I must refer you for the 
full exposition of it. 

As Paul there calls this sin a sinning wilfully, so, chap, xi., their sin is 
expressed twice by the malice of the will. And that it is this sin, or at least 
a high kind of presumptuous sinning against knowledge, accompanied with 
terror, that is here meant in this vial, chap. xvi. 8, 9, appears fin-ther also 
by the effect here mentioned, — namely, their ' blaspheming the name of God, 
who hath power over these plagues.' Now, blaspheming the Holy Ghost, 
or the woi'kings of him in others, knowing they are his works, — as here these 
do blaspheme God, knowing they are his plagues, — this is the very spirit of 
this sin. And then final impenitency is here also added as the effect of it ; 
that they ' repented not.' So that it is presumptuous sinning at least that 
is here meant. 

And you may further observe, that this plague goes on in the fifth vial ; 
and this sin agiiuist knowledge grows up to a further height under that vial, 
for there they are so 'scorched that they gnaw their tongues,' as men in heU. 
And that in these times (the times of the fourth vial) this sin against the 
Holy Ghost grows very rife and common, by reason of the abundance of 
light and conviction that shineth in churches, hath long been the observation 
of godly men who have had senses exercised to discern the spirits of men 
growing in rage and madness, beyond the supposal of any other principle 
that should act them in their warped and eccentric motion and violent pro- 
ceedings. And surely, how that many of the learned among the Jesuits 
themselves should come to commit this sin is not hard to conceive ; for, in 
their younger years, they are bred up in ways of devotion, and have truth 
and light enough among them to give them a ' taste of the powers of the 
world to come,' who yet, after their studying our writings and discerning the 
truth, do, for worldly ends, wilfully go against it ; and being once engaged in 
those ends they fall to despise the truth, and are given up unto a wilful 
sinning of this great sin, through a just hand of God upon them, they being 
ordained to grow worse and worse as their light increaseth, even as it became 
God under these vials to punish them. 

And so, as that first small and weaker light under the first vial being re- 
jected, their punishment was a giving of them up unto gross sins ; and then, 
further, undur the second and third vials, their doctrine having been, by a 
clearer discovery, made to the persisters in it damnable; nothing was now 
left, they yet persisting, and God being engaged to rise higher in his plagues, 
but that God should strike hell-fire into their consciences, and seal up repro- 
bation unto them. And thus it became him not to leave these opposers and 

Chap. III.] an exposition of tue hevelation. 107 

murderers of the saints and holy witnesses of God in all ages till ho had 
given many of them up to this sin, of all other the highest, so to make full 
the measure of their iniquities, before that kingdom and state be finally 
mined; as he did the Pharisees in that last age, when he meant to bring on 
them all their forefathers' killing his prophets in Jerusalem, giving them up 
unto this sin, as the effect of Christ's ministry, as this here of the witnesses' 

But, above all, how those that apostatise and become of the Popish party, 
having lived and been brought up in ' a land of uprightness,' as it is Isa. 
xxvi., and yet ' will not behold the majesty of the Lord ' shining round about 
them, but relinquish the truth they are 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, — towards the latter end of the harvest, 
and summer growing more bright than ever, — who yet in hypocrisy deny this 
to be their aim, and yet their deeds do so manifest it that all the world 
accounts them Popish, and to be of his faction, and so they merit the title of 
the number of his name, being spirits such as Rome hath not worse in malice 
and enmity against God's witnesses : how a man's thoughts, I say, should 
excuse many of these as innocent, from presumptuous sins at least, yea, and 
this great transgression also, is as hard not to think it as the thing itself is 
hard to be thought of them. For their venom, rage, subtlety, hypocrisy, and 
underhand opposing the saints is such as the godly do almost generally sus- 
pect them for this sin. And, indeed, what other principle could act men so 
cannot well be imagined. Their case being in this worse than that of the 
Pharisees, in that they had been brought up in darkness and ignorance of 
the righteousness of God and of the Messiah, when the ministry of John and 
of Christ came upon them, calling on them to acknowledge and embrace 
Christ as the Messiah, whom, being but a carpenter's son, they never acknow- 
ledged. And yet they sinned that sin, through their smothering that new 
light, because their owning him would have put themselves out of credit, and 
have set up Christ. 

But these men in this our age have been brought up in the contrary truth 
and light, and have both professed it, subscribed to it, and preached it ; and 
yet they love this darkness of Popery, and embrace this carted * whore, and, 
courting her, would bring her into their tents in the face of Moses and of 
the whole congregation ; and they loathe the truth of the gospel and of the 
faith they once received, and this in the face of the clearest sunshine and 
light that ever shone round about them. One would think God should 
destroy them visibly ; but they must do one exploit for him first. Their 
destiny further is, that they -should kill the witnesses for this their scorching 
them through the powerful testimony of their lives and prophecy, and so be 
even 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 
war, and shall prevail, and banish and disperse them among tongues and 
nations throughout Europe. But by that time the fifth vial comes, these 
witnesses in the end shall again have overcome them, who are indeed that 
' number of the beast's name,' the last of all his company to be overcome, as 
chap. XV. 2, they being the last sort of his champions, even these ' names of 
men,' woiLaru. uv&^ui'kuv, as they are called, chap. xi. 13; and they shall be 

* Probably referring to an old mode of punishing disreputable persons, who weru 
dragged through the streets in a cart, with the executioner by their side. The guilt of 
these abettors of Popery was all the greater, because the abominations ©f Popery had 
been already detected and exposed. — Ed. 


killed instead of the witnesses at their resurrection, as the first degree and 
preparation to the fifth viul. 

The fifth vial is upon the throne, or seat of the beast; which is plainly 
Rome itself, which was the old seat of the dragon, the heathenish empire, 
which Satan did, as it were, openly govern that empire under heathenish 
idolatry. But after that, this seat was resigned by the dragon unto the 
Pope, at his first rising, chap. xiii. 2 ; which city the Sibyls long since pro- 
phesied of should again become a sheep-cot ; and the Holy Ghost, in chap, 
xviii., that it should be ' thrown down as a millstone, and be no more found 
at all,' but should become ' the habitation of devils only, and the dwelling of 
every foul spirit ' for ever. Of this vial we may say, as the disciples said to 
Christ, ' Now he speaketh plainly, and not in parables,' as before ; only, as 
the other vials are to be taken in the largest sense, so I think this is, though 
not in a sjDiritual sense, for he speaks plainly, and not in figures. And 
therefore, as was said, chap, xiii., in the explaining of that second beast, 
that not alone the Pope is that beast, but concrete, and together with him, 
his clergy, who make up one body Avith him as their head. And so it may 
be, that by the seat of the beast here is not only and simply meant Rome, 
the sea and seat of that chief bishop the Pope, but it may be extended to 
other seas and seats that fixll together with it — namely, of such of the 
clergy, whether in Italy or elsewhere, as cleave unto the beast, and profess 
themselves of his number and company, who now, under this fifth vial, are 
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. Yet so as eminently Home, the proper seat of the beast, is here 
intended, and iu the letter of this vial held forth as the subject of it upon 
which it falls ; and with the fall of Rome the number and time of the beast's 
reign and kingdom is reckoned as ftdfiiled — namely, his twelve hundred and 
sixty years allotted him 'to do ' in, which years have now their period. And 
although the popedom remains to be destroyed by the seventh vial, yet his 
glory is here reckoned as gone and taken from him, and he is now reserved 
alive only for a further and more glorious execution. Therefore it is said, 
* his kingdom is darkened,' for now he is put by his seven hills, his seat ; 
his seven-headed kingdom is no longer reckoned of, as Mr Mede reasons. 
But that which hath chiefly confirmed me in the opinion that the period of 
*he beast's kingdom is by the Holy Ghost reckoned to end with this fall of 
the city of Rome is, that I observe the 17th and 18th chapters are principally 
and on purpose added, first, to present this city of Rome in all her braver) 
before her ruin, as chap, xvii., and then to sing a solemn, stately, anc 
triumphant song for her ruin and destruction, as chap, xviii. throughout 
"Now that the Holy Ghost should make this ruin of the city that hath so 
iong reigned, as ver. 18 of chap, xvii., over the kings of the earth, so great a 
matter of tiiumph, and so eminent above all things else in this book, im- 
ports that the last and fatal period of that fourth Roman monarchy, of which 
that city was to be the seat, and the beast the last head, is here to be ac- 
i^ounted as come, and the number of its years expired, the beast's kingdom 
being now as good as at an end. He may indeed raise some trouble, and 
again make some resistance, after the sixth vial, but reign any more he shall 
not; for, otherwise, this had been pceana tvhimphalem ante victoriam canere, 
to triumph before an assured victory, which the Holy Ghost would not have 
done upon this occasion, but reserved it till after the seventh vial. 

But then was to come another manner of triumph, more high and glorious, 
for the marriage of the Lamb, when Rome's ruin and the beast's kingdom 

Chap. III.] an exposition of the revelation. 109 

will be forgotten. And, therefore, God ordained it to be performed at the 
funeral of this great whore, the city of Rome. And it Is much that two 
whole chapters should be spent on purpose to set forth the pageants of the 
church's triumph over her. Surely here this great kingdom ends, and there- 
fore, after that, the church prepares for the Lamb's marriage, chap. xix. 

Now that that whore presented in those two chapters, the 17th and 18th, 
Is this city of Rome, is evident by the last words of the 17th chapter, — the 
whore is that ' great city that reigns over the kings of the earth,' — and so those 
two chapters are but a fuller setting forth and enlargement of this same fifth 
vial, as being the most eminent and tlie most fatal of the vials upon the 
beast. Which chapters therefore I shall not need to spend time in exjjlicat- 
ing of, but do now hasten to the exposition of the 11th chapter, which was 
by me mainly intended, because that contains the state of the church, and 
the condition of it in these times, and those that are next a-coming upon 
us. And I join that next unto the vials, because these vials serve directly 
to expound it ; and it mentioning the four first vials, goes on then to shew 
what shall befall the churches of the Reformation under the fourth vial, 
and before the fifth : with which fifth vial those twelve hundred and sixty 
years, or forty-two months of the Pope's kingdom, there in that chapter com- 
puted, are to end and expire, according to the notion even now given. And 
as the 14th chapter shewed us the condition of the church witbin itself to 
the times of the fourth vial, as was proved; so this 11th chapter begins where 
the 14th chapter ends. And from thence the supplement of the story of the 
church's various condition is to be fetched, as will appear in the opening of it. 



The exposition of the Wth chapter, which was hut hriejiy touched upon in the 
First Part, the larger explication being reserved here, as its proper 2>l(ice. 

Section I. 
Prolegomena. — Five generals premised for the understanding of it. 
The first is to shew zvho this angel here spoken of is, and what is his pur- 
pose, and ivhen the time of his coming down here in this vision. And for 
this, know that the angel who comes down here, and delivers all the contents 
of this 11th chapter unto ver. 15, unto John, and that immediately by word 
of mouth, is Christ himself ; as appears by his words, ver. 3, ' I will give 
power to my two witnesses,' which no created angel could speak. And 
observe withal, that Christ himself doth speak nowhere in this book, but 
only in this and in the first chapter. And, above all, observe that this is 
the very same angel that came to Daniel in the end of his prophecy, to con- 
firm it with an oath, chap xii. of that his prophecy. This, his alike gesture 
here and there doth argue : there, ' lifting up his right hand to heaven, and 
swearing by him who liveth for ever,' ver. 7 ; and so here, taking the very 
same oath, with the same ceremony also, chap. x. 6. And then you may 
take notice that his oath is taken about the very same thing and to the 
same purpose. You shall find that that prophecy of Daniel containeth, 
though more confusedly, the very same things that this prophecy of the 
Revelation does more clearly. As, namely, the tyranny of the fourth Roman 
monarchy, and the oppression of the church thereby, first by the heathenish 
empire, then under the last head of it, the Pope, of whom Daniel had pro- 
phesied, chap. xi. of his prophecy, from the 36th verse to the end; after 
whose time expired, as Daniel had shewn, should come in a fifth monarchy 
of the saints, chap. vii. All which tilings you have in this book, and the 
visions of them more distinctly presented. As, namely, how under the 
seventh trumpet, after the time of the beast expired, that same glorious 
kingdom was to come in. Thus, in the subject-matter of both they do 
agree; and so also in setting down the time determined by God, how long 
this last head, the Pope and bis tyranny, should continue, do these two pro- 
phecies and these two angels both agree. 

For concerning this time, and the ending of the tyranny of this last head 
(the Pope) over the church, after which should come in the kingdom of 
Christ, it is that the angel there in Daniel doth take that his oath, and 
discourseth of that his time, and the manner of the ending of his tyranny, 
in that 12th chapter of Daniel, and at the end of that whole prophecy. 
And, answerably, concerning the ending of that very time, and the manner 
of the ending of the beast's t}T:anny, and the succeeduig of Christ's kingdom 
when that is ended, that is the very thing that the angel here sweareth 
about, and in like manner discourseth of just at the end of this first seal- 

Ci:ap. TV.] AN EXPOSITION OF vni: ukvelation. ni 

prophecy. So that his oath and speech, both there and here, are about the 
very same thing. And observe the accord in both : for there, Dan. xii. 7, 
he swears that ' it ' — namely, the Pope's reign — ' should be for a time, times, 
and half a time,' so mentioning it there confusedly, and more indefinitely ; 
' and when he ' — that is, that last king, the Pope, the head of that monarchy, 
whom Daniel had last prophesied of in the foregoing chapter, from the 3Gth 
verse to the end — •' shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy 
people, then all these tilings shall be fulfilled ; ' that is, then is the time 
when these things, which he had spoken of to be done just before Christ's 
khigdom, shall begin to take end and accomplishment. 

Now in a direct correspondency and answerableness unto the angel in 
Daniel doth this angel here come down in this vision now, at the very end 
of that time, according to that course of time run out in this first seal-pro- 
phecy, which that angel in Daniel had sworn about; even now when this 
fatal period of the fourth monarchy, according to the series of this vision, 
v\'as near approaching. 

And first he renews the oath then taken, and swears again here, chap. x. 7, 
that 'time shall be no longer;' but that * in the days of the seventh trumpet, 
the mystery shall be fulfilled which is spoken of by all the prophets ; ' that 
is, the fifth monarchy, or the kingdom of Christ, which was to succeed the 
other, of which all the prophets speak, as you have it Acts iii. 21. These 
words of the angel's oath do imply that, now that the visions of all times 
past in the former seal-prophecy, from the primitive times, had brought 
things to the last scene of the world's time; JVoio, says he, as standing in 
the extremity, and towards the approaching end of all,' ' time shall be no 
longer;' or, as Mr Brightman well interprets the word, ' Belai/ shall be no 
longer.' Stay now but a little, says Christ ; here you are at the last sands ; 
tarry but till the seventh trumpet blows, it will end all. 

And accordingly, the angel here m this 11th chapter explains distinctly, by 
word of mouth, what and how much that time of the Pope, mentioned in 
the oath in Daniel, was ; and what that ' accomplishing to scatter the holy 
people' — which in the oath in Daniel was made the immediate forerunner of 
the fulfilling of all things — also was. So that indeed this 11th chapter here 
is, as concerning the point of time, but an explication of that 12th chapter 
of Daniel, at least of that part thereof, and by this angel's oath and speech 
there. And it is the same angel cometh here to express distinctly, as be- 
came the Ptevelation, what was there delivered darkly and indefinitely. And 
it is as if the angel here had spoken thus, or to this effect, in more plain 
words, for the comfort of the church : — 

* Now, beloved, I come now, after so long a while worn out, to bid you to 
' lift up your heads ; for time now in these days of the sixth trumpet is 
' expiring, and my kingdom is at the door : for the times of the beast, pro- 

* phesied of by Daniel, — of which beast you shall hear more in this little 

* book-prophecy, which is open in my hand, and which I here bring with 

* me, and give you, — do now shortly end and determine. Daniel's period of 
' a time, times, and half a time, allotted the beast, the Pope, the last head 

* and king, to reign in the fourth Koman monarchy, is now in these times 
' very shortly to expire, and with him the times of this present oppressing 

* world. And that you, my church, may know, and have infallible warning, 
' when the expiring of this beast's time to scatter the holy people shall be, I 

* will both explain to you how long this time in Daniel, where it is but con- 
' fusedly mentioned, is allotted him to scatter the holy people, my witnesses ; 
' and I will also tell you how or in what manner it shall be that he shall 


' accomplisli, as Daniel's phrase is, to scatter the power of the holy people ; 
' that is, for your comfort I will reveal to you and describe the very manner 

* of that eminent and last scattering, which in the oath in Daniel is made 

* the immediate sign when Antichrist's ruin and all those other things should 

* begin to be fulfilled. And further, I will present to you what the face of 
' the church shall be in that age immediately before the scattering the holy 

* people, that so you may have together at once both a true compute of the 
' time, as also of such occurrences, and such a face of the sky presented, as 

* may be an eminent signal unto you : that when you see these things done, 

* then know that the time is expiring and determining. And this I myself do 
' thus immediately inform you of, because that last scattering will be so great 
' a one as all the fniih you have wUl be put to it : and therefore it is that I 
' have took that oath, as it were, vow, in these times ; for that your faith 
' had need of it to confirm it. Which oath, therefore, do you remember and 

* have in your eye, for even now your redemption draws nigher than you are 

* aware of 

This is the first thing I premise, 

2d Prolegomenon. 

Now, in the second place, observe in how fit a scene or place in this 
comedy, or vision of all times successively, hitherto acted before John, and 
by him penned for us, doth this angel Christ here take to enter upon the 
stage, and act this part in. You before heard at large how that the seals 
and trumpets, chap. vi.-ix., contained one prophecy, that ran over aU 
the times from John until the end; and then, that the little book that is 
open in the hand of tliis angel here, chap, x., doth contain another prophecy 
of the church, which m hke manner begins at the times of John, and so again 
runs over all times unto the end. 

Now this angel steps in now, just now, as in the last age, and towards 
the expiring of the sixth trumpet, and so of that first revolution of all time, 
with his new or second prophecy in his hand ready to be delivered. And 
yet because that some sands or space of time remamed under the first pro- 
phecy not yet completed, he therefore in this, as a convenient season between 
both, fills up that little space of time that this first proj^hecy had yet left to 
continue, with an additional discourse of liis own, to inform the church what 
special occurrences were now, before the final consummation of all under the 
seventh trumpet, to fall out in this small interim, as a warning to them when 
the end of all, even of both prophecies, (viz. of this seal-prophecy and also of 
that other book-prophecy,) should be. 

Now the sixth trampet, which is the Turkish empire, we yet see standing. 
An utter end of the Roman empire had been as completely set forth in the 
sixth seal as it could be; and only now the ending of it remained, and so 
there was no other matter of that kind, or belonging thereunto, to be added. 
And yet that being to continue some hundreds of years before its ending 
should be, and the seventh trumpet should blow, he therefore fills up that 
space of time until the seventh trumpet should blow, and entertains John 
with relating what special occurrences, that most nearly concerned 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 empire, and so in this last 
age, before the ending of these times. Which occurrences, though they 
properly belonged to the book-prophecy, — which, as was said, properly takes 
cognisance of matters of the church, — yet they fitly come in here between 
both prophecies, as the signal of the ending of the full course of both stages of 

Chap. IV.] an exposition of the revelation. 113 

times. And when he had thus, in tliis discourse, filled up that remaining 
time in this interlude with such occurrences as were indeed yet to fall out 
together with it, in the times before the sixth trumpet's ending; then, I say, 
he concludes his discourse with this, ' The second woe is past;' that is, the 
time of the sixth trumpet ends also hereabouts : and so then, as in its 
orderly time, blows the seventh. 

3d Prolegomenon. 

Observe the manner of his delivering all this to John : namely, that he 
utters this his narration as a chorus, or as an interlocutor in a comedy useth 
to do his speech, and not by vision only ; wherein he opens and explains 
what could not by vision well have been understood, and therefore gives it 
by word of mouth. And as thus this angel doth here, so the like doth that 
angel in the 17th chapter. And I the rather put together the parallel 
speeches of these two angels, chap, xvii., and here, chap, xi., because that, as 
the scope of him there was to give an interpretation and ex})lication who the 
whore was, so his scope here is to give a clear interpretation of the times of 
this beast and whore, and the immediate tokens or signals that shall forerun 
the ending of them. And look, as in that 17th chapter, Avhen one of the 
angels of the vials, and, as it is thought, the fifth, gives the interpretation 
who the beast and whore is, he doth it by a speech, merely as an interlocutor, 
to inform John ; so here, in like manner doth this angel. Yet so, as you 
may also observe, that his narration here in this 11th chapter is first oc- 
casioned by a vision presented of the face and state of the church as it 
should be in that last age Avherein these things are to be accomi)li.shed : 
namely, of a temple presented standing, with an outward court surrounding 
it, and an altar in it, and two witnesses standing before the Lord, and minis- 
tering in it. Which vision first to have been made unto John is tacitly im- 
plied, in that the first entrance of his speech begins with bidding John to 
arise, and to do a real act towards the temple, even to measure it. And 
therefore such a temple, &c., must needs have been presented to his view. 

And thereupon observe, how that this vision of a temple, and of an out- 
ward court adjoined, is made the ground or occasion of the angel's following 
speech ; as from which the angel takes the rise of his following discourse. 
So that this vision of the temple's measuring, and giving its outward court 
to the Gentiles, is the first occurrence that is here presented as belonging to 
that age wherein time is to expire, as from whence he takes the ground of 
that his discourse, wherein he explains how much time the beast was to have, 
and how and when it should end. Which discourse, after that explained, 
closeth again with the relation of another occurrence, ver. 7, that shall fall 
out after this, in that age, as the last signal of all. And this is done just in 
the like manner as, chap, xvii., one of the angels of the seven vials, who 
therefore must be supposed to stand in the times of the Aaals, being to make 
a description of the beast, and of the whore, — namely, Eome, the seat of the 
fourth monarchy, — in all the times allotted her ; yet takes his rise from a 
vision of that whore, as then in her last old age, and in the times of the 
vials, she should appear, ' drunk with the blood of the saints,' just before her 
ruin. And yet there, in that his speech about her, he speaks of her as in 
her whole time of reigning she should be. Just so here, this angel (Christ) 
first enters upon the stage but as an actor, under the times of the sixth 
trumpet, and in the very declension of it, and takes his oath as under those 
times ; and then presents to John a vision of the face of the church, in that 
present age, under the latter times of the sixth trumpet, as of a temple which 

YOU 111. H 


in these present times he will have measured by John, as representing the 
persons of the saints of that age, and leaving out the outward court of it, as 
to be given again unto the Gentiles. 

And then, from that occasion, — it being part of that scattering the power 
of the holy people which Daniel aimed at, — he plays the part of an inter- 
locutor, and makes a narration of the whole times of Popery, which, after 
this their treading down this outward court of the temple, were to expire. 
And he takes occasion also to relate and discourse of that opposition which 
the witnesses should make against the beast, or these Gentiles, all the time 
of his whole reign; and so describes them, ver. 3-6. And all this as an inter- 
locutor, or a chorus in a comedy, useth to do. Till at last he comes again to 
that last occurrence which belonged to that age wherein he stood when 
he began his speech, — namely, now towards the end of the sixth trumpet, — 
as that which should then befall these witnesses. With which he determines 
his speech about them, from ver. 7 to the end of the chapter. Unto the 
better and clearer understanding of which, all his former description of them, 
and what else he related concerning them, had only made the way ; namely, 
to shew, both what that time was, which in Daniel had been so darkly de- 
livered, and how it should end; and how, to use the j)hrase in Daniel, the 
' scattering of the holy people ' should be accomplished. So then — 

4i/i Prolegomenon. 

Observe how fitly the words of the oath in Daniel do agree with all the 
things delivered in this 11th chapter, from ver. 1 unto the seventh trumpet, 
ver. 15, where the angel's speech ends. 

Now those things are reducible unto two heads : — 

1. This angel's computation and interpretation of that time mentioned in 
Daniel ; which when it ends, the fourth monarchy shall begin to end also, 
and shortly after it the kingdom of Christ begins. 

2. Such eminent occurrences as shall fall out at the ending of it, as signals 
thereof. Or rather, thus : — 

In the angel's oath in Daniel, four things were intimated : — 

1. The time that the beast, the last head of the Pioman monarchy, should 
have to reign ; which was ' a time, times, and half a time.' 

2. A holy 2^eople, who all that time should yet continue to oppose him, 
and whom he should oppress. 

3. Who yet, towards the end, should get some power against him ; so it is 
there called, ' the power of the holy people.' And — 

4. Which power of theirs he should, in the ending of that time, scatter, and 
themselves also, and that with an eminent scattering, which yet is the ac- 
complishment or last act of his so doing ; that is, he should never scatter 
them any more, but after that his reign was to end, and their mourning and 
oppression to cease. 

Now answerable to this, you here have — 

1. That time, confusedly mentioned in Daniel, but here exactly computed 
by a double account, (not to fail,) both of months and also of days : the one, 
as expressuag Antichrist's whole time of reigning, even forty-two months ; 
and the other, the holy people's time to oppose him in, even twelve hundred 
and sixty days, though yet in sackcloth and oppression. But so as both 
have one and the same period ; and as they begun, so they end together. 

2. You have the holi/ people in Daniel here interpreted by Christ to be 
his two witnesses. 

3. You have the poiuer of this holy people all that while set forth, espe- 

Chap. IV.] an exposition of the revelation. 1 1 5 

cially that power tliey obtained in their last days; 'I will give to my 
■witnesses,' ic, ver. 3. They had power given them to erect a temple, 
backed with a mighty party of an outward court. And out of that temple 
they have had power given them to pour out four vials already ; so as that 
'if any man l^urt them, they will scorch him with fire,' &c., ver, 6. And in 
the weakest days of their prophecy, they have had power to ' shut heaven, 
that it rained not,' ver. G, &c. 

4. This angel here shews, how in the end of this time, when tliey are even 
about to cast off their sackcloth, and to finish tlieir testimony against this 
beast, ver. 7, — so the word in the Greek is, are about to finish, &c., — that 
then this their power shall be scattered, their outward court trodden down, 
and so they left exposed to the beast's fury and outrage, to be by him ' scat- 
tered among the nations and killed ;' which nations shall * see their dead 
bodies lying in the streets,' &c. And then he gives a particular description 
of this their oppressing, unto ver. 1 4 ; telling us withal, for our C(jmfort, that 
thus they shall accomplish to scatter them, being never to scatter them again 
any more, after they are once risen again, so ver. 11-13. And thus you see 
how this 11th chapter is but a comment on the oath in Daniel. 

5th Prolegovienon. 

Lastly, observe this in general concerning the joint mention or bringing in 
botli these occurrences, and this computation of times together. They are 
mentioned thus together principally and chiefly in this respect, to shew how 
this whole series of time should end and expire ; namely, with those occur- 
rences here mentioned. So that the angel's scope is not simply to mention 
this period of the twelve hundred and sixty days, &c., only to compute it, 
though so also he makes mention of it ; but withal to shew how that with 
these exploits and occurrences, or when tliese things here mentioned should 
fall out, this time was near its end and expiration. Whereby this angel here 
doth directly hit the veiy aim and scope of that his former oath taken before 
Daniel ; which was, that with the very expiring of that his allotted time, he 
should accomplish to scatter the power of the holy people. And therefore 
he so mentions this whole term of time here, as withal to shew how it shall 
at last be accomplished and fulfilled ; and to that end he mentions such 
particular exploits as this beast to his very last shall play, even till his king- 
dom be taken from him. 

Now to explain this further : — In the 13th chapter, the beast had ' power 
given him to do,' as the word is, ' forty-two months ;' and during that time to 
' make war with the saints, and overcome them.' And power was given him 
' over all tongues, and nations, and kindreds ;' that is, over the ten king- 
doms of Europe, ver. 5-7. Now the Gentiles here, and that idolatrous 
company that worship this beast, ver. 3, 4 of that 13th chapter, and that set 
up this power of his, are aU one and the same ; and their lease here, of 
treading down the holy city, runs, and is made, as you see, for the very same 
term of years here that it is there. Only mark the different scope of the 
mentioning of them in that 13th chapter and here : namely, that here it 
comes in to shew how this whole time should end, and fully be accomplished ; 
and also with a narration of that very particular last war and victory, which 
this idolatrous company should obtain against the holy people, even their 
last scattering them before the ending of this their time. But it comes in 
there, as it was considered wholly and entirely, as yet through all times to 
be fulfilled ; with all those wars and slaughters which in that whole time 
Antichrist should make against the saints. So in chap, xiii 


Now that the mention of those two computations of that whole time does 
thus come in here in relation to these last ex})loits and war of Antichrist, at 
and towards the ending of that time, is many ways evident. Of both which 
I shall demonstrate this severally and apart. And — 

1. For the mention of their 'treading down the holy city for forty-two 
months ;' this comes in but, as you may observe it, upon that one particular 
occurrence of giving up the outward court anew to the Gentiles, to this or 
the like purpose ; as if the angel had said, ' Cast out that same outward court 
of the temple of this present age, which hath indeed helped against the 
Papists, and kept them off, but yet hath defiled the churches ; leave them 
out, for this court is given to the Gentiles now in this last age, for them to 
re-enter upon and to get power over. And so with this last treading down 
and overcoming that outward court, which once they had possessed, but lost 
from their dominions, it is that they shall have accomplished that whole 
term of forty-two months allotted them for treading down of the holy city, 
namely Europe, the destined seat of this church and of their reign.' And 
thus their full dominion over the whole for forty-two months' sjjace or length 
of time shall be made good by this, that however they had lost for a whUe 
part of their dominion over it, yet they regaining this outward court now 
towards the end, they will be found to have possessed the whole forty-two 
months, first and last. That look, as upon the giving in of the last payment, 
we use to make mention of the whole sum as paid ; so here, upon that last 
eminent regaining their lost power over some of the European kingdoms, 
the whole term of the time of their reigning comes to be mentioned. 

This I here premise, to prevent that great mistake which hath diverted 
interpreters from taking the measuring this temple here, and giving up the 
outward court, to be meant of some special occurrence to fall out, or some 
act to be done to the churches of these latter times ; but they rather take it 
of the Papists themselves, their possessing throughout all ages the face of 
the church, which they interpret the outward court, because of this that is 
added, and that followeth upon it, ' and they shall tread down the holy city 
for forty-two months.' As if it imported, that after the outward court is 
given up to them, they should have so many years of reigning over it. 
Which if it were so, it could not be meant so particularly of the temple or 
church in this last age, and the outward court thereof. But this, according 
to the former coherence given, need not divert any man's thoughts from 
the present age to former times ; as it hath done some men's, to think the 
churches of the primitive times to be the temple measured, and the outward 
court to be the outward face of the church, which the Pope hath possessed 
these 1200 years. The coherence may easUy be found to be this : as if the 
angel had said, ' Measure anew the temple you now see standing in these 
last times of the sixth trumpet, and of Anticluist before his fall, and cast 
out the outward court thereof ; for it is again given to the Gentiles : and 
so — namely, with this last treading down of it, and regaining, as it were, the 
whole anew — they shall fully accomplish their allotted time of treading 
down the holy city, namely, their forty-two months.' 

But the removal of this mistake more fully I refer to the Appendix that 
follows. Only for the present, for a confirmation that this is, and may well 
be, the meaning of the coherence of these words, observe — 

(1.) It is not said that they shall tread down the outward court for forty- 
two months ; but the holy city, which is much vaster than the outward court : 
the greater part of which city, namely of Europe, they kept the lordship over, 
even when the outward court was separated from them and not yet recovered. 

Chap. IV.] an exposition of the revelation. 117 

So that to me the outward court here is one thing, and the holy city another, 
though this court indeed stands in the city • even as the outward court and 
the temple were distinct things from the holy city of Jerusalem, though 
standing therein, as I shall afterwards in the particular exposition more fully 
shew. And — 

(2.) The purpose and scope of the mention of their whole time of forty-two 
months here, is to shew how in this latter age it should be fulfilled and 
ended ; even in a full power and jurisdiction over the holy city, in a re-entry 
on that part of it, the outward coiirt also ; which is again laid common with 
and unto the rest of the city. And so now it may be said of them, as of a 
king who reigns and hath jurisdiction over a country (suppose) for fifty 
years; it may be said he hath I'eigncd over it fifty years, although some few 
years before the end of his reign, some of his subjects haply revolted from 
him, if so be he were their king before the revolt, and in the end again 
recovered his royalty over them ; the account being taken from the beginning 
to the end, first and last. 

And one reason why Antichrist's time of ' doing' is reckoned by months, 
and not by days, may be to shew, that though he hath not the whole time 
of his reign the same continued jurisdiction, yet by months he hath, from 
such a time to such a time, though not the like power all that time. For so 
at first the Goths interrupted him much in the exercise of his power. And 
then — 

(3.) These words, ' and they shall tread down the holy city for forty-two 
months,' do fitly come in, as a just reason why this outward court is now 
in these last times given to these Gentiles ; and so do insinuate a reason 
why Antichrist is thus permitted again to take possession of the most and 
chief part, if not all, of this outward court, so as to have fair hopes of 
recovering all Europe again. ' And they shall,' &c. The word xai, or and, 
is often used as a causal particle, and notes out a reason of a thing. So 
then, the term of their commission over all the nations and tongues of Europe 
being forty-two months, and none exempted but such whose names are 
written in the book of life, — as you have it, chap. xiii. 7, 8, — therefore, 
though this outward court of carnal Protestants, and unregenerate, hath 
made a separation together with the true worshippers ; yet they being in- 
wardly Gentiles, and their names not written in the book of life, therefore 
they are given unto these Gentiles again, as being their allotted inheritance, 
as it were, for so long a time here mentioned ; which is not fully run out as 
yet, in this age of the sixth trumpet, of which Christ spake this. They are 
yet within the bounds and date of their lease, which is forty-two months, 
not yet expired; and therefore they are to be re-entered upon by them. So 
that the mention of this their term comes thus in : as if in a suit at law, to 
recover one's own ground leased to one for twenty-one years, a man pleads 
and shews, at the eighteenth year's end, how the whole term of his lease was 
twenty-one years, as yet not expired ; which he exhibits as a just plea why 
some part of it withheld from him should be restored to him, it being in- 
cluded in the tenure of his lease as well as the rest. Just so is it here ; this 
outward court being within the bounds of the city, and being land belonging 
to the Pope by gift, for so long time, — they being not written in the Lamb's 
book, — and his lease of forty-two months not being expired ; therefore, says 
the angel, here it is given or restored to him again : and so ' he shall accom- 
plish to tread down' it, and the rest of the holy city, for forty-two months. 
Which are the angel's words in Daniel, chap, xii., and which this angel came 
to interpret. 


2. And in tlie second place, for the mention of that other computation of 
1260 days ; it is yet more plain that this is brought in here principally to 
shew how this time should end and determine now at the last. And so that 
both this long description of the witnesses, and the declaring their whole 
time, is indeed but in order to this their last accomplishment. This is 
apparent by the 7 th verse, which is the close of all the former narration. 
The words there are, ' and when they shall have finished their testimony ;' 
that is, held out to testify, during that whole time of 12G0 years. Or they 
may, and ought rather to be rendered, ' and when they are about to finish' — 
orav ri/Aauei. Which notes out, not a full end first made, but a being about 
to make it. So that when they are about or near the finishing of this their 
testimony, then shall this befall them. And further, in that he spends the 
better half of his discourse in this chapter in the setting forth this one par- 
ticular, — namely, their last scattering, upon the finishing their mentioned days 
of prophecy, — this apparently shews that this was the chief scope which 
that former part of his discourse had tended unto. And in that, although 
Antichrist, the beast, hath had many famous overcomings of these witnesses 
in former times, and killings also of them, yet that he should single out this, 
which also is nowhere mentioned in the larger book-pro2:)hecy, and yet here, 
and that haply not for the greatness of the prevailing in itself considered, 
but for its eminency in this respect, that it should be the last, and with 
which their whole time should end. ^Yhich also is made eminent by this, 
that after these witnesses had got so much ground upon the beast, and won 
a temple and an outward court from liim, set up upon his ground, as it 
were ; that then, after all this, this prevailing of his should fall on them. 
Hence it serveth as the most eminent prognostic and sign of their times ex- 
piring ; and therefore is here mentioned. So that I shall conclude with this 
brief series of the coherence and connexion of one thing with another in 
these first verses. 

Here is the same period of time twice mentioned, under a several com- 
putation: the one of forty-two months, the other of 12G0 day.s, both which 
come all to one. But the one is mentioned as the time that the Pope and 
his company shall reign; and the other, as the time for the witnesses to pro- 
phesy in sackcloth. And they both come in, in order and reference, unto 
the two of those last occurrences, wliich shall accomplish the reign of the 
one and the oppression and mournful condition of the other. 

1. Their whole time of treading down the holy city shall end with a re- 
covery and treading down the outward court of the temple, the reformed 
churches. And so the mention of that their time comes in only in that 
respect, to shew how it ends. And accordingly the vision of the temple, and 
the angel's bidding John to measure it, comes in but as an introduction to 
the mention of this last occurrence. And then — 

2. Being in like manner to mention the same time of 1260 days, as 
the time of the holy witnesses' prophecy, in order to their last scatter- 
ing and oppression, he inverts the order, and first mentions the time of 
their prophecy, by way of a continued narration with what went before; 
and then after that, mentions their last scattering as the accomplishment of 
that their time. And it was fit that this mention of their whole time should 
first be immediately connected to the foresaid mention of their enemies' whole 
time, and the times both of the one and the other first set together, for that 
this latter serves to explain the former, which else were ambiguous and dark, 
as I shall shew hereafter; and esf)ecially, because these witnesses are men- 
tioned as the continual opposites set up against these Gentiles, and as the 

Chap. IV.] an exposition of the revelation. 119 

main butt and object of their malice. That same xa/, ver. 3, 'and I will 
give power,' is used here, as often elsewhere, adversatively for but ; as if he 
had said : * Whereas they have forty-two months allowed them to tread down 
the holy city, — Europe, the chief seat of Christian profession, — and the 
witnesses in the compass of that time have won a temple and an outward 
court from them; yet that this allotted time of their reign may therefore be 
made good unto them, even to the last, they shall regain that outward court 
of the new erected temple separated from them ; hut so as they shall not so 
reign all that while as to carry it withoitt ojiposition, "but I will give 
power to," or uphold, " my two witnesses," by their testimony to oppose them 
continually, though in sackcloth, that whole time of 12G0 days, and even 
at this their last treading down the outward court, to avenge themselves of 
these Gentiles with fire, &c. But yet for all that, these Gentiles shall go on, 
and in the end of these their days prevail yet further, even over these my 
witnesses also ; and when they are about to finish their testimony, shall kill 
and destroy them.' 

So that the mention of their time, though it comes in a good way off 
before, yet is in order to this their last killing ; to shew, as in Daniel, how 
it should be accomplished. 

Section II. 
The measuring the temple, and casting out the outivard court, chap. xi. 1, 2. 

§ 1. — An explication of this double computation of 1260 da^/'s, or forty-two 
months; and why they are together here mentioned. 
These things thus premised, I come to interpret the contents of this chap- 
ter, from ver. 1 to ver. 15, which are reducible to three heads : — 

1. This double computation of the times above-mentioned. 

2. The occurrences that were to fall out in those times of Antichrist, in 
the age just before their fatal period, unto the accomplishment whereof 
those occurrences do conduce; which age, as I take it, is that that we live 
now in. 

3. What is withal said of the two witnesses, as woven in by the angel in 
his discourse of them, by way of describing them, in order to the explana- 
tion of what should at last befall them. 

1. For these computations of the times, both of the beast's reign, and the 
witnesses' oppression here mentioned ; these things are to be expHcated about 
them : — 

(1.) That they are both the same term of time that in the oath in Daniel 
the angel intended. This appears by chap. xii. ver. 6 compared with ver. 
14, for what in ver. 6 is called 1260 days, is in the 14th verse of the afore- 
said chapter expressed by this, * a time, times, and half a time.' 

(2.) He makes this double computation of that time, first by months, then 
by days ; so without ambiguity to explain how much time was meant in 
Daniel by that indefinite number, ' time, times, and a half Which, as it is 
laid down in Daniel, is altogether ambiguous; for who could tell what is 
meant by a time and times'? or who could tell but that a hundred or a thou- 
sand years might be the time, and ten thousand the times here meant, they 
being only expressed in the plural number and indefinitely, as well as two 
of those times ? Therefore, clearly to free it of all ambiguity, he explains 
this first time here by forty-two months. Now, reckoning twelve months to 
a year, these forty-two months make three years and a half. So then, by 


time is meant a year ; by times, two years ; and by half a time, lialf a year 
more. And yet because there was some ambiguity in that also, in that some 
nations reckon but twenty-eight days in a month, whereas others reckon 
more, — so the Jews reckon twenty-eight, but the Egyptians tliirty days, — 
therefore he reckons the same time by days also, even 1260 days; which 
forty-two months do make up, reckoning thirty days to a month. 

Now all these are not solary days, that is, natural days, consisting of day 
and night, but the prophetical days ; as in Daniel a day is put for a year, and 
a week for seven years, and so thirty days for thirty years, and 1260 days 
for 1260 years. And that thus they are to be taken appears by this, that 
the witnesses, ver. 9, are said to lie in the view of all nations, as being haply 
banished out among them, for three days and a half- and their enemies are 
said to send gifts one to another in the meantime. Which if they were but 
three natural days and a half, all this in three natural days and a half 
could not be done. 

(3.) By joining together these two computations here, and so shewing 
them to be the same, he thereby clears the mention of them, as they are 
apart named, chap. xii. and chap, xiii., of which otherwise there might have 
been a doubt, whether the forty-two months, chap, xiii., had been 1260 days 
of years. But by thus linking them together in this 11th chapter, it is 
made certain that those numbers are the same. 

(4.) Though both Daniel there, and the angel here, do mention only the 
times of the Pope's reign, who is the last head of the Roman monarchy; 
and not the whole time from John's days, but only the latter part of it for 
the last 1260 years under the Pope; yet so as this was sufficient enough for 
the computation of the whole time that the visions of the Revelation do run 
through, and served fully enough to shew the contemporariousness of things 
in both prophecies, and to shew when the fourth monarchy should end, and 
so when the fifth should be towards its beginning. Which was his principal 
aim; and therefore, as in the 17th chapter, ver. 8, he explains who this 
beast was, and what he should be at last, so in this chapter he shews what 
the time of this beast's reigning is, and when it should end. 

Now to demonstrate all these : — 

1. This explication of this time may serve as a sufficient measure of the 
computation of the whole time spoken of in the Revelation. For if you 
know but either when this time of the Pojdc's reign begins or when it ends, 
you, who live in these latter days, may know how much time the prophecj 
of this whole book runs over. We know by story when John began to 
\vr'\i& this prophecy, even ninety-four years after Christ, or thereabouts. So 
that it is about 1550 years since John. Now 1260 years are to be allowed the 
beast, the Pope, from his beginning to his end. And to know when and in 
v/hat age he began, the Holy Ghost hath given us a hint and character, 
chap. xvii. ; telling us that he riseth one hour with the ten kings, which 
was not long after the year of Christ 400. So that 300 years are aU that 
before that, even from John's time, do belong to the primitive times, before 
the Pope's reign. And then, after the end of this Pope's or beast's time, 
there is but the Turks' ruin to come, (which is the second woe mentioned 
here, ver. 14,) and then comes in the New Jerusalem. And if we who live 
in these last days could but know when he either begins his time or ends it, 
we might easily tell, at least with a conjectural knowledge, how long it will 
be from the incarnation of Christ unto his kingdom here on earth, which is 
the fifth monarchy. 

2. I might also at large shew how this computation, coming in here in 


this chapter, shews the true synchronising and contemporaneousness of things 
both in the seal and book-prophecy, which was necessary somewhere to be 
done, and is here in this chapter most fitly done between botli these prophe- 
cies. For the sixth trumpet of the seal-prophecy is, ver. 14, made to end 
upon, or not long after, the ending of the Pope's reign, whose story belongs 
to the book-prophecy. For, says the angel there, after the rising of the wit- 
nesses, 'The second woe is past, and behold the third woe cometh quickly.' 
Now that second woe is the sixth trumpet of the seal-prophecy, (so chap. viii. 
13,) and the passing of it away is the sixth vial in the book prophecy, the 
effect of which is the ruin of the Turk, or at least a preparation thereunto 
by the calUng of the Jews. And then tlie seventh trumpet begins with the 
seventh vial. And so, as it is probably thought, these 1260 years of the 
beast And the rising of the witnesses do end with the fifth vial, after which 
the sixth vial shall not stay long. 

And it is probable that the angel's division of things into this double 
series, of six seals and six trumpets, is suited to his division of all times : 
which, from John's time to the kingdom of Christ, he branches either into 
the time of the beast's reign, which he defines to be 1260 years; or the time 
before his rising, which he defines not. For the beginning and ending of 
the beast's time being once known, thereby the other times foregoing, or the 
primitive times, might easily be computed. So as, when we know, through 
the help of this angel's speech in this chapter, that the book-prophecy and 
the seal-prophecy do meet towards their ending and closure downwards, 
then, how they run along upwards is not uneasy to conjecture. For the 
seal-prophecy being blanched into two so equal divisions of six seals, chap, 
vi., and then six trumpets, chap, vii.-ix. ; the six seals containing the story 
of the empire till the beast's rising, and so taking up all that tract of 
the primitive times before the beast's 1260 years do begin; it is therefore 
likely that the six trumpets do contain the story of the empire during those 
1260 years in which the Pope is to reign. And then, as they end not far 
off from each other, as was even now shewed, so also the times of these six 
trumpets, and the beast's reign of 1260 years, should begin not far off of 
each other. Thus the mention of this one term or period of time here serves, 
as you see, for the measure of the computation of the whole times of this 
book, and both prophecies of it ; and so comes fitly in between both for 
such a purpose. 

And, lastly, the reasons why the Holy Ghost singleth out only the times 
of this last head, the Pope, thus to be the rule and measure whereby to sum 
and cast up the account of aU the times of this book, are — 

(1.) For that the beast's reign was to have the longest time allotted it of 
any monarchy after Christ, and the longest of all the heads of the Roman 
monarchy foregoing him ; yea, it was to contain as much time as had passed 
from Rome's first building until his rising, and so would afford a computa- 
tion of the greatest part of that time, and indeed three parts of the whole 
time from John untU the kingdom of Christ. 

(2.) The matters of this book being not so fully to be opened till about the 
time of the end, as it is in Dan. xii. 4 ; if the times of the beast, whose 
reign was to continue till towards the end, should then come to be known, 
then the whole time from John downward would be known also by them 
that live in these latter days, for whose benefit and comfort, as most con- 
cerning them to know it, this computation was made and here given. 

(3.) This beast, the Pope, being the last head of the fourth or Roman 
monarchy, which but for him had failed, but was in him healed again and 


restored; to know when lie should end, and with him that monarchy, this 
would be inlding enough of the approach of Christ's kingdom, which is im- 
mediately to succeed it. To give the inkling of which, for the church's 
comfort in these latter days, was the thing herein principally aimed at. 

(4.) This beast being to be the most eminent oppressor of the church in 
the times after Christ ; therefore the computation of his time, beginning 
and ending, and the oppression of the witnesses by him, would be most 
acceptable to be known, and so be most inquired after by the church. — And 
thus much for the computation of the times here mentioned. 

§ 2. — The occurrences that fall out towards the expiring of these times here 
computed : and, first, a general view and division of them. 

As Christ was thus careful, as you have seen, to give us this computation 
of times ; so further, for our comfort, he makes a relation of such occurrences 
also as should fall out towards the ending and expiration of these times : 
which is the second head we are to explain. 

And as the computation of Antichrist's times was twofold, so answerably 
the chief occurrences of things appertaining to the accomplishment of those 
times are two : — 

1. The re-giving up the outward court to the Gentiles, with the treading 
down whereof they are to end their whole reign and time of the treading 
down the holy city. 

2. Their killing the witnesses, with which their 1260 days of prophesying 
in sackcloth do end also. The one is annexed as the signal of the period of 
their reign, and the ending of their forty-two months ; the other as the signal 
of the accomplishment of these witnesses' oppression for 1260 days, with this 
most eminent victory of the Gentiles over them. 

And then again observe how each of these occurrences have two others 
here mentioned with them, as conjunct appendixes to them, or occasions of 
them : — 

1. The giving up the outward court to the Gentiles is accompanied with 
a measuring the temple by John, representing the godly of that age, who 
leaves out the outward court, as being ordained by God to be given up to 
the Gentiles. 

2. This last killing the witnesses is much occasioned, and, in a more espe- 
cial manner, enemies are provoked unto it, by the hurt these witnesses did 
them by fire in the times just before, as we shall, see anon ; in revenge of 
which they are encouraged to kill them. 

Or, for the better conceiving all these, I cast them into this mould : — 
John and the angel standing here in the very extremities of time, even the 
times of the fourth vial, (this age, as I take it,) wherein Antichrist's reign 
is drawing near to its end ; John hath represented to him, as an introduction 
unto all that follows, the face of the church in that age, and is himself bid- 
den to represent the work of the godly of that age towards that church. 

1. The church in this age is represented to him as the temple standing in 
the holy city Jerusalem, — as it was represented to Ezekiel, chap, xl., which 
he also mea.suied with a reed, as John is bidden to do here, — namely, the 
temple inward, in which the priest only was to come, and in which stands 
the altar, with a company of true worshippers ; but round about it, as en- 
closing the temple without, lies a vast outward court, into which (as of old, 
the multitudes and crowd of the people of the Jews professing the true God, 

Chap. IV.] an exposition of thi': uevklvtion. 123 

so here) all sorts of professors of true worship do come. This temple, the 
church of this age, is moreover represented as adorned within with golden 
candlesticks, and two stately olive-trees, ver. 4, being two eminent witnesses 
and projihets that minister before God in his church. And the Gentiles, they 
possess the city already, and have done a long time, and are still to possess 
it, till their forty-two months be expired. But the temple, and the outward 
court about it, of late days erected in this city, they have been kept out of ; 
and so could not come at these witnesses, who are within the temple, nor 
have been able to overcome and kill them, as in former times ; against whom, 
notwithstanding, in that they have so tormented them with fire and other 
plagues out of this temple, they are even mad again with vexation, and an 
eager desire to be avenged on them. But now, before the expiring of their 
forty-two months, God being angry, both with the carnal gospellers in the 
outward court, so profanely mixing themselves with his worshippers, and 
lajdng themselves to his building and temple, and also with the carnal gos- 
pelling of the two witnesses among them, and with the imperfection of his 
temple building, not yet answering the pattern, and therefore intending to 
erect a purer temple ; he — 

2. Bids John, representing the godly of that age, measure the temple anew, 
and so begins to make a new reformation therein, more answerable to the 
pattern in the mount ; for he is not pleased with the old one that now hath 
stood so long. And therefore, in this new reformation, he commands John 
to leave out that outward court, as intending, after his purer churches shall 
thus first have, as it were, excommunicated them, to give up that outward 
court to these Gentiles, who have already took possession of the city, and 
kept it a long time, but shall now again enter upon this outward court, it 
being within their lease and demise. And so with this overrunning the out- 
ward court of the church, shall they accomplish their reign over the whole 
city, being then to be driven out of all for ever, which makes them so angry, 
as you have it ver. 18. 

And thus they having gained the outward court, which fenced and kept 
safe the witnesses, as from persecution by the Papists, who yet had vexed 
and plagued them, by shooting of wild-fire out of the temple, though they 
had also shot back again that which had hurt the witnesses all that while : 
but now the beast can come to them to overcome them and kill them quite, 
for their outward court was won, and so utterly scatter the power of the holy 
people ; but yet so as with this the days of their oppression shall cease, this 
being the accomplishment of their years of scattering, and the last war 
wherein Antichrist shall any way prevail. He (the relics of him left) shall 
indeed make head again before the seventh vial, but it shall not come to a 
victory as this doth. 

§ 3. — The occurrences, ver. 1, 2, (fhe measuring the temple, altar, <&€., and the 
leaving out the outward court, and treading down the holy ciii/,) more 
particularly and fully explained. 
So then, here are two things to be explained :— 

1. What this temple and outward court are, and what the measuring of 
the temple, &c., and the leaving out and treading down the outward court 
and city. And — 

2. Who these witnesses are, what their description, and what this their 
last killing. 

For the first ; I will make good and establish what I think to be the true 
interpretation, and then consult those other false interpretations given of it. 


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 alterations now a- 
working in the churches of Europe ; the type and antitype so full}' answer- 
ing and suiting each the other. 

1. For the tirst ; the holy city here, wherein these Gentiles have a lease of 
forty-two months' reign, are these kingdoms of Europe, which for these 
thousand years and upwards have been the metropoUs and chief scat of 
Christian profession, as Jerusalem of old was of the worship of the true God ; 
which, therefore, in the foUowmg part of this book-prophecy, is made, from 
the rise of the beast, the only stage of all, until that New Jerusalem and holy 
city, which comes from heaven and succeeds this ; this being in the mean- 
time the Old Jerusalem, as that the New. Yet — 

2. This city, for the pimishment of the world, God permits the Gentiles 
to tread down for forty-two months, alluding to that expression which Christ 
used of the sacking of that Jerusalem in Judea, by the Romans, Luke xxi. 
2-i. Now the beast, the Pope of Ptome, with his idolatrous crew, they are 
these Gentiles ; and so called because they set up the image of that worship 
which was practised under heathenish Rome and Gentilism ; so chap, xiii 
15. And as the hundred and forty-four thousand, the company of true 
lyoTshippers, are called the Israel of God, so are these called the Gentiles ; 
their religion and worship being, as was said, the image of the first heathenish 
religion, under the heathen empire, the first beast. And this city they were 
to have power and jurisdiction in till forty-two months were fulfilled, as in 
chap. xiii. appears. But — 

3. Towards the end of their time, there begins a great part of this city 
to fall from them, though they still kept possession of the greatest part ; and 
they lost mucli ground, and enclosure and separation being made from them, 
and within it a temple built, namely, churches separated from Antichrist, 
which 3'ou heard of in chap. xv. And further, as that in Jerusalem was 
built on the north side of that city, Ps. xlviiL 2, so is this temple built in 
the northern parts of Europe, — the city here meant, as was foretold in Isa. 
xlix. 12, and Dan. xi. 44, — for in these northern kingdoms hath been the 
reformation of religion. 

4. Unto which temple there hath been an outward court laid of carnal 
and unregenerate professors, who have made the greatest show in this build- 
ing, and took up so much of the room, that although true churches and 
temples, by reason of the true worshippers among them, have been set up, 
yet they have been defiled with the addition of an outward court, into which 
all sorts came. So that indeed these reformed churches are outward courts 
more than inward temples. And by reason of this their mixture, great cor- 
ruptions and defects, both in the form of the temple, or church-fellowship, 
and imjiurities in the worship and about the altar, have been continued 
among them. 

Now for the understanding of these allusions, we must know that there 
were belonging to the temple in Jenisalem — 

1. The holi/ of holies, which was at one end enclosed and separated from 
the rest of the temple, after the manner of our cathedral quires. 

2. The borl^/ of the temple, whereinto came the priests only ; and in which 
stood the altar of incense, which was answerable to the body of our cathedral 
churches, compassed by the inner court : wherein — 

3. There was a larger outward court encircling the whole temple, into 
■which the people of all sorts, both men and women, did come. And this 
was answerable to the churchyards which go round about our churches. 

Chap. IV.] an exposition of the revelation. 125 

Now this third and last court is tliat whicli is here said to be ■without ; 
that is, without the compass of the temple. And it is called the ' great court' 
going round about the other, namely, encompassing the inward court of the 
priests, and the holy of holies ; thus, 1 Kings vii. 12, it is expressly called. 
And it is by Ezekiel called the ' outward court' very often, in distinction from 
the inward court or temple where the alt;ir was ; which, in distinction from 
this, is also called the ' court of priests.' So 2 Chron. iv. 9, where it is said, 
Solomon ' made the court of the priests, and the great court,' namely, that 
ijito which the people came. 

There was indeed a fourth court for strangers to come into, built by Herod. 
But that is not here alluded to, for the Scripture nK'Utioneth it not. But 
the outward court here is that which Ezekiel, as I s...,I before, does so often 
call by thcit name, in distincaon from the court of priests : for to his mea- 
suring there, is the allusion of this measuring here ; of which you may read, 
chap. xl. 17, 27. And the inner court is put for the temple, and the temple 
for it, as being all one. 

Bring this then to the New Testament. The Scriptures and prophets, by 
the notion of a temple, do still express the true church, as 1 Cor. iii. 17, 
Eph. ii. 21, and many other places. And by priests, who only are to enter 
into the inner temple, they express true worshippers. You have both these 
expressions put together in 1 Pet. ii. 5, ' You, as lively stones, are built up 
a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, accept- 
able to God by Jesus Christ.' And whereas the people entered not into the 
temple then, now all that are holy are bidden ' to draw near, having their 
bodies,' or whole man, ' washed with water,' as the priests were wont to be ; 
even water of regeneration and sanctification, as Heb. x. 22. 

Now, in distinction from these true worshippers, the carnal professors of 
religion, and crowd of unregenerate men, that join themselves to the church, 
by professing tlie same religion and faith, though yet continuing in the natu- 
ral uncircumcision of their hearts, are called the ' outward court ' here, they 
having no right to approach this altar. And, by the law of distinction and 
opposition, if the true worshippers now under the gospel be typified out by 
the priests, who were in a peculiar manner holy unto God, and whose holi- 
ness typified forth inward lioliness under the gospel, then carnal professors 
now, who are Jews outwardly only, are left typified out by that common 
crowd of Jews who came then into the outward court. And these may most 
truly be termed an outward court, in a comparison with this temple and true 
worshippers, be the notion of temple taken in what sense it may. For 
whether temple or church be taken for the mystical temple or church of the 
elect and sincere worshippers, these are without, (as the Apostle's phrase is, 
1 Cor. V.,) in comparison to them, and are carnal worshippers, worshipping 
God in the letter, not in the spirit, with 'outward bodily exercise,' not 'in 
spirit and truth,' as 1 Tim. iv. 8 ; and they are such as to a stander-by, who 
hath skill to judge, are, for the generality, apparently such ; even Jews out- 
wardly only, not within, as Rom. ii. 28, 29. 

Or if temple be taken for churches instituted, or congregations of tnie 
public worshippers, (as Eph. ii. 22, it is taken ; as also Heb. x. 22, com- 
pared with ver. 25, where the assembling together to worship is called a 
'drawing near,' &c.,) in that respect also these cai'nal men joined with them 
are but as the outward court laid to the temple, who join in the same ser- 
vice, but do 'draw near with their hps' only, and, as Isaiah speaks, chap, i., 
' tread his courts with sacrifices abominable to God ; ' whilst the other, as a 
holy priesthood, are only within the temple, and do ' draw near with assur- 


ance of faith, having their hearts sprinkled, and their bodies washed with 
water,' as the allusion to the priests' entering into the inner temple where 
the altar stood is, in Heb. x. 22. 

So that, in what sense soever the Papists, whom some would have to be 
the outward court here meant, might be called the outward court, these also 
may. As whether because they arrogate to themselves the name of the 
church, and say, ' they are Jews, and are not, but do lie.' 

In this respect may these also be called the outward court, who with im- 
pudence do arrogate to themselves the name of the church, and under that 
name do in some places cast out the true worshippers; and who, by reason 
of their multitude and number, — the best congregations of the first Reforma- 
tion consisting of many more apparently bad than good, and many of those 
churches having none but men unregenerate, — are in view only or chiefly the 
church; whUst the true visible worshippers are a company of hidden ones 
in comparison : and therefore the outward court, in the type, was called the 
great court. 

Yea, these unregenerate Protestants are much rather to be accounted the 
outward court, and so are mainly here intended; which wUl appear, if you 
put but two things together : — 

First, Outward court here is oppositely put unto all these other particu- 
lars enumerated that were to be measured; both unto temple, altar, and 
worshippers therein ; and so oppositely doth imj)ort, not merely an outward 
face and place of worship, but as withal including persons worshipping also, 
and so carnal worshippers, in full opposition to the other. For otherwise 
this expression answers not the type, namely, the outward court in the Jewish 
temple, in which were the multitude, as in the inner temple the priests. So 
that the outward court imports and includes a company or sort of worship- 
pers, as well as it imports the outward visible face of the church ; and that 
by a metonymy, the continens being put for the contentum, the thing con- 
taining for the thing contained : even as these phrases, heaven and earth, do 
often import, and are put for, all things therein contained. And so outward 
court here implies a sort of worshippers therein; and in that respect is 
opposed to, and distinguished from the temple, and the true worshippers 
therein. And indeed, churches, and the face thereof, in the notion of the 
New Testament, consisting not of material buildings, as Cameron well shews, 
it is the persons worshipping who have the name of churches : and so here, 
persons worshipping, distinct from the temple and true worshippers, must 
needs be meant, as those that do constitute and make up this outward court. 
So that, take persons away, and the face of an outward court ceaseth to be. 
Thus Cornelius a Lapide upon the place : — In hac parte templi, says he, 
et in adorantihus sacerdotibus symbolice signijicantur fideles, qui Antichristi 
tempore erunt optimi, religiosissimi, Deo conjunctissimi, et in cultu ejv^ soli- 
dissimi. Per atrium exterius intelligit Christianos infirmiores, et vitce laxioris, 
ideoque a Deo remotiores. Hos (ait) ejiceforas, id est, extra ecclesiam. Quasi 
dixisset, Rejice eos inter in fideles et apostatas ; quia hi cedunt gentibus et 
Antichristo affectis, et idea indigni sunt qui inter jideles numerentur. 

Now then, secondly, add to this, that this outward court, thus consisting 
of a multitude of false worshippers, is here made distinct from the Gentiles : 
for this outward court, and the worshippers thereof, are 'given to the Gen- 
tUes ;' and therefore are to be left out in the new measure taken. 

Now a company of worshippers, who aro distinct, both from the true 
worshippers of the temple, and from the GentUes or Papists, must needs be 
the multitude of carnal Protestants that fill our churches, and make an out- 

Chap. IV.j an exposition of the PvEVElatiok. 127 

ward court, together with the temple. For if the Gentiles be this outward 
court tliemselvcs, then wlio are these Gentiles that are to tread it down 1 

Neither, third!//, can it be thought that the Gentiles, possessing the out- 
ward face of the church, should so till up this outward court here meant, as 
to be made, as they are here, the other sole contradistinct and opposite party 
to the temple and true worshippers. Unless we would say, that all Protes- 
tants are the inner temple, as well as the priests and true worshippers therein, 
and both to be here measured ; and so the Papists and they share these two 
alone between them. But we assuredly knowing that of Protestants not 
one of a hundred are true worshippers, according to outward judgment, by 
those rules the reed warrants us to judge of others by, may as assuredly also 
conclude that this multitude of carnal professors are not here intended by 
the angel, as at all included in the temple, and among the true worshippers ; 
especially seeing he puts the reed into John's hand, to measure none but 
such as are visibly true worshippers. And therefore they must necessarily 
make up that third party, distinct both from the temple-worshippers and 
from the Gentiles ; and are they who are to be cast out by the one, and 
seized on by the other, as the outward court is here said to be. And more 
sure I am that, according to apostolical institution, such as they ought to be 
left out by those that build true churches, and churches to be measured anew 
without them. And therefore, if this measuring the temple fall under the 
times of this sixth trumpet, I cannot but imagine this new reformation 
begun, to be intended ; and that re-entry the Gentiles are now a-making 
upon the outward court of our churches, and their yielding to them, to be 
the gi^'ing thereof unto these Gentiles here. 

And, fowthli/, the Papists cannot so well be meant here by the outward 
court, as some would have them. For I see not that the angel would vouch- 
safe them, in this his mention of them here through this ty|De, so much as 
the bare name of the outward court unto his temple. That Romish church 
is not worthy in his esteem to be so accounted of in the proportions of this 
allusion. But he rather calls them Gentiles, as being idolatrous worshippers ; 
and elsewhere, the ' synagogue of Satan,' ' worshippers of the beast and his 
image,' ' Sodom, Egypt,' &c., as being in a further distance and degree of 
comparison remote from the true temple here, and the worshippere therein. 
And so between the true worshippers in the inner temple, and these Gentilea, 
he placeth a third sort of worshippers, who are not Gentiles in their worship, 
but separate from them in it as well as the true Israelites ; and who worship 
the true God after the manner of the worship of the temple outwardly ; and 
yet are but ' outwardly Jews,' as Rom. ii. 28, and remain uncircumcised in 
heart and life. And these in this allu.sion doth God allow the place and 
name of the outward court ; which till the reed, the light of the word, came, 
distinguishing true worshippers from them, were accounted as of the inner 
temple, but are now discovered to be without, as the word in the original is. 
So that the outward court doth typify out a company who in these times 
have a greater nearness to the true worshippers than the Gentiles have, and 
yet are but without. And though this outward court is here said to be 
' given to the Gentiles,' yet, mark it, not to them as those who are reckoned 
the worshippers therein, not as the ' treaders of the outward court,' — as in 
Isa. i. the phrase is of God's house, — God reckoneth not them such ; but as 
the ' treaders down ' of this outward court, as they are said to do by the holy 
city in the next words, God bringing in upon these carnal professors, for 
their contempt of the gospel and of the true worshippers, the worst of the 
heathen upon them, to tread them down by violence, either of conquest over 


tlieir bodies, as in Germany, or over their consciences, in making them again 
to submit to their superstitions and idolatries, as they shall go on to do in 
other places. 

And observe the glorious wisdom that is in God's proceeding herein, as the 
reason of it. For God intending to have a church most holy unto himself, 
under the seventh trumpet, in which ' the ark shall be seen,' which notes out 
the holy of holies, as it is ver. 19 of this 11th chapter, — and his manner 
being to carry on his church unto perfection by degrees, — he doth therefore, 
about the midst of that time, between the first reformation long since made 
and that seventh trumpet, in an age or so foregoing it, set his builders on 
work (whom John here represents) to endeavour to erect a new frame, and a 
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 those corruptions of theirs which hindered that 
thorough reformation; and so to contract his temple into a narrower com- 
pass, as the proportion of the inner temple to the outward was, yet purer 
and more refined ; he delighting more in truth, and piuity of worship, than 
in magnitude or multitude of sacrifices and worshippers : and so to make 
to liimself a church that shall consist of priests, and an inward temple sepa- 
rated from that outward court, into which the true worshippers are called 
up from the other, which before lay common to both. And how elegant is 
this aUusion here, whereby he sets forth the several states and conditions of 
his church, growing up unto perfection ! 

The first reformation he sets out by an inner temple, more imperfect, 
unfurnished, and, besides, defiled by the adjoining of an outward court 
unto it. '' 

The second reformation, more pure, he represents by the inner temple 
measured again, to be finished and cleansed from that mixture. 

And then, in the last verse, he opens the holy of holies, into which no 
unclean thing shaU enter, as it is chap. xxi. 27. For thuugh their second 
reformation, and the reed thereof, keeps out men civil and profane, whom 
godly men, whom John here represents, may judge visibly so to be ; yet 
many a hypocrite, that maketh a lie, may scape and crowd into this inward 
temple still, whilst the judgment of men, who often err, applies this reed. 
But into the other temple to come, under the New Jerusalem, shall none of 
these enter. There shall be a golden reed then, as chap. xxi. 15 ; whereas 
now there is but an ordinary cane, reed, or staff, which, though in itself it 
be straight, yet being to be applied by men, they may be deceived. 

Now, having given this more general view what is meant by the temple 
and outward court, I will more particularly explain what it is to measure 
the temple, altar, and worshippers therein ; and what it is to leave out this 
outward court. 

1. To this end Christ 'puts a reed into Jolm's hands,' who represents the 
builders of this age ; that is, puts into their hearts and hands the word, and 
the light thereof, as alone a sufficient rule to square churches, both worshij> 
pers and worship, by. Other reeds men would have, but God hath given 
us rules in his word to square the whole frame and model of this temple 
by. And this is to be laid as a princijile, that we admit of nothing in mat- 
ters of the church which the word does not warrant. Which principle was 
never yet so fully taken up and practised by our reformers hitherto ; though 
it hath long been contended for, as the fundamental groundwork of this 

2, By temj^Ie here I understand not only the church of the elect, — for they 


are all due and the same with thcin tliat worship God in spirit and trutk ; 
whereas here, in this enumeration, temple and worshippers therein seem to 
import distinct considerations at least; — but I rather understand churches 
or congregations of public worshippers considered as such ; church-fellow- 
ship, as you call it ; which, as well as the company of the elect, was typified 
out, and called the temple, as Eph. ii. 20-22. For the Apostle there 
having first said of the Ephesians, that as they were saints in common with 
others, so they were built up with all the elect into a temple unto God, and 
this ver. 20, 21, and so made part of templum eUctorum ; he after that, says 
again of the same Ephesians, as they were a company knit in church-fellow- 
ship, that they were ' built together for a habitation to God,' ver. 22. And 
so the particular church at Ephesus made a temple and a habitation apart, 
and, as it were, a little sanctuary. Now every such particular church bears 
the name of the whole, and may also justly be called the temple ; because 
in a church so gathered, the ordinances of church-communion and worship, 
as the sacraments, excommunication, &c., are to be administered, and not 
out of such a church-state, or such assemblings ; as at the temple of Jeru- 
salem only sacrifices were to be offered. And therefore — 

3. By altar here, which was that main ordinance of temple-worship serv- 
ing for sacrifice, which was nowhere out of it to be used, I understand 
church-ordinances of public worship and sacrifice. And — 

4. By worshippers, I understand the persons who only are to be of this 
temple, and to approach to this altar ; as only the priests then did into the 
inward temple, and unto the altar : even such only who are ' lively stones, 
built up in a spiritual house, and a holy priesthood, to offer up acceptable 
sacrifice unto God ; ' as it is in 1 Pet. ii. 5. So that, although temple here 
doth connotate and import worshippers, — for now, under the New Testament, 
temple and worshippers are materially the same, as by that place of Peter 
appears, though formally they may be considered as distinct, as here they 
seem to be, — and so tvorshippers importeth these persons considered in such 
meet qualifications as belong to them as saints, and are required in them to 
make them meet worshippers in this temple, which this reed lays forth; 
yet formally temple notes out these persons as to be gathered up in a church- 
assembly, according unto Christ's institution. Now then — 

5. To measure all these with this reed implies a drawing of a true plat- 
form by the rules of the word ; by shewing both — 

(1.) What a true church or temple is, and how to be built ; and what the 
power, the frame and constitution of it, <fec. This is rightly and truly 
measuring the temple. And — 

(2.) Laying out the right way of the administration of all church-worship 
and ordinances, as excommunication, sacraments, ordaining ofiicers of holy 
things, who partake and ' serve at the altar,' and all this by the word. This 
is to measure the altar. In a word, all that which, Eom. xii. 1, the apostle 
calls Ao^/ixri "karoiia, word-service or worship ; he speaking to the Eomana 
in that chapter as they were a body of a church, as in the 1 3th chapter he 
speaks to them as members of a commonwealth. 

(3.) Measwing the worshippers is, with the reed, laying forth who are true 
saints, and so are meet matter for and to be worshippers therein ; and so 
judging of men by the rules of the word, and accordingly admitting into, or 
rejecting from this fellowship, and 'judging them when within,' as the apostle 

1. And thus measuring is taken for drawing a platform of all these thinga. 
As appears by that measuring the temple by Ezekiel, unto which the angel 



here alludes, Ezek. xliii. 10, 11, where it is called a ' shewing them the pat- 
tern, the form of the house, and fashion of it ; ' together with the ' goings out 
and comings in ' for administration, &c. ; all the ordinances thereof, and aU 
the forms of those ordinances, and all the laws thereof And as there Eze- 
kiel sees distinctly, and apart measured the temple, chap, xli, xliL ; then 
th*^ altar, chap, xliii. 13 ; and then concerning the worshippers the angel 
gives laws, chap, xli v., blaming them that they permitted ' strangers, men 
uncircumcised ' in flesh and heart (speaking in the language of the type) to 
be in his sanctuary, ver. 7 ; giving a law, ver. 9, that none such should enter 
in ; shewing whom he would have to be priests and Levites, and who not, 
and their duties, in the rest of that chapter : even so here John is bid to 
cast out the outward court, as being strangers unto God, and unclean, and 
using strange forms of worsliip. And — 

2. Measuring is here also put to signify that such a temple, altar, and 
■worshippers should now, in this age, begin to be built and erected, and men 
set on work to do it. So in Ezek. xliii. 10, 11, the measure is taken to that 
end, that Israel, seeing the true pattern, might be ashamed of their former 
aberrations, and for the time to come might keep to, and do according to, 
that pattern, and square all by it. Measuring here respects not the old 
temple so much, as if the temple that had hitherto stood were to be mea- 
sured, but it respects a new budding, or finishing of a church. So also Zech. 
ii., the measuring the city, ver. 2, was to signify not the taking the platform 
of Jerusalem as then it stood built, but as further anew to be built and in- 
habited, ver. 4, 5. So also the temple, as then being yet unfinished by the 
Jews after the cajjtivity; the plummet, or measuring-line, chap. iv. 10, which 
answers to the reed here, signified that the tem2:)le should be finished ; which 
appears, if you compare the above-named place with ver. 9 of the same 
chapter. And — 

3. Measuring imports protection also. So, Zech. ii., the measuring the 
city there is in the interpretation given, ver. 5, explained, that ' God would 
be a wall of fire round about them, and their glory in the midst of them.' 
And so here so much may be intimated, and so hoped for. For the outward 
court is therefore not measured, because it is given to the Gentiles. But, on 
the contrary, the worshippers are measured, and called up, as it were, out 
from the outward court, that they may be preserved from the re-entry of 
those Gentiles upon them, or power over them ; at least, from such power as 
they had over the outward court. To get into this temple is the greatest 
preservative to keep the saints from the over-growing corruptions and defile- 
ments of these Gentiles ; and it may unto many prove a protection and 
sanctuary from their power, as to those churches in New England it may be 
hoped it shall. ' God will create a defence upon his glor}'.' And, however, 
they shall hereby be reserved lor that resurrection which afterward is to 
come, ver. 11, 12, &c. 

Now, in the second place, on the contrary, the not measuring and the 
leaving out the outward court, and yet measuring the other, is — 

1. By the word exactly putting a difference between them that fear God 
and them that fear him not ; measuring out who fear him by marks, signs, 
and spots upon his people, (as in Deuteronomy God speaks,) which the word 
gives. And this distinguishing and putting a difference between men and 
men, the word calls excluding or leaving them out. Which, accordingly, to 
make way for the right constitution of churches, in discerning the true mat- 
ter of them, hath been the chief work of the godly ministers in England in 
this last age; who, though they wanted the ordinance of excommunication in 


their churches, yet in lieu of it they had excommunicating gifts, and were 
forced, because of that profane mixture in churches, to spend most of their 
ministry in distinguishing men, by giving signs and marks of men's natural 
and regenerate estates, and convincing and discovering carnal men to them- 
selves and others : which God in providence ordained, to make way for the 
erection of more pure churches. For by this light was set up in godly men's 
hearts a spirit to discern between the clean and the unclean ; and so to hew 
and set a[)art the materials for this temple, as the stones for Solomon's were. 

2. This implies a rejecting them from church-fellowship, and not admitting 
them into the new-reared temple, as being not fit matter for this building ; 
which is a kind of excommunication of them. 

3. This leaving out the outward court may also imply a rejecting such 
forms of administration in worship, (liturgies, &c.,) and corruptions therein, 
which are not found agreeable to the word. For I take the phrase of oitt- 
ward court to import a full opposition to those particulars mentioned in the 
former words ; which, as you have heard, are these — temple, altar, worshippers. 
And therefore oppositely, all carnal and corrupt worshippers, or forms of 
worshipping, cleaving to ordinances, as left in the first reformation, as the 
filth which the sea leaves behind it at an ebb^ these are all comprehended 
under that expression of outward court. 

Now, in the last place, consider the reason given why God stirs up his 
people, now in this age, to do thus by this outward court. Which is, be- 
cause, as their forms of worship came from Popery, and themselves are 
inwardly and in heart Gentiles ; so he hath, for many glorious ends of his, 
ordained them unto Popery again, more or less to be subjected to it. And 
therefore he declares this as the reason why he would now, and not before, 
put it into the hearts of his builders thus strangely and suddenly to reject 
them : because that the time is now come when, by his decree, they must 
return to the Gentiles again. Only ere the Gentiles should thus again seize 
on them, they must first be left out by the templers, the true church ; which, 
being once done, they forthwith become as heathens, as Christ says ; and 
being ' cast out ' they ' wither,' and become a prey to men, as it is 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 1 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 1 
So that as this new reformation made way for their ruining the outward 
court, so the Gentiles' winning more upon the outward court doth further 
this new reformation ; God carrying on these two works at once. 

Now the word given — ' it is given to the Gentiles ' — imports an easy kind 
of conquest which the Popish party obtains over them ; they yield, and give 
up the fort as it were, and sufier the Papists to come in upon them, without 
much or long holding out. Now in such a dispensation of God towards the 
carnal Protestants, thus to give them up again unto the Gentiles, there 
are many and glorious ends which God may have in it, that may make it 
the more probable that so indeed he intends to do, ere he means to bring in 
that glorious church to come. As — 

1. That he might have a purer church, according to the primitive institu- 
tion; these treaders of his courts becoming loathsome to him, with their 
oblations. And though the first reformation was, outwardly in show, more 
specious and glorious, for the multitude of those that reformed, and this is 
to be by much a smaller and narrower building, — even as in proportion the 
outward court did far exceed the inner temple, — yet this consisting of purer 


worshippers and worsliip, squared by the word, this second building shall 
in true glory excel that other. 

2. God may do this to let many of these worshippers taste of the fruit of 
their own ways. They took upon them to be the true church-zealots and 
defenders of religion against the Papists, and yet cast out God's true wor- 
shippers and their ministers, saj-ing, ' Let God be glorified ;' whilst they beat 
their feUow-servants, as the parable hath it. But here they are met with 
being cast out by them agam. And upon their being rejected from their 
fellowship, the protection and defence of these from the Gentiles cease, and 
they are given up to them. 

3. For the same cause that God let Popery come in upon the Avorld at 
first, for the same he suffers it thus again to overflow ; even because men 
' received not the truth ' — so clearly shining in the prophecy of the witnesses 
amongst them — ' in the love of it.' 

4. To throw out this rubbish that would hinder that temple, which after 
all he intends to build and make most glorious. For these, like those 
Samaritans, Ezra iv. 1, 2, offer indeed to build with them; but being, ac- 
cording to God's appointment, not to have a hand in it, they would be a 
hindrance to it ; as indeed they have been. 

5. That of that glorious restauration, and resurrection of the church and 
witnesses, which is yet to come, and is foretold in the 12th and 13th verses 
of this chapter, only true worshippers, who in this time of trial stood out as 
faithful witnesses against Popery, and the invasion of it, might have the 
honour and praise. Therefore God brings this trial upon all the churches, 
so to burn up and consume this dross, and to discover those carnal Protes- 
tants — that have spoken as big words and talked as hotly against Popery as 
any, and made that the evidence of their sincerity — to be such, and unsound, 
by a base yielding unto the Gentiles the Papists : that so, when Christ seems 
to revive his church again after this, ver. 13, then, as you have it in Isa. 
Ixvi., Christ may appear to his people's glory, but to their shame who yet 
before cast them out, and said, * Let God be glorified.' 

6. That the Gentiles and the Pope might thus accomplish their time and 
period of forty-two months, with an investment of the Pope into his old 
territories, now towards the expiring of that his time. Which reason the 
next words do give, * And so they shall tread down the holy city for forty- 
two months,' and be found domineering in it, in a manner, as fully as before, 
towards the end of their forty-two months; that so their lease may well-nigh 
expire in a full possession : and that so the confusion of Antichrist — the 
greatest work to be done for the church from the apostles' days — may be the 
more glorious unto God. Thus Daniel seemed to ftiretell, that after those 
'tidings out of the north should trouble him,' which was this separation of 
these northern kingdoms from him ; as also ' out of the east,' through the 
prevailing of the Turk, when he came so near unto his territories; that, 
enraged with this, he shall 'go forth in great fury,' chap. xi. 44, 'and plant 
his tabernacle' (his power and jurisdiction) again 'upon the glorious holy 
mountain,' (where the temple stands,) ' between the seas.' And what follows! 
Even that after all this his recovery of power over these churches of the 
lleformation towards his end, yet ' he shall come to his end, and none shall 
help him.' And after Rome's recovery of her power thus, and when the 
whore begins to sing her sister Babel's song, just before her fall, — as Rev. 
xvii. 7, 8, — and saith in her heart, ' I sit as a queen, and am no widow,* as 
having her ancient paramours again, and so thinks she shall now see no 
Borrow; therefore ' shall her plagues come in one day; for strong is the Lord 


that judgeth her.' And thereby will be seen God's omnipotent power in her 
confusion. There is nothing also in it, that, chap, xvii., the ten kings or 
states of Europe are twice mentioned as giving their power unto the beast ; 
and, ver. 17, arc the second time said to agree to do it, through some special 
hand of God to fulfil his will : even till those words of God, uttered by 
Daniel in the fore-cited place, shall be fulfilled ; for unto some word of the 
Old Testament do these words here refer. 

§ 4. — An appendix to the 1st and 2d verses of the Wih chaj^ter, refuting 
other interpretations given of the measuring of the temple and outward 
court, {ivhich you may read, or not read, as you please). 

This interpretation of John's measuring the temple, as in this latter age to 
be performed, being thus made forth to hold in all things, as you have seen, 
I shall not need to spend much time, and yet some, in refuting other inter- 

Mr Mede w-ould have the new book-prophecy to begin here at this 11th 
chapter, and the sixth trumpet under the seal-prophecy, fully ended before, 
at the conclusion of the 9th chapter; and the oath of the angel, chap, x., to 
supply the seventh trumpet. And so makes the angel here, in chap, xi., to 
begin again anew, aloft from John's time; and so this 11th chapter to be a 
short, compendious representation of the story of the church in all ages, be- 
ginning here anew from John's time, and, as it were, the contents and brief 
sum of that larger story which begins at chap. xii. And so would have all the 
several states of the church in all ages more briefly here represented through 
all times. As — 

1. That of the primitive times, until Antichrist's rising, under the type of 
the temple measured; till when, says he, the church remained pure, accord- 
ing to the pattern : and therefore John is bidden to measure it, as a pattern 
of the truth unto after-ages. And then — 

2. The face of the church during Antichrist's time, for 1260 years, under 
the type of the ' Gentiles treading down the outward court and holy city •' 
thereby, says he, representing how the Papists should arrogate and possess 
the name and face of the church so long time; which yet, because it will 
not bear the measure of the reed, John is therefore bidden to leave out, as 
neither in doctrine nor discipline keeping to the word, nor unto the primitive 
pattern, but utterly swerving from it, as the church of Rome hath done. 
And in this state the church continues for 1260 years; the Gentiles having 
that time allowed them to tread down the holy city. And the state of the 
true church all that while is but as of these witnesses in sackcloth. This 
interpretation the reverence had to the integrity of the church for the first 
400 years did beget; together with that appearance, at first view, that the 
outward court should here be said to be given to the Gentiles, to be by them 
trodden down, as the holy city is, for forty-two months. Which mistake I 
have abundantly removed in the first section, and in the fifth general pre- 
mise to this my interpretation. 

But further to remove the supposition on which this interpretation of his 
is founded : — 

1. The sixth trumpet, and the times of it in this vision, are not yet ended 
here in this angel's intention. For the angel, after his long discourse of the 
occurrences that are to fall under the times of the sixth trumpet, doth then 
(when the time of it, according to the series of this vision, did indeed come 
to end) say, ver. 14 of this chapter, ' The second woe is past, and the third 
Cometh quickly.' And you may observe, that after the expiration of the 


time of these woe-woe-trumpets, which are the fifth, sixth, and seventh, such 
a closure comes in after each of them, * One woe is past, another comes,' &c. 
And thus, after that the times of the fifth trumpet were out, according to 
the series of the vision, this closure is added, chap. ix. 12, ' One woe is past, 
and behold there come two other woes more.' 

Now at the end of the 9th chapter, there is no such close annexed. But 
here, chap. xi. 14, when the angel had related the occurrences which are to 
fall out in the latter days of the sixth trumpet, — that is, whUst the Turkish 
kingdom yet stands, and which shall fall out not long before his fall, — then, 
and not before, he brings in that close of the times of that trumpet, ' The 
second woe is past, and behold the third cometh quickly.' Which shews, 
that either part of the matter and of the woe that goes to make up that 
sixth trumpet complete, remained to be uttered by this angel, chap, xi., 
(which when he had declared, he says, ' The second woe is past,') or that, 
according to the course of the vision, the time of it was now expired. 
And then — 

2. The angel takes his oath, chap, x., as yet standing under the times of 
the sixth trumpet, and afore" the times of the seventh; and that seventh 
trumpet's time yet not come to blow, according to the order of time pre- 
sented in this vision. And therefore it is not a mere suspension of the vision 
itself until he had begun with or run over all times again, as Mr Mede 
would have it ; but its time to blow was in this vision not yet come. This 
the very words and phrase of the angel's oath, chap, x., do imply ; when he 
says, * In the days of the seventh trumpet, when he shall begin to sound.' 
Mark that phrase, the days of the seventh truvipet. It im2)lies that he 
speaks according to the compute of vision-time, as I may so caU it ; for 
vision being a representation of events, even as a comedy is of stories, ac- 
cordingly these visions that succeed each other have a supposed artificial 
time that runs along with the representation of those events in these visions, 
in their due order, — even as the several seasons of the year are in a prog- 
nostication laid forth according to artificial names, (as in an almanac you read 
of dog-days and the like,) or even as in a map all countries are represented, 
with their several climates or situations, by lines of longitude and latitude, 
which have artificial names by geographers given unto them. So from the 
6th chapter of this book, hath been represented a map or vision of all times, 
and these as successively governed by angels, from whence they have their 
names, as seasons have from their planets that govern them, (as the dog-days 
in summer, from the dog-star's reign at that time.) So the days of Christ's 
kingdom to come are called 'the days of the seventh angel j' and so the 
times before it are called the days of the sixth angel, or the sixth trumpet, 
under which the Turk reigns. Now then, in that the angel swears, ' time 
shaU be no longer but till the days of the seventh angel ;' when he begins 
to sound, all shall be finished ; it implies, that according to the course of 
time in this vision begun, this time was not yet ended. 

To demonstrate this, consider — 

1. That those words, 'Time shall be no longer but till the days of the 
seventh angel,' do imply a long series of time already past in the visions of 
the former angels, and time hitherto brought down ; and so he must needs 
speak this in a respect to vision or representative time, as I may so call it, 
which he, as an actor coming in his due jjlace and order, stood under. And 
accordingly, likewise he must be supposed to speak unto John as a sjiectator 
brought to the last stadium or scene of time. And therefore he speaks as 

* In the original edition it is after, which I have ventured to alter to a/ore.— Ed. 

Chap. IV.] an exposition of the revelation. 135 

taking it for granted that there was some time yet left, according to the 
series of this vision ; and yet no more but until the days of the seventh 
trumpet, which was next to come upon the stage. And so the angel must 
be supposed to speak those words as yet standing under the days of the 
sixth trumpet, as yet not ended, but as having some time still to come. For 
should he be supposed to begin again aloft at the top of time, and so to 
bring John thither, as having ended the former prophecy ; and then, with a 
new vision, to begin to run over all time again ; he should, in the same 
speech, take in two several accounts of time at once. For whilst he says, ' time' 
(or delay) ' shall be no longer,' (which imports that whole space of time 
under the former trumpets, from the age wherein John lived, to be past and 
off the stage already,) in respect thereto he must be supposed then to stand 
under the sixth trumpet, as viewing all that time gone over. But in the 
following words, when he says, ' but in the days of the seventh trumpet, 
when he shall begin to blow,' he should speak as taking all time afore him 
anew, and as beginning all time again, according to this opinion. And it 
"were strange if in the same sentence two speeches should bear such differ- 
ing dates. 

2. Those words, ' But in the days of the seventh angel, when he shall 
begin to sound,' do also argue this. For — 

(1.) He says not to John, The vision of that angel, and his sounding, I will 
not give thee now, John, uhicli yet should now in order follow; but he 
says. The days of his sounding (as speaking of vision-time) are yet to begin. 

* When the angel,' says he, ' shall begin to sound ;' as manifestly noting the 
time of sounding, according to the order of representative time in the vision, 
not }^et to be actually come to be presented ; and not the vision only sus- 
pended unto John. And — 

(2.) When he said, chap. xi. 14, that 'the second woe is past,' he adds, 

* Behold, the tliird woe cometh quickly;' as noting yet some space of time 
between this and the seventh trumpet to come, as between the sixth vial 
and the seventh there is to be. So that the vision is not suspended only; 
but really, according to the series of this prophecy, it still wen', on, and this 
seventh was to follow. And — 

(3.) Accordingly, when in the 11th chapter the seventh trumpet doth 
indeed sound, there is a voice heard — in answer, as it were, unto what the 
angel had said, chap, x., that ' delay should be no longer' — that 'now that 
time is come,' &c. He had said it should be no longer than till then ; and 
now, when it sounds, the voice says, that ' time is come.' So that then, and 
not till then, according to the series of this vision, was the time of the sound- 
ing of it. And all this argues the vision of this 11th chapter, and the occur- 
rences of it, to be a supplement or addition to come in towards the end of 
the sixth trumpet, and not to begin again at the top of time. So that rather, 
I take it, he still speaks all in this 11th chapter, as standing in the last days 
of the sixth trumpet, the times whereof are not ended ; and so mentions 
such occurrences as shall fall out in the latter times of it, in which John and 
he do stand, as hath been shewn. And — 

Secondly, for that other thing supposed, — namely, Mr Mede's making 
the first four hundred years until Antichrist's rising to be the temple mea^ 
sured, as so long agreeing with the reed, and so continuing as an exact 
pattern for churches, and so intended in this measuring, — I say two things : — 

1. If the meaning should be that these primitive churches are therefore 
measured, that they might be held forth as a pattern to churches afterwards, 
as is intimated in his quoting Ezek. xliii. 10, 11, and applying it to this 

136 AN rxrosiTiON of the revfxation, [Part II. 

measuring in such a sense only, I cannot imagine, that although a just and 
a due reverence is to be given to those times, that yet Christ would ever 
impart such an honour to any church not purely apostolical, as to make 
them the pattern for worship and doctrine, which is honour due only to the 
word, and unto those churches extant in the very times of the apostles, only 
so far as they kept those ordinances in which the apostles settled them; so 
1 Cor. xi. 2, 22. Otherwise the apostle pulls down the pride of that Corin- 
thian, and of all other churches, for arrogating tliis unto themselves, saying, 
* What! came the word of God out from you, or to you only?' chap. xiv. of 
that epistle, ver. 36. It is therefore too much to give to those primitive 
tunes, esjjecially for the first 400 years. For — 

2. Although the doctrine and discipline of the first age in which John 
lived, and in which churches were then settled by the apostles, might then 
be thus measured to be held forth, and so to serve for a pattern, as we have 
the story of it in the word, which on purpose relates the state of those 
churches, yet to make such an integrity to extend to those other following ages, 
until the very times wherein Antichrist rose, — which in many matters both 
of worship and government did so much swerve one age after another still 
more and more from the rule, — this were unsafe. For the corruptions which 
still did steal in upon the doctrine and worship, in the first 300 years after 
the apostles' deaths, were indeed the occasion of the rise of Antichrist, the 
mystery of whose iniquity began to work in the apostles' times, and in every 
age more than other so prevailed, as that Antichrist arose in the view of the 
best churches and fathers, though then undiscerned by them; which, had 
they kept that primitive integrity, had been utterly impossible. And there- 
fore to reduce our worship, &c., now unto the pattern of the first four or five 
hundred years, which is the plausible pretence of our new deformers, is to 
bring Popery again in by the same degrees now as it at first crept in by. And 
this the devil, who knew the way of introducing it then, to that end crieth 
it up now. 

For my part, I rest assured that the light which hath broken forth in 
many of our reformed churches since Calvin's time, and which still increas- 
eth, and shall until Antichrist be consumed, is both in matter of doctrine, 
interpretation of Scriptures, worship, church government, &c., much purer, 
and might be taken for a truer measure, than what shines in the story and 
writings of those three latter primitive ages. But yet it were too much to 
attribute that to it which this opinion puts upon the light of those primitive 
times. But all that I have said in my foregone exposition is, that now in 
this age, light coming in, and discovering how fiir the constitution of 
churches in their outward government, &c., hath swerved from the true 
pattern, therefore John is set at work afresh to measure it. Which use of 
the phrase is very proper, as implying only a reformation and restitution of 
the church attempted, after a swerving from the rule. In which sense Beza 
and other interpreters understand it, without any arrogation to these times. 
And — 

3. For his making the outward court to represent the church's state as in 
order of time succeeding this temple of the primitive times, I only say this, 
that it seems to me that these two, the temple and the outward court, are 
represented as rather existing together and contemporaneous, the one being 
bid to be measured, and the other to be cast out, at one and the same time, 
as being not capable of the true measure. And the contrary opinion would 
make no churches erected according to the pattern in this Reformation, since 
Luther and Calvin, but still to remain, as it were, hidden under Popery as 

Chap. IV.] an exposition of the uevklation. 137 

an outward court until Antichrist's times arc fully out. Whereas churches 
are, and have been, long since erected, and that as exactly according to the 
pattern as any we read of, the apostles' age only excepted. And then — 

4. For that other supposition, that the 11th chapter should be a com- 
pendium of all times from John's age unto the seventh trumpet, so to shew 
the synchronising of two prophecies, I say — 

(1.) It were strange that in a compendium one particular passage (of the 
killing of the witnesses) should be insisted upon more largely than all the 
rest, and take up the half of that discourse, as from ver. 7 to 14 this does ; 
and that such a j)assage or occurrence as this, that is not mentioned in the 
large prophecy that follows, whereof this should be the compendium and 
argument, should yet come in here by itself; would it not rather argue that 
the angel here did chiefly intend to give some special occurrence, which 
should go before the seventh trumpet in the church of the age that preceded 
it, as a sign of its approach 1 

(2.) It is true, indeed, that one end of this angel's coming down was to 
shew what was the time and period of the fourth monarchy, under that last 
head the Pope, whose time and continuance Daniel had mentioned but in- 
definitely. But yet his purpose was to make mention, and but a mention, 
of no more times than simply those 1 2G0 years of the last head, which were 
enough to interpret Daniel, which was his scope, and not explicitly to ascend 
to the whole time of the Revelation. And then his annexing to that com- 
putation such occurrences belonging to the book-prophecy as should fall out 
at the ending of that time, and his subjoining the expiring of the sixth 
trumpet, which belongs to the seal-prophecy, it being the passing away of 
the second woe, ver. 14, presently upon the ending of these occurrences; 
this serveth sufficiently enough to shew the connexion of all times in both 
prophecies, and more clearly than that other way of Mr Mede's. 

There is but one objection, both against this way of mine, and that makes 
most for that opinion of his, that I know of; and that is, that, chap, x., John 
eating a little book which contains a new prophecy, and therefore, ver. 12, 
he says he must prophecy again ; hence, therefore, it follows that the seal- 
prophecy must be supposed ended, and so this 1 1th chapter to contain a 
new prophecy from the beginning. 

To which I answer, that the angel's coming down now towards the end 
of the old prophecy had a double scope ; the one to give a new prophecy, 
the other to give an exact computation of the times of both prophecies, him- 
self as yet standing in the end of those times of the one prophecy, and being 
shortly to enter into the other; and so withal intending to give a signal of 
the ending of those times for the church's warning. Which occurrences that 
were to be the signs, because they were passages belonging to the book-pro- 
phecy, as being the fates of the reformed churches in the days before the 
Pope's ruin, which are matters belonging to the book-prophecy; hence it is 
necessary that John should now first eat that little book, the story of which 
was entirely to begin at the 12th chapter, that so thereby h.^ might be, as 
it were, enabled to conceive of these passages related, chap, xi, they being 
such as belonged to that book- prophecy. For John had not yet seen the beast 
ascending out of the bottomless pit, who is mentioned, ver. 7, nor heard of 
the witnesses and their vials; but by eating that little book now was signi- 
fied to him that therein was contained the vision of these things which these 
passages here related did concern. And besides this, there was likewise 
signified unto him thereby, that now in the last days of the sixth trumpet 
the book was open, as Daniel says. 


But for a more fiill answer to be added to these, take in that fifth pre- 
cognition, or premised consideration, which in the beginning of this exposi- 
tion of chap. xi. I laid down beforehand, tending to the opening of it. 

I might do the like by the interpretations of Mr Brightman and Mr 
Forbes; who, though they make the measuriug to signify and represent the 
godly's discerning the difference between the temple, the true church, and 
the outward court, the Popish and false church, in these latter days of the 
first Keformation ; yet so as they make the outward court here to be the 
outward face of the Popish church, the seat and name of which they pos- 
sessed, and the temple to be the church of God in all ages hid under Popery, 
as the temple was, within the outward court, and for many ages not discerned ; 
whilst the Popish church, possessing the outward court, stood only outward 
to the eye, and held the name and face of the church, but became now to be 
discerned or measured by the reed of the word; which is, say they, the 
measuring here. So that they make the church, in these anterior times 
under Popery, to be the temple, and the outward face of the church all that 
while to be the outward court. And having placed this temple and out- 
ward court in the first days of Antichrist, and this measuring of the temple 
thus high, even from the dawning of the gospel so long since, they accord- 
ingly go on to make the following occurrences of this chapter to be all 
already fulfilled. 

The 1260 days of the witnesses, — which they would have to be the two 
testaments, — their ' j^^ophecy in sackcloth,' they make to be expired, and 
their slaughter past, in that councU of Trent, coincident with the Smalkaldic 
war in 1547, or thereabouts. After which there was in Germany a restora- 
tion of the gospel, after ' three years and a-half ;' where the ' tenth part of 
the city' fell off again from Popery. After which the seventh trumpet 
sounded, say they, when these northern kingdoms settledly embraced the 
gospel, and became the kingdoms of Jesus Christ; where, that he may for 
ever reign, without any recovery again by the beast, I say Amen, as Jere- 
miah did. 

But this interpretation I cannot assent to; for, as we shall see afterward, 
this killing the \Adtnesses, and the passing away of the second woe, or the 
Turkish dominion, together with the soundmg of the seventh trumpet, are 
aU yet to come. 

And for their making the temj^le measured to be the company of elect 
past through all the ages until then, but now in the beginning of the gospel 
discovered, these things are against it : — 

1. The visions of this book are still of things present or to come, and not 
of things past. And therefore this seems much rather to note out the pre- 
sent state of the temple, existing as then unto John, under some of the times 
of the sixth trumpet, than a discerning what was past and gone before that 

2. The condition of the true worshippers, whilst hidden in those anterior 
times of Popery until the Eeformation, are rather represented in chap xiv. — 
which chapter summarily contains the several faces and conditions of the 
church through Antichrist's reign, as the 13th chapter doth the state of 
Antichrist during that time — to be as a company of a hundred and forty- 
four thousand upon Mount Zion, whereon as yet a temple was not built : and 
so distinguished from them under the times of the Reformation, when only 
we cume to have the first mention of the temple, ver. 15, 17, and of the 
altar, ver. 18; therein alluding, as it seems to me, unto the state of the holy 
city, wherein, until Solomon's time, there was not a temple built, though in 

Chap. IV.] an exposition of the kevelation. 139 

David's time that mount was by the Jews inhabited. So nor was this virgin 
company as yet formed up into a distinct temple and altar of worship dis- 
tinct from the Popish, in any eminent manner, but rather lay scattered in 
the Popish churches, and were hidden among them, although they were not 
of them. But now, in the Reformation, they began to be built up into a 
temple apart, and to set up an altar distinct from that of these Samaritans. 
And then — 

3. To make the measuring this temple to be an after-sight, or discerning 
of them, does not enough fill up the meaning of that phrase, though that be 
connotated and implied in it; which we find elsewhere used, as Ezek. xlui. 
11, for drawing a platform of God's house, and the ordmances thereof, to 
keep them, and put them in practice ; or else for building and finishing an 
edifice, as Zech. ii. 2, 4, compared, and Zech. iv. 9, 10. "VVliich must there- 
fore rather respect a temple as in these times existing and in being, or to 
be built and finished, than a temple in ages past, and but now discovered. 

4. These opposite negative words, ' Measure not, but leave out the out- 
ward court,' do import a real act of rejection put in execution, and, in fact, 
done towards that outward court as then existing, and not merely a disco- 
very or judging them only to have been but an outward court in ages past. 
They do imply an act of leaving them out in that building that was now 
erecting, as being such whose form and frame was not for this building, nor 
capable of that measure which was now to be applied. 

AU these things argue to me, that this vision and work appointed John 
here respected not anterior times, but the face of that church the times 
whereof he then stood in, and the work of that age about it. Whereas, 
according to their interpretation, the outward court must have existed at the 
beginning of the times of Antichrist ; for they suppose the outward court — 
that is, the face of the church — possessed by Antichrist forty-two months, 
even from the beginning. 

There is a third interpretation, which to me seems more probable than 
either of these, and which I exclude not in this of mine ; and that is, that this 
measuring the temple, &c., should be that first reformation and erecting of 
churches, with that separation made from Popery by our worthies, they cast- 
ing out that catholic Eomish church as not agreeing with the rule. And so 
that reformation and separation falling out together with, or not long after, 
the Turks' possessing the eastern empire, which is the sixth trumpet, chap, ix., 
this 11th chapter, beginning with that reformation of the church, should 
thereby orderly continue the story of the sixth trumpet, without any chasma 
or void space of time between the 9th and 11th chapters. Whereas, to draw 
it down to our time, leaves an interim or vacuity of a hundred years. 

1. I conceive the scope of the angel here not to be so much to make up a 
complete story continued to the other, chap. ix. For the former story of the 
trumpets having contained only the fates of the empire, it therefore suited 
not his scope to annex this reformation of the church thereunto, as any ho- 
mogeneal part of one continued story, although in time immediately succeed- 
ing it. For that more properly belonged to the book-prophecy that follows, 
and is at large set forth, chap, xiv.-xvi. But his scope seems rather to be 
to give a computation of the times of Antichrist, and a signal of their end- 
ing, by the occurrences of the age just before, singling out to that end such 
particular passages, that otherwise belonged to the book-prophecy, about the 
church in that last age as should be most eminent, and likewise designatory 


of the ending of those times, being such also as should fall out before the 
expiring of the sixth trumj^et or second woe. 

And if these occurrences have any affinity with the sixth trumpet, it rather 
lies in this, that whereas the fifth and sixth trumpets had contained two woes 
on the Christian world in the east, for their idolatry, from the Turks and 
Saracens, this contains a like woe on the churches of the reformation in the 
west, by the Papists overrunning their outward court, as a punishment of 
their carnal gospelling. Which, added to those woes brought upon those 
Grecian churches by the Turks, should make the woe of the sixth trumpet 
complete. And so the treading the wine-press without the city, (in Ger- 
many,) chap, xiv., should be reduced to the sixth trumj^et, as a part of it, 
rather than to any of the vials. The vials being upon the Turk and Pope 
only, but these other woes upon those other professors of Christ and his 
name, after a fleshly way, both Grecians and Protestants ; the one by the 
Turk, chap, ix., the other by the Papists here in this 11th chapter. And 
then — 

2. The main eminent business of the first reformers from Popery being 
chiefly about matters of doctrine corrupted by the Papists, and about the 
idolatries of Rome, therefore both in chap, xiv., in the voices of those three 
angels, and in chap, xv., in their song there, matters of doctrine only are 
mentioned. And though they laid the foundation of the building of all 
churches, yet that was not to hyhv, that very work unto which they did so 
specially attend. It was not so much the right measuring and constitution 
of churches, and of the materials of them ; as here that is made the main 
thing intended, even to measure the temple, altar, &c., and indeed is, and 
hath been eminently and pecuUarly the work in hand now in this last age. 

3. Let it be considered that the Popish party in this allusion cannot so 
properly be called the outward court, but they are rather intended by Gen- 
tiles here ; and so the outward court must note out that third sort of wor- 
shippers between these Gentiles and the templers, as I before shewed. 

4. This being that exceeding great error and defect laid in the founda- 
tion of the churches of the first Pteformation, especially in our British 
churches, — namely, the adjoining this outward court of carnal and unregene- 
rate Protestants, and receiving them from the first into the temple, worship, 
and communion of all ordinances ; so that the bounds of the church were 
extended as far as the bounds of the commonwealth ; which was done out 
of human prudence, suddenly to greaten the party against the Gentiles in 
the city : that as the earth helps the woman, chap. xiL, so this, as an out- 
ward court, might round about shield the true temple and worshippers in it 
against the beast. And then, on the other side, this being, in this new-begun 
and second reformation of these churches, the main fundamental principle 
which is here mentioned, of receiving none into churches but only such 
worshippers as the reed, or light of the word, so far as it gives rules to judge 
others by, applied by the judgment or men, who yet may err, shall discover 
to be truly saints, (which belongs to another dispute ;) and this vision falling 
out in, and as belonging to, the times of this latter age, and being purposely 
intended, as it were, to amend and correct that very error : hence it seems 
most property to belong to this work of a second refoi-mation. 

Yet, because that was a true measuring, and this but the finishing of that 
building whereof their hands had laid the foundation, and like Zerubbabel's 
finishing the temple ; therefore I verily think the Holy Ghost had an aim at 
both, as unto two several gradual accomplishments of it. For this I per- 

Chap. IV.l an exposition of the revelation. 141 

ceive in almost all prophecies: that there are several accomplishments which 
the Holy Ghost hath in his eye, yet so as he fixeth upon one, and usually 
the last of them, as the main intended. For which I could brmg many lu- 
stanccs : of which one I shall hereafter give. And that he might have such 
a double aspect iu this, I shaU shew when I come to the kilhug of the 



The exposition of the Wth chapter continued. — The description of the 
witnesses, ver. 3-6. 

Section I. 

Some things in general premised. — The division of the particular acts 
ascribed to them: with the order and time of each. 

Now I come to the angel's discourse concerning the 'two witnesses;' who 
are the holy people, whose power is at last to be scattered. The description 
of whom is set down, to make way for the relation of that their scattering. 
Two things, as was said, are here related about them : — 

1. The description of their condition and of their power, ver. 3-6. 

2. The last scattering of them, and of this their power. 

I. For their description, which the angel makes, to the end that John 
might know whom he spake of, who were at last to be thus killed; he de- 
scribes them as throughout all ages they had opposed Antichrist : which he 
doth upon that occasion that he had for to mention their whole time. But 
especially he sets them out by what in their latter times, the age immedi- 
ately foregoing this their killing, they should have power to oppose the beast 
in; and yet, how that after all he should prevail against them. So that 
there is this use and end of this so large a description of them, ver. 3-6, 
that the time of this their last killing might be more evidently discerned, 
when it was to come; namely, after they should have done thus and thus 
against the beast and his company, — to wit, set up a temple, and poured 
out four vials, — and when they should be come to one of the highest plagues, 
even ' to devour them with fire,' which is the fourth vial, that then their 
enemies should prevail against them. 

Now this description of them is absolved many and several ways : as — 

1. By their office; they are witnesses and prophets. 

(1.) Witnesses, as being in all ages to testify against Antichrist; but espe- 
cially now at last. 

(2.) Prophets, as being to prophesy, and thereby to feed the church, whilst 
in the wilderness, the same term of 1260 years; as you have it chap. xii. 6, 
where it is said that ' they ' — that is, these prophets and witnesses — ' shall 
feed her,' &c. 

2. They are set out by their condition, which is in sackcloth and mourn- 
ing; whilst the Pope and his clergy are in their silk triumphing. 

3. By their number; they are two. For — 

(1.) £i/ the mouth of tivo witnesses (at least) every word is to be established. 

(2.) They are two, in allusion to those famous pairs or couples, for by 
couples they have still gone, in the Old Testament, living in the like times; 

Chap. V.] an exposition of the revelation. 143 

and which were fit types of these times of Antichrist, and the church's state 
therein, in the various progress of it throughout all ages of Antichrist's 

The couples were these : — 

1. Moses and Aaron, prophets to the church in Egypt, and in the wilder- 

2. Elias and Elisha, prophets to Israel in Ahab's time, wherein idolatry 
prevailed, and no face of a church was seen, and but seven thousand hid in 
corners that were godly. 

3. Zerubbabel and Joshua, prophets in the days of the finishing the 
temple, after the people were come forth from Babylon's captivity. 

And that to these three pairs the allusion is here made, is manifest. 

1. To !Moses and Aaron : for — 

(1.) These execute Egypt's plagues, ver. 6, like as they did. 
(2.) They * devour men with fire,' ver. 5 ; as Moses did twice by his gain- 
sayers in the wilderness. 

2. To Elias and Elisha ; for as they shut up heaven, that it rained not, 
so these here do the like, ver. 6. 

3. To Joshua and Zerubbabel ; for therefore, in ver. 4, these are called the 
' two olive-trees,' and ' candlesticks,' that began and finished the temple after 
the captivity. 

Now, out of this allusion made to such persons, you may in the general 
observe, that they are eminent both as ministers and magistrates, for such 
were all these types in their times, who especially are here intended, under 
the notion of two witnesses. And thus we have had the description of their 
quality, office, condition, and number. 

Then further, they are set forth to us by their several exploits, which they 
are to perform and execute during the whole time of their prophecy. And 
these are particularly related in each verse following. Which before I ex- 
plain particularly, let me premise this in the general to your notice about 
them : That the angel doth enumerate them, and order his recital of them, 
so as to draw our eyes unto two of these exploits or facts especially, as being 
the more eminent, and as those which were nearest to the times of this last 
age, wherein John measured the temple. And these are — 

1. Their devouring their enemies with fire, which is mentioned, ver. 5. 

2. Their being two olive-trees, &c., ver. 4. 

Which two are first mentioned, and set in the first view, as being such as 
did set forth these witnesses according to what they should be in this latter 
age. And to confirm this, you may observe — 

1. That those words in the 5th verse, ' If any man hurt them, fire comes 
out of their mouths,' &c., have indeed a direct reference to those words, ver. 
3, ' And I will give to my two witnesses,' &c. ; so that it is as if he had said, 
' I will give to my two witnesses power, that if any man hurt them, fire 
.shall come out of their mouths,' &c. And the particle xa/' — and I will give, 
(fee. — is there, ver. 3, adversatively put for hut ; as noting out that special 
opposition that these witnesses should have power to make against the 
Gentiles that should enter upon their outward court. ' But,' says he, ' I 
will give to my two witnesses power, that if any man hurt them,' <fec. To 
this I say, do these words, ' and I will give,' ver. 3, refer, as well as to those 
other words, 'they shall prophesy,' (fee, which follow in the 3d verse, as Pis- 
cator also observes. That whereas he had said three things in the 1st and 
2d verses : as — 


(1.) That tie temple was to be measured and finished in this latter age, by 

the godly in it, whose person John sustains ; 

(2.) That their outward court, which fenced the temple and witnesses, was 
to be regained by the Papists, and trodden down ; and — 

(3.) That the Gentiles' whole time of reigning, upon this occasion mentioned, 
was to expire : — 

Answerably and oppositely, as xai is taken, he says three things of these 
witnesses : as — 

(1.) That the same space of time that the Gentiles are to have to reign 
in, the same these have, even as many, to prophesy in, and shall be enabled 
to oppose them all that while. The witnesses are to have their twelve hun- 
dred and sixty days, for the Gentiles' forty-two months ; so ver. 3. And — 

(2.) Whereas this temple was in his latter age to be begun to be mea- 
sured, but that work is interrupted and hindered by this assault and inva- 
sion made by these Gentiles upon this outward court and temple ; yet 
these witnesses shall be as those ' two olive-trees,' ver. 4, ' that minister 
before the Lord of the whole earth,' whose power is engaged in that work. 
And thus they are called, to signify that as Joshua and Zerubbabel then, — 
who were called two olive-trees in that vision, Zech. iv., in respect that they 
were to perform the like work of finishing the temple, against all opposition 
made, — so should these two witnesses now complete the finishing of this 
temple measured, notwithstanding this interruption by the Gentiles' invasion 
of the temple and outward court. And so this is oppositely spoken to that 
second thing said of the Gentiles. And — 

(3.) Although these Gentiles in their subduing the outward court do 
much hurt to the witnesses, who shall oppose them in this their assault 
upon it and the temple, yet they again shall be able to avenge all the hurt 
done to themselves, by fire returned upon their enemies, and spit out of 
their mouths against them, whilst they are thus endeavouring to regain the 
outward court from them. And this is the first thing in general to be ob- 
served. Now — ■ 

2. To the same purpose j'ou may observe, that this power given them to 
hurt their enemies is spoken of as a matter of fact, done at that present 
time, and in the age wherein John in the vision stands, bearing the persons 
of the godly who were to measure this temple. Yea, and that this is spoken 
of as an encouragement to that work, that ' if any man will hurt them, fire 
comes out of their mouths.' But now — 

3. On the other side, it may be observed, that whatever else is said of 
their power in the 6th verse, besides these two things in the 4th and 5th 
verses, is broiight in merely as a thing added for illustration's sake, to shew 
what power besides this they have in their days formerly exercised. As 
thus, ' These have power in the days of their prophecy,' &,c., ver. 6. But the 
prime and eminent thing which is first mentioned is that their devouring 
their enemies with fire ; which is plainly the fourth vial, mentioned next the 
measuring the temple, as conjunct with it. And again — 

4. This exploit of theirs hath an emphasis set upon it also, ver. 5, ' In 
this manner he,' speaking of Mm that shall hurt them, ' must be killed,' as 
noting the greatest plague which these witnesses could execute, and that 
which so vexeth and tormenteth their enemies, as ver. 10 hath it, and so 
scorcheth them, as the fourth vial expresseth it, that they are thereby pro- 
voked to kill them for it, and so to rejoice over them chiefly in this very 
respect, as ver. 10 tells us. Yea — 

5. These four plagues being plainly the four first vials, you may observe, 


that they are here mentioned online inverso, in a clean contrary order from 
what they arc ranked in, chap. xvi. For the fourth vial of fire, which in 
chap. xvi. is made last in execution, is yet here ranked first ; and that vial 
on the earth which is first there, is mentioned last here ; merely to shew 
that this of lire was that which belonged to the i)rcsent times of this chapter, 
and the visions of it, namely, when the temple is measured, and also as 
that which was mainly intended, — and the other to come in only for illustra- 
tion's sake, to shew more fully who these witnesses were, even the same that 
the pourers forth of those vials. 

Section II. 

The acts of the witnesses : first, in the darkest times of Popery, withholding 
the rain, what ? — next, in the times of separation from Popery, in the 
three first vials, ver. 6. 

This being premised, to the end that you might know what times to refer 
these unto, I come now particularly to ex^ilain these several exploits here 
against their enemies, and that great service they do for God all this long 
time of their prophecy. Which serviceable acts of theirs have a double 
aspect : — 

1. Towards their enemies. 

2. Towards the temple, the church of God. 

Or they may be divided, according to the several times in which these 
services were performed. As — 

1. 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 ; 
and this in the 4th and 5th verses. And — 

2. What in the former ages of their prophecy they had also done ; which 
is laid down ver. 6, 

And this division you wdll here see to fall in according to that division 
which I made of these times, chap, xiv., and in the vials. 

For the first, what they did to their enemies. And — 

1. What they did against them in the days foregoing this latter age, 
wherem John is supposed to stand. Which acts of theirs are set forth in 
the sixth verse. 

(1.) And those were either done in those first times of all, even in the 
darkest times of Popery, when the hiindred and forty-four thousand stood 
on Mount Zion without a temple, and when idolatry overspread the world, 
chap. xiv. 1-6. Then these witnesses did ' shut heaven, that it rained 
not ;' which in the allusion refers to the times of Ahab, as the fittest type 
of these first times. For that exploit carries us unto what Elias then in 
like manner did, when he brought that curse on the land for their idolatry, 
that it rained not. When also the church was so small, that Elias thought 
himself alone ; and when Ahab and his priests of Baal — that is, the Pope 
and his mass-priests — ruled all the world. But hereby is signiiied, that then 
these prophets had this privilege, to have true grace only, and the dews and 
influence of heaven to come down upon themselves, to have a truth of doc- 
trine among them to save them ; which fell not into the knowledge and 
hearts of these priests of Baal. You heard, chap. xiv. 3, that they had a 
pecuUar song unto themselves, which none else could learn. Now all these 
dews of grace and saving doctrine were restrained and withheld from those 
idolaters, as a just curse upon them for their apostasy. Or — 

(2.) In the times succeeding next to these first times ; that is, from and 



after the times of their separation from Popery, and upon their coming out 
of that Egypt. Then, as Moses and Aaron, they execute the like plagues to 
those of theirs on Egypt, even the three first vials, which are therefore also 
mentioned in this Gth verse; for which I refer you to the IGth chapter. 
And these are the days of that separation of churches from Antichrist, and 
first reformation, set forth in the 14th chapter. 

Section III. 

The acts of the witnesses in this their last age of prophecy. And, first, their 
devouring with fire, ver. 5, ivhat ? The allusion thereof unto Moses's 
destroying Nadah and KoraKs company with fire, applied. 

But then — 

2. In their last days of all, towards the time of this new reformation 
of the temple, and before this their killing to come, they pour out the 
fourth vial in scorching and devouring their enemies with fire, as ver. 5 
shews us. Even as Moses and Aaron, when the church was come out of 
Egypt, and in the wilderness, devoured Nadab with fire, Lev. x. 1, 2, and 
two hundred and fifty princes in the rebellion of Korah, Num. xvi. 35. And 
this devouring their enemies with fire holds not only to those that profess 
Popery, but of ' any man that shall hurt them,' though living among them ; 
as you have it ver. 5. 

Now observe how this type agrees with the face of things in this latter 
age. For as when this fell out, Moses had then brought the jDcople out of 
Egypt, and had long before begun to set up the tabernacle and other ordi- 
nances of worship ; so when falls out the rebellion of these men here de- 
voured with fire 1 It is after the church has come out of that spiritual 
Egypt where these former plagues were executed, and after that pubUc wor- 
ship is erected and set up according to God's appointment in many things ; 
that is, after the first great reformation made by Luther, &c. But here 
is a company of rebels that rise up against Moses for his endeavouring to 
keep to the word in his temple's frame and fabric, and for his calling for this 
at the builders' hands. 

Observe the quarrel of both those companies then, and of these now. 

The first quarrel then was about introducing human inventions in God's 
worship, which himself commanded not. 

The second was, not only a renewing and continuing that quarrel, but 
further, to take away all distinction of persons in worshipjjing. 

For the first; (1.) Nadab and Abihu, they offer strange fire — namely, the 
common culinary fire, which in God's worship was strange fire — before the 
Lord ; which God commanded them not. For by his command, only fire from 
the altar should have been offered which originally came down from heaven. 
And so the sua for which they were devoured with fire, it was a transgression 
in bringing in, or continuing to use, such human inventions in worship as God 
had not commanded, and a justifying such to be warrantable. And — 

(2.) That other company that clave to Korah, their sin was as their offer- 
ing incense, not being true priests, so their quarrelling Moses and Aaron for 
putting such a difiference between the people, as making some to be priesta, 
(of the tribe of Levi.) and others not. Whenas, say they, ' all the people 
are holy;' and therefore 'ye take too much upon you, ye sons of Levi,' &c. 
Seeing every one throughout the whole congregation is holy, and so is as fit 
to worship and draw near to God as you, ' wherefore then lift you up your- 
selves above the congregation of the Lord V who, they thought, were God's 

Chap. V.] an exposition of the revelation. 147 

people, and whom he had chosen to draw near unto him. This was the quarrel, 
as Moses states it, ver. 5, and unto this sin they added rebellion, ver. 14. 

Now, what has been the quarrel, that in England, which I instance most 
in, as being best known to us, and in some other reformed churches, wliich 
hath since the first Reformation been continued, — of the latter days of which 
times, this is especially here understood, for it is the fourth vial, — but about 
human inventions ? Which are as that strange fire then which God com- 
manded not, which yet are introduced and continued in worship, and by the 
most justified against the few witnesses, the pleaders for the commands of 
God to be the only rule of worship. And again — 

Secondly, for that other, the putting such a difference between men and 
men, by the faithful witnesses and prophets, between the holy and the profane; 
this hath been another and a greater ground of hot and violent oi)position 
against these witnesses. And for this, the latter of the two, as then also it was, 
these witnesses have all generally still preached that only those who have 
such or such a work of grace upon their hearts, and that do endeavour to walk 
thus and thus holily in their lives ; that such only are saints, and the chil- 
dren of God. The stream of their ministry in England hath still run in this 
channel, thus to distinguish men from men, and to separate the precious 
from the vile, and this occasioned from that promiscuous mixture of all sorts. 
The chief work and bent of their ministry hath been to mark out whom God 
hath chosen, and who only are true priests and worshippers of him in spirit 
and truth. And for this, whatever hath otherwise been pretended, have 
those of the other side quarrelled, opposed, and silenced them, saying, as 
Korah's company, ' Are not all the people holy V Have they not all been 
baptized 1 ' You take too much upon you,' you precise ones, out of the 
pride of your spirits, to ' lift up yourselves above the congregation of the 

Or else the quarrel hath been about God's own election of a few to be 
priests unto him, even as then, that God chose the tribe of Levi from the 
crowd of common Israelites, ' who are his, and whom he hath chosen ;' as 
ver. 5 of Num. xvi. This was the quarrel then ; and these now plead the 
cause of all mankind in universal grace and redemption. 

All the quarrels between the Popish party, the number of the beast's 
name, and the witnesses, are reducible to these two heads : — 

(1.) True purity of worship; and, (2.) true holiness, and peculiar election 
of worshippers. 

And the light in both these things hath in our days grown up so high 
and clear, as that many of those who oppose either or both of these do sin 
even out of rebellion and presumption in opposing that the truth of which 
they are convinced of, as Korah's company did. And so their punishment 
riseth to be like to that of Nadab, and those two hundred and fifty of Korah's 
conspiracy, even fire from the Lord devouring them ; which is, as was said 
in the fourth vial, a spiritual punishment on their souls ; and this is the 
effect of the powerful conviction of the word out of the mouths of the wdt- 
nesses, who spit fire into their consciences, and begin hell-fire beforehand. 
And this very allusion is thus interpreted and applied to that ' fearful expec- 
tation of wrath ' which those have in their consciences who ' sin wilfully 
against the knowledge of the truth,' and so against the Holy Ghost, Heb. 
X. 26, 27. 

And, indeed, bring but Paul's exposition there of this very type and ex- 
ample of those Israelites then, unto this allusion here made unto it by the 
angel ; and that of Paul may clearly expound this of John. The allusion 


there is to those who died by Moses's hand, and that ' without mercy,' for 
despising the law which he brought from God to them, and more particu- 
larly to those who ' died by fire,' as that phrase, ' the expectation of fiery 
indignation to devour the adversaries,' doth shew ; who therein were true 
types of those that sin wilfully under the gosj^el, and despise it. They were 
types of these, both in their sin and punishment ; for — 

1. Their sin is rebellion, as the others' also was. Korah's company, after 
Moses's conviction of them, came to a despiteful scorning of Moses, and 
doing opprobrium to him for bringing them out of Egypt ; as you may read, 
Num. xvi. 13, 14. And such is their sin mentioned, Heb. x. 26, even a 
' sinning wilfully, after the receiving of the truth.' And so here in this 11th 
of the Revelation, the emj)hasis of their sin is put upon their wills, — ' if any 
man will hurt them/ — and again it is repeated, ' if any man will hurt them/ 
ver. 5. And — 

2. As they then were struck dead by God, upon their ' despising Moses's 
law/ and conviction of it 'under two or three witnesses,' as Paul inter- 
prets it, Heb. X., Moses and Aaron themselves testifying against them, and 
convincing them ; so here, the angel adjudgeth them to this notorious 
death, for despising the testimony of these two witnesses, and the light of 
the gospel in their mouths. — Thus in their sinning they were true t^^jes of 

And then, secondly, in their punishment they were their true types also ; 
for — 

1. A punishment they there have executed on them, of all the sorest, 
which Paul calls a ' djing without mercy.' So in that 10th to the Hebrews, 
' How much sorer punishment,' says Paul, ' shall he be thought worthy of?' 
&c., sorer than that of Nadab and Korah's company there being devoured 
with elementary fire ; and indeed so sore, as he knows not how to express 
it, but utters it by an imperfect indefinite speech, how much sorer ? rather 
leaving it to us, from comparing their sins together, to conceive it, than that 
he was able to express it. And in like manner here also, their punishment, 
you see, hath this emphasis put upon it, ' in this manner he must be killed ;' 
as noting out the extremest punishment that could be. 

2. A punishment it is, not so much killing their bodies as their souls. 
So in the type, the fire that came forth rather blasted than burned them. 
Their bodies and clothes were left whole, Lev. x. 5. It burned and scorched 
their souls, not their bodies, say the Hebrew doctors ; and so it was the 
liveliest type that could be, to lay a punishment upon their souls. Now 
unto such sinners under the gospel doth God answerably become 'a con- 
suming fire.' Again — 

3. That which here in the Revelation is called fire, is there by Paul 
expounded, 'fiery indignation,' and 'a fearful looking for of judgment,' — 
namely, in the consciences of those men who sin this sin, — po/Stjri i'x.ho-)rf\ 
xoidiug, a fearful and certain expectation of judgment, as it is in the origi 
nal ; God sealing up, by some flashes of his wrath, these men's eternal dam 
nation, who do sin this sin. And this fiery indignation sparkles forth upon 
all occasions, from the writings and lives, and from the preachings and testi- 
monies of these witnesses' mouths, as this place implies. And — 

4. As Paul here useth the word, ' devouring the adversaries ;' so the same 
is used of them. Lev. x. 2. And so also here you see the same phrase used, 
'devouring their enemies.' In the original the same verb is used in one 
place that is in the other ; and the word for enemies used Heb. x. 27 is 
uitivayTio-j;, suhcontrarios, underhand adversaries : shewing that not always 

Chap, v.] an exposition of the revelation. 119 

those that thus sin do presently renounce all profession of God, as the 
Pharisees did not ; for then they should not have place and opportunity to 
hurt tlic witnesses. So that they profess God still, but do underhand, and 
by pretences, oppose his people. 

The like to this, we read the effect of the powerful light of the ministry 
of John Baptist and of Christ to have been : whose crucifying, as it is 
manifestly alluded unto here, in killing the two witnesses, from ver. 7 to 
ver. 14 ; so also this effect of his ministry on those Pharisees in those his 
times, who were tormented with it, is m the like manner alluded unto here, 
in those that were tormented with the light and heat of these witnesses' 
prophecy, as ver. 10 of chap, xi, expresseth it, which, chap. xvi. 9, is called 
a 'scorching men with great heat and pain.' Now John, and after him 
Christ, were ' burning and shining lights,' as Christ spake of John, which 
the Pharisees despising, the effect of their ministry upon many of these was 
this very sin, and so a tormenting of their consciences with this ' fiery in- 

And accordingly, in the prophet Malachi, we have the times of Christ's 
ministry, in thit, respect, called a ' terrible day that shall burn as an oven ' 
those Pharisees' consciences; so Mai iv. 1. And as it was the torment 
from Christ's ministry that made these Pharisees crucify him, though know- 
ing him to be the Son of God ; so it is the torment of these witnesses' 
ministry here, increasing so in light and power under the fourth vial, that 
causeth their adversaries to kill them; as, ver. 10 of this 11th chapter, is 

And thus you have seen the power which they have against and over 
their enemies. 

Section IV. 

Secondly, their temple-work in their last days, in being two olive-trees, 
explained ; from the allusion to Joshuas and ZeruhhabeVs finishing the 

But, secondly, their power is also further set out in that temple -work 
which they do for Christ and his church in these latter days, especially in 
that measuring, building, and finishing the temple, spoken of ver. 1. To 
represent which to us, the Holy Ghost hath called and singled out the most 
proper and choice type, and the most lively allusion that the Old Testa- 
ment doth afford us. ' These,' says he, ' are the two olive-trees, and the 
two candlesticks, that minister before the God of the earth.' 

Now, where in the Scriptures do we find this spoken, and of whom, and 
upon what occasion ? Find but this, and by having recourse thereto, you 
will see all things suit and conspire to make up a full type of that work of 
this age. You have this vision of two olive-trees and a candlestick made 
unto Zechariah, as you may read in the 4th chapter of his prophecy, and 
the interpretation thereof. And it is made unto him on this occasion. The 
people coming out of Babylon's captivity, Joshua and Zerubbabel had from 
their first coming forth begun to sacrifice, and to set up public worship ; and 
after two years began the erection of the temple, laid the foundation of it, 
and set up the altar, as you may read in the 3d of Ezra; but left the work 
imperfect, without the roof covered, or the temple as then adorned with 
all those holy utensils and ornaments of it which yet were ordinances that, 
to the complement and perfection of his worship then, God had appointed. 

And you may further find, that they had then left the temple so incom- 


plete, througli the opposition of a Samaritan faction, that pretended to be 
for God as well as they. So, Ezra iv. 2, ' We seek your God,' say they, ' aa 
you do.' Who yet were of a mongrel religion, between the Jews and Gentiles ; 
as, 2 Kings xviL 41, you may read. And being not taken into this work 
of building the temple, nor OT\Tied by the true Jews, they therefore hindered 
the people in building, ver. 4, and raised up the opposition of the Persian 
monarchy to frustrate their purpose, ver. 5, and made them to cease by force, 
ver. 24, 25, and so the work lay imperfect for years, — and yet, notwith- 
standing, it was a true temple and place of God's worsliip, — until God 
stirred up the prophets Zechariah and Haggai, by their prophecy, to move 
Joshua and Zerubbabel unto the finishing of this work, Ezra v. 1. 

Now, among other visions which, to excite them to finish the work, the 
prophet Zechariah had had, this, in his 4th chapter, of two obve-trees and a 
candlestick, into which the olive-trees did empty their oil, was one. The 
meaning of which vision was this. The two olive-trees were Joshua and 
Zerubbabel, sons of oil, as in ver. 14 they are called. Which phrase notes 
out their being fuU of oil; as being those two who should lay out their 
grace, gifts, and estates, which was their oil, and spend their fatness, and 
use their heartiest endeavours in and for the repairing and finishing the 
temple. Which finishing of it is there represented by the candlestick, the 
candlestick being one of the most necessary utensils that went to make 
complete the glory of the temple ; and so, by a synecdoche, is put for all the 
rest. And it bemg one of the last to be brought iiato the temple when 
once fully finished, and when the roof is covered, therefore it fitly served to 
resemble the finishing of that temple, and the adorning of it with all those 
accoutrements and ordinances which God had appointed for the perfection 
of it. And hence, in the exposition of this vision in that chapter, is Zerub- 
babel presented with a ' plummet in his hand,' and ' a measuring Une,' to 
measure this temple to be now fully finished, even as here John is presented 
with a reed; and this promise is annexed, that in despite of that mountain 
of o^jposition raised by that Samaritan faction, ver. 7, Zerubbabel's hands, 
which ' had laid the foundatian of this house,' even ' his hands shall also 
finish it;' as you have it, ver. 9. 

And all this is made the meaning of that hieroglyphic, there represented, 
in a vision of two olive-trees and a candlestick : for, ver. 5, when the angel 
said to Zechariah, ' Knowest thou what these be?' that is, Knowest thou 
the meaning of this vision? and he said, 'No;' the angel answers, 'This 
is the word of the Lord,' namely, his mind in this vision, ' unto Zerub- 
babel,' &c. — namely, this which I before recited, about Zerubbabel's and 
Joshua's finishing the temple, as you may there read it interpreted by the 

Now this is the very type alluded unto here. And how fully suits it all 
our former interpretations given of measuring the temple ? The church 
having been 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 disci- 
pline intended and endeavoured, through the mixture of a Samaritan party, 
by whom they have been still interrupted from attaining that, perfection 
which many have contended for. But in the end God stirs up many of the 
English spirits, like 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 measuring 
line, as Zerubbabel, or a reed, as John here, in their hands ; and, like these 

Chap. V.J an exposition of the revelation. l')! 

two olive-trees, do empty oil out of themselves irnto this work, endeavouring 
to add unto this temple such ordinances as, though to the being of a church 
not absolutely necessary, for they were temples before, yet are institutions 
of God, and do tend, as the candlestick then did, unto the perfection, beauty, 
complement, and glory of it. And though the foundation of this temple, 
laid in the first reformation, is in this allusion included, yet the allusion 
principally falls upon this finishing of it. For that is the most proper and 
peculiar aim of the vision of the olive-trees, as in Zechariah it is presented, 
unto which the allusion here is ; the end of Zechariah's prophecy being to 
excite unto the finishing of the temple. 

These two witnesses the Holy Ghost here calls the olive-trees and the 
candlesticks, which are the churches themselves, as chap. i. 20. So that 
both eminent persons, and likewise churches themselves, the purest of them, 
are the witnesses against the false church that are here spoken of. 

But some would carry it thus; that the witnesses are the olive-trees unto 
the two candlesticks, the churches; for so in the vision of Zechariah they are 
mentioned as pouring oil into the candlesticks. And besides, the copulative 
and being in the Hebrew sometimes put for the preposition U7ito, accord- 
ing to this Hebraism, Ttal here should be so taken. Ajid the churches now 
under the New Testament are called two candlesticks, whereas there in 
Zechariah is mention but of one candlestick, because now there is not one 
church only, as the Jews then had, but they are multiplied by particular 
congregations. There are sister churches now, and not one mother church 
only. And you shall sometimes, in the allusions to the temple, find in this 
book the proportion doubled to what it then was; to shew the increase of 
the gospel, as we observed out of the 4th chapter. 

Now this new reformation of the church here typified out, though it be as 
yet but as their first attempts to finish the temple then were, even a ' day of 
small things,' (which who, almost, despiseth not 1) yet it shall go on and 
spread, and at length be perfected, as that work then was. For it is of God, 
'the God of the whole earth;' which attribute of his is here mentioned to 
shew the power that backs these builders, and to shew that now the work is 
not to be effected so much by power and might, — as that finishing the temple 
then is said to have been, — but by the Spirit, causing the hearts of the godly 
to fall to it. And that Samaritan ' mountain' of opposition, even Eome itself, 
that hath stood in the way of it, shall in the end ' become a plain before 
it;' as there, Zech. iv. 5-7, that Samaritan faction did before Zerubbabel. 

And out of this temple are the vials to come, and to pour out their plagues 
upon this false church, as you may read chap. xvi. 1. So that the true 
church is still ordained to be the ruin of the false. And ' when that which 
is more perfect comes, that which is imperfect will be done away.' 

And however the beginning of this work may seem small and contemp- 
tible, yet the work itself is of such moment and concernment for God and 
his glory, and shall so far go on and prosper, as he is pleased in this book to 
take notice of it ; as of any further progress of his church unto purity he still 
doth, as in the 14th chapter we have seen. And yet I fear these olive-trees 
and candlesticks among us will, as the rest of the churches in Europe, have 
their ' power scattered ' ere this building be fully finished. But after this, 
they shall revive agaio, and ' grow up into an holy temple unto the Lord,' 
from the times of the witnesses' rising, after their being kUled, until the New 
Jerusalem, as chap. xix. will shew. 

Now, to make the allusion to the condition of Joshua more full, I will 
only add this, that as these witnesses are here presented in sackcloth, so is 


Joshua there, in ' filthy apparel,' Zech. iii. 4. And as there he had change 
of raiment given him, so after a few years will these witnesses also have the 
* garments of praise for the spirit of heaviness,' as Isaiah speaks ; and their 
testimony being ended, they shall put off their sackcloth, and put on ' fine 
linen,' the wedding apparel of the Lamb's bride, as chap. xix. you have it. 
And so in the end, the glory of this temple, set up after Anticlirist's demolish- 
ment, will yet be rendered more glorious, as that of Zerubbabel's also was, by 
Christ's coming into it. And a holy of holies shall be added unto it, or 
rather swallow this up, in which ' the ark shall be seen,' as it is in the last 
verse of tliis 11th chapter. But these witnesses must be killed first; which 
is the last thing I am to speak of in this chapter. 



The Icilhng of the zvitnesses, ver. 7-10 of the 11th chapter. 

Section I. 

The time of their three years and a half not yet come. — A reconciliation of 
this and Mr Brightmans opinion, in a double fulfilling of it. 

This angel's scope is, as was said, to shew how, according to the angel's oath 
in Daniel, Antichrist should ' accomplish to scatter the power of the holy 
people,' towards the end of his reign of ' a time, times, and half a time.' 
And so, what is here said of the beast's war and victory refers not to the 
conquests and slaughters which Antichrist, during his whole reign, should 
make of the holy people, or witnesses, spoken of chap. xiii. ; but particularly 
designeth out an eminent prevailing over them at the last, or, as the first 
words of ver. 7 have it, nrav rO.hcuai, &c., ' when they are about to finish' or 
end the term of their prophecy in sackcloth, even their 1260 years ; which is 
the same space that Antichrist hath allotted to him to reign in. Now, what 
power these holy people, the witnesses, had got before this their last scatter- 
ing, hath in their description been declared. They had power to erect a 
temple to themselves, and out of it to pour forth four vials upon their ene- 
mies, as hath been shewn. And that they might the better fence themselves 
against the beast, possessing the greatest part of Europe, the holy city, we 
have heard how they had environed the temple wi.th a mighty party of car- 
nal professors, separating with them from the beast, as with an outward 
court; which, we have seen by ver. 1, the Gentiles are again to subdue unto 
themselves and to tread down. Which ' treading down their outward court' 
is indeed one part of that his last ' accomplishment to scatter the power of 
the holy people,' or haply it may rather be termed a preparation unto it. 
For come at the witnesses they could not, till this outward court were gained. 
Which, when they shall have more fully won, which is now a-doing, then 
they further shall ' kill the witnesses ;' for then both they and their inner 
temple will be exposed to the irruptions of the Gentiles, and will be easily 
subdued by them, whenas their outworks shall first be thus taken and reco- 
vered. And this will not be fully done till even towards the finishing their 
allotted time of prophesying in sackcloth, — and so of the beast's reigning, 
which is to expire soon after it, — with their ascension into heaven. Now — 

I. For the times when this last ' killing ' of them here intended shall come 
to execution ; the question among interpreters is, Whether it be yet past or 
yet to come 1 

Mr Brightman, as was said, maketh this measuring the temple to be long 
since fulfilled and past. So also this killing the witnesses here, and the ex- 
piration of their time of prophesying in sackcloth, to be already wholly past ; 


and this in that great overthrow of the Protestant party in Germany by 
Charles the Fifth, anno 1547, and in that condemning the Scriptures, which 
he makes the witnesses, by the Council of Trent about that time, now well- 
nigh a hundred years since. 

But most others, as Graserus, Matthias Hoe, Mr Mede, Mr Wood, &c., do 
think it yet to come. And according to that series of interpretation hitherto 
by me given, if that hold good, it must necessarily be as yet to be executed. 
And it seems to me most evident, both by what is said to go before it, and 
also to follow after it ; of which nothing that is to follow after it is yet ful- 
filled, although a hundred years, since the time that Mr Brightman inter- 
prets it of. are run out. For — 

1. This IS to fall out towards the ending of their prophecy in sackcloth, 
or of their mourning and oppressed condition, after which they are to cast 
off their sackcloth. As Joshua's filthy garments — who was one of the types 
of these — were taken from him, and a 'fair mitre was set upon his head;' 
so after their resurrection, these witnesses are to be clothed in ' fine Linen,' 
as you may read, chap. xix. Now it is evident that the time of their pro- 
jjhesying in sackcloth, of bewailing the condition of the church under Anti- 
christ, and of their oppression by him, is not yet out. The filthy garments 
they wore during their captivity in Babylon, they still have on; as Joshua 
also had his on in Zechariah's time, which was a long while after they were 
come forth out of Babylon. So the true witnesses are still in an oppressed 
condition, whilst Antichrist's church, and those of their enemies even in the 
reformed churches, are as the church- triumphant, in silk, and at their full 

2. This is here to fall out towards the ending of the reign of Antichrist, 
in respect of his ' power to do;' for this is that last scattering, prophesied of 
by Daniel, with which he is to accomplish his times. Now we see he hath 
his kingdom yet standing, and his power to do; and there are a hundred 
years more run on since that havoc made of them by the Papists in Germany, 
and yet Antichrist's forty-two months are not expired, we being now but 
under the fifth vial. And when the seat or throne of the beast — Rome itseK 
• — shall come to be ruined, then shall his kingdom be full of darkness, and 
the glory of it so damped and extinguished, as it is thought, that from that 
time his reign is accounted of as at an end. And — 

3. We see Antichrist as yet but in his first march towards this war; he is 
but now going forth to win the outward court, which he must again recover 
ere he can come at the witnesses; and this killing of them is placed here, 
after his recovery of that. And though he hath trod down Germany, yet he 
is but setting up and advancing his engines of assault and battery upon other 
such places where God hath the most of his powerful witnesses in these last 
times : though already he be evidently set down in his siege of them also, 
by his instruments, and those that receive the number of his name, who are 
to be his last champions. 

4. We evidently see by what is gone before in the description of these wit- 
nesses, that four vials of the seven are to be poured out by them before this 
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 vial ; and then ' devour men with fire,' 
which is the fourth. And then after all these exploits of theirs, comes their 
killing. So that this falls out after, or under, the fourth vial. But that 
slaughter a hundred years since was but under the second Adal, and indeed 
but in the beginning of that vial; and we as yet see not the full effect of the 

Chap. VI.] an exposition of the uevelation. 155 

fourth vial, which is but now a-pouring forth. And therefore this killing of 
the witnesses here is not as yet fulfilled. 

5. After their rising again, the * second woe ' is said to * pass away.' Now 
that second woe is the sixth trumpet, which then is said to pass away when 
the times of it are expired, or the foundation of its ruin laid. And that 
sixth trumpet is, as hath been said, the Turk, and his great power and 
tyranny. Whose kingdom we see yet to stand in its full vigour and flourish, 
and no fundamental blow of weakening given to it. 

6. Much less is the seventh trumpet begun to be blown, which yet is to 

* come quickly ' after the sixth, as you have it ver. 1 4. For although Jesus 
Christ, in these northern kingdoms, hath been assisted in that his harvest of 
his elect since the Reformation, by supreme and princely authority; and 
therefore, chap, xiv., that peaceable harvest was reaped by an angel crowned; 
yet — 

(1.) The kingdoms of the world becoming Christ's, for him to reign for ever, 
and this at the beginning of this seventh trumpet, his kingdom then shall 
be another manner of one than as yet he hath had ; even that fifth monarchy 
which is mentioned in Dan. vii. 14, and is to begin at the end of the days 
of the beast. And, if you mark the words, this shall be a kingdom that 
shall not be administered by deputies, and by a delegated power; but by 
Christ the king's immediate rule and government: 'Thou hast taken to 
thyself thy great power, and hast reigned,' &c., ver. 17. And — 

(2.) When that seventh trumpet shall begin to sound, ' then,' as chap, x., 

* shall that mystery be fulfilled spoken of by the prophets,' and which Paul 
calls a mystery, Rom. xi., even the ' New Jerusalem,' and ' kingdom of the 
saints,' and the 'first resurrection,' as appears by ver. 15-17 of this chapter, 
compared with chap, xx., xxi., &c. But now since that resurrection of the 
witnesses, which Mr Brightman would have this to be, is almost a hundred 
years, and yet none of these things are begun, nor as yet to begin. 

(3.) The seventh trumpet, and the last vial, as hath been often said, do fall 
out together; or rather, the last vial begins the seventh trumpet, as the last 
verse of this 11th chapter, compared with the seventh vial, chap, xvi., doth 
shew; for there are the same thunderings, hail, &c., in them both. Now we 
are yet but under the fourth vial, and so very far off from the last. 

Yet I will add this, which may reconcile that opinion of Mr Brightman 
with this other, and haply serve in the closure of all to give some small 
further hint about the time of the last vial's fulfilling, and so concerning the 
expiring of times before mentioned. 

As I said before, about the measuring the temple, that the angel might 
have an aim, both at that first laying the foundation of true churches, and 
also at this second reformation now in hand, and take both in his view at 
once, they both being degrees of the same work; yet so as ultimately he 
looks unto the latter, as the special intendment of this place, though the 
other were in itself infinitely far the greater work : so I conjecture that he 
might take in two killings of these witnesses, which should follow after, or 
it may be, accompany both those measurings; the one at or after that 
foundation laid, the other at or upon the finishing to be begun, and so 
ordered that the first should be a foregoing resemblance of this other to suc- 
ceed. Yet so as his ultimate aim and scope still should be at a latter kill- 
ing of them, which is yet to come. 

I have observed it in many instances, which I could produce, that many 
prophecies in Scripture have had two several gradual accomplishments, 
whereof both the one and the other are intended by the Holy Ghost; yet so 


as the latter is usually more emiuently intended, and the first sometimes in- 
tended as a foregoing type of that which is to follow. You may observe 
many passages quoted out of the prophets, and applied by the apostles in 
the New Testament unto the times of the gospel, as being then fulfilled, 
which yet had a gradual accomplishment under the Old Testament, in the 
times after the captivity of Babylon. So that the Holy Ghost aimed at both. 
Thus the 9th verse of the 1st chapter of Isaiah is quoted by Paul, liom. ix., 
and applied unto the gospel times. 

Yea, and you shall sometimes find the same prophecy even under the Old 
Testament fulfilled over and over ; and so to have two several intended ac- 
comjjlishments. For instance, I will give one which some learned men have 
fallen upon, although I find others do dissent from them in it. And I rather 
pitch upon it, because it is proper to the thing in hand; for it is made the 
type of this measuring the temple. It is that prophecy of rebuilding the 
temple after the seventy years' captivity in Babylon ; which, as some think, 
had a double accomplishment aimed at. And as there were two eminent 
leadings into captivity, the one of Jechoniah, the other of Zedekiah, when the 
city was destroyed ; so, according to learned chronologers and best interpre- 
ters, I find a double reckoning of the seventy years, and of the building 
again of the temple : some reckoning from that captivity of Jechoniah, in the 
first year of Nebuchadnezzar ; some from that of Zedekiah, in the nineteenth 
year of Nebuchadnezzar, as the Jesuits Sanctius and Ribera do affirm. I will 
not meddle with the dispute about it ; but that God kept a double reckoning 
of that seventy years, in respect to a double gradual accomplishment, to me 
seems evident. For Ezekiel begins the captivity from that carrying away of 
Jechoniah, Ezek. i. 2, 3; -and the prophet Jeremiah, in the 29th chapter of 
his prophecy, ver. 10, comforts those that were carried away with Jechoniah 
with this, that after seventy years God will visit them, &c. Now one seventy 
years was ended, when Cyrus gave leave to lay the foundation of the temple, 
as reckoning from the first captivity. And yet after this, in Zechariah's 
time, when the temple was to be again measured and finished, there is an- 
other seventy years said to be ended ; as the time wherein this temple, which 
hitherto had lain imperfect, was to be perfected. This you may see by Zech. 
i 12, 16, compared. For there the final ending of the seventy years i? 
made the foundation of the last work of perfecting the temple, and God's 
returning in mercy, according to his promise, for to do it. So that a double 
captivity, and a double seventy years, ending in a double work, the one of 
laying the foundation, the other of finishing the temple, seem to have been 
in the Holy Ghost's eye. 

Now why may it not be so, even in this also, that the computation of the 
beast's reign, and the church's, coming out of Babylon, the killing of the wit- 
nesses, and the measuring of the temple, may have a double accomplishment 
and expiration, and all intended, yet so as the latter mainly aimed at 1 

The like instance might be made of the computation of another period of 
time and prophecy fulfilled, which, because I may, in the closure of this 11th 
chapter, have particular cause to mention, I will also instance in. It is that 
of Daniel, chap. xii. 1 1 ; the things in which chapter refer to the times of the 
end, under the New Testament, when is the time of which the angel tells 
him that ' kn(j\vledge should be increased,' &c. And Daniel inquiring when 
these things should be, the angel answers, ' From the time that the daily 
sacrifice ' — namely, of the Jews — ' shall be taken away, and the abomination 
that maketh desolate set up, shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety- 
days.' Now by history it is evident, that there hath been a double taking 

Chap. VI.] an exposition of the revelation. 157 

away of the Jewish sacrifice under the days of the New Testament, and a 
double setting iip the abomination of desolation ; that is, heathenish idolatry. 
And so a double computation must needs be taken of these 1290 years. 

When Vespasian and his son Titus sacked Jerusalem, destroyed the temple, 
and advanced heathenish idolatry in the room of it, then was one time when 
both these things were evidently done ; both the Jewish sacrifice taken 
away, and the ' abomination that makcth desolate' set up. And if from that 
time we reckon 1290 years, that first setting up heathenism instead of the 
Jewish worship being in the year after Christ's birth G9 or 70, they end in 
1359 or 1360 ; when indeed the first great increase of knowledge, and dis- 
covery of Antichrist began, under Wicklilf, Thaulerus, &c., and a great dif- 
fusion of the light of the gospel amongst us Gentiles. But there was another, 
both * ceasing of the daily sacrifice,' and setting up of heathenish idolatry, by 
Julian the apostate emperor, about the year 3G3, who both suppressed the 
Christian religion, typified out by the daily sacrifice, after it had been set 
up by Christian emperors, and also advanced heathenish worship. Yea, he 
did set up the Jewish sacrifice again, which till his time had ceased, and was 
then taken away, and never unto this day set up again. And it is observ- 
able how special a hand God hath had in binding the Jews from setting 
up their daily sacrifice at Jorusalem again. The Turk, whom they live 
under, tolerates all other religions, and theirs also in all other exercises of it, 
but sufiers them not to live at Jerusalem or to sacrifice there ; and yet per- 
mits the Christians to inhabit in it, -and to possess the sepulchre of the Lord, 
and to perform all rites of their religion. And though the Jews would give 
much more for the like kind of liberty, to have that place to dwell in, and 
to sacrifice there, yet it is prohibited them. 

Now from either of these times above-mentioned may this computation of 
1290 years be taken : the one respecting the blessed times when the more 
clear light of the gospel, and the discovery of Antichrist, began to come 
among us Gentiles ; the other those happy times to come, when the Jews 
shall first be recalled, which some fix about the year 1655 or 1656. And so 
two accomplishments of those 1290 years. 

Now then, to return unto the thing in hand. Mr Brightman, he reckons 
the beginning of Antichrist's reign, and the witnesses' beginning to prophesy 
in sackcloth, from the time of the Roman emperors' removing to Constanti- 
nople ; which he interprets to be that ' taking him that letted out of the 
way,' as Paul to the Thessalonians hath it, — namely, the emperor, — who being 
removed to Constantinople, and the Pope having Rome, ordained to be the 
seat of the beast, thus left him, he might soon begin to gain power. And 
that, indeed, from thence his first conception did begin, may not be, nor is it 
by most, denied. And so Mr Brightman, from thence beginning the 1260 
years of the witnesses' prophesying in sackcloth, which falls eighteen years 
short, according to the account he makes, after that of Egypt, and of our 
vulgar account, makes the end of those years to fall out in 1550, when the 
rising again of the Protestant cause in Germany did begin. And thus in 
like manner the term of Antichrist's kingdom or power to do (namely, as 
formerly he had wont) might be reckoned to have had one kind of period in 
the falling off of these kingdoms of England, Scotland, &c., which fell out 
not many years after this, even before 1560, — which Mr Brightman, according 
to that his series of interpretation, interpreteth to be the seventh trumpet, 
when the kingdoms of the world became the kingdoms of Jesus Christ, — • 
and so before that settled peace of the gospel established, and the throwing 
of Antichrist and his power out of those kingdoms. In all which kingdoms 


the witnesses had first their times of being overcome and killed for three 
years and a half, though at several times in each of them. So in Germany, 
in that victory got over the Protestants, anno 1547, or thereabouts; just 
three years and a half after which they revived and enjoyed that peace which 
since they have had. 

In like manner in England, after that, in Queen Mary's days, whose 
reign, although it lasted five whole years, yet the first part of her reign was 
spent in ' making war' upon the witnesses, or, as I may so speak, in the 
preparations of war against the witnesses, in getting statutes made for their 
burning, &c. ; and the killing and martyring of them was but for three years 
and a half. After which ended, they rose again in Queen Elizabeth's be- 
ginning to reign, and liave since that time hitherto enjoyed, as it were, a 

Thus also in France, in the year 1572, which was fourteen years after, 
and about 1260 years after Constautine, (according to our account of years,) 
the massacre of the Protestants began, and in appearance an extinction of 
the religion, as they called it, for three years and a half: when, anno 1576, 
their peace and liberty was again granted them, and they had a manifest 
resurrection. Thus God observed a gradual fulfilling of this their killing 
and rising, as a shadow foregoing that great ^d last one to come. 

But then there is another computation of the beginning of Antichrist's 
reign, and of the witnesses' prophesying in sackcloth in opposition to him, 
reckoning it from his birth and bringing forth into the world, as that former 
was from the time of his conception, about a hundred years after Constan- 
tine, in anno 406 or 410, when not only the Eoman emperors were removed 
out of the way unto Constantinople, but also the western empire itself began 
first to break into ten kingdoms. Which is the truest and utmost character 
of the time of the beast's rising, as was shewed in our exposition of the 17th 
chapter. Which breaking the western empire was that ' taking out of the 
way ' which Paul especially aimed at. For then the Pope had full scope to 
get his power, which these new kingdoms were to give unto him. Which 
term of his, if the reckoning be made after the ordinary compute of years, 
will end in 1666 or thereabout. 

Now as there is this other computation of the Pope's times, (beginning and 
endmg,) which falls out in this century of years now running on ; so also in 
this same century, since the year 1600, there hath answerably been begun 
another, or second measuring the temple, as being to precede the expiration 
of this other computation of the witnesses' prophesying, which is yet to 
come. And in like manner also there will follow another great and eminent 
slaughter of the witnesses, and prevailing of the beast over them, before this 
second computation of his and their time be ended; that is, before 1666. 

Section II. 

The allusion unto Christ's last passion, in this last slaughter of the 
witnesses, explained. 

Thus much in general for the time of the witnesses' killing. Now — 
II. To come to the thing itself For the understanding of which I shall 
also in the general premise this : — 

That this their last killing, rising, &c., is represented in an allusion unto 
the story of Christ's own crucifying and rising again ; which makes this the 
most remarkable of all former sufferings, in that it is in an exact * conformity 

Chap. VI. j an exposition of niE revelation. I.'} 9 

to his death,' and to the circumstances of it. In all other passages of this 
book, the allusions are still to stories of the Old Testament. But this, in a 
manner alone, alludes to that great and eminent story of Christ's passion 
and resurrection, wliich are the centre of all, both in the Old and New 
Testament. And whereas all other stories in the Old arc but types of the 
sufferings and resurrection of Christ, here those sufferings and that resur- 
rection of his are made the pattern of these of the witnesses; and that not 
in respect of that general, common conformity that is in all the sufferings 
of all the saints for Christ and his gospel unto those of Christ, — as Paul 
speaks, Phil. iii. 10, and therefore calls them the 'after-sufferings of the 
body of Christ,' Col. i. 24, — but this here is made such in some peculiar 
eminency and transcendency, above all sufferings that have been formerly in 
any age ; and it being the last, it is in a singular manner set forth unto us 
thereby. Which may at once both provoke us to prepare for it, as Christ 
did, when he knew what he should suffer; and also comfort us against it, 
as being therein in a peculiar manner to be made conformable unto Christ : 
which will draw on with it a peculiar conformity also in reigning with him 
in glory. 

Now that the allusion here is indeed unto the last sufferings of Christ, 
&c., is acknowledged and observed by all interpreters. And it appears in 
every circumstance here related. 

As, for example, in that, as he, after three-years-and-a-half's preaching 
upon earth once finished, — when that he had almost carried it in the people's 
hearts, the world going after him, — was yet in the end prevailed upon by his 
enemies, and put to death by the foreign power of the city of Ptome, having 
then jurisdiction over Jerusalem, and for three days did lie in their power: 
so in like manner that these witnesses, after three-years-and-a-half's (for that 
is the exact compute of 1260 days, or forty-two months) prophesying weU- 
nigh expired, and now when they are about even to finish it, — having so 
mightily prevailed in the people's hearts, that their Pharisaean enemies are 
afraid of utterly losing their credit and authority, — that then these Pharisees, 
again acknowledging the foreign power of Rome, should prevail over these 
witnesses, and that so far as by and under the authority and jurisdiction of 
the beast, and for his sake, should now at last kill them, and have them in 
their power for three years and a half; which do bear a like proportion to 
those 1260 years or days forepassed, that Christ's three days did to his three 
years forepassed ; their enemies also rejoicing, feasting, and sending gifts for 
joy that they had them thus down, and in their power; even as the Pharisees 
did at that their great feast of the passover, when they were, as they thought, 
rid of the torment which Christ's ministry had put them to, and made it the 
joyfullest feast and passover that ever they kept : after all which, that those 
witnesses should notwithstanding rise again, even as our Lord did, and rise 
with an earthquake, as he then did, and with an affright to their enemies 
that see it, as befell those soldiers who saw his, — as you may read in the 
story of his resurrection, — and after this should ascend up to heaven, as he 
then did ; — all this makes the allusion here very full and observable. And 
because the Holy Ghost thus alluded unto Christ's sufferings, therefore John, 
by way of parenthesis, puts in these words, speaking of the place where this 
slaughter was to be : ' in the city,' says he, ' where our Lord also was crucified,' 
ver. 8. That same ottov xal, where also, may have a double reference : it 
may as a copulative relate to the former cities unto which he had resembled 
it, even Sodom and Egypt, in this sense, 'and that city also where our 


Lord was crucified ;' that is, Jerusalem. And it may as well refer unto the 
word crucified in this sense: where our Lord was before in like manner 
crucified, there are these now in like manner to be killed. 

Section III, 

That this killing of the witnesses is to be executed by and under the power of 
the beast of Rome ; and so could not be meant of any of the former per- 
secutions in tlie reformed churches, which were from among themselves. 

Thus much in general for the understanding this great occurrence which 
is yet to come in the church. 

Xow more particularly to explain some things about it, though it be a 
difficult thing to hit right in the understandmg, and much more in applying 
the circumstances of a prophecy unto things to come, and which the events 
do best interpret. 

1. Take notice, that the power and authority by which this slaughter shall 
be made is to be that of the beast, or the Pope of Pome ; and this as having 
regained more or less power in these places where these witnesses are. This 
is evident — 

(1.) In that not so much their enemies who are among them, and of the 
reformed religion with them, that yet hate them, but ' the beast that ascends 
out of the bottomless pit,' is said to kill them. And — 

(2.) In that he calls the place where their dead bodies lie, and so, by con- 
sequence, where this slaughter is to be executed, ' the city where our Lord 
was crucified.' Which is not spoken of Jerusalem, but of Rome ; that being 
here called the great city, which, chap. xvii. 18, is called 'the city which then 
ruled over the kings of the earth ;' which can be none but Rome. And to 
make this good, we are to know, that the jurisdiction of the Roman empire 
was then in John's time called ' the city.' And therefore the whole world 
was called Oihis Romanus, the Roman world. And in like manner now, all 
kingdoms subjected to the Pope are called the church of Rome, as together 
making that great city. And in that world the city of Rome was the regal 
palace, from whence issued out edicts and commands over alL And in such 
a sense it is said, ' the city where Christ was crucified ;' because it was the 
Roman power and authority by which he was put to death, though it were 
done at Jerusalem, for thither did the jurisdiction of Rome reach ; and there- 
fore Christ says, ' they should deliver him up unto the Gentries,' Matt. xx. 
19, — that is, the Romans, who then had trodden dovrn that holy city, and 
got the command of it ; the Pharisees owning Cassar for their king. And 
thus now for the killmg these witnesses, it must be that the beast of Rome 
shall again recover so much owning and acknowledgment in the places of 
the Reformation, whether by secret combination or by professed avouch- 
ment God only knows, where the witnesses are to be killed; so as, for his 
sake, and at his instigation, these Pharisees, either as joining with him, or 
else usuig the help of his party, shall kill them. And so far must the beast 
have a hand in it, that he may truly be said to do it ; and that in order to 
the further advancement of his power in those places. And therefore — 

(.3.) The place where their dead bodies are said to lie is said to be izKania. 
coXrw; rfii /xEyd/.?;?, — 'the street,' the extension of the jurisdiction, 'of the 
great city,' — as being -within the jurisdiction or walls of it, as it were. You 
heard before how that the Gentiles were to regain the outward court, and 
so it to become part of the city again, and within the extent of its juris- 


So that, however the witnesses have had enemies from among themselves, 
who have been, as those Pharisees were to Christ, of the same nation and 
religion, and yet have persecuted them from the lirst, even from the times of 
the lirst reformation downward, and therefore it hatli been that the faithful 
witnc.-sos have continued to prophesy in sackcloth and mourning, even now 
in their last days, when yet a separation hath been made from Antichrist, 
becaiise those among them still continued to oppress them ; yet none of all 
those wars and prevailings against them all that while, by those of their own, 
are this same war and killing of them here so eminently set out. For this 
must be by the beast, even by their enemies combining with the Papists, or 
using the help of the beast, to join with them against the witnesses ; or, it 
may be, beginning again to submit to the beast, in a more open and avowed 
manner, as those Pharisees did to Cajsar. And so, for his sake, and to ad- 
vance his power, shall they kill those witnesses, who indeed arc only and 
alone the greatest and most hearty withstanders of him, and that will stand 
it out against him. Or if, when this is done, they do not ^o openly avow 
the beast's power, yet it may be said to be done by the beast, if by a party 
or combination of men that are for him, though not professedly, yet who, in 
order to reduce his power into those churches, do raise this war against the 
witnesses and oppress them. And that which may give suspicion of this is 
because, as I shewed out of chap, xiii., there is a generation of men set forth 
as the beast's last champions, who yet should not, at least at the first, so 
openly own his name or character, that yet receive the ' number of his name.' 
And these are there reckoned his as truly as the other, as being they who 
should interdict buying and selling to the beast's opposites, in order unto 
his advancement. And they doing this in order unto the beast and for him, 
the beast therefore and his power may be said to do it. 

But I fear that they shall proceed yet further, even to an open acknow- 
ledgment and professing the Pope's power, though perhaps not as infallible 
head of the church, yet as universal patriarch of the west, and so endeavour- 
ing to effect a union and reconciliation with him. For these men, as was 
said, are to bring in but an image of Popery, as it was of heathenism, espe- 
cially at first, though with intent to introduce more. And v.'ith this doth 
that speech of the angel in his oath, Dan. xii. 7, accord, which, as I said, 
this angel here came to renew and interpret ; that when ' he,' namely, this 
beast, ' shall have accomjjlished,' namely, with this last killing, ' to scatter 
the power of the holy people,' &c. 

That which I here cite this for is, that it must be he and his power that 
must do it. And in that the GentUes are here said to obtain the outward 
court, ver. 1, so as to ' tread it down ' with the rest of the holy city ; this 
would argue a prevailing of them, so far as to gain a subjection from carnal 
Protestants, by reason of which it shall be that even the beast's power, as 
entertained and owned by the most, may be said to kill them. And like- 
wise the allusion here to Christ's suffering, by the power that then Rome 
had in Jerusalem, the holy city, would argue this also. That even as then, 
a governor, or president, from Piome, namely Pilate, lay at Jerusalem, and 
was, in the name and power of Rome, the author of Christ's crucifying ; so, 
at least, that Rome should now in like manner have her legates, that should 
have power in these places to procure the deposition and death of these 
vritnesses. That so, as God ordained Jerusalem, the city where Christ was 
crucified, unto which the allusion here is made, to be the slaughter-house of 
all the prophets, insomuch that Christ said, ' It was not possible that a pro- 
phet should perish but in Jerusalem ;' and therefore it was that himself waa 
VOL. in. L 


SO secure that he should not be killed until he came thither ; so that Eome 
is in like manner ordained to have a hand in the deaths of all the witnesses, 
though others may persecute them too. And so this last and great slaughter 
and martyrdom of them shall be executed by her. That so when at her 
downfall she comes to be reckoned with, it may be said, as it is in chap, 
xviii. 24, that ' in her was found the blood of the prophets, and of the saints, 
and of all that were slain upon the earth.' And therefore, until the Romish 
flag be advanced upon the walls of the outward court of this temple, reckon 
not this time of the witnesses' three years and a half to be come. But when 
you see that abomination of desolation begun to be set up, then flee into the 
mountains, as Christ in another case speaks. 

Section IV. 

The time of the beast's enjoying this full victory hut three years and a half. 
— The time of obtaining it, and of killing the witnesses, may be longer. 

2. For the time of the continuance of this slaughter. Whereas there is here 
mentioned the beast's ' making war against them, and overcoming and killing 
them,' then ' when they are about to finish their testimony,' — that is, towards 
the time of the end of it, — and then their ' lying dead for three days and a 
half;' we must herein warily take heed we mistake not this only mentioned 
time of three years and a half, as if that were all the time allotted for this 
last war against them, victory over them, and slaughter of tliexii. No, it is 
not said they should be overcoming and killing them only so long time ; but 
that these witnesses should lie dead no longer, after a full victory obtained, 
and slaughter once made. So that that war against them, and killing of 
them, may be much longer in execution than for three days and a half only. 
And indeed, how long that shall continue before these three years and a half 
begin, we know not. The Gentiles have already been a long while a-besieg- 
ing and making war against the temple, and have not as yet prevailed. It 
is not yet come to an overcoming of so much as the outward court ; that 
out-work is not yet fully enough gained : for the winning of the outward 
court I account part of this their making war against the witnesses. But 
how long soever this war may prove, and how far soever it may be length- 
ened out, yet when it comes to a complete victory once, then, for our com- 
fort, we are sure that the time of the witnesses' lying dead shall be but for 
three years and a half, until their rising, or beginning to rise again. And 
as in a great echpse of the moon, the time whilst all or most of its body is 
darkened, and whilst that ccliiise is in its fulness, useth especially to be set 
down and taken notice of by astronomers, and that time is especially ac- 
counted the time of the eclipse, and not so much the time when it begins to 
lose, or after that to recover some light : so is it here in this great and last 
hour of darkness which the church is to have, wherein the time of its total 
eclipse is only reckoned. The Pharisees were long a-laying their plots against 
Christ, and consulting how to ruin him, but at the last prevailed only for 
three days. And thus all hitherto done is but the war in order to this 
conquest ; the enemies are as yet but a-taking the out-works, and making 
their approaches, ttc. 

3. For this time here mentioned of their Ij'ing dead, it is but for three 
years and a half, which is here called three days and a half; Avhereby three 
natural days, consisting of twenty -four hours, cannot be meant. For how 
shall the noise of this full victory be carried to nations and tongues, who are 
said to * see their dead bodies/ partly in that respect of having the news of 

Chap. VI.] an kxposition of the revelation. 1G3 

it? And how shall the whole Roman party universally rejoice, and send 
gilts one to another to congratulate this victory 1 These three days, there- 
fore, and a half, in which they are to lie dead, are such as those 12 GO days 
formerly mentioned were, even prophetical days, taken according to the style 
of the prophets, namely, days for years. And such a three years and a half 
had Jerusalem, the holy city, under Antiochus, when the temple was pol- 
luted, and ' the daily sacrifice,' God's true worship, ' taken away,' and hea- 
thenish idolatry, which there, and still elsewhere in Daniel, is called the 
' abomination that makcth desolate,' set up ; and when those that were the 
most eminent for godliness did fall by the sword and by captivity, (as you 
have it Dan. xi. 31, ifec.,) for many days. But the last persecution of his 
reign was for three years and a half, as in 1 Mace. i. 30 to chap. vi. you have 
it recorded. But in the 11th chapter of Daniel, where this Antiochus is 
prophesied of, he is in this made the type of Antichrist ; and therefore after 
that the prophet had thus set forth and ended that his tyranny at ver. 35 of 
that chapter, he begins, ver. 3G, to set out the Pope and his tyranny unto 
the end of the chapter : so passing from the type to the antitype, even as 
Christ doth, in the 2ith. of ^Matthew, from the story of the destruction of 
Jerusalem to that of the end of the world, because that was a type of it. 
And therefore it is that Daniel useth this transition, ver. 35 of that 11th 
chapter, when he had ended Antiochus's story, that there remains yet 
' a time ordained,' so Graserus and others read it, — that is, yet another 
series of the fates to be related, w^hereof this was the type ; and so he 
passeth on to describe Antichrist (who is that king mentioned ver. 3G) unto 
the end of that chapter, whose ruin and end, he says, should be after 
' iU tidings to him out of the north ' — that is, the reformation of religion 
in these northern countries — had so enraged him as to cause him to ' go 
forth in fury,' at his last endeavouring utterly to root out, <fec. And in 
which expedition he should so far prevail as to ' plant his tabernacle on 
the glorious holy mountain,' that is, to overrun the church. Which, indeed, 
I take to be all one with this last war and killing the witnesses here, for it 
is there just before his end too, for three years and a half ; whereof that last 
prevailing over the Jews by Antiochus was the type. And such a like time, 
as I said before, had the Pharisees over Christ, even three days, which Christ 
calls the ' hour of darkness ; ' even as this is thought to be that ' hour of 
temptation to come over the whole (Christian) world,' Eev. iii. 10. The ene- 
mies, indeed, think to have the day of it, but they shall have only the hour 
of it. This great and fearful eclipse, in the fulness of it, shall last no longer ; 
this is their hour. 

And such a like space of time is used in Scripture to express a short time ; 
as Hos. vi. 2, ' After two days he will revive us, and in the third day raise 
us up,' &c. 

Again, such a like time had Julian over the church, when he had again set 
up heathenism. Some say his reign was three years long, though others say 
less. And so hath God ordered it, for the like holy ends, that as heathen- 
ism had a prevailing again in the world, before it was utterly extirpated, 
for that small time in Julian's reign, and this even after that Christianity 
had been set up forty years before hj the imperial power of Constantine ; so 
that Popery (the image of it) should in like manner expire, and after a glo- 
rious reformation made by kingly power, and casting out of Popery in many 
states, that it should yet have a prevailing over those churches, or the emi- 
nentest of them, once again before its final and utter extirpation. 


Section V. 

The sharpness and the extent of this victory, hoio great ; whether unto death 
natural or onartijrdom discussed. 

Concerning the sharpness of this victory of the beast, and of the Popish 
party, how far it shall extend ; as — 

Whether nnto blood or to martyrdom and to death natural of the wit- 
nesses, and whether this killing here be meant of such a kind ? 

I find some who interpret all done to them to be meant of a civil death, 
not a natural ; that is, a killing them considered as witnesses, not as men ; 
that is, a taking away all power from them of prophesying as they had 
wont — a general silencing of ministers, and deposing magistrates and men of 
worth that profess and uphold religion, putting them from their places, 
shutting their shops, burning their books, &c. And for this makes — 

1. That their death and lying dead here is but correspondent to their 
resurrection. Now, their resurrection is not from a natural death, and there- 
fore such not their kUling, 

2. That their bodies, when dead, are said to ' lie in the street of the great 
city for three days and a half,' and after that a ' spirit of life to come into ' 
those dead bodies. Now, that cannot be meant of naturally dead men, for 
their bodies cannot be suj^posed to have lain naturally dead: so long above- 
ground. And then, in that the spirit of life is said to enter into those bodies 
that were dead, and in that it must be supposed that those lay dead who are 
first here said to be killed, all this would seem to carry it to the very same 
individual persons that were killed, that they should rise ; which to suppose 
of a natural resurrection before the day of Christ, we have no warrant nor 
any ground for. 

And accordingly they interpret that following passage, that those of the 
nations, tongues, and kindreds, suff'er them not to be put in graves, as that 
which may be construed and taken in the better part, as shewing what should 
hinder their enemies from killing them outright, namely, that there was a 
party of Protestants in the nations about them that should hinder their ene- 
mies from martyring and utterly extinguishing them, and should preserve 
them above-ground for a reviving ; even as men whom we think not dead, 
but in a swoon, we use to keep out of the grave, and not bury them, because 
we hope they may revive again. And so these Protestants, that the cause 
may again prevail, they may preserve the persons. And this the rather ap- 
pears the intendment here, in that these of the nations, tongues, and kin- 
dreds seem to be a diverse and distinct company from the enemies of the 
■witnesses; for of their enemies, that is said which follows in the next verse, 
' And those that dwelt on the earth rejoiced over them,' &c. As if the angel 
went about to describe the differing spirits of the two sorts of men, of whom 
he speaks, towards these witnesses : the one, whom he calls those of nations, 
tongues, and kindreds, as friends doing them this kind office, as ' not to 
suffer their bodies to be put in graves ; ' but the other, whom, as diverse from 
these, he calls under a new phrase, ' those that dwell on the earth,' as ene- 
mies rejoicing over them. 

Which makes this suffering of the witnesses herein alone to differ from 
Christ's, — unto which, in all other circumstances, the allusion holds. — that 
Christ was really killed, and therefore buried. But these, though killed as 
witnesses, yet are not suffered to be buried ; as noting out a keeping them 
from an extinction, or an utter taldng them out of the way, though by their 

Chap. VI. J an exposition op the revelation. 1Gb 

enemies they be suppresscil. And it nicay be, that as Christ forctohl liis re- 
surroctioii tlie third day, and so it was coinmonly known and bruited, that 
even the riiarisees had Icnowledge of it, and said unto Pilate, ' Tliis deceiver 
said he would rise the third day,' which they laughed at as a vain dream : 
so it may be, this very notion of such a prevailing of the Popish party for 
three years and a half, which hath been so long and so much spoken of in 
the church, shall be so conmionly known, as already it begins to be, that for 
that very cause these friends of theirs may so far interpose as to hinder the 
litter extinction, or the burial of them, wholly imder-ground, (as it were,) as 
hoping that this notion given out of their resurrection, after three years and 
a half, may prove true, as the disciples hoped of Christ's resurrection all the 
while that he lay in the grave. 

And whereas it may be thought, that because the Holy Ghost singleth 
out this one last killing, and instanceth in it alone, aliove all those other 
that have foregone it throughout the beast's whole reign, — although he hath 
made many wars against and slaughters of the witnesses in former times, — 
that therefore this should be the worst and sharpest; their answer hereunto 
is, that this killing of them here is thus particulaiiy and alone mentioned in 
another respect, — namely, as it is the signal of the Pope's ruin, — and so that 
tliis argues not tht; soreness of this their last killing above any foregoing. 
This is that which useth to be said for this opinion. But, for my part, I 
think it cannot be denied but that — 

1. This lying dead here of these witnesses must needs be metaphorically 
meant, and understood of such a civil death, and of a suppression of them 
and their cause, and, as they are tvitnesses, to be so put down and extin- 
guished, that they for a time remain as men laid forth by the walls fof 
dead, and as men in whose testimony there is in appearance no life, or likeli- 
hood of a revival, their enemies having now got such a power over them. 
This is certainly made the great matter of their enemies' rejoicing : that as 
the Pharisees thought they had Christ sure enough when they got him con- 
demned and crucified, and had him in the grave ; so these their enemies shall 
think they have the witnesses down sure enough for ever, so great, desperate, 
and heljjless in all view will the suppression of the witnesses by these their 
enemies be. And this was principally intended in their being said to lie 
dead; and, oppositely, the revival of them and their cause is set forth by a 
resurrection from the dead. 

And to this purpose there may be something in that phrase in Daniel, 
when the angel, speaking, as I take it, of this last war of the beast, says, 
' He shall accomplish to scatter the power of the holy people ;' as noting out 
rather the dissolving their power as witnesses, than killing them as men. 
So that whatever proceedings the power of their enemies may reach unto, 
further to kill or martyr the natural bodies of these witnesses; yet this is 
the thing eminently held forth in this metaphorical expression, and therein 
eminently intended, that the cause and testimony of these witnesses should 
be as desperate and hopeless, without any appearance of life. And the Holy 
Ghost would have us take notice that their enemies' prevailing should so 
far reach. 

2. But yet withal, in the second place, I am notwithstanding afraid, lest 
that so great a victory over them, and the suppression of them as witnesses, 
should also be followed with great effusion of blood, and with martyring 
many of them. And although this their lying dead and rising again be meta- 
phorically meant and intended to set out the desperateness of their cause and 
testimony, and so to illustrate that glorious revival of theirs afterward; yet 


tliose otlier foregoing -words, ' He shall make war against them, overcome 
them, and kill them,' may import further proceedings, by which they got 
this complete victory. I confess I am afraid of those many metaphors; 
lest this same killing mentioned after overcoming should not be meant 
really and properly of some further cruelty in enemies so malicious, when 
they have got the power in their owti hands. For if the intent of that word 
killing were to express their suppression only as witnesses, that word over- 
coming had then been sufficient to import it. Sure I am, in the 13th chap- 
ter, — where the rage and utmost cruelty which the beast should at any time, 
through his whole reign, exercise against the saints, is so prophesied of, — all 
that cruelty of their enemies, which proceeded to so great slaughters of them, 
is expressed in the same words that here, ' And it was given him to malce war 
against the saints, and to overcome them,' ver. 7. And yet under those two 
expressions — whereas here are three, killing being added — are contained all 
those bloody executions and butcherings of the saints, by martyrdom and 
death, which afterwards, in the 10th verse of that chapter, is more fully ex- 
pressed, when it is said, ' He that kills with the sword must be killed by the 
sword;' as she-ning the cause and manner of the beast's bloody fall and ruin 
in the end, and what it is that should provoke God and man unto it, even 
their butchering of the saints. 

And although Antichrist's power is in general there set out, as it should 
be in his height and ruff, and during the whole time of his reign, as getting 
power over all nations, tongues, and kindreds, and here only his last par- 
ticular war against the witnesses is described, which should immediately 
forego his ruiii; yet it follows not that this expression here should not be 
of the same nature and kind, and import the same cruelty and manner of 
prevailing, that is there intended. For notwithstanding that the issue of the 
last particular war is the fatal and utter rum of the beast, yet that hinders 
not but that he may first recover again the like power, and exercise the like 
cruelty over these witnesses for this small space, which he had done in 
former ages, when he obtained power so long to continue over them. Yea, 
it may be feared, by that dirge of her own funeral song, which herself at 
last makes, in the 18th chapter, ver. 7, 8, that she shall recover her ancient 
power again, or at least entertain certain hopes and expectations of it, through 
her prevailing over some, and those of the chief, of her lost kingdoms. For 
there you may read, that when the next day, as it were, she is to be burnt 
for a witch and a whore, she saith in her heart, and sings, ' I sit as a queen, 
and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow :' which is spoken of her pre- 
sent condition just before her fall; for it follows, 'therefore shall her plagues 
come in one day, and she shall be utterly burnt with fii-e; for strong is the 
Lord who judge th her.' All which implies, that as her destruction should 
be sudden, and in the midst of her rejoicing, so that she shall have got such 
power and footing again, as that God's omnipotent power must be put forth 
in that her so sudden and unexpected ruin after all this. 

There is the like intimated in that mention of the beast's recovery of his 
power in Dan. xi. 45, where it is added, 'yet he shall come to his end;' as 
importing the greatness of that work, and the utter unlikelihood of it, now 
when he shall have gained his power so settledly again. That yet comes in 
there as that yet in the 2d Psalm does : ' Yet I have set my king on my 
holy hill of Sion,' maugre all the opposition and rage of the Gentiles and 
Pharisees ; though they have so far prevailed as to cracify him, yet I have 
Bet my Son as king on Sion, and raised up him and his cause again to 


And I therefore incline to think, that that song of the whore, mentioned 
ver. 7 of the 17th chapter, Is uttered by her a.s during this her merry time 
at last; when she and her friends rejoice so, and make merry during the.sc 
three years and a half, ver. 10 of this 11th chapter; when suddenly after 
it she is to be ruined. Yea, I believe that the cruelties which upon this 
recovery of her power she may now at last exercise, according to her manner 
in former ages, may be the means to revive the memory of all her fonner 
slaughters, and so to provoke God and men, as for this her last bloodshed, 
to bring upon her the blood of all the prophets and martyrs before shed; 
even as the blood of Christ at last brought upon the Jews the blood of all 
from Abel, to provoke God to ruin Jerusalem. That as the ten tribes were 
enraged against the Benjamites, with eagerness to root them out, because of 
their great victory at first got over themselves ; so may the Protestant party 
be whetted on by these fresh killings of the saints, which may revive the 
memory of all the former, otherwise apt to be forgotten, to do execution upon 
these their enemies without all mercy. And so shall be fulfilled what is 
said, chap, xiii., 'He that killeth with the sword nmst be killed by the 
sword.' They shall reward her as she had rewarded them just before, as 
chap. xvii. 6. 

And whereas it is alleged, that this being but one particular war against 
the witnesses, why should it be alone mentioned at la.st as some way peculiar, 
if it were such as Antichrist had commonly made upon the saints all his 
former days, which are mentioned chap. xiii. 1 The angel would not have 
recorded it thus alone by itself, if it had not been a difi"ercnt war from those 
former ones which the beast made against these witnesses. 

The answer is, that it follows not that this is not such a kind of war and 
prevailing as formerly Antichrist had. For this, though such as the former, 
is thus particularly and alone mentioned, merely for this respect, because it 
is the last of them all, and so as a signal to shew the time of Antichrist's 
ending, and to make known the wonderful dealing of God, both with his 
church and with his enemies; that after so great a victory by it obtained 
against the beast, he should notwithstanding thus prevail over it again, and 
have power to do for this space of time, even as in former ages; when 
thinking himself as secure as ever, that then he should for ever be over- 
thrown : the wonder of this deserved to be made a sign, and that this war 
of all other should particularly be instanced in. 

Then again, add to this, that it is that last, great, and eminent suffering 
of the church, — namely, of the European churches, — and therefore it, of all 
others, may be ordained to be the sorest. These witnesses do now die to 
rise, and so to die no more, as Christ did not after his resurrection, Ptom. vi. 
9, but to enter into their glory, as Christ also did. I have observed that those 
last afflictions, which are the immediate forerunners of the greatest happi- 
ness and good, are still the sharpest. So it was with Christ himself ; so with 
all Christians in their last conflict with death, the king of fears, who yet is 
the porter to let them into heaven ; and so it is with the church in her per- 
secutions. The Egyptian bondage was sorest at the last. ' And,' says Paul, 
' God hath set forth us apostles last, as it were appointed unto death,' 1 Cor. 
iv. 9, alluding to those gladiators or fencers in the Koman games, the last 
of whom, there being three sorts that used to come upon the stage, were 
appointed not to go off, but to fight it out till they were killed, they being 
ordinarily either slaves or else malefactors. The greatest persecution that ever 
the church had under heathenish Piome was that last one under Dioclesian, 
and the fifth seal. And therefore aU the former martyrdoms of the saints 


by that state, during tlie times of the former seals, do, with a general cry of 
their blood, come but then in, when as that the cruellest of all the former 
was come. And yet that Vv'as not the last neither of those persecutions that 
the church ever was to have; for it is there told those saints that they 
had other brethren yet to be killed. But here these witnesses are to rise 
and die no more; for as they died as Christ did, so they shall rise as 
Christ did. 

Yea, and further ; j-ou may observe, that this is now mentioned not only 
alone, and above all other conquests over the saints, but also as the very 
epitome of all their former "sufferings during the whole tune of the witnesses' 
prophecy. Jind therefore in the very time of the duration hereof — namely, 
three days and a half — it is set forth as bearing the proportion of a com- 
pendium of the whole time of their prophesying and suffering, which was for 
three years and a half, or 1260 days. As in like manner Christ's sufferings, 
unto which the allusion here is, were all summed up in his death, v/hich is 
therefore put for all his sufferings. When therefore it came to a ' My God, 
my God, why hast thou forsukon me?' then he was heard and delivered from 
what he feared. And so in this last brunt of the church, when you shall 
hear the like voice uttered by it, know then that delivery is near. 

We may also further consider, that now the beast hath been so chafed by 
these mtnesses' prophesying, and hath had so many vials emptied upon him 
and his company, they wUl thereby be so enraged, when once they shall get 
the victory and power into their hands, that surely ' in their rage they wQl be 
cruel,' as was said of Reuben. And the angel in Daniel, chap. xi. 44, ex- 
pressly attributes this hLs last invasion of the churches unto his rage for 
their opposing him by this northern reformation, which in these kingdoms 
hath been the occasion of it. ' Therefore,' says he, ' he shall go forth with 
great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.' So that nothing 
but blood and cruelty will be in their hearts. And therefore if God restrain 
not their spirits, or cut them short by an almighty work of his power, this 
last must needs come to be far the sorest of all former persecutions. 

Add unto this, that in chap. xvii. 6 the whore, the city of Rome, is pre 
sented as she shall be just before her ruin ; and this, as ' drunk with the 
blood of the saints.' Which unto me seems to argue, that drunkenness now 
at last shall be added to that her thirst of blood, which, by her being scorched 
with fire by these witnesses, hath been increased. I know it may be said 
that it is spoken of her in her relation to her former bloody martyrisings of 
the saints. But that vision being made of her as just before her fall, (for, 
ver. 1, John says, that ' one of the seven angels of the vials' — and as it is 
conjectured by interpreters, the fffth, because he it is that pours out his vial 
upon the seat of the beast, the whore — ' shewed him the judgment of the 
great whore, ■nith whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication,' 
&c., that is, in so many ages fore-passed ; so that he presented her in her 
old and last days,) and that then she appears so drunk, makes me fear that 
it is by reason she was new come out from her cups of blood ; and that now 
at last (after these * years for her to sleep in) some fresh cup, some 
new draught, shall make her tipsy again, that so she may be surprised 
somno vinoque sepuUa, buried in sleep and drunkenness, as Babylon was ; 
which will be the greater judgment and confusion unto her. 

But yet, whether it shall be thus or no, I dare not nor cannot certainly 
and peremptorily determine. For on the other side, how God may ' restrain 
* Left blank in the original edition. — Ed. 

Chap. VI.] an exposition of tiiis kevelation. 1G9 

their wrath, and cut short their spirits,' as the Psalmist speaks, we know not. 
Yea, notwithstanding all their rage, malice, and si)irit of revenge, yet how 
far their own wisdom and policy may move them of themselves to forbear 
the full execution of that vigour which their power gives them opportunity 
of, we know not. For when their victory is gotten, they may use it more 
moderately; especially in a respect to that Protestant party, which, though 
outwardly overcome by them, yet they cannot but in their hearts and con- 
sciences continue firm unto the cause of these witnesses. The light of the 
gospel hath took such a deep impression on men's spirits, as it cannot be 
extinguished, nor they be brought so suddenly to embrace Popery as the 
truth. And as the Pharisees, ' for fear of the people,' forbore many attempts 
against Christ, so may these for fear of these tongues, kindreds, and nations 
here mentioned, which are in heart inclined to the Protestant cause, forbear 
the extremity of their rage, though for the present they have the power ; 
especially considering that they may wait for, and promise to themselves, 
some after age and time when their power shall more perfectly be recovered 
and settled, and men's consciences quieted in Popish ways, and when the 
adverse Protestant party shall be brought low and diminished. And so they 
may come to forbear and defer their full revenge so long, imtil this limited 
and short time of their full power, namely, their three years and a half, be 
expired, and out of date sooner than they dreamed of. Which may prevent 
and hinder the execution of theh cruel intentions to •' destroy and utterly 
make away many.' 

And we have experience of the wisdom of this generation of men, who 
love easy and gradual conquests. And their own experience hath and doth 
teach them that the martyring and butchering of the saints hath still ad- 
vanced the cause of the Protestant religion, and branded theirs with blood 
and cruelty, as a mark of the false and whorish church. And though they 
be full of malice, which puts them on to use the utmost extremity, yet their 
wisdom, having some further mischievous end, may keep down the rage of 
that their malice, even as in Julian the Apostate, who sinned against the Holy 
Ghost, it did. For he seeing that martyrdoms did tend rather to add unto 
and increase the church than to diminish it, and knowing that martyrdom 
would procure to those that suffered it a fairer crown of glory, out of envy, 
therefore, and a witty malice, he would make no edicts for the killing of the 
Christians, but rather used ways of subtlety, by laying snares and tempta- 
tions to draw men from the truth, and to shipwreck their consciences ; and 
so with his profane hands to paddle in the blood of their souls — a sweeter 
victory to him — rather than of their bodies, and to triumph over them in 
their falls from the truth, rather than in their deaths. And to that end he 
invented another way to mischief and diminish them, by denying them 
schools of learning and the use of books, and suffered none of the Christians 
to bear any office, either in war or peace. 

Moreover, there may be insinuated some mitigation of this rage of these 
Gentiles in the pursuing this their last victory, in that which follows the 
before-cited place in Daniel; where although it be said that he shall go 
forth in such fury and rage, and with an intent to root out many, yet all 
his prevailing is in the issue and success expressed but by this, that ' he 
shall plant his tabernacle upon the glorious holy mountain.' Which may 
imply, that although his intention is utterly to destroy, yet for the execu- 
tion of it no more shall be done than getting a possession again in the 
church, and a planting his tabernacle, his power and throne, therein ; which 


is therefore called a tabernacle, because it must presently be pulled down 

The event only must declare how far this prevailing shall succeed. In 
the meantime, we have cause to fear, and to ^jrepare for, the worst ; both 
from the sins of the witnesses in yielding too far unto the superstitious of 
Eome, and in suffering some of those superstitions to be left in their churches, 
by the overflowing of the Romish sea, as we see much filth useth to be left 
on the shore by the overflowing of the ocean, and from many other sins of 
theirs, as carnal-gospelling, worklly-mindedness, &c., and also from their 
base yielding up the outward court, and deserting the cause. For, as the 
angel in Daniel says, many among them shall do wickedly. 

Now to conclude this point. That whereto my last and utmost thoughts 
and hopes concerning this matter do chiefly incline and sway me is, to think 
that it will be such a time with the church as that under Julian was ; and 
that haply that persecution of his was a kind of type of this ; that being the 
last prevailing of heathenism, as this of Popery. Julian abstained from 
extremity of cruelty, in respect of blood, especially at the first ; but having 
the power in his hands, he endeavoured, by crafty means, to undo and ex- 
tinguish religion, by denying the Christians the iise of schools of literature, 
and books, &c., as I before told you ; and rather shewed his malice in flout- 
ing and jeering of them than m killing them ; and studied snares for their 
consciences, setting up his own image, with the idols of the heathen gods 
round about it, in the Forum or market-place : that so in doing reverence to 
his image, they might seem to reverence the gods ; and refusing to bow to- 
wards these false gods, they might be accused as denying reverence to the 
emperor. Which course, in the end, was the cause of much bloodshed, 
though by no public edict of his made, as formerly by other emperors. And 
the people knowing his hate unto the Christians, they fell upon them in 
divers parts of the empire, and persecuted them even unto death. 

Now for this prevailing to come, I think that through many temptations 
and snares laid, together with cruelties inflicted, it may prove worse than 
death and martyrdom itself. And it may perhaps be eminently rather an 
hour of temptation and tiial, than of the blackness and darkness of martyrdom 
unto the generality of behevers, though haply accompanied with the martyr- 
dom of many ; and therefore the Gentiles are also said to kill these witnesses. 
These times are like to be (as Paul to Timothy hath it, 2 Epist. iii. 1) xai^oi 
^aXi'TToi, diflicult times, rather than bloody times, the apostle there speaking 
of the last days, as in his first epistle, chap. iv. 1, he speaks of the latter 
days of Popery. And these are called diflicult times, because of the cunning 
and subtlety that shall be used to ensnare men, and the temptations laid for 
them ; and yet they may be stained with much blood also. 

Yet so as however this we may be sure of, that many shall survive this 
war, and only be made white and tried, (as it is in Daniel.) Which is the 
rather to be hoped, because so sudden a resurrection of so great a multitude, 
as chap. xix. 1 are mentioned, who shall possess that glorious state of a church 
described in that chapter, ver. 1-10, after that three years and a half once 
ended, is not likely to arise merely out of a succession of new converts ; 
but is probably to be made up of the same persons surviving and outriding 
that great storm. 

Section VI. 

Of that concomitant of the witnesses killing : the nations seeing their dead 
bodies, and not suffering them to be put in graves. — Several senses given 

Chap. VI.] an exposition of the revelation. 171 

of it : whether talcen as an office of favour or an injury ; and whether 

to be understood of friends or enemies, discussed. 
Now for that particular clause that follows, that ' those of the nations, 
tongues, and kindreds, should see their dead bodies lie, and not suffer them 
to be put in graves,' which is interpreted in a way of favour to the witnesses ; 
although I think their lying dead to be meant in a metaphorical and allu- 
sive sense, yet it is exceedingly doubtful unto me whether or no this clause 
be not to be taken in laalam partem, in the worser sense, as rather express- 
ing inhumanity by this metaphor than kindness and love. And this seems 
to me to be the meaning of it, whether those of the nations, tongues, and 
kindreds, be taken for friends or for enemies ; and so to have been here 
added further to represent unto us the extreme misery and desperate cala- 
mity into which these witnesses shall be brought, in tliis their time of trial. 

1. If these nations, &c., be meant of enemies, this phrase, ' they saw, and 
suffered not,' &c., doth imply their feeding their eyes with this sight, and 
making it a spectacle of delight and joy unto them. For to see or view a 
thing, when the sights are of this nature, is in such a sense used in Scrip- 
ture, and implies that the thing seen is made a spectacle and gazingstock ; 
and in the seers and beholders it imports derision and triumph. Thus in 
Christ's sufferings, unto which the allusion is, they are said to come out to 
' see him and to mock at him.' And, Psalm xxii. 8, ' All they that see me do 
mock at me,' says the prophet there in Christ's name. And in the 109th 
Psalm, ver. 25, ' They saw me,' says Christ there, — for of him is that psalm 
made, — ' and shaked their heads,' &c. 

And thus seeing is usually mentioned in this sense, when any judgment 
is executed, to shew how the opposite party comes forth, and sees it, and 
rejoiceth at it. Thus when judgments are executed on the wicked, ' the 
righteous shall see and laugh at him,' Psalm lii. 6. So, Isa. Ixvi 24, ' They 
shall look upon the carcases of them that have transgressed against God ; 
which shall become an abhorring unto all flesh.' 

And so that other phrase that follows, ' and they shall not suffer them to 
be put in graves,' may also import a height of inhumanity. For, Psalm Ixxix. 
3, when that like miserable desolation of the temple, and slaughter of the 
saints, be it either that of Antiochus, the type of this, as some think it meant, 
or that of the Babylonish captivity, as others, this aggravation is there added 
unto their slaughter, that ' there was none to bury them.' Yea, and that 
here it should rather be taken in such a bad sense, appears by this, that 
their killing being an allusion unto Christ's passion, this circumstance is 
therefore mentioned, as heightening the suffering of the witnesses above 
that of Christ's, in this respect. For though his lying in the grave, as 
endured by him, is accounted a part of his humiliation, yet it is noted as a 
work of humanity in Pilate, to suffer his body to be taken down from the 
cross, and laid in a grave ; and especially in Joseph of Arimathea, who 
begged it to that end, and afterward honourably entombed it. This was an 
office of the greatest charity, and therefore recorded ; which this prophecy 
notes out as that which shoiild be wanting in these nations and tongues here, 
whether they be friends or enemies. And — • 

2. If they be taken for friends unto these witnesses, and as such among 
those nations, tongues, and kindreds as are in heart of the same religion 
with them, and who do in heart respect and love them, as the people did 
Christ ; the query then will be. Whether this their not suffering them to be 
buried be a friendly office 1 I confess, indeed, they seem to be some distinct 
company from those their enemies, who do so rejoice over them, ver. 14, and 


some special company also of the nations, and tongues, and kindreds. For 
it is not said that all nations, kindreds, and tongues, &c., as in the 13th 
chapter, when Popery was in its first height undiscovered, it is said that Anti- 
christ had power over all nations and tongues, &c. Xor is it said the nations, 
(tc, but tlLey of the nations, or some of the nations, — ix 'ruj\> '/.aujv xa! fvXuv 
y.ai y'/.uacui'j y.ai livojv, &c., — and not all in those kindreds, and peoples, and 
nations, among whom these witnesses are. And so the phrase of speech 
serves fitly to note out a contradistinct, special party or company ; even the 
Protestant party, who are not in aU nations ; neither are they all universally 
Protestants in those nations where the gospel is preached and professed. But 
only some nations are Protestants, and but some in and of those nations. 
And so the mention of them here may come in 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 do in heart stiU continue of the same religdon with the witnesses, 
the inquiry w^ould be, What wUl they do ? Will they endure it when it shall 
come to such extremity ? WiU they not put to their hand to help the wit- 
nesses of their own reUgion ? No, says the angel here ; ' they shall see their 
dead bodies, and not suffer them to be put in graves.' 

1. It is said, ' They shall see their dead bodies lie in the street,' or public 
market-place, as the word may also sig^iif}'. Which their so public l}ing in 
such a place notes out the greatest scorn put upon them by their enemies 
that may be. And yet these behold them as friends that have no heart to 
help them, and so will not once stir to reheve them, but like standers-by and 
mere lookers-on are shy, and list not to intermeddle in their killing, one way 
nor other. They stand aloof off, as men use to do from malefactors executed, 
although they be friends and weU-willers to them ; or as men that pass by 
and go on the other side of the street, when they see a dead carcase lying 
before them. Thus the phrase seeing them is also used in Scripture, and 
particularly in this book. For thus when the wheel is turned about, and 
after this Ptome's turn comes to be burnt, her friends, ' the kings of the 
earth,' that shall in heart stiU cleave unto her, are described as standers 
aloof off, and spectators that ' see her smoke,' as xibraham did the smoke of 
Sodom, so chap, xviii. 9, 10, 18. And thus, it may be, those of the peoples, 
kindreds, tongues, and nations who have taken part with these witnesses 
formerlj', shall now not dare to do it, but stand afar off, as it were, and pass 
by and see them killed, and not have hearts to help them. This the phrase 
seeing them may import. 

Or further, it may be said, that those of the peoples, kindreds, (tc, should 
see them, in that these witnesses should be driven out among those peoples, 
nations, &c., and should fly unto them for refuge and help. 

2. And so, in the second place, that w-hich follows may come in as a further 
degree of inhumanity, which these, their false friends, should shew to them, 
which shall be added unto the indignities put upon them by their enemies, 
50 to make the calamity and distress of these witnesses the more complete ; 
namely, that these, their friends of the Protestant party, should be so far 
overcome and prevailed upon by the power and dread of the Papists, that 
they shall deny these witnesses all help and shelter which they shall seek for, 
and all thotu common offices of friendship and humanity which might be ex- 
pected from them. Those that are friends use to bury the dead bodies of 
those whose lives they could not rescue out of the hands of their common 
enemies ; but these here shall be so far from helping the witnesses, that they 
' shall not suffer them to be buried' among them, or ' to be laid in graves, 


■\vliich are here metaphorically put for resting-places, where they might be 
sheltered from the sliame, contempt, and iiulignitie-s imposed on them by 
their insulting enemies, who now were complete victors over them. 

And thus the allusion herein may be unto the sufferings of Christ, who, 
though he had a great party of the people for him, crying, ' Hosanna in the 
highest !' yet those very Jews were so far prevailed upon by the Pharisees, 
when they once had Christ down in their power, as to cry with the rest, 
' Crucify him, crucify him ! ' and to run out in troops to see him executed. 
So Luke xxiii. 35 : ' The people,' says the Evangelist, ' stood beholding him ; 
and the rulers also with them derided him.' The people that before had 
rejoiced in his ministry now take part with the Pharisees, his enemies. And 
even so, it is to be feared, shall the Protestant party, overawed Avith the 
power and tyranny of Rome, which shall have power to tread down them 
also, comply with her against the witnesses ; though not so far as to have 
their hands in their blood, yet so far as not to suffer them to be put in 
graves, and to be harboured amongst them or by them ; so far as thus negar 
tively to be against the witnesses, as not to shew any office of kindness in 
relieving them. 

And so this their inhumanity is, after the manner of men, (who use to per- 
form this as a common office of humanity, to put dead men's bodies into 
graves,) expressed unto us by this contrary carriage of theirs, that they suf- 
fered not their bodies to be put in graves : a metaphorical speecb it is. 

And particularly ; the allusion here is made unto the putting the carcases 
of dead men into gi-aves ; which, you know, is an honour and a shelter to 
them, and, indeed, all the office of kindness that lies in the power of friends 
to afford them. And so kindness unto men in that dead condition is by this 
here fitly expressed. Now therefore, when these witnesses are deposed from 
their station, and haply banished from forth the nation in which they lived, 
which haply is their death here meant, and cast forth with the highest con- 
tempt, and persecuted with the greatest malice of their enemies ; and shall 
come to those of other peoples, nations, and tongues, who are of their own 
religion and party, for succour and shelter from these indignities, and base 
usages from their enemies, so to find rest to themselves, — who are now, in re- 
spect of that active life of witnessing by prophecy, laid by the walls speech- 
less, and as dead, — and to have only a harbour among them, (which unto those 
that are among strangers of another langa;age, is but of the nature of a grave,) 
and a place of rest, where, at best, they cannot so much be said to live, as 
to lie still in quiet, as men dead ; — when they shall seek but thus much, and 
shall not obtain it, these nations and kindreds who refuse it them may justly 
be said not to suffer their dead bodies to be laid in graves. Which yet to 
perform for them were but a common favour of humanity, and, by the law 
of nations, to be imparted unto banished strangers, especially to those of 
their own religion. 

And we see it hath hitherto been allowed the witnesses flying out of Eng- 
land, by the Low Countries ; and to the Protestants flying out of Germany, 
by the English. And so, in Queen Mary's days, the English professors found 
graves at least, some at Geneva, some in Germany, and others elsewhere ; 
where they lay quietly enjoying their consciences, though put by that active 
life of prophesying which before that they lived in and enjoyed in King 
Edward's reign. But now such shall be the surpassing misery of these three 
last years and a half, above what in former times, and so potent the preva- 
lency of the Popish faction, and such their vigilancy to stop all holes of 
refuge against these witnesses, that they seeking only for graves among these 


states of their own party and religion, which formerly they had permitted 
them, shall yet be refused it by these nations, tongues, and kindreds, who 
shall so inhumanly be carried on against their own principles, as not to suf- 
fer them to have such graves among them ; namely, a condition of harbour, 
rest, and quiet. 

And further ; because this shall be done with a prohibition to the con- 
trary, therefore it is thus expressed, that ' they suffered not their dead bodies 
to be laid in graves ; ' that is, by edicts prohibiting any of the banished wit- 
nesses to have harbour among them. And although this phrase, putting their 
dead bodies in graves, may seem improper to express oj)pressed men's flying 
for shelter, because to be put in a grave is a passive phrase in respect of 
them that are dead, and imports a thing done by others ; we must therefore 
still remember that this is a metaphorical speech, and so a civil death, and 
civUly lying dead, are here to be understood. For these witnesses, many of 
them, are not to be killed with a death natural, as they are men, but with a 
civil death, as they are witnesses ; and so may seek for shelter as men when 
they are dead as witnesses, which shelter in this allusion is called a grave. 
And because dead men cannot bury themselves, therefore, according to the 
metaphor of men dead, the Holy Ghost expresseth their seeking a place of 
rest by their being put into graves ; so passively expressing it. For how 
else, speaking of them under the notion of dead men, could it be expressed % 
It is but rh t^sitov figurce ; the decorum of following the metaphor taken up 
required this, and no other kind of expression. The like unto which is 
usual in Scripture phrase, and in all other languages. Which putting the 
witnesses into graves, in this sense taken, these their friends shall yet not 
suffer or permit. 

And thus, as it may be mentioned, to note out the inhumanity and 
cowardice of their friends ; so withal, the great misery and desperate calamity 
of the church in this their last being subdued : which will prove worse than 
ever any before it, in that now they shall have no sanctuary, no safe retiring 
place to rest in throughout all Europe, which shall in this respect univer- 
sally become the jurisdiction of the great city ; so some interpret that word 
ntXazi'ia, street. It shall not now be, as at other times it hath been, that ' when 
they were persecuted in one city, they might flee to another,' and there have 
quiet and safety. But the jurisdiction of the Popish X'^rty shall so far now 
prevail in Protestant states, if any such remain, as they shall not dare to 
receive and protect the oppressed witnesses, seeking a refuge and a harbour 
amongst them, but shall rather prohibit them so doing. Which in this allu- 
sion is spoken in opposition unto that humanity and charity in Joseph of 
Arimathea, who honourably laid Christ's body in a grave, when yet he had 
not power to hinder his crucifying. 

And that even the Protestant party may turn thus inhuman towards the 
witnesses, the unfaithful carriage of many Protestant states towards their 
neighbours and brethren, now whilst this war is but begun against the wit- 
ziesses, may give us cause to fear and suspect. 

How hath the Lutheran party in Germany complied and took part with 
the Popish for the ruin of the Calvinists ? And it were haj>py 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 betrayed by them. 

Thus I have projiosed another diff'crent interpretation from that formerly 
given, by way of mitigation of this extremity ; yet leaving both it and the 
other unto the event to determine, and to the reader to judge of. 


Section VII. 

Of the universality of this slaughter. — Whether reaching to all churches re- 
formed, and in them to all professors, or only to eminent witnesses. — 
2^hat some one may be more eminently designed. — What is meant by the 
street of the city, <L'C. 

III. The next query may be concerning the generality or universality of 
the extent of this slaughter : hew far it may reach ; as — 

1. Whether to all sorts of professors of religion, or whether to eminent 
persons in the church only ? 

Now for that, it may seem principally to be of witnesses ; that is, 
those that are eminently such. It is probable that the purest and best 
professors 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 
given up unto them ; but among these truly godly ones, they find serious 
and stiff opposers, that will never be brought to yield unto them. And this 
the Popish party themselves do both see and find — namely, that the godly 
of the Protestants are their only real enemies, and those who still put the 
great bars and impeachments to their plots, and that are the great stakes 
in the hedge of the church, which stand in the gap against their irruptions. 
And these are they who only by their lives and profession do torment the 
ungodly, as you have it, ver. 10 ; who therefore rejoice for their victory over 
them. And therefore this is not like to be a massacre of all sorts of pro- 
fessors at large, as was that in Paris, anno 1572 ; but a particular combat 
and set battle against the sincere witnesses only, whom their enemies have 
been taught to know and distinguish from others, by the fire they have shot 
into their consciences, as ver. 5. Thus in Antiochus's three years and a half, 
the type of this, the persecution fell especially upon those that were teachers 
and instructors of others ; so Dan. xi. 35. And thus will this do. 

Only let me add this : that these witnesses being the golden candlesticks 
also, as may seem by ver. 4, therclore a scattering of them — namely, of the 
purer churches — will be joined with it. And if their olive-trees be felled 
and removed, if their prophets and rulers be scattered, themselves then must 
needs be scattered. ' Smite the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered,' 
as Christ spake of himself and his disciples ; which smiting of his there 
— namely, at his passion — is here alluded unto. 

2. But a second query may be . Whether this killing will be over all the 
reformed churches, and so generally of the witnesses in all Protestant states 
and kingdoms 1 Graserus, a judicious Lutheran divine, thinks that it will 
be universal, and that this is the angel's very scope here, thus particularly 
to design out this last killing, as herein differing from all other former ones, 
that it should at once be a general and total eclipse of true churches for 
three years and a half. And so, says he, quod hactenus per partes impleri 
nunquam desiit, jam plenarie et universaliter perficietur ; that is, that perse- 
cution which in some place or other hath never ceased, and so by parts hath 
been fulfilled at several times, that shall now at once more fully and univer- 
sally be accomplished. And I must confess, that the treading down the 
outward court, and the sins of all churches, so great and so general in all, 
do universally threaten this. And it may be part of the drift of that speech 
which we have explained, that ' those of the peoples, kindreds, tongues, and 
nations, should see their dead bodies lie in the street,' or jurisdiction, ' of the 
great city ;' as importing, that generally, in all those nations where witnesses 


are to be found, tliey sliall be killed ; and so, by that means, they should all 
have opportunity to view and see their dead bodies. 

This I deny not, but think it may be the event, more or less. Yet, how- 
ever, I believe that sonne one kingdom or state will more eminently be made 
sedes belli, the field of this battle, the shambles of this slaughter. 

And one reason hereof is, because where the witnesses rise from this their 
dead condition, there is an earthquake joined with it, whi(di shakes ' the 
tenth part of the city;' that is, as I take it, and shall afterwards give my 
reason for it, one of those ten European kingdoms that have given up their 
power unto the beast, shall now in this slaughter begin to fall from and 
cease to be a part of the city, or to belong to the jurisdiction of Rome any 
longer, under which, for the space of these three years and a half, it had been. 
Now that falling away of the tenth kingdom, being joined with these wit- 
nesses' rising again, it would argue that accident of the earthquake to fall out 
for the especial help and furtherance of the witnesses' rising, who are in or do 
belong unto that kingdom, or tenth part of the city. Some one particular 
state or kingdom shall assist the witnesses in it in their rising and ascend- 
ing into heaven ; and shall revenge their slaughter by ' killing seven thousand 
names of men,' who were their enemies, and had been executioners of them 
in their fore-passed slaughter. Now, if their resurrection and ascension be 
in some one part of the ten kingdoms made more eminently glorious, and 
so the special privilege of the witnesses belonging unto that tenth part ; 
then one would think, that the killing or slaughter of them should also be 
in that tenth part of the city more conspicuous than in the rest. For in this 
suffering, whereof Christ's passion is propounded the type, those that suffer 
most with him shall rise and enter into this their glory spoken of, which is 
to be answerably proportioned to their suffering. If, therefore, the glory 
that follows seems to be more peculiar to one tenth part, the suffering fore- 
going it would also seem to have been more peculiar to that tenth part like- 
wise, and the main shock of the storm to have fallen there ; though haply 
all the heavens may be covered with black, and all churches feel some drojjs 
and sprinklings of it. 

It hath also somewhat moved me, that the place where they are said to lie 
dead is called -T^^ars/a, the street, not streets, of the great city, as noting out 
some one eminent place or street of that city, or some state belonging to the 
jurisdiction of Rome ; so comparing the jurisdiction and power of Rome 
through and over all Europe unto a city, and the kingdoms and states of it 
unto several streets. And so some one state or kingdom is this same 'TrXarss'a 
rrii m'oXioii;, this same street of that city. I know what critics say, that this 
is numerus singularis pi'o plurali — street for streets; but the elegancy of the 
allusion seems better made up by taking it for some one place of the city, by 
this slaughter made the market-j^lace, and, as it were, the shambles therein, 
more eminently than the rest of the streets. 

And thus also that former interpretation of those of the peoples, kindreds, 
&c., they being taken as meant of the Protestant party of other nations round 
about ; and their seeing, &c., to be their knowing and taking notice of this 
slaughter, as standers-by, aloof off ; and their not suffering them to be put 
in gi-aves, to be their prohibiting them a sanctuary and resting-place among 
them, when they fled unto them for help : that interj^retation, I say, is 
made more clear by this, that the slaughter falling more eminently upon 
some one part or kingdom, the rest of the kingdoms and nations about it 
do deny them of that kingdom shelter, and a grave to hide their heads in, 
when from thence they flee unto them and seek it at their hands. 

Chap. VI.] an exposition of the revklation. 177 

And if ill this last combat the witnesses be singled out as the one party, 
and by witnesses be meant only such faithful Cliri.stians and professors as 
do, in respect of their godliness and sincerity, hold forth an eminent testi- 
mony and witness, above that which others of the crowd of common pro- 
fessors do; and so not men of learning, but of holiness and zeal, are they who 
are here said to be the real tormenters of these their enemies ; then surely in 
that part of the reformed churches where such witnesses are chiefly found, who 
do continue eminently to hold forth such a kind of powerful testimony as 
holy men, (for this is a testimony of holiness, not of learning,) their forefathers, 
who were killed before them for the same cause, have done, — surely there 
especially will be the seat of this war, and the field where this combat is to 
be fought. 

Now then, look generally over almost all the reformed churches, and how 
few of such witnesses, with difference from the common crowd, do appear 
amongst them ; the fire, the heat of tliose godly men, their first reformers, 
which is the thing that should torment those enemies at last, being gone, 
and the light only remaining, which gives but a fiiint, cold, and dull testi- 
mony, and which these enemies do therefore despise. Only in the witnesses 
of Great Britani both the light and heat of religion have been kept up and 
increased ; and among them only hath the profession of the power of godli- 
ness been continued, with difference from the crowd of common professors. 
And, according to what appears in view, more of such true witnesses, now in 
these last days, wherein this slaughter is to fall out, are to be found in it, 
and belonging unto it, than in all the reformed churches besides ; and that 
according to the testimony which they of those churches, who in these times 
of scattering have come hither for refuge, have and do give. 

And surely the place of this killing the witnesses must be where most 
witnesses are. And so that kingdom may be designed more than any other ; 
as in which also more eminently are found those last sort of champions for 
the beast, who receive only the number of his name, who yet shall be the 
chief executioners of this last slaughter, and who are to be overcome last of 
all the beast's company, before the fifth vial on the seat of the beast, as chap, 
xvi. tells us. 

Add unto this, this conjecture upon Dan. xi. 45, which chapter, from ver. 
36, hath Graserus excellently, and Mr Mede, in his Discourse of Demons, 
upon 1 Tim. iv. 1, 2, applied unto the Pope, who is that king there men- 
tioned, and whom Antiochus, whose story is contained in the former part of 
the chapter, typified out. But the larger interpretation and application of 
all, from ver. 36, I leave to be fetched from them, and shall only mer.tion 
my own conjecture, as supposing their interpretation good, upon the last 
verses, unto the purpose in hand. It is evident that the angel's scope there is, 
as I find others to acknowledge, to shew the issue of the beast's last expedi- 
tion against the reformed churches, after their reformation and before his 
end ; and so to denote out this last war here prophesied of — namely. Anti- 
christ's * accomplishing to scatter the power of the holy people,' as before 
hath been at large related. 

Now, when he shall go forth in this his last war, in such fury and rage, 
with a purpose utterly to destroy, the main event and issue of that expedi- 
tion of his is made to be this, that ' 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.' 

The allusion in that phrase, ' the holy mountain,' is to that of Sion, where 
the temple stood j which therefore, in the usual phrase of the prophets, is often 



put to express the true cliurcb, whicli is the mountain of the Lord. This 
mount, and the temple thereon, was erected in Europe by the northern 
reformation mentioned ver. 44, which he shall prevail against, and tread 
down, and place the tents of his throne upon it, or some part of it, again. 
This Alstedius and others acknowledge to be the meaning of the place. 
And so it agrees with what this angel, who came here to expound what he 
had told Daniel, affirms, that the outward court, now at last, was to be given 
up unto the Gentiles. 

That which to Graserus occasioned the greatest puzzle in the interpretation 
of this verse, was this phrase which is added, to describe the situation of this 
mountain, inter maria, 'between the seas;' that there the Pope should at 
last replant his ancient throne. He stands wondering why to the mention 
of Mount Sion, which nakedly, says he, without this addition, had been 
enough, there should have been subjoined, between the seas; which, says he, 
hath puzzled all interpreters : for Sion stood not between two seas. And 
therefore, says he, those words must be added by way of difference and dis- 
tinction from the holy mountain, by the type and name of which the angel 
had yet expressed the state of the church. And if his scope had been thereby 
to set forth the church universally throughout Europe, then the bare men- 
tion of the holy mountain, as, chap. xiv. 1, it is expressed by, had been 
sufficient and suitable enough unto so general a scope. But it being with 
this addition of difference concerning the situation, that it was between the 
seas, or among the seas, it therefore must more particularly design out some 
church or people of God, whose place and habitation is, for the situation of 
it, thus between the seas, and thereby singled out from the rest. 

Luther, he makes it to point out Rome, which is the seat of the beast, 
which stands in Italy, between the Adriatic and the Tirrheue seas. But 
his ancient seat, Rome, cannot be here meant; for, ver. 44, he is said to go 
forth as from that his old seat, and to plant, as noting out this to be a new- 
gained seat, which was not the ordinary place of his residence, as Rome is. 

Graserus gives a touch that Germany may be intended as that place 
which should again be subdued unto the Pope, as lying between the Baltic 
and the German Oceans, which it does but veiy remotely, and only the north- 
ern parts of it being bounded with and touching upon those seas. 

But I rather fear that these British islands are here intended, in that they 
so eminently, above all other places of the churches reformed, and with dif- 
ference also from all others, do stand between the seas, even wholly among 
seas, — -penitus toto divisos orbe Britannos, — which islands likewise God hath 
made the eminent seat of the church in these latter days, and which ' he 
hath loved above aU the habitations of Jacob.' 

And in that the angel there calls this mountain, in a high and transcen- 
dent phrase, yet of further difference, ' the mountain of delights of holiness,' 
or, as Junius turns it, mons decoris sancti, the mountain of holy comeliness; 
it seems in some way of peculiarity from others, even in that respect also, to 
note out a place which for holiness should more eminently be God's delight, 
■and comely in his eyes ; where he should have a most holy people, and which 
he should make a land of uprightness, where his majesty and glory should 
more eminently shine. Which place, notwithstanding, for the trial of the 
witnesses in it, God shall again give up unto the power of Antichrist, there 
to plant the tabernacle of his palace or throne, or his clergy, as Graserus 
reads it; even as Nebuchadnezzar did his throne at Tiiph-haanies, when he 
had conquered Egypt, as a sign of that his victory. By the coixpiest of which 
kingdoms and regaining them unto him, he shall seem so rooted in his an- 


cient power, that in hope of all the rest the whore shall sing, * I am now no 
widow,' and that just before her fall. And yet this prevailing is but a pre- 
paration to Antichrist's ruin ; for it follows there in Daniel, * Yet he shall 
come to his end, and none shall help him.' Which notes out, as that this 
is to be done just before his end, so also that that regaining his power should 
seem so to strengthen him, that he should be, as it were, out of the danger 
of ruin, and as for ever secure. 

But this his sudden victory is but as the planting of a tent or tabernacle 
in a field, not to stand past three years and a half; though that party and 
their abettors do in their hopes think they build for eternity. But it being 
of man's, not God's planting, it shall therefore come to nothing; for 'every 
plant which the Father plants not shall be rooted up.' 


The rising of the witnesses, from ver. 11 to ver. 15 of the 11th chapter. 

Section I. 

Three things in general observed. — Christ's resurrection the pattern of this. — 
The liroportions between their hilling and rising. — This resurrection a 
shadow of thai to come. 

I come now to their rising again, and to tliose events which, do accom- 
pany it. 

Three things in the general I observe about it : — 

I. That the particular circumstances of it are like to those in Christ's re- 
surrection and ascension : this rising of theirs being an allusion to that resur- 
rection of his, as was before saidj and Christ mystical being in these last 
days, when his visible kingdom approacheth, more eminently to be made 
conformable unto Christ personal, both in his death and resurrection, the 
last of his acts done on earth before that his kingdom then. Yea, and, for 
our comfort, although there are some evident characters of likeness to that 
his last passion mentioned in this their killing here, yet there are more 
apparent ones of a conformity unto his resurrection in this their rising again. 
The several particulars whereof will arise to our observation in the explica- 
tion. — This but in the general. 

II. That God hath so recorded the more eminent circumstances of thi-s 
their resurrection, that they do, as it were, answer unto those more eminent 
circumstances noted in their killing; and this, as it were, a reward suited 
and proportioned unto the debasement in the other. For — 

1. Then they are said to be killed; and now a spirit of life is said to come 
into them. 

2. Then they are said to lie dead in the street; and now they are said to 
stand upon their feet. 

3. Then these their enemies or false-hearted friends are said to see them, 
either as rejoicing over them, or at leastwise as not helping them; but now 
at thek' resurrection it is twice noted and indigitated that their enemies saw 
them, and that both when they arose and ascended; so ver. 11, 12 : both 
which acts are done in the very face of their enemies, the more to spite and 
vex them. Yea, and, as Parens observes, the Greek word for see is here 
changed; for as there it imported that they then saw them with pleasure, so 
here it intimates that they now behold them with horror. 

4. Then their enemies rejoiced over them, but now great fear is said to 
faU upon their enemies who beheld them. 

5. Then they were exposed to such contempt that their bodies were not 
suffered to be buried, which is a degree of humiliation beyond death; but 
now, instead of this, they have therefore a further degree of glory put upon 

Chap. VII.] an exposition of the revelation. 181 

them beyond restoring to life. A voice calls them up to heaven ; and they 
ascend, — that is, to a far more glorious condition than they had before. 

6. Their enemies are now killed in their stead, as being sacrificed unto 
them, for their killing them before. Seven thousand of their enemies were 
slain, ver. 13. 

And all this is but to make the parallel of their resurrection and ascension 
unto that of Christ the more full. For so it was in Christ ; the lower he de- 
Bcended, the higher he ascended: Eph. iv. 9, 'Now that he ascended, what 
is it but that also he first descended into the lower parts of the earth?' 
And, as Dr Ames hath well observed, the degrees of his exaltation were 
answerably opposite to the degrees of his humiliation : his rising from the 
dead being opposed to his death; and his ascension into heaven, to his 
descent into the grave, and going down to hell, or into the state of death; 
and his sitting at God's right hand, to his remaining in the grave and in tha 
estate of death. 

III. The third thing which in general I observe is, that in this their re. 
surrection there is a forerunning shadow of that last great victory which 
brings in the kingdom of Christ and of his saints for the thousand years; 
of the glorious beginning whereof, under the seventh trumpet ensuing, ver. 
15, this is ordained to be the dawning. 

But the particulars thereof I shall observe, when I have despatched the 
particular interpretation. It is enough now in general to have observed it. 

Section II. 
The several steps and degrees of their resurrection and ascension. 

I. The first step of their resurrection is the ' entering of the spirit of life 
from God into them ]' even as in Christ's resurrection, the coming of his soul 
into his body was the principle of that his future life. And such a principle 
this same spirit of life here imports. And so here in this allusion, it notes 
out their full restoring to their former state, even to that Ufe and power 
which at any time before their killing they had had. This resurrection here 
is not to be understood of the resurrection of their natural bodies, which is 
not to begin till the thousand years, yet it is the resemblance and shadow of 
it ; but it shall be a rising of the persons of these witnesses who shall survive 
this short storm, or of their successors standing up in their cause. That 
whereas they were laid as men utterly dead, during these three years and 
a half, in respect of any active life of prophecy; and partly, it may be, 
through the discouragements and base fears of their own spirits, they lay 
too still and quiet, like dead men, and suffered their enemies to carry it, by 
their not opposing them so boldly as they ought to have done : yet now, a 
bold and steeled resolution to lie still no longer, together with an active 
spirit, comes upon them, and they ' stand up upon their feet,' and make head 
against their enemies, and so, in that sense, are said to rise again from the 
dead as it were, namely, comparatively to their dejected estate during those 
three years and a half. 

And as for those who were bodily slain by their enemies the Gentiles, during 
that war and slaughter, they may be said to rise in their successors, who con- 
tinue to profess the same cause. For the saints are a holy nation and com- 
munity; and what the next succcession doth, through the prayers or suffer- 
ings of a former generation, that former generation is said to do, as Isa. Iviii. 
12; and so John Baptist rose up in the spirit of Eliasj and when Christ 


preached, they thought John was risen from the dead. And this spirit of 
life is said to be from God, r/. io\t ©£&[;, as noting out a more than ordinary 
hand of God therein, and a special demonstration of his power, such as he 
put forth when he 'raised up Jesus Christ from the dead,' as Eph. i. 19, 
and Rom. L 4. If in auythmg Christ was ' declared the Son of God with 
power,' it was in his resurrection from the dead. And such a power shall 
raise up these witnesses. 

II. They stand upon their feet ; that is — 

1. As in their former station or state. 

2. As men erect, and taking heart, their cause being just, though before 
condemned. And — 

3. As ready to defend it, and as men able and resolved now to confront 
their enemies; which strikes a mighty dread into their guilty consciences. 
* Great fear fell upon them that saw them ;' that is, a disheartenedness and 
dejection of mind. Their hearts begin to sink and die at the witnesses' first 
beginning to live ; for they see this prophecy, beyond all expectation, ful- 
filled : that, as Christ foretold he should rise again the third day, so it being 
generally foretold that these witnesses should rise after three years and a half; 
which they, as these Pharisees, had slighted : but now, think they, surely 
the ruin both of us and of our cause will follow. So the hearts of Haman's 
friends misgave them when they saw him begin to faU before Mordecai. 
And now may the church well begin to say, ' Eejoice not against me, O mine 
enemy ; when I fall,' and lie in the street, ' I shall arise. . . . Then she that 
is mine enemy shall see it, and shame shall cover her ; . . . and she shall be 
trodden down as mire in the streets,' never to rise again; as you have it 
Mic. viL 8, 10. 

Or, it may be, this great fear that is here said to * fall upon them that saw 
them,' is meant of those standers-by of the peoples, kindreds, tongues, and 
nations, that had before seen their dead bodies, but relieved them not, though 
they were friends unto them; upon whom therefore this great fear and 
reverence of God and his truth in these witnesses doth fall, so as now to take 
part with them, and be on their side ; being moved thereunto by the mar- 
vellous spirit of life and zealous courage, which God, according to the prophecy 
which before run of them, did now cause to come upon them. The word 
3swj£/V implies a fixed diligent observance and intention of mind; such as, 
upon seeing a wonderful work of God, we use to have. They see the finger 
of God in this, and that makes them to fear and dread his power and majesty. 
For in that sense we often find in Scripture, that, upon some great and emi- 
nent deUverance, or work of an almighty and divine power put forth, fear is 
said to fall upon the beholders; so Jer. xxxiii. 9, and elsewhere. 

III. As Christ ascended up to heaven in a cloud, so also these, being 
called up to heaven by a great voice from thence, saying, ' Come up hither.' 
Where, by heaven, the place mto which they are called, is meant a condition 
more honourable and glorious than ever they had before, and which, com- 
paratively to their former estate, is a heaven. For now they are about to 
cast off their sackcloth for ever. And again, as Christ rose to die no more, 
Rom. vi 9, so shall these ; they shall die no more, as men that ascend to hea- 
ven do not. And thus, as Christ said of himself, Luke xxiv. 26, 'It became him 
to suffer, and so to enter into his glory :' so it may be said of these. So that 
by heaven here is not simply meant the church, as often in this book it is, — 
for these that rise are of the trae church already, and were so even when 
they lay dead, — but it is meant of their following condition, which for liberty 

Chap. VII.] an exposition of the revelation. 1S3 

and honour shall be as a church in heaven, in comparison to what it was 
before, which was but as a church on earth. 

Tluis, ascending into heaven is used to express an obtaining of new power, 
freedom, and gh)ry; as Isa. xiv. 12, 13. And tliis is done in recompense of 
that contempt which they lay in before, especially just before, when they lay 
dead. And indeed, as I take it, the dawning of the glory of the new heaven 
and new earth approaching begins first in this glorious condition, which the 
church, after this rising of the witnesses, shall within a while be raised up 
unto, and quietly enjoy, as those in heaven do, whose state is described, 
chap, xix., ' I saw a great multitude in heaven,' &c. Of which hereafter. — 
And thus much of their resurrection and ascension itself 

Section III. 
The events that accompany their resurrection. 

Now farther ; as there are certain events which accompanied Christ's re- 
surrection, so the like do accompany theirs. When Christ arose, there was 
an earthquake, which aiirighted the soldiers that watched him ; and so was 
there here hkewise, as ver. 13. 

Now, to explain what is here to be understood by this earthquake : — 

1. For the time of it; it is said to be at 'the same hour,' namely, with 
this their resurrection, or beginning to rise ; and so may seem to be men- 
tioned as one of the means which did make way for and facilitate this their 
rising, by removing the impediments of it, and, as it were, rolling the stone 
away, that so these witnesses might rise from under the power of their 
enemies ; which former obtained power of theirs this earthquake doth scatter 
and dissolve. 

Now where£»5 their resurrection and ascension are both together mentioned 
in ver. 11, 12 ; and then after both comes in the mention of this earthquake, 
ver. 13, 'There Avas the same hour,' &c. ; yet, as I take it, this follows not 
that all of them — resurrection, ascension, and earthquake — were at the 
same time or hour together. For their resurrection and ascension are two 
distinct degrees of their exaltation, as in Christ they were, and therefore 
may not so immediately follow one after the other, as in Christ they did not, 
his ascension being forty days after his resurrection ; and yet they are both 
recorded and set together, because they are things of a kind and sort, as 
pertaining both of them unto the exaltation of the witnesses. So that for 
this passage that follows, ver. 1 3, that ' there was an earthquake the same 
hour;' it may perhaps not refer to the time of both, namely, their rising 
and ascension, but unto the beginning of the time of their first rising, as an 
occurrence that feU out the same hour when this great turn began ; or rather, 
indeed, as the way and means God first used to remove impediments for the 
setting free of these witnesses, and restoring them unto their former state 
and life. 

2. For the thing itself, and the place where this earthquake shall be, and 
what shall be the effects of it ; this is expressed in what follows : ' the tenth 
part of the city feU,' and ' of the names of men were slain seven thousand.' 
Great earthquakes have oft-times shook down cities and buildings, &c., and 
many men have often perished by them. And such shall be the effects of 
this here. 


Section IV. 

The fall of ilie tenth jyart of the city, what ? — Whether thereby he meant the 
ruin of Roine, tlteiifth vial 1 

But the main question is, "What is meant by ' the tenth part of the city, 
and what by ' the names of men ] ' 

Mr Mede thinks, that by the tenth part of the city is meant Rome itself, 
and its ruin by the fall of that tenth part ; as being that which shall fall 
out immediately upon, or at the same hour with, this rising and ascending of 
the witnesses ; and so to be all one Avith the fifth vial. And his reason is, 
because this being an overthrow of the Popish party, who are the enemies of 
these witnesses, for the beast kills them, it must therefore be reduced to one 
of the vials : and to which of them but to the fifth ? For four are men- 
tioned before, in ver. 5-7, and the sixth seems to be all one with that which 
follows, ver. 14, when it is said, 'The second woe is past;' and then the 
seventh vial is all one with the seventh trumpet. And this interpretation 
he thus makes out : — 

Rome, which now is the seat of the beast, being but the tenth part of ancient 
and imperial Rome, as history and chorr>graphy tells us, the scope therefore 
of the angel here must be, to shew how tliat relic of Rome, before brought to 
a tenth part, by the former wars and trumpets, chap, viii., ix., should now 
wholly and for ever be defaced and overthrown. And so, accordingly, the 
names of men that are said to be slain, he makes to be those dignities, (haply 
ecclesiastical dignities, says he,) whereby men are ranked in Italy whUst 
Rome stands, as cardinals, archbishops, and bishops, &c., the merchants who 
in Italy have enjoyed so great traffic by reason of this whore's merchandise ; 
these are together, with the faU of the city, to be deposed, and civilly to die, 
as the "SA-itnesses before had done, this seat of the beast now falling into the 
Protestants' hands. An interpretation learned and ingenious. 

But that which hath carried my thoughts to some other distinct event 
from this, though this ultimately may be intended, hath been the observation 
of that so different effect, mentioned ver. 13, as wrought upon the hearts of 
the remnant of those, and so of the same company with them, that are slain 
with the fall of the city in this earthquake ; together with that other con- 
trary effect, which the full and fatal ruin of the seat of the beast, under the 
fifth vial, is said to have i;pon the remnant of the beast's company there, as 
the event of that viaL Here the remnant of men that are not slain are said 
to be affrighted, and to give glory to the God of heaven ; but there, upon 
the execution of that fifth vial, in the height of it, it is said, 'they gnawed 
their tongues for pain, and blasphemed the God of heaven because of their 
torments and their sores, and repented them not of their deeds;' so chap, 
x^d. 10, 11. Now, if we interpret this their giving glory to God, here in 
this chapter, in the lowest and most diminishing sense that can be supposed, 
and as not arising to true repentance ; yet at least it implies an acknowledg- 
ment of God to his praise, such as Achan made, though haply forced, and 
out of fear constrained ; and if it be so taken, yet it is utterly opposite to 
blaspheming the God of heaven, which these other, feeling his hand, upon 
the ruin of Rome, are said to do. This remnant here, chap, xi, being such 
as were, through fear, drawn in to be of the Popish party, and therefore do 
now repent. 

So that it rather seems to me to be some special occurrence, more nearly 
and properly belonghig unto the witnesses' rising and ascension, as immedi- 


ately making way unto tliem both, in those parts of Europe where the 
witnesses had chiefly been killed ; where, for the helping forward their re- 
surrection, God causeth this earthquake, and mighty commotion of the state 
of things and of the people's hearts. That whereas through a forced consent 
and yielding, the Pope's power had again been entertained by that tenth part 
of the city, for the killing the witnesses ; they now do cast off that power, 
with a mighty commotion and insurrection, and so proceed to ruin the op- 
posite party unto the witnesses, who were the instruments of that former 
slaughter. Of which party the remnant unslain do, as men affrighted, ' give 
glory unto God,' and turn back again to embrace the truth, and acknowledge 
God to be in these witnesses, and in their cause. 

So that, although this may and shall end in the ruin of Rome, which is 
the highest effect of the fifth vial, for this resurrection and ascension of the 
witnesses are truly the preparation unto it ; yet this other passage of the 
earthquake, iSic, that here is said to be the same hour with their rising, is 
rather to be understood of the means, or thing, making way unto that their 
resurrection. So that this insurrection, or rising of the people, in the tenth 
part of the city, which is meant by the earthquake, is the preparation unto 
their resurrection, which ends in the ruin of Rome ; the scope of the Holy 
Ghost here being to shew what did properly and peculiarly concern the 
rismg of the witnesses, as the means to it : yet so, as still this earthquake 
here, and fall of the tenth part of the city, are reducible unto that fifth vial, 
as a degree unto it. And so that fifth vial may also be ultimately intended 
in this passage recorded of the witnesses' rising, as the preparation unto it. 
Thus in the interpretation of the vials, I shewed that there may be many 
sprinklings of the same vial, both long before it come to its a5c/y,jj and vigour, 
and also after ; all which are, notwithstanding, to be reduced unto that vial 
of the kind whereof they are, or unto which they are either preparations or 

Yea, further, the word city being taken in a double consideration in this 
book, — one more strict for the city of Rome itself, another larger for the 
jurisdiction of that city, — as was before observed ; accordingly may the tenth 
part, both of the one and the other, be here meant, as the one is successively 
to follow and fall after the other. And so both interpretations may aptly 
be here intended ; the fall of the one being as a degree unto the fall of the 
other, which is the height of that fifth vial. Unto this I do the more in- 
cline, for that such a double scope and aim, in things of equivocal significa- 
tion, I find the Holy Ghost oftentimes to have in his eye. So in the vials, 
as I before shewed ; and so I believe in this passage and event. So that I 
exclude not that interpretation of Mr Mede's, but do only join another with 
it, though I think that may be mainly and ultimately intended. 

Section V. 

More partiadarly, that hy a tenth paH of the city is meant one of the ten 
hingdoms of Europe. — How it is said to fall. — The earthquake in it, 
what ? — The names of men, what ? and their killing. 

Now to come to a more particular interpretation of this place : — 
1. By the tenth part of the city I understand, as Mr Brightman before me, 
some one tenth part of Europe ; which, as it all once belonged to the juris- 
diction of the city of Rome, and is in this book called ten kingdoms, so now 
again, upon the Gentiles, or idolatrous Papists, their recovering the outward 
court, shall now at last, more or less, come under the jurisdiction of that 


city ; but especially, or at least this tenth part of it here intended, where 
most faithful witnesses shall be found, and where most of them shall be 
triumphed over and slain, shall, during these three years and a half, become 
a part of the city again ; and so is called ' a tenth part of the city :' city being 
put here, as it often is in this book, for the extent of the jurisdiction of the 
city of Rome, which had these ten European kingdoms by charter allotted 
unto it, chap, xvii., and unto which these kingdoms are a second time to 
agree to give up their power. In one of which ten, or in the tenth part of 
the whole, the witnesses shall first begin to rise ; and therein shall this 
earthquake accompany their resurrection. This tenth part of the city may 
perhaps be all one with that street of the city, mentioned ver. 8. 

2. By the earthquake here, which is said to be a great one, is meant (as 
stiU in this book it is) a great concussion or shaking of states, politic or 
ecclesiastical, for of either or of both it is used. Thus under the sixth seal, 
the great alteration wrought in the Roman empire, when it turned from 
heathenism to Christianity, brought about by the power of Constantine, with 
the deposing those heathenish emperors, captains, (fee, and altering the face 
of the empire's religion, is called an earthquake, chap. vi. So that the like 
mighty commotion, with an alteration of the face of things, (either civil or 
ecclesiastic,) shall ftill out in a tenth part of the city, and shall accompany 
or usher in this rising of the witnesses. Now — 

3. By and through this earthquake's faUing thus out in a tenth part of 
the citj', this tenth part of it is so shaken that it falls, — that is, ceaseth to 
be a part of the city, or to belong unto its jurisdiction any longer, — or, 
which is aU one, falls off, as we say, from being of the number of those that 
give their power to the beast. Which if it prove to be any of the Protestant 
states that should yet again, as was said, embrace the beast's power, and 
come under his jmisdiction, or, in order to the bringing in again of the 
Pope's power, should kill these witnesses, and so thereby become a part of 
that city, and be reckoned as pertaining unto its jurisdiction ; yet now re- 
volting from under the power of this city, and recoiling again through this 
earthquake, it may truly be said to fall, — namely, qua urhis pars est, as it is 
a part of the city, which it before was, but now ceaseth so to be, it now 
utterly renouncing either to belong to its jurisdiction, or to be of its party 
any longer. And as earthquakes are from inward motions in the bowels of 
the earth, so this here may seem to arise from within that kingdom itself; 
whether through the supreme magistrate's beginning to ' hate the whore,' (as 
the promise is, chap, xvii.,) or the people's abominating the cruelty and con- 
tempt put upon the witnesses and their cause ; their consciences having been 
enlightened in the truth, while themselves were trodden under, as the out- 
ward court, by these Gentiles, and so they come to shake off that yoke ; 
and the witnesses having a spirit of bfe now come into them, these take 
heart, and join with them and their cause : whether, I say, through the 
working of either or both of these I cannot determine, but I think through 
both. For the ruin of the city, unto which this is at least the preparation, 
is to be effected through God's changing one of the ten kings' hearts so to 
' hate the whore,' as to ' eat her flesh, and burn her with fire,' chap. xvii. 
And this voice speaking unto the witnesses out of heaven, Mr Mede con- 
jectures to be that of supreme authority, with which the people also shall 
join ; for an earthquake certainly notes out a commotion in the people and 

4. The effect of this earthquake, and fall of this tenth part of the city, 
is the killing seven thousand of the navies of men ; so it is in the oiiginaL 


A phrase which, as tlius joining names and men together, is not so to be 
found in the whole book of God. By these nam^s of men are certainly 
denoted out those, be it interpreted of whomsoever, that had been the wit- 
nesses' enemies, and that had the great agency and hand in killing them, and 
in subjecting those nations unto the power of the beast. 

Mr Mede conceives it to be oKj/xara a^d^uixuiv, names of men, for men of 
navies, accordmg to the usual phrase of Scripture ; as riches of grace fur 
rich grace, &c. 

Now, by men of names, in Scripture, is meant men of office, title, and 
dignity. So Num. xvi. 2, those two hundred and fifty men, who were princes 
of the congregation, and in Korah's conspiracy consumed, are called men of 
name, (so in the Hebrew,) that is, men of title and dignity. 

You heard before how the last sort of enemies unto these witnesses, under 
the fourth vial, were set forth unto us by the type of those very opposers of 
Moses and Aaron, who were then the two witnesses of the Lord, as was 
shewn in the exposition of the 5 th verse of this chapter. Now as there, in 
Numbers, the spiritual punishment of many of them, for their enmity against 
the witnesses, is noted out by that fire which then devoured them : so here a 
civil punishment falls upon these ; for having thus killed these witnesses, 
themselves are to be killed, haply by being bereft of their names and titles, 
which are to be rooted out for ever, and condemned to perpetual forget- 

This Mr Mede carries to ecclesiastical dignities under the Papacy, those 
Latiales Episcopatus, kc. And for the number seven thousand, it is an in- 
definite number, and put for many, as the usual manner of the Scripture is. 
And certainly, if these names here do prove to be ecclesiastical dignities and 
titles, the phrase here used fits them and is most proper for them ; for they 
use it of themselves, and when they would in a word or two comprehend all 
the several ranks and orders of the hierarchical ministry, from the highest 
to the lowest, which for them particularly to enumerate were too tedious, 
they involve all in this indefinite expression, ' by what names or titles soever 
dignified or distinguished.' 

Now, as they call their dignities names, so the Holy Ghost, you see, calls 
them names of men ; that is, merely human, of man's institution, and not of 
God's. For so are most of their offices themselves, and, in a manner, the 
names of them all ; they being not such names as the Holy Ghost teacheth 
us to call them by, but such as the canons and constitutions of men have 
imposed. And this may, indeed, be the true reason why this phrase, used 
nowhere else, is yet used here, now when the ruin of the Pope's creatures 
comes to be mentioned ; as most fitly, by names of men, denoting forth that 
evil and error of theirs which is one true cause of their ruin. But now for 
civil offices and titles, for them to be of man — that is, to have their rise from 
men — is proper to them, and therefore they are called creations, or ordinances 
of men, dvd^MTrhrj kt'ish, &c., 1 Pet. ii. 13 ; and this in opposition or distinc- 
tion unto ecclesiastical offices. Whereas ecclesiastic offices and names should 
aU, for the foundation of the calling and office itself, be of God, and not of 
men. They are of another building and constitution, although man designs 
the persons to them, and that, too, in a way of God's appointment. Thus 
this phrase, of man, is used of this sort of offices, and to this very purpose, 
in other places of Scripture. So when Paul speaks of his office of apostle- 
Bhip, and his being designed to it. Gal. i. 1, he useth this phrase, ' An apostle, 
neither of man, nor 6y man ;' that is. My office itself is not of man's appoint- 
ment, nor was I put into it by man, — that is, designed to it by man's choice. 


And although that office of his was an extraordinary office, yet other ordi- 
nary ministers' offices are divine for the institution of them, and in that 
respect not of man, though by man (that is, the church) their persons be 
designed unto those offices. For Christ is Lord of these administrations or 
offices, as you have it, 1 Cor. xii. 4, 5 ; and so they hold of him as truly as 
gifts in the same place are said to do of the Spirit, and operations of the 
Father. And men are no more to assume to appoint church-offices than they 
are able to give gifts, or to bless those gifts with operations ; and when they 
do so, they derogate from Christ the Lord as truly as they should from the Holy 
Ghost, in attempting to bestow upon such as Simon Magus, who desired it, 
the gifts of the Spirit. No, it is God who hath set iSito, (as you have it, 
ver. 28 of that chapter,) teachers, as well as apostles, in the church. Paul 
there reckons up ordinary officers as well as extraordinary ; for the institution 
of the one is from God as well as the other. 

Now therefore, when the Holy Ghost here speaks of those false names 
and titles of church-officers which Christ appointed not, he disclaims them 
from holding of him, but calls them names of men, as being of human crea- 
tion, whereas they should be only of divine institution. And so being ' plants 
which God the Father planted not,' they are here said to be 'rooted out' of this 
one kingdom or state, where, it seems, they had been the causes and authors 
of all this mischief and cruelty agauist the witnesses ; and which, through 
the efficacy of their working to uphold their names, had again been become 
the tenth part of the city, but now, by this earthquake, falls from being any 
longer under that jurisdiction. And together with it are all those steeples 
and cathedrals, and all those names and titles that belong thereto, utterly 
shaken down also, it being a just punishment and reward of their conspiracy 
against the witnesses, and agency in their killing. 

Section VI. 

What tenth part of Europe, or which of the ten hingdoms, it is most probable 
that this earthquake and resurrection of the witnesses shall fall out in. 

Now, which of these ten kingdoms or of the ten states in Europe, and 
what tenth part thereof, shaU first have this great privilege, as a blessed 
handsel to the rest that follow, is not hard to conjecture, though it be rash- 
ness peremptorily to determine ; for God maketh new choice of nations and 
churches therein beyond the line and reach of our conjectures, and ' his ways 
are past finding out ; ' neither can the face of his former proceedings with 
any of the churches give us any certain and infallible designment which of 
them he will do most good unto. 

I will therefore only cast in such conjectures as, according to the face of 
the sky in the churches of this present age, do seem to prognosticate where 
and in what parts tliis heaven, which the witnesses shall ascend up into, is 
like first to clear up in, from under these clouds, and from out of this hour 
of darkness to come upon the world. 

1. The saints and churches belonging unto the kingdom of France God 
hath made a wonder unto me in all his proceedings towards them, first and 
last, and there would seem some great and special honour reserved for them 
yet at last. For it is certain that the first light of the gospel, by that first 
and second angels' preaching, chap, xiv., which laid the foundation of Anti- 
christ's ruin, was out from among them, namely, those of Lyons and other 
places in France. And they bore and underwent the great heat of that 
morning of persecution, which was as great, if not greater, than any since. 

Chap. VIL] an kxposition of the revelation, 1S9 

And besides, the churches of France have ever since had as great a share in 
persecutions, yea, greater than any other churches. And though it be well- 
nigh live hundred years since they began first to sei)aratc from Antichrist, 
and they still continue a glorious church unto this day, yet they never had 
that great honour and privilege, which other churches have been so blessed 
with, as to have a supreme magistrate professing their religion ; but either 
they have been bloody persecutors and oppressors of them, or else they have 
apostatised from them. May it not, therefore, be hoped and looked for, that 
their kings in the end should be of the number of those kings who, as you 
have it, chap, xvii., are to be wrought on to * hate the whore,' and to ' bum 
her with fire;' and so that this voice here, which calls these witnesses, 
who there have ever prophesied in sackcloth, up to heaven, may proceed from 
one of their kings ; and so, as that kingdom had the first great stroke, so 
now it should have the honour to have the last great stroke in the ruining of 
Rome ? But yet — 

2. If you take a view of the face of the present condition of the saints and 
churches in Europe, as in this last age, wherein these things are in all like- 
lihood to be fulfilled, it presents itself, together with a prospect into the 
times past also, and then if you put all together, the churches and saints in 
Great Britain, and the islands belonging to it, have, in my thoughts and 
conjectures, (not swayed unto it through affection only, which may betray 
the judgment, but through a serious and impartial consideration and weigh- 
ing of things,) more hopeful characters upon them for this glory than any of 
the other reformed churches ; and so appear the likeliest unto me to prove 
the more eminent stage, both of this great slaughter, and also of the rising 
and ascension of the witnesses. 

(1.) For the ages past, there hath been these three himdred years as glo- 
rious a succession of godly witnesses and martyrs as any other nation can 
produce, as you may collect out of Mr Foxp's Martyrology. 

(2.) For the last foregoing age, since the times of the Reformation, and for 
the present one, the marks of these witnesses designed to this slaughter and 
glory, as in the former part of this chapter you have had them laid forth, 
appear the livehest, and, in a manner, only upon them of Great Britain : 
for — 

[1.] There hath God continued the most 'faithful, and called, and chosen,' 
as they are called, chap. xvii. 14, who are of the Lamb's side, and who are 
together vdth him to overcome the kings that shall hate and burn the whore ; 
and, indeed,%nore of them that hold forth the power of religion with differ- 
ence from the world, than in all the nine kingdoms besides. And surely, 
where most of the witnesses are, there will be their most eminent slaughter ; 
and where their greatest slaughter is, there will be their most glorious resur- 
rection and ascension. For all these will certainly be commensurated and 
proportioned one to the other : magnitude of sufferings to multitude of wit- 
nesses ; and then greatness of glory unto the greatness of sufferings. Now, 
that the saints in these kingdoms of Great Britain are like to be the subjects 
of that slaughter, and those kingdoms made the street, or open market-place 
thereof, I shewed before. 

[2.] There God hath eminently stirred up men's hearts to breathe after a 
further and purer reformation, and measuring of the temple. And they have 
been put to contend for it more than all the other churches ; and this, more 
or less, ever since the first erection of the English church at Frankfort, in 
Queen Mary's days. And in the contention about it, and through that bitter 
persecution for it, they even for this very cause having prophesied in sack- 


cloth more apparently than others in other reformed churches, their spirits 
have increased both in spiritual light and holiness, and in practical know- 
ledge in the waj's and works of sanctification, by which the worshippers are 
to be measured, and also in further and clearer light about the institution 
and true government of a church, by which the temple and altar are to be 
measured, more than all the reformed churches besides have done ; who, in 
the quiet enjoyment of much of what these contend to have in a further 
purity, have run out almost into nothing but an outward court of profession, 
and a mere form, there being few priests, or true worshippers, that, with 
difference from others, do worship God in poAver, in spirit, and in truth, that 
are to be found in the inner temple of their assemblies. And let but the 
exposition of the six first verses of this chapter be consulted with, and that 
interpretation given be but impartially applied to the Protestant professors 
this day in Europe, and how eminently above the rest will the condition of 
the saints of Great Britain, and their constant conflicts with the beast and 
his abettors unto this day, be found to fit the measure thereof, and to look 
more like, and come nearer the life of, that face of things therein presented, 
than any other, or than aU other the reformed European churches since that 
their first reformation ! And — 

[3.] That description of those who are to be the eminent opposites of the 
witnesses in these last days, and the authors of this their slaughter, fits those 
open and professed enemies of them in those kingdoms also. And there, if 
anywhere, are found those that ' receive the number of the beast's name ;' 
who, notwithstanding, hitherto have, and may yet for a while, deny hia 
' character ' and disclaim his ' name.' Whom shall we liken this generation 
unto, or where shall we find similitudes that will suit them, if those 
descriptions forepassed in this chapter suit them not ? Sure I am, if these 
be not they, they are as like as ovum ovo. And these (the ' number of his 
name ') being the beast's last champions, — as appears out of chap. xiii. 1 7, 
and chap. xv. 2, and are therefore there mentioned last, — are to hold up the 
last great quarrel of the beast's cause, and to fight this 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 over- 
come by the former generation of witnesses in elder times. And — 

[4.] In which of the reformed churches are these ' names of men,' who 
are to be the killers of the witnesses, and therefore are slain in this earth- 
quake in their revenge, continued but in these kingdoms 1 And that in this 
otherwise unused phrase, ' by what names or titles soever distinguished !' 
Which names and titles, and several dignities, — take in all sorts of them, from 
the highest to the lowest, — in all those kingdoms, may haply be found to 
amount to 7000, that number being an indefinite kind of number, and taken 
for more or less, even besides such ministers of parishes and assemblies as 
have for the substance of their office a warrant from God, though for their 
usual names, whereby they are called, they retain a name of man's devising. 
Yea, is not this very thing made the quarrel now, whether their ranks of 
ministry be names of God or of men ? About which the witnesses have, from 
the very beginning, contended. Yea, is it not the suspicion and general 
opinion that to continue and to secure these their names they would again 
introduce Poperj' 1 And is not the matter as thus stated the very ground 
of their quarrel 1 And hath it not long been the ground of all the opposi- 
tion against the witnesses and saints in this kingdom, — as of sHencing, fining, 
depriving them, and deposing them from their ministerial charges, &c., — lest 
that, as the Pharisees said of Christ, the people's running after the witnesses' 

Chap. VII.] an exposition of the revelation. 191 

doctrine should endatiger tlieir names, credits, and dignities, and so take 
away tlicir kingdoms 1 Hercat the quarrel first began, and for that secret 
cause hath all along been continued, though under other outward pretences. 
Yea, this is the thing that shall provoke them to 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.' 

Now, upon all these grounds, how fairly probable does it seem that these 
occurrences here mentioned, as those that shall attend the resurrection of 
the witnesses, are to fall out in this tenth part of Europe, and in one or both 
of these our kingdoms above-mentioned, more eminently than in any other 
European state or kingdom ! And how just were it with God to give up 
these names of men, who have been the enemies of his witnesses in all times 
since the Reformation, to receive at last the number of the beast's name, 
and under his name and power to become in the end the killers of these 
witnesses, and his trained band, and leaders in this his last war ! And how 
wonderful and wise a dispensation of God will it be towards his own in these 
kingdoms, to have reserved the utter extirpation of these names of men, 
though so long while contended for, unto such a time and occasion as this ! 
And that after they shaU. 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 ; even when these witnesses, whom they so persecuted, shall rise, 
and die no more ; and so by this means, the ruin of these their enemies 
should be made the witnesses' triumph, and the removing them out of the 
way by this earthquake made the foundation of their ascension into heaven : 
after which the work of measuring the temple, by these Samaritans inter- 
rupted, shall go forward in the hands of Joshua and Zerubbabel ; and the 
people, who before were afraid of these hinderers of the work, shall now begin 
to cry, ' Grace, grace, unto it ;' and so the rearing of these purer churches 
shall be upon the rubbish of this Samaritan mountain, the false church. 

And if the fifth \dal be also aimed at in this earthquake, and the fall of 
Rome, the seat of the beast, as ultimately I think it is, then how comely 
will it be, and suitable with the long expectation of God's witnesses and holy 
ones, that the ruin of these episcopal ' seas,' and seats of those that shall do 
Antichrist such service, shoidd fall out vidth, or be a preparative unto, the 
fall of that great bishop's see, as I said in expounding the fifth vial, and both 
to go down together, as alike pertaining to the same building of man's, not 
God's ! 

[5.] And lastly, if this prove the issue of God's dealings with these king- 
doms, how gloriously shall God thereby acquit himself in the conclusion of all 
his dispensations towards them ! For to see two such contrary streams 
running so strongly 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. This is that which is 
now the great expectation of the churches there, how equally God means to 
proceed, both towards them that fear him therein, and also towards the op- 
posite party that are and have been there. For it is strange, even to a 
miracle, to see how G(.)d upholds in the same state two such contrary fac- 
tions and parties : one, of his own people, rising higher and higher in spuitual 
light, and in opposition to superstition, and breathing after further purity of 
holiness and perfection of public worship ; and together with this, at the 
same time, another strong party looking towards Rome, and increasing in 
superstition, darkness, and an impudent outfacing the light of truth, and 
that then when it shineth hottest and clearest on them. Now, for the all- 


wise God, wlio professeth to have this art and skill, to ' preserve the right- 
eous, and reserve the wicked unto punishment,' as Peter speaks ; for him now 
at last to come off so gloriously, what more equal, and so more likely dis- 
pensation, than to run this course chalked out here in this chapter, both 
towards the one and the other party in that kingdom, and which, according 
to the course of his dealings throughout the Scriptures, though this prophecy 
had not been left us in this chapter concerning these very times, the godly- 
wise might have hoped God most probably might intend to take ? 

Section VII. 

How this their resurrection and ascension is a forerunning shadow of the 
restitution of all things at the coming of Christ's kingdom. 

Now further ; concerning this great privilege and honour thus first befall- 
ing some one tenth part of Europe, let me add this unto all that hath been 
said of it, to make it appear yet the more glorious : That this resurrection of 
the witnesses seems to be the beginning of the first great turn of things in 
the church hastening to the New Jerusalem ; and so the very first dawning 
of the kingdom of Christ approaching, and of the final restitution of the 
church's liberty from under the yoke of Antichrist. When Christ arose, as 
these witnesses here do, his disciples then asked him whether he would at 
that time restore Israel. He denies not that it should be done ; only he 
tells them it was not for them then to know the seasons. But now the time 
of that restitution approaching, the rising of these witnesses, which beareth 
the true resemblance of his, is here mentioned as the signal of that restitu- 
tion which, chap, xx., is called ' the first resurrection;' of which, I say, this 
is the forerunning shadow. And, indeed, thus have the writers of all ages 
since Christ understood it. For when they speak of that day, and the signs 
of it, you shall generally find it among the ancients that this killing of the 
two witnesses and their rising, though indeed it hath by them been inter- 
preted of Enoch and Elias, are made the forerunning signs of the approach 
of that joyful day of Christ's kingdom, which they called the day of judg- 

And, I confess, I have thought that the true reason why this particular 
occurrence, though falling out but in a tenth part of Europe, is here made 
mention of, rather than other occurrences which are like to fall out with it or 
after it, as the ruin of Piome, which in itself is a greater one, is because that 
this one passage should have more fitness to become a sign — which to give is 
the scope of the Holy Ghost in this chapter — of the approaching of the New 
Jerusalem, to come under the seventh trumpet, than any other occurrence ; 
it being not only the first step of the restauration of the church after Anti- 
christ's last scattering of it, — which shall for ever after go on and increase until 
the full restitution of all things, — it is not only, I say, the first turn of the 
stream after that last low ebb, the waters whereof shall rise and increase till 
it be full sea and never ebb again, (these witnesses now rising, as Christ did, 
never to die again, but to cast off their sackcloth for ever,) but further also, 
in many particulars, the liveliest picture and model of that great restauration 
of all things which is to come, above any other passage ; and so is singled 
out as a forerunning type and resemblance of it. 

This great restoring of all things, of which we speak, is to begin with the 
seventh vial, — which, as was said, is all one with the seventh trumpet, — when 
' old things are to be done away, and all to be made new.' Now, as then 
there is said to be * a great earthquake,' and that ' such a one as never was 


since men were upon the earth,' chap. xvi. 18 ; so here there is said to be a 
great earthquake also. And as the effect of that earthquake is the dividing 
the remainder of Babylon into three parts, and tlie falling of the cities of 
the nations, ver. 19 of that IGth chapter j so here the effect of this earthquake 
is the falling of a tenth part of the cit}', and the slaying of these names of 
men. And as that is ushered in with a resurrection, which, chap. xx. 5, 6, 
is called ' the first resurrection,' — that is, the first physical rising of the 
bodies of the saints, — so this also hath a resurrection (though not natural 
and phj'sical, yet metaphorical) of dead witnesses unto a better life than ever 
they had before. So wonderful a work and change is this to be, that it shall 
be even as ' life from the dead,' as the apostle speaks of the conversion of 
the Jews. 

And again, as then after that resurrection there is a new heaven and a 
new earth, so here there is an ascending into a heaven. So glorious shall 
the condition of these witnesses be, in comparison of what it was before, 
that it shall justly be counted a heaven, if compared with their former best 
condition before their killing. 

Thus among the Gentiles will God give one instance, as a small scheme, 
type, and shadow of this liis kingdom, to confirm the faith of the saints in 
it, and that, as is most probable, in those churches of Europe which he 
means chiefly to make partakers afterwards of this his New Jerusalem under 
the seventh trumpet. 

Section VIII. 

An interpretation of that clause, ver. 14, ' The second woe is past.* 
— A reconciling some difficulties about it. 

There remains nothing now in this chapter to be expounded, excepting 
this clause which follows, ver. 14, 'The second woe is past; and, behold, 
the third cometh quickly;' which is the close of the sixth trumpet. For 
the three last trumpets being called three woes, chap. viii. 13, when the fifth 
trumpet had done sounding, it is said, chap. ix. 1 2, ' One woe is past ; and, 
behold, there come two woes more,' &c. And now when the sixth trampet's 
time of ending comes, it is said, ' The second woe is past,' &c. ; which is all 
one as to have said, The sixth trumpet, and the woe of it, do here determine, 
or at least begin to determine and end. 

Now, the sixth trumpet being the empire and tjTanny of the Turk, and 
the sixth vial being that great and deadly blow that shall be given that 
empire, to make way for the kingdom of the Jews, the ' kings of the east,' 
mentioned in that vial, hence ]\Ir Mede interprets this passing away of the 
second woe to be the very sixth vial, as this fall of the tenth part of the 
city he makes to be the fifth vial. Which if it be so, the difficulty to me, 
which I see not so clearly by him reconciled, is, that this passmg away of 
the second woe, as it is here recorded, seemeth, for the time of it, to Ml out 
together with this resurrection and earthquake, and with the ascension of the 
witnesses and fall of the tenth part of the city, and all these to determine 
and end, as it were, in one common period. For as soon as the Holy Ghost 
had made the narration of all these, he concludes with this, ' The second 
woe is past.' And then, he making the fifth vial to be the period of the 
Pope's reign, and the witnesses' ceasing to prophesy in sackcloth to be at 
their rising, and at the fall of the tenth part of the city ; how then can 
the passing away of the second woe, if it be the sixth vial, be imagined to 
fall out at the same time with these, seeing the vials, as well as the seals 
and trumpets, do fall out successively each after other? And though 



not in equal or alike distances of time each, from other, as Napier would 
have it, yet aU of them in some distance, as is most likely ; and it is certain 
it hath held so in all the rest. 

Now, to reconcile this difficulty : — 

1. Either the fifth and sixth vial shall fall out altogether about the same 
time ; and so the conversion of the Jews and rising of the European -witnesses 
fall out together as preparations unto them both: which I confess unto me 
seems not altogether improbable. For that passage in Dan. xii. 1, compared 
with the last verse of chap, xi., would seem to imply as much. In which 
last verse the angel had spoke of the end of the reign of Antichrist ; and in 
the 1st verse of the following 12th chapter he speaks of the Jews being deli- 
vered from their greatest time of trouble, which is to befall them from the 
Turk upon their first conversion : and he seems there to make them both to 
be at the same time, or at least so near each other that the distance is not 
considerable. For he expressly says, ' At that time shall Michael stand up, 
to deliver thy people;' so he calls the Jews by way of distinction from the 
Gentile Christians, as being of Daniel's nation. Or else — 

2. Whereas there are two things here mentioned concerning these wit- 
nesses — 

(1.) Their rising, accompanied with this earthquake; and — 
(2.) Their ascension into heaven, which must needs fall out after their 
resurrection : it may be, that as Christ's ascension was forty days after his 
resurrection, so this their ascension, though mentioned immediately next 
their resurrection, may be some space of years after, when their enemies are 
removed, and all obstacles and impediments out of the way; then they have 
a heaven granted them, and a voice calling them up thither. And so it may 
come to pass that this ascension of theirs may not be until the sixth vial, 
though their rising were before the fifth vial, and a preparation unto it. 

3. And lastly, to solve all these doubts : it may be, that the only scope 
and drift of the angel in bringing in this clause, ' The second woe is past,' 
here, ver. 14, was not so much thereby to denote the exact common period 
or instant of time for all these occurrences mentioned, or to shew how the 
sixth vial and the end of the sixth trumpet shall, for the time of them, be 
together with this earthquake, &c. ; but rather, whereas the Turkish tyranny 
was one part of the second woe upon the eastern Christians, spoken of chap, 
ix., and the treading down the outward court of carnal Protestants by the 
Papists, and kUling their witnesses, another second part of that second woe, 
that therefore now, when he had related and put them both together, then 
he comes in with this speech, ' The second woe is past ;' that is, I have now 
fully declared what a woe God will bring both on the eastern Christians, 
and also on the European and western Christians; and these two do com- 
plete and perfect the story of the second woe, and do also belong unto the 
story of the sixth trumpet. Which second woe, consisting of those two parts, 
I have now fully done withal ; and so I pass from it to speak of the third 
woe, which now ' cometh quickly,' &c. And so this passage seems to be in- 
tended rather materially to shew what appertains to the sixth trumpet, than 
chronologically to shew the expiring of it. And so this great punishment 
from the Popish GentUes upon the Protestant party in the west for their 
sins is fitly cast under the trumpets, and joined to that great plague and 
punishment 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 upon the enemies themselves of both these Christian companions — 

Chap. VII. J an exposition of the revelation. 195 

namely, upon the Pope and the Turk, Thus the Holy Ghost homogoncally 
putteth together the punishment of carnal Christians, both eastern and 
westei'n, under the woe of the trumpets ; and in like manner involveth those 
other two grand enemies unto the Christian profession and reUgion wholly 
under the punishments and plagues of the seven vials. And so that may be 
the reason, both why the story of ' treading down the outward court ' and of 
the 'killing of the witnesses' comes in here in chap, xi., though the matter 
of them belongs unto the book-prophecy ; and why also the * treading the 
wine-press,' chap. xiv. 20, which is part of the treading the outward court in 
this 11th chapter, is reckoned as no part of the vials, it being to fall upon 
the Protestant party. Yet so as with what in the trumpets, what in the 
vials, God will be sure to meet with all sorts for their sins, and so, by a like 
just and impartial rule, proceed both towards friends and enemies, without 
any respect of persons. 

But whether of these, or whether any of these, will reach the Holy 
Ghost's meaning, I leave unto the reader to judge. 

I shall, by and by, add a fourth interpretation of that clause, to me as 
probable as any of these, when I have first cast in a few conjectures about 
the times of the fulfilhng of these things, which I reserved to the last, as the 
closure and coronis of this long discourse : because many things already de- 
livered in this interpretation do fall in to strengthen the conjectures concern- 
ing the precise time of the falling out of these so great occurrences. 

Section IX. 

Tlie conclusion of this discourse. — The conjectures of some about the time 
when this hilling and rising of the witnesses shall he. 

I find two periods of time more eminently pitched upon by writers of this 
age, according to the diversity of men's conjectures, for great changes in the 
churches of Christ. 

The first is fixed some time between the years 1650 and 1656. 

The other upon 1666. Both which periods are not far off to come. 

Concerning both of which, as also any other that shall be made upon con- 
jectures out of these prophecies, this general caution must be taken in : — 

That in these computations a mistake of a few years may fall out, and the 
event fall out sooner or later than the time conjectured, by reason that the 
vulgar account of years from the birth of Christ is uncertainly kept, accord- 
ing to the acknowledgment of chronologers themselves. So Arnobius, at 
the writing of his Apology, speaks indefinitely of the reckoning of years, how 
long it was from Christ unto his time : Tricenti sunt ferme anni, says he, 
aliquid plus vel minus, a quo coejnmus esse Christiani. And therefore the 
best chronologers (as Helvicus, &c.) reckon the true account to reach two 
years further than the vulgar account doth, and so make the year 1650 with 
us to be in truth 1652 ; and so of the rest. Others give a larger allowance, 
namely, of four years. And this indeed is the true reason of that difference 
about the first period mentioned, namely, between 1650 and 1656; some 
saying it shall be in '51, some in '52, and some in '5Q : yet all making the 
ground of their so fixing it one and the same, only varying about the precise 
time by reason of several computations and accounts of the years since 
Christ, as we shall see by and by. And for that second period of 1666, 
which is made to termmate the date of Antichrist's reign, and is to that pur- 
pose understood to be that number of QQQ made mention of in the last verse 
of chap, xiii., the first that so interpreted that place was an unknown Eng- 


lish. writer, anno 1589, wlio, in a little book dedicated to the church of 
Rome, first gave this obscure hint of it : ' Yet,' saj'S he, ' two months, two 
weeks, two days and a half, and thy number GG6 shall be fulfilled,' as writ- 
ing to that church. Which casting up, from 1589, the year his book bare 
date of, from the printing of it, I found him to aim at 1G66. Now, the 
reason which they give for this interpretation, and why they reckon the be- 
ginning of Antichrist's 1260 years, or forty-two months, from Pope Inno- 
cent's time, anno 406, I have given upon chap. xiiL And I find Simpson, 
the Scotch abbreviator of the church's story, to pitch the beginning of the 
Pope's usurpation over churches in this man's time, who yet had no eye at 
all unto this interpretation of GGQ. And, as I remember, ]\Ir Wood, now 
with God, in his manuscript upon the Revelation, doth also incline to think 
the year 1666 to be the time of the Pope's downfall; and so also do some 

That other first period of 1650, or '51, or '5Q, I find by some to be made 
the time of the Jews' first call. And by others, that of 1656 to be the time 
of the expiring of Antichrist's reign, and the fall of the city. The first that 
I know of that ever pitched upon this term of years was that holy man Hil- 
tenius, the great forerunner of Luther in Germany, and who foretold the 
very year of Luther's rising after him, to teach the same doctrine that he 
had done ; which Melancthon says he saw wiitten under his own hand. 
Among other of whose sayings, you shaU find this as one of the last recorded 
in his life, written among the lives of the German divines, by ]\Ielchior Ada- 
mus : that the year after Christ 1651 shall be the time of the change of 
this world, and so the beginning of that new world to come. Since him, 
many others, though haply not from him, have fallen upon this period of 
1650. So Finch, in his book of the Calling of the Jeivs, makes it the time 
when God will leave off, as says he, to scatter his holy people, for then shall 
the Turks' first declining come, &c. 

And the Jews themselves have their eyes upon this very time ; for it was 
a secret communicated to old Mr Forbes by a learned Jew, as Mr Forbes 
himself related it, not long before his death, that the learnedest Ptabbi they 
had had in the world of late years did pitch upon 1650, or thereabouts, as 
the utmost time wherein they should expect their Messiah to reveal himself 
unto their nation ; and how he had left this secret with some of his learned 
friends that came about him when he was on his deathbed to know his 
judgment about the Messiah. 

I find also Mr Mede, in his Clavis, to pitch upon 1656, though tacitly and 
implicitly, yet clearly enough, as the time he most inclined unto for the 
expiration of Antichrist's kingdom. For in his Spiel ironisms, he makes the 
first trumpet and the Pope's 1260 days to begin together ; and in his Com- 
ment, he makes the beginning of the first trum2)et to be in the year 395. So 
that, if the reign of Antichrist begins at the year of Christ 395, then his 
1260 days or years will end in 1655. And thus there will be so many years 
from Christ unto the beginning of the new world, as there was from the 
beginnmg of the old world until the days of Noah, unto which Christ com- 
pares his coming, even 1656 years. 

Now the best ground for this opinion that ever I met with, and which I 
suppose all or most of these have gone upon, is that computation of years 
given to Daniel, chap. xii. 1 1 of his prophecy, by this very angel that gave 
this little book here, and this 11th chapter, by word of mouth, unto John, 
as was said before. Who there says, that ' from the time that the daily 
saoiifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set 

Chap. VII.] an exposition of the kevelatio>. 1D7 

up, there shaU be a thousand two hundred and ninety days,' or years. The 
beginning of whicli account they fix, as I said before, in Julian's time, when 
was the last time both of the ceasing of the daily sacrifice by him set up, 
and of setting up heathenish idolatry in the world. Which years, if other- 
wise they be reckoned from Vespasian and Titus his son's sacking of Jeru- 
salem, were out almost three hundred years ago. This place and account 
in Daniel, I suppose Hiltcnius, the first that pitched on it, had in Lis eye for 
the ground of his conjecture. For he was a great studier of Daniel's pro- 
phecies, and wrote notes upon them, as in his life you may read. And sure 
I am that Mr Wood, Finch, and others, do make that the ground of their 
opinions. And I suppose that most of all these Jews also do the like. And, 
as was said before, the reason why some do so uncertainly pitch upon 1651, 
others '52, others '55, and others '5G, is the variation and uncertainty of the 
account of years since Julian's time, when and how long he reigned : some 
pitching his reign in the year 361, some in 3C3, and others in 365. 

Now I shall only shew how both these periods — namely, of 1650 or '5G, 
and 1666 — may be reconciled, and how they both may stand tf)gethcr. 

The fifth vial, as hath been said, had two gradual accomplishments of it ; 
whereof the one is a preparation to the other. That vial is emptied, as also 
are some of the others, by two several pourings forth of two several portions, 
the one of the top, the other of the dregs of the wrath of God ; Avhereof 
this 11th chapter mentions one, and the 16th chapter the other. The first 
degree of it begins at the rising of the witnesses, with the fidl of the tenth 
part of the city, as taking the word cifi/ for the extent of Rome's jurisdic- 
tion ; which is completed by a second degree of it — namely, the ruin of the 
city of Rome itself, which is now but a tenth part of the ancient material 
city of Rome that once flourished : with the ruin of which city itself, the 
time of Antichrist's reign and kingdom is reckoned to end ; it being the fuU 
accomplishment and complete effusion of the fifth vial. Now, according to 
their conjecture, the first of those forementioned periods (namely, 1650 or 
'56) may prove the time of the first of these two occurrences; and the second 
(namely, 1666) may be the time for the latter of them. That is, some 
time between 1650 and 1656 may be the period of the witnesses' killing 
and the time of their rising, and of the fall of the tenth part of the city, 
and the earthquake, &c. ; and then 1666 may be the designed time for the 
ruin of Rome itself, and for the witnesses' more glorious ascension into 

You heard, in the beginning of this discourse, that the angel who here 
gave this 11th chapter is the very same whom we find to have uttered that 
12th chapter of Daniel's prophecy, in which he speaks of the end and ruin 
of Antichrist, chap. xi. 45, and how long his time should be, and his power 
last to scatter the holy people ; and when he should accomphsh to scatter 
them, and after that never hurt them more. This the angel declares, ver. 
7 of chaj). xii., adding withal, that at or about that time the children of 
Daniel's people (that is, the Jewish nation) should be called by Michael 
their prince, (that is, Christ,) ver. 1, and they should be delivered out of the 
greatest distress, also from the Turkish empire, that ever that nation was in ; 
this you have ver. 1. After which ruin of Antichrist, and calling home of 
the Jews, should foUow the resurrection of the saints, with 'which Christ's 
kingdom begins, ver. 2, 3. 

Now here, in tlois 11th chapter of the Revelation, he comes and explains 
both what that time of Antichrist's reign is, — namely, 1260 years, — and also 
what that last scattering the power of the holy people by him should b© ; 


even this very killing the witnesses, the signal of its expiring. And then, 
how the second woe should pass awajj-, — namely, the Turkish tyranny, — and 
then, under the seventh trumpet, should come the glorious resurrection of 
the saints and the kingdom of Christ, which Daniel and all the prophets 
have so much sj^oken of Daniel being inquisitive after the times when 
these things should thus be finished, the angel in ver. 11, 12 gives him two 
periods, the bcginidng of the time of both whicli is to be counted from the 
* ceasing of the daily sacrifice,' — that is, as was before said, from Julian's 
time. Now the one of those periods is that of 1290 years, beginning from 
that his time, and ending between 16-50 and 1G56. The other is that of 1335 
years, beginning from that liis time also, and ending between 1690 and 1700. 
Which two periods, as I understand them, are set as two posts, the one at 
the beginning and the other at the ending of that whole stage of time which 
is allotted for the despatch of those great things prophesied of to fall out 
before the kingdom of Christ. The first (of 1290 years) is mentioned ver. 

11, and shews when the first turning of the course of things for the accom- 
plishment of all should begin. The other (of 1335 years) you have in ver. 

12, shewing the time of the full and final end and complete accomplishment 
of all that the angel had foretold. And so that space of time between these 
two periods (which is forty-five years or thereabouts; for so many years 
the latter account, ver. 12, adds to the former, ver. 11) is allotted as the 
time wherein those things prophesied of by him to fall out in the last ages 
of the world should, each in their order, be accomplished. And so, from 
the first period, should begin the great turn towards the accomplishment of 
them, and the immediate preparations thereunto. And in the interim of 
that intermediate space of time between 1650 or '56 and 1700 shall follow 
the orderly performance of those things which are to end and consummate 
all before the glorious kingdom of Christ. As first, the ruin of Rome, and 
so the end of Antichrist's reign ; and then the destruction of the Turkish 
empire ; after which shall begin that great resurrection, even at that last 
period of 1335, faUing out about 1700, which is the consummation of aU. 

Now the question is, what that occurrence should be which the first period 
of 1290 years, falling out between 1650 and 1656, doth point at, as then 
either to begin or to be ended 1 \Yhether it be then that Antichri.st's time, 
times, and a half, which the angel had spoken of, ver. 7, should expire ; 
or what else it is that he would have our eyes especially upon in that first 

It seems unto me, that in the 7th verse of Dan. xii. the angel mentions 
these two things as distinct, though he names them together. First, for 
Antichrist's reign, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time. And 
then he adds this second thing also, as a note or sign of the expiring of that 
his time, — Tsith which aU those things foretold besides should begin to be 
accomplished, — namely, ' when he shall have accom^jlished to scatter the 
power of the holy people,' as speaking of this very last and eminent killing 
of the witnesses ; with which all their scattering should end, and for ever be 
accomplished. TIie7i, namely from that time, shall these things begin in their 
order to be finished, — namely. Antichrist's ruin, and the Turkish empire's 
destruction, &c. For thus I understand those words, 'and when he shall 
have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things 
shall be finished,' — namely, these two things there prophesied of, even Anti- 
christ's ruin and the Turk's; he mentioning this last scattering as the sign 
or the beginning of the finishing of all. For it is hard to thmk that all these 
things should together, and exactly at one time, be finished. 

Chap. VII.] aw exposition of the revelation. 109 

So that indeed, as it seems to me, the angel's scope in that first period of 
1290 years, beginning from Julian's time, and ending between '50 and '5G, 
is not so mucli to design out the end of Antichrist's time, times, and lialf a 
time, as it is to point out the first turn of things preparing to the kingdoni 
of Christ, which shall begin from this last scattering the holy people, which 
is all one with this killing of the witnesses here. And so that some time 
within these forty-five years that are to run out between that time and the 
end, shall be the expiring of that his time. 

And the reasons making me think that Daniel's first period of 1 290 days 
do rather thus refer to the first turn of things towards the accomplishment 
of all, which is to begin with this accomplishment of the scattering of the holy 
people, or slaughter of the witnesses, and so that to be made the eminent 
occurrence that does periodise these 1290 days, are these: — 

1. The angel's fixing the latter period of 1335 years for the final end of 
all, and his leaving forty-five years' space between, doth argue the former to 
be the punctum that begins that time allotted for the accomplishment of these 
things during that space. So that those forty-five years are indeed the space 
of time for the fulfilLing those great things ; whereof Antichrist's ruin is one, 
and a great one. And so the ending of those 1290 days is the beginning of 
these forty-five years, and the expiring of those 1335 years is the ending of 
these forty-five years, which brmg in the thousand years of Christ's kingdom. 
For to what end should this space of forty-five years be thus set out and 
measured, but as to be made famous by being designed for the fulfilling of 
those things, — namely, the ruin of the Pope, and of the Jews' enemies, the 
Turks, in the interun of it, — whereof Daniel had there prophesied 1 

2. In the 10th verse, immediately before, he had again repeated, and a 
second time mentioned, this last scattering the holy people; and this as a 
preface to his answer about the time when it should be that all should be 
finished. ' Many,' says he, 'shall be made white, and tried, and purified,' &c., 
namely, by this their last scattering; and then he subjoins, ver. 11, ' And from 
the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away' — that is, from Julian's time — 
'shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days;' namely, unto the end of 
tliis last trial mentioned, even when this scattering the holy people, or killing 
the witnesses, shall be accomplished. He mentions it thus, on purpose to shew 
that he makes that killing the witnesses the terminus ad quevi of his account. 
You heard before that Antiochus's three years and a half, spoken of chap. xiL 
7, was the type of this three years and a half; and lo, he useth the very same 
phrase here of this that he had there used of that trial, chap. xi. 35 : ' Many,' 
says he, ' shall then fall, to try them, to purge them, and to make them white.' 
Yea, further, I verily believe that one reason why he singleth out Julian's 
time as the term or moment from which he reckons, unto this last scatter- 
ing the witnesses, rather than any other time from which to begin this ac- 
count, is because that, for the comfort of the church, he was to pitch ujjon 
the end of the like scattering unto that of Julian's, when, as was before ob- 
served. Popery should, after the Reformation, prevail again, and the power 
of the beast make a scattering of the saints, before the final ruin of that 
power; even as heathenism, after it was purged out of the empu'c, was then 
again set up by Julian, with the killing the holy people, by the authority of 
a heathen emperor, before its final overthrow and extirpation. And so that 
scattering in Julian's time was chosen, rather than any other occurrence, 
as that from which the computation of this time should begin; because, 
through the likeness of it, it was most suitable to resemble the occurrences 
about this killing the witnesses, with which this time was to have end. 


Tills being just the like time of trial as that in Julian's days was ; and 
therefore he thus pitcheth upon that. Whereas, had he intended to reckon 
the Pope's time, times, and a half, and the exact ending of it, he might, and 
surely rather would, have reckoned from some other more eminent mark 
suitable unto it, that accompanied his first beginning and rise, rather than 
this heterogeneal passage of Julian's persecution, which yet is homogeneal 
with this last slaughter of the witnesses. And — 

3. Unto the time of that latter period of 1335 days, vcr. 12, when it shall 
come, he adds a ' Blessed is he that cometh,' &c. ; which to me sounds as if 
the former period had some eminent blessedness also in the beginning or 
dawnmg of it, but yet not to be compared with this other which is to 
follow. And it is as if he had said, Blessed indeed is he that cometh to the 
end of the 1290 days, when the scattering of the saints shall be accomplished, 
and when they shall rise, to die no more. But blessed, and thrice blessed, 
is he that cometh to the other time of forty-five years more; for then begins 
that first and great resurrection that brings us to Christ's kingdom. And 
therefore he tells Daniel, ' Thou shalt stand up in thy h)t,' &c., even thou 
as well as others, and shalt enjoy the blessedness of those times. And this 
speech is, in a manner, all one Avith that which John useth, when he speaks 
of the beginning of these thousand years, chap. xx. 6 : ' Blessed is he that 
hath part in the first resurrection.' So that in the first period of 1290 years 
shall also begin blessed times in comparison of those foregoing ; for now the 
scattering of the holy people by Antichrist is for ever accomplished. 

Now then, the angel's scope here in this 11th chapter being to explain 
that speech of his in Daniel, (for this 11 th chapter I take to be as a comment 
upon that his speech there ;) and he, namely the same angel, there mention- 
ing a scattering of the holy people, which should accomplish all, and so be the 
last of their persections ; and making the ending of that scattering to be the 
beginning of that famous and to be noticed time when is to be the finishing 
of all those great things which are to be done ere Christ's kingdom begins 
and the glorious resurrection, — namely, the ruin of the Pope and Turk, the 
preparations unto which are to begin from the end of that scattering; — 
hence it is that he doth so largely insist on this last and eminent killing of 
the witnesses here in this chapter, and also upon this their resurrection. 
For this is placed as the post, or terminus a quo, of the race or stadium of 
those forty-five years wherein those other great things should in their order 
be accomplished. 

And this resurrection and ascension of the witnesses, from under this their 
last scattering, (they being now to die no more, as Christ did not after he 
arose,) bearing, as was said, a shadow and type of the resurrection and ne-W 
heavens to come at the thousand years, and so being a glimpse and scheme 
of the blessedness then, how fit, in this respect, was the time of this resur- 
rection placed at the first turn of things, hastening to the bringing in that 
new world, and made the first 2ninctmn or moment beginning that forty-five 
years whose end shall be the great resurrection, and the thousand years of 
Christ's kingdom ! So that (to conclude this) that interim of forty-five years 
is a time which begins with a resurrection, and also ends with a resurrection, 
and that an infinitely more glorious one ; and in the middle course of which 
time the greatest things are accomplished, as preparations to that kingdom 
of Christ, that ever were done upon the earth, even the ruin both of the 
Pope and the Turk. 

Yea, further, to make the harmony herein yet more full; this first period 


of 1290 days, ending between 1650 and 1656, is made by those who have 
pitched upon it to be the time for the Jews' first recalling and conversion, 
and so of the foundation of the declining of the Turkish empire, as I shewed 
before. And their reason is, because the angel, in the 1st verse of this 
chapter, makes mention of this their call, as one thing to be accomplished 
also. But for this see Finch, Brightman, and others. And that may be 
one reason why he pitcheth on the taking away the Jews' daily sacriiice in 
Julian's time, as then become abominable unto God, as that eminent mark 
and post, as it were, at which he would begin this account ; even because it was 
a passage that would more conspicuously occur to the Jews as a mark, in a 
way of oppositeness, answering that which was to fall out at the ending of 
this time. For their setting up the daily sacrifice in Julian's time was their 
last attempt to erect their temple-worship, unto which they, refusing the 
]\Iessiah, unto this day do so cleave. Which attempt of theirs God from 
heaven shewed his hand against, by an earthquake overthrowing the foun- 
dation of the temple, then by them laid ; so more fully fulfilling that prophecy 
of our Saviour, for not only above-ground, but even under-ground, was there 
not so much as one stone left upon another. And therefore, when he would 
hold forth unto them the time Avhcu they shall turn unto the Messiah, typi- 
fied out by that temple and sacrifice, he reckons from the taking away that 
their daily sacrifice, which was made so remarkable unto them. And be- 
cause he mentioneth the beginning of a blessed time, blessed in its beginning, 
both unto Jew and Gentile, of both whom the angel in that 12th of Daniel 
doth speak, and of the ruin of the enemies of both, which is to be completed 
by the New Jerusalem, as the accomplishment of all ; hence, therefore, this 
period may also seem to respect the first call of these Jews, as being that 
which is the preparation unto their kingdom. 

And if these two should then at that time fall out together, — namely, this 
famous resurrection of the European witnesses, and the conversion of the 
Jews, — how would this reconcile all these opinions together, and shew a fur- 
ther reason why that period of 1290 days was so eminently held forth unto 
Daniel, as that which was to be made famous by two so glorious resurrec- 
tions of Jews and Gentiles j^t once, when the Jews' long scattering, and the 
witnesses among the Gentiles' last scattering, should both end together! 
And how harmonious were it that in one day, as it were, the foundations of 
the New Jerusalem to come, which is to be made up of both, should be thus 
laid together, and in a glorious resurrection of them both ! For such is that 
revival which these European witnesses here have, from this their death unto 
life, and is so here reckoned. And such, and no less, shall be the conversion 
of the Jews ; even no other than, as Paul speaks, Rom. xi. 1 5, a ' rising from 
the dead.' And thus should the preparations to that glorious kingdom, con- 
sisting of both, fall out together at the beginning of these forty-five years ; 
during which interim and space of time the enemies of them both are to be 
removed out of the world, who only do now stand in the way, and hinder 
the revealing of Christ and his kingdom, as the Roman empire did the re- 
vealing of Antichrist, that man of sin, and his kingdom. And so both these 
typical resurrections are in the end to be swallowed up by a more real and 
more glorious resurrection, which shall begin that New Jerusalem and king- 
dom of Jesus Christ. 

And thus may the resurrection of the European witnesses be, as was said, 
the preparation to the complete pouring out of the fifth vial in the ruining 
of Rome; even as, on the other side, the conversion of the Jews, which is 


their resurrection, is the preparation to the ruin of the Turk, which is the 
sixth vial. And that the Jews shall be called before the pouring out of the 
sixth vial, which is said to make way for the ' kings of the east,' chap, xvi., — 
that is, for the Jews coming into their own land, — hath long since been the 
opinion of j\Ir Brightman and others. And many also do hold, that that 
call of theirs shall begin forty-five years before the complete erection of the 
New Jerusalem ; and so those forty-five years after that first call of theirs, 
ere they can obtain the full possession of their promised kingdom, do seem 
to answer unto those forty-five years which they spent after their coming out 
of Egypt, ere they got possession of their promised land of Canaan ; for so 
long time it was ere they were settled in it, if you take their forty years in 
the Avilderness, with the time wherein Joshua fought his battles, as himself 
expressly counts it, Josh. xii. 10, Which forty- five years do begm at the 
end of the 1290 years; and at the beginning of that time falls out the rising 
of the witnesses, according to the interpretation formerly given. 

And now to give that other interjjretation of that clause, ' The second woe 
is past,' which follows upon this resurrection of the witnesses here, ver. 14, 
which I before reserved unto this place. ' The second woe is past,' says 
the angel; ' behold, the third woe cometh quickly.' May there not, in tliis 
passage, be tacitly intimated, as the calling of the Jews still useth to be in 
this book of the Revelation, which is chiefly written for the Gentiles, the 
foundation of the Turks' ruin by the conversion of the Jews, as being that 
which was now to fall out together with the resurrection of these witnesses ] 
For the Turkish empire being the second woe or sixth trumpet, with whose 
fundamental declining beginneth the Jews' call, as Finch and others write of 
it ; why, then, may not the angel's meaning in that clause be, that now, 
when he had in his narration brought us to the times of the rismg of the 
witnesses, contemporary with which the Jews' calling is to be, which is the 
first foundation of the second woe's declining, then to pronounce this, ' The 
second woe is past,' &c., that is, the foundation of the Turks' passing away 
and ruin is now laid, as is the ruin of Rome in the resurrection of the Euro- 
pean witnesses 1 And surely, then, when the Jews are called, the woe of that 
Turkish tyranny may be reckoned and accounted of as past, for that the 
height and bitterness of it is past, although the*empire itself may for a while 
still stand, the woe of it lying in its let and hhidrance of the Christian reli- 
gion, which now among the Jews shall revive in his territories. Yea, in the 
style of the prophets, and also of this book, when the foundation of the ruin 
of any state first begins to be laid, when its empire and dominion is past the 
meridian, and once begins to decline, it is said to be j^^si, as you heard be- 
fore ; as when things begin but to be accomplished, they are then said to be 
finished. Which was the learned observation of JMr Mede upon that passage 
in chap, xiv., which also I have inserted in the exposition of that place there, 
when the second angel cried, * Babylon is fallen,' when yet the first vial was 
but then begun to be poured out, and the oj)en discovery of Antichrist made. 
But because at that tin^e his declension and ruin began, he is therefore pro- 
nounced as then already fallen, though again, afterwards, when his destruc- 
tion is completed in the ruin of the city itself, his seat, chap, xviii., the same 
phrase is used. Even as in the prophecy of Isaiah, (which instance Mr Mede 
also doth there bring,) when the j\Iedes first revolted from the Babylonish 
monarchy, which was done at the time that Isaiah uttered it, he having 
many years before prophesied the ruin of it, yet because that revolt was the 
foundation of Babel's ruin, which was by those Medes, when revolted from 

Chap. VII.] an exposition of the revelation. 203 

it, to be effected, therefore it is tlien said by tlie prophet, Isa. xxi. 9, * Baby- 
lon is fallen,' &C. And so, say I, the meaning of the angel here is, to 
pronounce the second woe, or the sixth trumpet, or (which is all one) the 
Turkish empire, to be now past, then when the revolt of the Jews, in their 
conversion unto Christ, doth first begin; this their revolt being the founda- 
tion or preparation unto the passing away of this second woe, and that most 
truly, in the style of the prophets, in that it now begins to pass, &c. And 
so the angel goes on to give warning unto us of the third woe's approach, 
adding, ' The third cometh quickly ; ' that is, the seventh trumpet, or the 
New Jerusalem and kingdom of Christ. And both the ending of the beast's 
reign now shortly follows, together with the ruin of Home, the foundation of 
and preparation unto which ruin is laid in the resurrection of the wit- 
nesses ; and also the sixth vial, or the breaking in jjieces the Turkish 
empire, is after that to follow, the preparation unto which is the calling 
of the Jews. And thus this 11th chapter of the Eevelation does indeed 
become a complete comment on that 12th chapter of Daniel, and makes 
mention of all those things that are therein mentioned, as was at first ob- 

Add unto all this, tliis small observation : — 

I observed before, that God did use to fulfil prophecies, and the computa- 
tions of them, over and over, in several degrees of accomplishment. For 
instances whereof, I gave this of the 1290 days in Daniel, and this also of 
these 1260 years of Antichrist's reign, as in like manner those three years 
and a half of the witnesses' killing, and then their rising again : whereof 
some gradual accomplishments are already past, at several times in Europe, 
within the revolution of the century of years last past. And yet I have 
withal proved that another far greater slaughter of them is yet to come. 
Now, it may be that the observation of the revolution of time in the hun- 
dred years last past, in which the former killings of the witnesses did fall 
out, may indigitate and put some note upon the time when this great and 
last slaughter in the revolution of this century of years now running on 
(since 1600) may fall ou.t. That is, as those partial and smaller killings of 
particular witnesses fell out in anno 1547 (as did that in Germany, which 
ended in 1550) and in 1556, (as did that in England in the days of Queen 
Mary,) so accordingly about the time of the revolution of the same term of 
a hundred years, now running on in this next age after that, the time of this 
last killing of the witnesses may also be. 

I have long since observed it, though not first to this particular purpose, that 
the revolution of a hundred years hath produced, especially in these latter 
days, new motions and alterations in the church, like unto those that fell out a 
hundred years before. To this purpose that of John Huss is remarkable, who 
suffering martyrdom at a stake, anno 1417, or thereabouts. Post centum annos, 
etc., — 'After a hundred years,' says he, 'you Papists shall be called to an 
account.' A speech so memorable among the Bohemians, that they stamped 
it upon their coins. And accordingly, a hundred years after, anno 1517, did 
Luther arise, and with him the gospel in Germany. And then again, if we 
descend to the revolution of the next hundred years, we shall find, and our 
eyes have seen it, that a hundred years after Luther, about the year 1618, 
began those notable changes and alterations in Germ.any which still go on 
unto this day. From which year 1618 I reckon that the war of the beast 
against the witnesses, and the Gentiles' treading down the outward court, 
did begin, and shall still go on till it end in his great slaughter of those 


witnesses there. And this happened in an opposite correspondency to what 
fell out a hundred years before. For as, anno 1517, began Luther's preach- 
ing, and the workings towards that reformation that followed, so in anno 
1618 began the like workings towards the deformation of the gospel, as I 
may so call it, which hath gone on with as strange a hand against the church, 
as that other was carried on with by God for the church. And to those 
I could add many other instances. So that I confess that I am in like 
manner susjjicious of the revolution of a hundred years from those former 
mentioned killings of the witnesses in the century last past, lest about the 
hundredth year from thence should be the time of this other great and last 
killing of them, as yet to come, and whereof those were but gradual fore- 

And it may be that, if England and Scotland, &c., be that tenth part of 
the city wliich is to be the eminent stage of this their killing and rising 
again, as hath been argued, then this period will fall upon the hundred 
years after that former trial of England. And let me add this, that as upon 
the rising of England and Scotland began that glorious harvest of blessed 
times, which lasted till these German wars began; so in this revolution of 
another hundred years after that time, according to the conjecture held forth, 
are like to arise unto the church like times of far greater blessedness, if that 
hold true, that then those forty-five years before spoken of do begin, which 
are allotted for the accomplishment of all. 

But to put a stop unto too much curiosity in these matters : all these 
notions and conjectures, though as probable as any of this kind usually given, 
I give up to further light and second considerations, knowing that such have 
often failed and deceived others; and considering also that in fixing the 
times and seasons for God's great works of wonder, there is the greatest 
modesty that may be to be expressed. For if those seventy years' captivity 
of the Jews in Babylon were so expressly designed out by God, and are now 
long since expired, and yet when to begin the account of those seventy years 
is not agreed upon by the learnedest chronologers unto this day ; how 
much more difficult then must it needs be to pitch the certain time of any 
period before the accomplishment of it 1 

But, however, let an indefinite warning that these things are approaching, 
and we within the reach of them, suffice for to move us to prepare for them, 
which is the only use of knowing them. It may be said of the time of these 
things, as it is said of the day of death, Latet hie dies, ut ohservetur omnis 
dies ; — The day and year of the accomplishment of these great matters are hid 
from us, that so each day and year we may be found ready, whenever they 
shaU come uj^on us, as in this age wherein we live they are likely to do. 
And although we may think this dismal and black hour of temptation not 
likely to come so soon, seeing the clouds rise not fast enough so suddenly to 
overcast the face of the sky with darkness, yet we are to consider that we 
live now in the extremity of times, when motions and alterations, being so 
near the centre, become quickest and speediest ; and we are at the verge, 
and, as it were, within the whirl of that great mystery of Christ's kingdom, 
which will, as a gulf, swallow up all time ; and so, the nearer we are unto 
it, the greater and more sudden changes will Christ make, now hastening to 
make a full end of all. 

And for the Jews' call, wliich is conjunct with this killing and rising of 
the witnesses : as it depends not upon ordinary means to effect it, so there 
are like to be no preparations at all unto it until it comes, as there are not 

Chap. VII.] an rxrosiTioN of thk hkvelation. 505 

for tilings extraordinaiy ; but 'a nation shall bring forth in a day,' as tho 
prophet speaks. And so, in the very year before it, there will be no more 
outward appearances or probabilities of it than there are now, or than there 
have been many hundred years since. And therefore our faith need not be 
put off from this, by the .seeing as yet no stirrings or motions at all unto it 
or towards it. And the truth is, both the killing and rising of the wit- 
nesses, and also the calling of the Jews, may fall out sooner than we are 
aware of. 



The Book of the Kevelation is a tragi-comical vision of the occurrences of 
the world through all times and ages ; whereof this may truly be the title, 
* The story of Christ's kingdom.' 

Chap. iv. — The stage for this is set up in the 4th chapter ; there being a 
representation of 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. 

Chap. V. — Then the prologue follows in the 5th chapter, where is Christ's 
taking on him the government and kingdom, by 'taking the sealed book,' 
and thereby undertaking to be God's commissioner, to execute the decrees 
contained in this book, and to give the vision of it unto John ; at which in- 
stalment of him into the kingdom, there is a song of praise sung to the Lamb, 
by the twenty-four elders and four beasts, who are the chorus in this show, 
with a triumphing assurance and expectation of what will be the happy con- 
clusion of all, that ' we shall reign on earth with him.' 

The scene or place where all that was acted here in these verses is the 
Roman empire, and the several dominions of it east and west, called oiKoufchrj, 
or the whole world. 

Then begins the stor?/ itself to be acted at the 6th chapter. The general 
argument of which is : That whereas Christ's government was to be executed 
and seen, (1.) in 'putting down all opposite rule and power' that stands in 
his way, as Paul speaks, 1 Cor. vi. ; and then, (2.) in a visible taking the 
kingdom to himself and his saints, which makes the fifth monarchy ; accord- 
ingly here the story of this book Jirst shews how Christ puts down all the 
opposite rule, and power, and dominion whatsoever, in the fourth and last 
foregoing Roman monarchy, in the several successions and revolutions of it, 
one after another, tUl that he hath worn them all out that were ordained to 
stand up in it. And these many difficulties of his coming to and obtaining 

* This tract is merely a S3rnopsis, or Table of Contents, of the Exposition of the Reve- 
lation J and is therefore subjoined to it, although the two stand far apart in the originad 
edition of the author's works. — Ed. 


his kingdom, do exceedingly serve to make the story of it appear glorious. 

Secondly, It closeth and endeth in a glorious visible kingdom which Christ 
on earth sets uj), and possesseth peaceably with his saints, as the catastrophe 
of all. 

More particularly, the story is this, according to the several contents of 
each chapter : — 

Chap, vi, — Christ, when he ascends up to heaven, finds the Eoman mon- 
archy, whose room he was to possess, stretched over east and west, even over 
all those parts of the world where he was to seat his church and kingdom ; 
and this wholly in the hands, and under the government and power, of one 
entire monarch or emperor, and under him altogether heathenish and idola- 
trous, and subjected wholly to Satan, set up as 'the god of this world.' 
Christ first sets upon the conquest of Satan's ministry and worship in it ; 
and by the preaching the gospel, overturneth that vast empire as it was 
heathenish, throws down Satan from his throne and height of glory in it, 
and brings it into subjection and acknowledgment of him as king, chap, xii., 
and turns both it and emperors of it Christian in three hundred years. This 
is the sum of the sixth chapter of the seal-prophecy, and the twelfth chapter 
of the book-prophecy. 

Chap. viii. — But this empire, though turned Christian in outward pro- 
fession, yet having persecuted his church whilst idolatrous, and after it was 
Christian, when Arian ; therefore, at the prayers of the martyrs slain, men- 
tioned chap. vi. 11, and in vengeance of their blood, chap. viii. 4, he further 
proceeds to ruin the civil imperial power of it, the empire itself, by the 
trumpets in the 8th and 9 th chapters. And the empire then becoming 
divided into two, the eastern and western empire, as they were commonly 
called — 

1. He ruins the imperial western state and power in Europe, by the four 
first trumpets, the wars of the Goths, by four several steps in the 8th chap- 
ter. Then— 

2. Chap. is. — He destroys the imperial eastern state, which stood after the 
other, by two degrees, — first, by the Saracens, then by the Turks, — who are 
the fifth and sixth trumpets, who possessed all the eastern part to this day ; 
and that is the contents of the 9th chapter. Only, chap, vii., ere ever these 
trumpets bring these evils on the empire, he seals up a comi^any of a hundred 
and forty-four thousand Christians in the eastern part, as chap. vii. 2, to be 
preserved and continued in the true profession of his name, under these two, 
the sorest and longest, and there caUed the woe-woe-trumpets, which were 
to fall upon the eastern part of the empire, in which parts these servants of 
his there sealed were to lie, as appears, chap. ix. 4. And this their sealing 
is the sum of the 7th chapter. 

Now then that old Roman empii'e being thus removed in both parts of it, 
yet stiU look, as that eastern part of it is left possessed by the Turks, in the 
9th chapter ; so the western part of it, in Europe, being broken into ten 
kino'doms by the Goths, they consent to give their power to the beast, the 
Pope, who &o becomes a successor to the western emperor, and possesseth 
his seat and power, though under another title, and so heals that wound 
given. And this beast the 13th chapter describes, and gives the vision of 
his rise, power, time of his reign. And the 17th chapter doth expound 
and interpret under whose antichristian tyranny — as great as that of Rome 
heathenish, or of the Turks themselves to Christians — Christ yet preserves 
another like company of a hundred and forty-four thousand, chap, xiv , even 


the like number of virgins who are sealed Christians in the west, as under 
the tyranny of the Turks and Saracens he had done the like in the east ; so 
himself keeping possession still by his church, preserved under both, of both 
these parts of the empire, as his inheritance. And this opposite company ox 
a hundred and forty-four thousand Christians, opposite to the whore, there 
called virgins, and their separation from her and opposition to her, are re- 
corded chap. xiv. 

But now these two, the Pope and Turk, both enemies to Christ, thus suc- 
ceeding in the empire, and sharing the two parts of it between them, Jesus 
Christ, we see. is still as far off from his designed kingdom as he was before. 
For Mohammedanism tyranniseth in the one, idolatry overspreads the other, 
as heathenism had done the empire ; and so he hath a new business of it to 
come unto his kingd(nii, as difficult as ever. 

Chap. XV., xvi. — Therefore Christ hath seven vials, which contain the last 
plagues, for he means to make this the last act of this long tragi-comedy, to 
despatch the Pope and Turk, and root them out, even as the seals had done 
heathenism, and the trumpets had done the empire itself And the plagues 
of these vials are the contents of the 15th and 16th chapters. 

The first five vials do dissolve and ruin the Pope's power by degrees in the 
west ; then the sixth vial breaks the power of the Turk in the east ; so 
making way for the Jews, whom he means to brmg into fellowship of his 
kingdom in their own land. 

But by these six vials their power and kingdom not being wholly ruined 
and removed, both Turk and Popish party join, and putting to their utmost 
forces, and together with them, all opposite kings of the whole world, 
against the Christians, both east and west, who, whenas 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, and with his own hand from heaven 
destroys them. And so ' it is done,' as the voice of the last vial is in the 
16 th chapter. 

Chap. xvii. — The 17th chapter is an interpretation who is the beast and 

Chap, xviii. — The 18th chapter sings a funeral-song of triumph for this 
wh(^re's ruin ; after which comes in Christ's kingdom, the New Jerusalem. 

Chap. vii.-ix. — Which new kingdom of his shall be made up of, first, 
eastern Christians that endured the bondage of the two woe-trumpets, the 
Saracen and Turks, yet continuing to profess his name ; and therefore 
unto those hundred and forty-four thousand in the 7th chapter, do succeed 
an innumerable company with palms in their hands, who have the same 
promises of the New Jerusalem made to them, (the very same that are found 
mentioned in the 21st chapter,) which shews their interest therein. And — 

Secondly, This kingdom of Christ shall be made up of western Christians 
also, whose hundred and forty-four thousand in the 14th chapter do arise 
in like manner to an innumerable company : who, after the rejection of the 
whore, chap. xix. 1-9, are brought in singing in like triumph, decking them- 
selves for the marriage in fine linen. But — 

Thirdly, This kingdom of Christ shall be made np especially of Jews, 
dispersed both east and west, and over all the world ; and therefore hath 
the name from them, the New Jerusalem. With whom — 

Fourthly, Come in as attendants of their joy other Gentiles with them, 
that never had received Christ before : the 'glory of the Gentiles' is said to 
be brought into it. ^ 

VOL. nx 


Chap, xx.-xxii. — And so both east and west, Jew and Gentile, and the 
fulness of both, comes in, and becomes one fold for a thousand years, under 
one shepherd, one kingdom under this ' root of Da\dd,' their king. King Jesus 
the conqueror, even as it first was under one heathen idolatrous emperor, when 
first Christ set himself to conquer it. And so is fulfilled that prophecy of 
this his kingdom, Isa. lix. 19, where, after the final destruction of all Christ's 
enemies, foretold ver. 18. 'then,' he says, 'they shall fear his name, from the 
east unto the west, and the Redeemer shall come unto Sion.' Which words, 
Kom. xi. 26, Paul interprets of the Jews' final call, and this restauration of 
the world with them. ' Even so. Lord Jesus, come quickly.' 

Chap. V. — In the 5th chapter we have an account of a book with seven 
Beals, which none could open. In this strait comes Christ, and takes upon 
him the opening and fulfillmg of the book, and the decrees therein. At this 
the chorus fall down and worship. 

Ver. 1. — First, What is this book? Many make it the Scriptures. But 
It is plain it is a book containing the aff'airs of the world and the church, 
and God's decrees about it. For upon the opening of every seal he sees a 
vision containing the matter of the ensuing chapters, the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th ; 
and when the seals were aU taken off, chap, x., John is bidden to eat the 
book, that he might prophesy again the other part of this projjhecy. So as 
it is this book of the Eevelation, and the government of the church and 
world set forth therein, which Christ takes, and, by taking the book, under- 
takes to manage and exercise that government, which agrees with what is 
said at the beginning of this book. Rev. i. 1. 

Ver. 2. — A strong angel proclaimeth, ' Who is worthy to loose the seals 
thereof 1 ' See. The use of the seals is not simply to shew it cannot be known, 
as Daniel's sealed book is to shew it could not be known till the end, Dan. 
xii. 4, but for the further setting out the glory of Christ, who was only able 
to take the book and to loose the seals. To take the book, first, God caus- 
eth a general proclamation to be made to all creatures, as some kings have 
done for a noble service, promising great reward, as Saul did, 1 Sam. xvii. 
26, 27. Secondly, an angel makes it, to shew that none among angels 
could, and a strong angel, that his voice may reach all creatures. The end 
of this was, first, to stir up strong desires in John, and aU else, to search into 
the meaning of this prophecy ; what he did in the 1st chapter of Revelation, 
ver. 3, here he provokes unto the same by this proclamation. Secondly, 
another end of it was to set out the weakness of the creature, that the 
honour of Christ might appear that he only can do this. It is the manner of 
God thus to endear mercies to us, as he endeared a wife to Adam. He first 
brought aU creatures to him, that he might first see that there was not a 
meet help for him among them. So in the work of salvation, he lets the 
soul try all means first, to run to duties, and to aU helps, and then brings it 
to Christ. So, 1 Cor. i., that the power of God might appear, he first lets 
the world try their wisdom, and then sends the foolishness of preaching to 
save them that believe, ver. 21, 25. It is a question among the school-men, 
whether any mere creature could satisfy for sin ] Some say they could, and 
some say it is a needless question. But it is a necessary thing to know that 
a creature could not ; for it glorifies Christ the more, as in the present case 
it doth that all creatures here were first challenged. And this here is an 
argument for that also ; for if they could not oj)en the book, they could 
much less have redeemed us, for that is made a greater thing, ver. 9, where 
they sing that ' Christ was therefore worthy to open the book, because he 


had redeemed us.' Heb. x., God was not pleased with the blood of bulls 
and goats, ver. 5. 

Use. — Hence learn we to renounce all kings, priests, and prophets, in com- 
parison of Christ ; he is a priest to redeem, and a prophet to teach and re- 
veal the mysteries of God, and he is the king to execute all God's decrees. 
It is good to go over all the creatures, and to renounce them, and say, I 
will be saved by none of you. Suppose the work of redemption was yet to 
work, and Gcid sliould make this proclamation as here. Find me out a party- 
able to redeem, I '11 speak to him ] call a council, seek one, (none would be 
found ;) and how should we have howled and wept, as John did here, and 
say we were undone 1 And then supi)0se God should have set out Christ at 
last. But he would not put you to this plunge ; it is the more love shewn 
by him to find out Christ, and to speak to him himself to die for us, and 
do it to our hands. 

Observe from those words, Who is worthy ? — It is not simply an act of 
power to break open the seals, but to have authority by worth ; so that 
which puts the value on Christ's satisfaction was the worth of his person, 
and so in this act to open the book. A mere creature might have had as 
much habitual grace, and performed as much duty, but who is worthy 1 It 
is the personal worth which did it : ' Such a high priest became us, who is 
higher than the heavens,' — that is, than the angels, — Heb. x. Secondly, None 
was found worthy : the word is none ; it is not restrained to man, no man, 
but never a reasonable creature, in the heavens angels, nor in earth men. 

Neither to look thereon — that is, to look in it to understand it, for else 
John could and did look on it, ver. 1 . Now, to loose the seals and 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 times ; it is an 
allusion to those which take a commission, who take it not only to look on 
it, but to fulfil it. It is a commission sealed, so as this proclamation is in 
effect, Who shall be able to be God's commissioner to take this book, 
and make the visions to John, and execute and produce them in their 

And this appears from chap. vi. 1. Still as the seals are opened by the 
Lamb, there is a vision made to John of what should be done ; therefore the 
Lamb is presented not simply as one that should take the book, but that 
hath eyes and horns — eyes of providence, and horns of power to execute. 
And this agrees with the allusion unto Gen. xlix. 9, 10, where Judah is 
made a type of Christ, and called a lion's whelp, and the sceptre given him ; 
and is called God's lawgiver, to take his laws from him and execute them, 
for in that respect it is that Judah is called God's lawgiver. Gen. xlix. 1 1 : 
not in respect of the giving the laws of God, but in respect of the executive 
power to see them kept. So Christ liere ; and he so takes this book as to 
deliver it to us to execute the decrees of it. 

Ver. 4. And I ivept much. — John weeps. He was called up to heaven 
to see visions ; and now there was a stop : it was to set off the mercy, and to 
try his heart, and make the joy greater. 

Obs. 1. — Our infirmities shall not hinder God's revealing himself, though 
unbelief may say it will never be ; yet Christ wiU go on to reveal himself, 
as here to John. 

Ohs. 2. — God in greatest mercies may make greatest stops, enough to bring 
to despair ; you shall see no hope ere he grants them, so to John here. So in 
the first works of conversion many times ; and so in great works he caUa 


men to, he may make a stop. Jolin was called to see visions, yet a stop and 
pause was in his view made. 

06s. 3. — If by John's weeping were meant his praying to God in this stop 
put, then you see the way to obtain revelations of God is by tears and pray- 
ing ; so Daniel prayed and wept, Dan. x. 2, and then God revealed himself. 

John is comforted by a stander-by, (1.) by something to uphold his heart; 
(2.) by the sight of the Lamb, ver 6. 

Ohs. 4. — The degrees God uses to comfort his people : — (1.) To let fall 
something that gives hopes of Christ, to draw the soul to wait ; then, (2.) to 
shew them Christ himself. God might have shewed John the Lamb at first, 
but first he comforts him by a stander-by ; so Job first 'heard by the hear- 
ing of the ear, and then his eye saw him.' 

Ver. G. — Christ, the only opener of this book and giver of this prophecy, 
is diversely expressed : — 

1. He is called the 'root of Da\id,' out of Isa. xi. 10. Christ put this 
riddle to the Pharisees, How David could call him Lord, if he were his son ? 
So how could he be called the root, if he were Da\'id's son and a branch of 
him % The truth is, he is the root of David, and of all the saints ; he was 
the root of his ancestors, the father of his mother. The root of any family 
in Scripture is put for the eldest son in it, who is as the root of the rest. So, 
Isa. xiv. 30, 'I will kill thy root with famine,' — that is, thy first-born, the 
root of thy house, — for in opposition he says, and ' the first-born of the poor 
shall be fed.' So, Mai. iv. 1, that therefore Christ is the root of David, the 
meaning is, that he is the 'first-born among all his brethren,' as, Rom. viii., 
he is called ; and, Ps. Ixxxix. 27, so God calls David in the type, but in- 
tends Christ thereby, when he says, ' I will make him my first-born, higher 
than the kings of the earth ; ' and, ver. 29, ' His seed shall endure for ever.' 
This is to be the root of David. ' He is the first-born of every creature, of 
whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,' Eph. iii. 15. 

2. He is called the ' lion of the tribe of Judah ; ' but why a lion of the 
tribe of Judah? It is a manifest allusion to the prophecy. Gen. xlix. 9, 
wherein Judah, as this place shews, is made a type of Christ ; and it warrants 
the ajDplication of all there unto Christ. 

Judah is called a lion — 

(L) Because out of Judah came all the worthies and lion-like men, Joshua, 
Othniel, David, all the shadows of Christ; therefore. Gen. xlix. 11, he is 
called ' an old Hon,' as the word is, a courageous, hearty lion : so, 2 Sam. xvii. 
10, valiant men are called lions; such was Christ, who 'durst engage his 
heart to draw near to God,' Jer. xxx. 21. 

(2.) Judah had that kingdom whereof a Hon is the emblem ; therefore 
sceptre and lawgiver, ver. 10, are attributed to him, so that it is as much as 
to say, Christ the king by inheritance, as Judah was, hath overcome. 

(3.) Judah did take the prey, the land ; it was done by the worthies of 
Judah — Joshua, David ; and when, as a lion, they had taken that prey, they 
couched and had rest, as in Solomon's days, 1 Kings iv. 21, which was also 
prophesied of. Num. xxui. 24, ' Behold, they rose up as a great Uon, and 
shall not lie down till he eat the prey ;' and Gen. xlix. 9, ' He couched as an 
old lion ; who shall raise him up ? ' So Christ, when he had led cajitivity 
captive, sits down quietly in heaven, couching, as lying in wait till the day 
of judgment, when he will appear like an old lion that coucheth as if asleep, 
and then suddenly leaps on the prey. Especially in the latter days, when 
the gatherings shall be to him, his kingdom shall be as of a lion among 
beasts; so, Micah v. 8, he prophesies there of Christ's kingdom in the 


calling the Jews, and of his birth, ver. 2. Now that kingdom is the scope 
of this book. 

Ver. 6, Aiid in the midst of the elders stood a lamb as it had been slain. — 
John had lieard of Christ as a lion, but he sees him as a lamb. So many a 
poor soul are afraid of him, but when you see him, and come to be acquainted 
with him, you will find hmi to be a Lamb, and a lamb that hath eyes to run 
to and fro through the earth for you, and seven horns, not to hurt you but 
to butt his and your enemies. Wo have not all lion-like thoughts of Christ ; 
as he hath the heart of a lion, so he hath the meekness of a lamb. You may 
wonder at this mixture ; he is a lamb to you. 

1. Why is he called a lamb ? It is in allu.sion to the sacrifices of the old 
law, which were most of lambs ; the ordinary sacrifices were two lambs a 
day. Num. xxviii. 3. Here he was to represent Christ as a priest ; as be- 
fore, in being called a lion, he was represented as a king ; and therefore it 
follows, * as it had been slain.' 

2. In the midst of the throne, &c., stood a lamb. — The Lamb stood nearer 
than the four beasts, between the throne and the elders, for he is a mediator 
betwixt his church and God. 

3. As it had been slain. — That is, first, as if he were newly slain, for his 
blood is fresh continually, as if he were slain to-day ; thou seest thy sins, as 
if they were committed yesterday, and God views Christ's blood as if he 
were slain yesterday, Heb. ix. 12. Secondly, but 'as slain,' to shew he doth 
not remain slain, but is alive : Chap. L 18, 'I was dead ; and, behold, I am 
alive for evermore.' 

4. Stood a lamb. — Standing, to shew he is ready to help. When Stephen 
died, he saw Christ standing at God's right hand as ready to receive him. 
It is also to shew his readiness to intercede. 

5. Having seven horns. — Horns are put for power to push with; so, Eev. 
xvii. 12, ' The ten horns are the ten kings.' The seven horns here, all kingly 
power ; seven is a number of perfection, to shew Christ hath power to open 
the seven seals ; and there are seven trumpets and seven vials, and Christ 
hath seven horns, — that is, power to fulfil all these. Antichrist rises like 
Christ, and comes with power, Rev. xiii. 1 1 ; but what discovers him ? He hath 
but two horns ; the church needs not fear him. The Lamb hath horns to 
vindicate himself of his enemies ; fear not kings, though ten kings, he is King 
of kings ; and fear not the devil, who is a roaring Hon, for Christ the lion of 
the tribe of Judah is stronger than he, and will bind him. 

6. And seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent forth into all the 
earth. — The Spirit, not in hLs personal subsistence, is here meant, but in his 
instrumental working in gifts and providence, and so is called seven spirits. 
Before, in chap. iv. 5, the ' seven spirits before the throne' are gifts in the 
church which are from Christ, for he is the fountain of spiritual gifts, and 
hath the Spirit without measure ; but here, by the seven spirits in Christ is 
not meant gifts poured out, but eyes of providence sent into the earth, by 
which he knows and sees all things, in allusion to that, Zech. iv. 10; and it 
implies the perfect knowledge and providence of Christ to order all affairs on 
earth for his church ; so, 2 Chron. xvi. 9, as before in Zechariah, he did the 
affairs of the Persian monarch for the building of his church. 

Obs. — Christ as man hath both horns and eyes to guide and discern aU, 
things here below ; his human nature is the instrument of all God's power, 
all goes through his hands, and all the works of God's providence go aU 
through his sight ; he knows all is done in the world. 

The next thing is, why Christ should be presented here under these 


notions of a lion of the tribe of Judah, and a lamb, and the root of David, 
rather than any other. He sj^eaks, (1.) In the language of the Old Testa- 
ment, and of John Baptist, who was under the Old Testament, (who all 
spake of Christ.) So Luke xxiv. 27, * Beginning at Moses and all the pro- 
phets, he expounded unto them the things concerning himself.' Now Moses 
called him a lion. Gen. xlix. 9 ; Isaiah calls him a lamb, chap. liii. 7, and the 
root of Da\T.d, chap. xi. 10 ; and John Baptist calls him the ' Lamb of God 
which bears the sins of the world.' Now as all other things in this book 
are set forth in allusion to the Old Testament, so these descriptions of Christ 
also. (2.) He gives him these titles in relation to the work of redemption, 
of which mention is made ver. 9. Now to that two things are required : — 
First, A price to God ; and so as a lamb ' thou hast redeemed us to God by 
thy blood,' ver. 9. Secondly, Power to deliver us out of the hands of our 
enemies ; so he is ' a lion that overcomes.' (3.) It hath relation especially 
to the opening this book, and executing the affairs in it \ and so these titles 
are most proper : for — 

Fir&t, He needed to die for it, and so is presented as a lamb slain ; for 
that price that salvation did cost, each revelation to us must cost as much 
also. Not simply his being the Son of God, and so knowing the counsels of 
God written in his decrees, was enough for him to make them known to us ; 
but to reveal this counsel to us, as in a book to be opened to us, he must 
die ; for our sins hindered, and therefore he must die. Hence it is said, 
' Thou art worthy to open the book, for thou wast slain,' ver. 9. And so, as 
a lamb, he is said to take sin away that hindered the revelation to us. 

Secondly, As a lion he needed courage to approach God's wrath, break 
through a consuming fire to his throne to take the book ; ' Wko hath en- 
gaged his heart to draw near to me 1 ' No angel durst have presumed to 
come so near. 

Thirdly, As a lion he needed to overcome death, and rise to execute the 
contents of this book. A lion, they say, sleeps at first three days when 
brought forth, and then with the roaring of the old lion is roused, and sleeps 
the least of any creatures ; so Christ rose by the power of his Father to sleep 
no more. 

Fourthly, Being risen, he is set forth, (1.) As a lion of Judah, for in that 
prophecy. Gen. xlix. 11, as also Psalm Ix. 7, Judah, in respect of his kingly 
ofiice, is called God's lawgiver, not simply in respect of giving the laws, — 
that Moses, of the tribe of Levi, did, — but because Judah executed them ; 
now because Christ did here take the book of God's decrees, and undertake 
to execute and fulfil them as God's commissioner, therefore he is in this place 
most properly in that respect the Hon of the tribe of Judah. (2.) He is here 
set forth as a lamb with seven horns and eyes, in as fit and proper respect to 
this as might be, as one not fit only to give this prophecy, but to effect the 
tliino-s contained in it by his horns and eyes ; and seven horns and seven 
eyes, to shew his full power to open the seven seals and the seven trumpets, 
and to pour out the seven vials. Such a prophet never was, who is not 
barely to reveal things, but to bring them to pass, and make them good. God 
gave Christ the platform of the occurrences to come, and power and wisdom 
to order the accomplishment of them. 

He is set also forth under both, as a lamb and a lion, to shew his kingly 
and priestly office : to shew how, by virtue of both, he makes ' us kings and 
priests,' as they sing, ver. 10, and so they, having his kingdom in their eye, 
are confirmed in the promise of it by a remembrance of him. As a lamb and 
a lion thus strong and powerful ; as a lamb he purchaseth the revelation of 


what concems the church ; as a lamb with horns and eyes, he effects the ac- 
coniplishment of it. And the sum of this book being to shew how Christ 
rules the world and his church, till he hath put down all rule, and how he 
takes the kingdom himself, therefore he is described as a lamb in respect of 
his quiet governing the affairs of the world and the church until that his 
kingdom come; and then as a lion, by open force, takes the kingdom and 
his church as a prey, out of the enemies' jaws, and that by the right of a 
promised succession from Judah and David ; for which cases, those titles of 
the root of David and lion of Judah do here come in. In a word — 

First, This title of his being the root of David, is to shew his right and 
title to that kingdom he is to receive, of which David and his kingdom was 
but a type. 

Secondly, His being a lamb slain, is to shew both the right and title to 
that kingdom, and the price by which he purchased this his kingdom, even 
his blood. 

ThirJlij, His being a lion, is to shew th.e power by which he conquers and 
obtains, and then possesses it. Therefore this heavenly chorus or company 
here, when they do but see Christ, by taking this book to undertake the ac- 
complishment of this prophecy, — the conclusion of which is his instalment 
into his kingdom, — they, in the joy and faith of it, cry out beforehand, ' We 
shall reign on earth,' as looking on all was to go before it as good as already 
done, and overlooking it all, having this kingdom chiefly in their eye. 

Now, from the 8th verse to the end is a doxology, or a giving praise for 
the Lamb's taking the book, which consists of four parties or companies : — 

First, Of twenty- four elders and the beasts; the church of men on earth. 
They begin and raise the song, ver. 8. 

Secondly, Angels; they join and sing after, ver. 11, 

Thirdly, Then all creatures come in also, ver. 13. 

Fourthly, The beasts, as the leaders, say in the end, Amen, and close it, 
ver. 14. 

Ohs. 1. — Observe, in the general, that the sons of men are the eminentest 
praisers of God; they are the precentors in this heavenly choir, and they 
conclude the song. The reason is, because the highest work God did is the 
work of redemption, which concerns us, not the angels. For which, yet, the 
angels praise him in the 2d of Luke, as also here; yea, all the creatures 
rejoice in our redemption, ver. 13; but still we are the first-fruits, the top 
leaders. The angels follow ; it is not said by them, ' Thou hast redeemed us 
to God by thy blood :' that concerns us ; yet they sing praise. 

Obs. 2. — Learn to bless God for his mercy and goodness to others ; so, 
you see, the angels do for us. They cannot sing, as we, with an interest, 
yet they praise God for it ; and this is their highest grace. Canst thou do 
so ? Then comfort thyself, thou hast as good grace as any in the angels. 

Ohs. 3. — Yet learn to bless God with a sense of thy interest ; that will 
raise thy heart a degree higher, as the church of men are here raised, ver. 
9, 10, in their song by their interest. The praisers of the sons of men are 
described, (1.) having harps; (2.) golden vials. It is an allusion to the 
Levitical service in the temple, where they had musical instruments, and 
incense in bowls or vials, which, Zech. xiv, 20, are called 'the bowls of 
the altar : ' not that musical instruments are to be in the worship of God 
now, no more than incense; but as incense was the type of prayer and praise, 
Ps. cxlL 2, ' Let my prayer come up before thee as incense,' so these harps 
are of that spiritual melody, as the apostle calls it, which we make to God 
in our hearts, even of spiritual songs in Christ, Eph. v. 19. Therefore John 


himself interprets the odours or iucense here to be the prayers of the saints : 
their hearts are the golden vials, having faith purer than gold, as Peter 
speaks, it being the spring of aU their praj^ers; and their harps also are 
their hearts : corcla et chordae are near akin. 

And 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 great. Though 
thou hast but little grace, yet God's worship would not be complete without 

And whereas John calls these odours the prayers of the saints, it makes 
nothing for what the Papists would collect hence, that the saints in heaven 
offer up the prayers of the saints on earth. For, first, this company are, as 
we said before, the church of men on earth. Secondly, these here offer not 
the prayers of others, but their own ; for both themselves make the song, 
and it is a new one of their own making, and also the benefit they praise 
God for in it is their own: 'Thou hast redeemed us to God by thy blood.' 
Those words therefore, ' the prayers of the saints,' are but the interpretation 
which John adds, and imply but this, that these were saints, and their odours 
were their prayers. 

Ver. 9, And the]) sung a new song. — (1.) You shall find in the Psalms that 
when David had a new occasion in a further degree to praise God, he says, 
*I will sing a new song;' and here was a now occasion given. (2.) New, in 
opposition to the old song under the Old Testament, as John xiii. 14, 'I 
give you a new commandment;' that is, of the gospel, called new in opposi- 
tion to the commands of the old law. In the 4th chapter of this book, these 
elders had sung a song for the work of creation, ver. 1 1 ; but here they sing 
for the work of redemption, as ver. 9, which is the eminent work of the New 
Testament, as creation was of the Old, and therefore it is called a new song. 
(3.) Here there is a more special reason why they should sing a new song, for 
the New Jerusalem was in their eye, Christ's kingdom and their kingdom ; 
' we shall reign on earth,' there all things shall be made new, and therefore 
their song is new : a new song for the instalment of their new king ; thus 
Ps. xcvi. 1, which is a psalm of this kingdom of Christ, as appears ver. 10, 
13 ; that psahn therefore begins, ' smg to the Lord a new song.' 

Ohs. 1. — Learn to frame new matter of praise and affections upon every 
new occasion. 

Ohs. 2. — We are to bless God for creation and redemption both; to take 
in the mention of old blessings when we give thanks for new, as a good scribe 
is said to bring forth of his treasure things new and old : so in thanksgiving 
we are to sing the old song and the new, 

The matter of the song is praise to the Lamb. 

First, The person praised is the Lamb ; ' Thou art worthy.' In answer to 
the proclamation, 'Who is worthy?' Thou, and thou alone; for to him, and 
by him, and for him are all things. Col. i. 16. 

Secondly, The things for which they praise him are, (1.) for his death, that 
he died to redeem ; (2.) for his resurrection, intimated in this, ' Thou wast 
slain :' the one making us priests, the other kings ; as follows, ver. 10. And 
* to this end Christ died and rose, that he might be lord and king,' Rom. 
xiv. 9. The word which is translated here redeemed, is in the original 

Ver. 9, For thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God hy thy blood 
out of every kindred, and people, and tongue, and nation. 

Obs. 1. — That the blood of Christ was paid as a price to God to purchase 


our redemption, 1 Cor. vi. 20, 'bought with a price;' and in 1 Tim. ii. he 
callfi it a ransom. 

Obs. 2. — That Christ hath not redeemed all men ; for it is not every nation 
and tribe, but out of every nation, the elect only. 

Obs. 3. — In that they say Christ is worthy to receive the book because ho 
was slain, it argues this IBook of the Revelation is a special fruit of his 
death, and so should be the more prizid by us ; before Christ's death, we 
hear Christ himself say he knew not when the day of judgment should be. 
but now he is slain, and hath taken this book, he doth, ver. 10. 

Ver. 10, And hasi made lis unto our God kings and jyriests, and we 
shall reiyii on the earth. — Christ was before set forth as a lion for a king, so 
as a lamb for a priest; and both were mentioned to shew the grounds of our 
being both kings and priests, who shall reign on earth. 

Obs. 1. — That this comforted the saints of old, even the consideration of 
Christ's kingdom on earth; and how peremptory are they, 'We sluill reign!' 
They mention that, because that is the end and scope of the Picvelation, the 
conclusion of this book, when the seals are off and the book finished, and so 
they have it in their eye; and they seeing Christ undertaking the accom- 
plishment of all iu this book, whereof this is the issue, are confirmed in the 
faith of it. 

Obs. 2. — That this kingdom of Christ on earth to come is a far more glo- 
rious condition for the saints than what their souls have now in heaven ; for 
these here overlook that condition which yet they were to run through, and 
their thoughts fly to comfort themselves with this, ' AVe shall reign on earth.' 

Ver. 11. — In this verse come in the other company of the angels singing; 
who, first, for their number, are ten thousand times ten thousand, and thou- 
sands of thousands. In the 7 th of Daniel, where the same throne and king- 
dom of Christ is prophesied of, there is the same number of his guard of 
angels mentioned. 

Obs. 1. — God hath another world of rational creatures, which we see not; 
and what a story then will the latter day produce ! 

Obs. 2. — What need we fear when there are so many for us ? as 2 Kings vi. 17. 

For their station; they are behind the elders, &c., yet round about the 
throne ; not so near as the elders, they are the guard of the queen of heaven, 
the Lamb's wife, the church. Ps. xxxiv. 7, ' Angels encompass round about 
them that fear him;' and are sent out for their good, Heb. i. 14. 

Ver. 12. — The song follows, 'Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to re- 
ceive,' &c. 

Obs. 1. — Christ, though he were worthy by inheritance, yet he was also 
worthy by purchase, to receive aU these; so the words imply, 'that was 

Obs. 2. — As he hath seven horns and seven eyes, so he hath a sevenfold 

Obs. 3. — And because they cannot praise him enough, they heap up words 
to praise him with. 

Qf)s, 4. — None is worthy to be the king of all the world but only Jesus 
Christ; and indeed it were too much for any creature. The angels them- 
selves were top-heavy of their glory, which made them reel out of heaven; 
but Christ hath the Godhead to poise him. No beast is naturally a king of 
beasts but the lion, says the philosopher ; nor none worthy to be king of all 
creatures but this lion of the tribe of Judah. 

The things which they attribute to him are — 


Fii'st, Power; that is, authority over all: so Christ says, John xvii. 2, 
*To me all power is given.' 

Secondbj, Eiches ; that is, possession of all creatures : ' aU things are his.' 
and so ours. 2 Cor. viii. 9, ' Christ, who was rich, was made poor;' riches of 
glory, knowledge, all are his. 

Thirdly, Strength, joined with power and authority. Able he is to 
work anything; not as other kings that have great power and authority, but 
no more personal strength than other men : he hath therefore seven horns, 

Fourtldy, Wisdom; and this as large as his power and dominions: he 
knows aU God means to do, and sees aU with his own seven eyes; not other 
men's, as other kings do. 

Fifthly, Honour; that respects what all creatures bring in to him: they 
all adore and bow the knee to him, Phil. ii. 

Sixthly, Glory, both in his personal excellencies, and also what his 
Father gives him ; he sits at God's right hand, and with his Father governs, 
and shall come in his Father's glory, and in his person is the brightness of 
his glory. 

Seventhly, Blessing; which respects that glory which, for his special good- 
ness to them, his saints do give him. Others give honour to Christ, — the 
devils do, — but not blessing; that the saints only do, for that respects com- 
munication of goodness : they only bless him whom he blesseth first. 

Ohs. — Christ hath aU desirable excellencies in him : beauty, glory, honour, 
esteem, riches, strength, wisdom. 

Ver. 13, And every creature. — Every creature in its kind shall worship 
Christ, Phil. ii. Every creature comes in here, because when Christ's kuag- 
dom is set up, they shall be renewed, Rom. viii. 19, Ps. xcvi. 10, 11; both 
creatures under the earth, bodies of saints departed, and precious stones, &c. ; 
for all creatures shall be used in a glorious liberty. 

The church of men began the song, and these continue it ; for it is this 
mercy to them that is matter of the song, and the instauration of their king; 
and therefore we are to be stirred up the more to do it in that we see even 
all the creatures do it, whom it doth not so much concern. 

Ver. 14, And the four beasts said, Amen; and the elders follow: the oflS.- 
cers begin and end. 

Amen seems to be an ordinance, a word to be used by officers first, and 
then by the people ; as 1 Cor. xiv. 1 6. 





Worthy is the Lamh that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, 
and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. — Eev. V. 12. 

I DESIGN to give you a particular, as we use to call it, of that estate of glory 
■whicli was Christ's due, and which our Lord of glory parted with and was 
emptied of, and compare with each the particulars of his emptied, humbled 
estate, contrary thereunto. 

And for this I might refer unto those inherent gloiies that were his due, 
to have broke forth from the first in him, as also those privileges and royal- 
ties of his ; and so here, upon that argument, set by them his standing out 
of all these, and emptying himself of them during his humbled estate. 

I shall take that royal proclamation of his glories Avhich the holy and 
blessed angels, his heralds, have made, and take what I find summed up in 
one cluster, growing on one stalk, or in one verse. Rev. v. 1 2, ' Worthy is 
the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and 
strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.' That they speak it of him 
as God-man is clear, in that he is called the Lamb. 

But before I enter upon the merits of my design specified, I must remove 
an objection, that my running over those particulars mentioned will not be 
pertinent unto the ends and purpose which I even now proposed : for the 
main argument is, the glories which were his due as God-man before his 
redemption of us; and the laying down of that glory was the main ingre- 
dient of that sacrifice he ofi'ered up for his redeeming of us. But the royal- 
ties there ascribed as worthy to be given him are what, the angels say, he 
was worthy of for having redeemed us ; for the account they give them 

* This fragment — which appears to have been notes for what, in Presbyterian 
churches, is called a ' table-service,' that is, an address to communicants before par- 
taking of the Lord's Supper — is given in this place, because it is an exposition of a 
passage in the Book of Revelation; although, so far as the matter of it is concerned, it 
would more properly faU under another division of the Author's Works. This Dis- 
course closes the Expositor* Dortion of Goodwia's Works. — Ec. 

220 A discoue.se of Christ's reward. [TLev. V. 12. 

hereupon is, as lie is tlie Lam^ slain, and not at all as God-man. For the 
removal of which, sad slearini the aptness and meetness of the allegation o{ 
these, as suitable in the scor.'e and matter of them unto my forf^.nafiutioned 
purpose, I 2)remise these answers : — 

First, As to that, that the angels should proclaim him worthy of all these 
because slain, and as the Lamb that was slain, as ver. 9 seems to carry it : 
suppose that were the scope, yet it is but to declare a superadditional glory 
of Christ's, consisting in this, that ne should merit by his death what was 
otherwise naturally due to him in his person, who was slain ; and so a re- 
doubled honour accrue to him upon several titles, that he who in himself, 
and the dignity of his person, was worthy of all these, should moreover by 
the merits of his death purchase thereby to be worthy of them also ; and so 
that although he merited them by his being slain, yet it was but what was 
his own. by another right before due to his person, but now moreover to his 
actions and sufierings, and how that by them he deserved them also. And so 
in that one description or character of him both dues are here both involved 
at once. First, The Lamb, noting his person God-man ; and it is his title 
given his person, now he is in glory, throughout this book. Second!}', The 
Lamb that was slain. Both which, under the same terms in effect, Peter indi- 
gitates, 1 Pet. i. 19, ' Ye were redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, 
as of a lamb without blemish and without spot;' where the jDreciousness of 
his blood is inferred from the preciousness of his person. (1.) He mentions 
Christ, whom, in his person, he expressly calls elect and precious in the fol- 
lowing chapter, (ii. 6,) and whom he sets forth in his person as a foundation to 
our faith, and also unto his merit for us, which is the approximate ground of 
our faith. Then, (2.) he speaks of this glorious person's being sacrificed to 
death, for his blood there is said to be the j^rice, ' as of a lamb without blemish 
and without spot,' alluding to the paschal lamb, his type : for, indeed, even 
the value of that price by his death was founded on the innate worthiness of 
his person, as to whom all these were due on the pure account thereof; for 
his having been slain would not have made him worthy of all these, if his 
person that was slain had not been worthy of all these before he was slain. 
Yea, and the angels do mention his death, in this their doxology of j^raise, 
chiefly as a description of his person in this sense : that he whose person was 
the Lamb of God, (God-man,) and further, had been he that was slain, was 
worthy, &c.; and of the two it is certain the worthiness of his person far ex- 
ceeds the merits of his sufferings and actions. 

Secondly, The like allegation may be made concerning the manifestative 
glory of the other two Persons ; for that very glory which is personally due 
to each Person as God, they are yet proclaimed worthy to receive upon occa- 
sion of some special work done by them : and thus it is with Chiist here. 
Thus God the Father, of whom the angels say, chap. vii. 12, ' Blessing, and 
glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be 
unto our God for ever and ever. Amen : ' all these are his due as he is 
God ; and yet, chap. iv. 11, he — for of him it is spoken — is proclaimed ' wor- 
thy' to receive glory, and honour, <fec., 'for thou hast created all things.' 
Thus it is with Christ for having performed the work of redemption here. 

Thirdly, It is true there is a glory given to Christ which wholly relates to 
the work of re- Jemj^tion alone ; even as to God the Father also, for and upon 
his work of creation; who, although he was God, and so almighty, able to 
create, yet he could not have had the glory of creating or being a creator, 
unless he had actually created, though in that he is able to create, he might 
have been entitled to such a power. And so Christ hath tliis glory given 


upon occasion of his being a Redeemer, and that he is a Redeemer ; for he 
was slain, and without it he had not been a Redeemer ; yet still look, as God 
receives in and upon the work of creation but the glory of his being God, — 
the invisible things of God being manifested therein, * even his eternal power 
and Godhead,' — so Christ, in receiving the glory of redemption, receives but 
the acknowledgments of those portions due to him as God-man, now further 
manifested in that work. 

Fourthly, In that he is said 'to receive them' after his being slain, this 
prejudiceth it not but that they were due to his person before. For not 
only of God himself the same plirase is used, ' Worthy art thou to receive 
glory,' — that is, as given from all thy creatures. Rev. iv. 11; it is spoken of 
him that sits on the throne, ver. lU, — but also here, as it is used of Christ, 
it refers to that actual possession he had taken of glory upon his ascension, 
which is called his entering into glory after his sutferings : Luke xxiv. 26, 
' Ought not Christ to have sutfered these things, and to enter into his glory %' 
All which the angels after his ascension thus applaud, and cry Eiige to. And 
in respect to this possession then given, and received by him, it is said he 
was made both Lord and Christ : Acts ii. 34-36, ' The Lord said unto my 
Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thy foes thy footstool. 
Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made 
that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ ;' which is 
clearly spoken of his ascension, and yet he was Lord and Christ before. 
And in the like manner doth the Revelation speak of his entering into pos- 
session of the kingdoms of the world : Rev. xi. 17, 'Thou hast taken to thee 
thy great power.' It was his before ; his power as his due, and yet as now but 
the taker of it ; and therein takes but what is his right into his own hands. 
And the phrase, takes to hhn, is usually spoken of one that hath newly taken 
to him a right or due that was detained from him, or out of his own hands, 
and exercised by others that kept it from him, yet belonging to him ; and 
so here, when he is declared worthy to have received, tfec, and to receive 
after his suffering, it is to be judged that he doth but take to him what 
was his. And — 

Lastly, That all these were his by inheritance, as being God's natural 
eldest son, you have expressly, Heb. i. 4, 5, ' Being made so much bet- 
ter than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent 
name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time. Thou 
art my Son, this day have I begotten thee 1 And again, I will be to him a 
Father, and he shall be to me a Son,' by inheritance, as being eldest son, 
■>.nd jthe only-begotten of God. Yea, in his very conception, and the union of 
God-man, he was the Son of God ; and therefore all this royalty or glory 
was then his due by inheritance : Luke i. 35, ' The Holy Ghost shall come 
upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee : therefore 
also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of 
God ;' called, that is, shall have the name of being God's Son, and therewith 
all that dignity, power, glory whatsoever, that were due to him that was the 
only-begotten Son of God, John i And the angel shews that he should 
have aU these in title as his right and due the first instant of his conception ; 
all which he yet had not in full and actual possession until he, as now here, 
was come to heaven. 

And therefore that it is here said, ' Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to 
receive,' &c., imports not as if he received it only because he was slain ; 
nor is it any way implied thereby, that it was not his right by personal in- 
heritance, no more than that a king that is a while kept from his right, and 


obtains the possession of it by conquest, may not yet be said to have it by 
inheritance also , yea, and so as he holds that to be the surer and better title 
also. lu that very chapter, where his kingly dignity is solemnised, there are 
these three distinct titles proclaimed of him : — First, By inheritance, in that 
he is called the ' Eoot of Jesse.' The eminentest and eldest in a family are 
called the root, or the father of that family : so Isa. xiv. 30. Now, though 
David was the youngest son, yet, Ps. Ixxxix. 27, God said of him, 'I will 
make him my first-born, higher than the kings of the earth ;' who as in that 
right received the kingdom, to shew that Christ, as God's first-born, should 
by inheritance receive it also ; which is the title I am now a-pleading. 
Secondly, He is called the ' Lion of Judah,' who got the land by conquest ; 
so Joshua, of that tribe, Christ's type. Thirdly, * A Lamb slain,' that bought 
it with his blood. 

This objection being thus removed, and the text thus adapted to my in- 
,;ended purpose, I approach now unto my intended design, which is to set in 
one view, in two opposite schemes or draughts, these personal excellencies 
of Christ God-man as it were in one side or page, as in such cases we use 
to place things opposite or parallel ; and the contrary humbled estate in the 
form of a servant on the ojjposite page, as being avrisTor^iia, contrary one to 
the other. 

Concerning these his excellencies and royalties due to his person, I 
premise but two things in general ere I enter upon the aforesaid particular 
comparison : — 

First, That these perfections he is celebrated for, are in number seven, 
which is the number of perfection ; for they contain a fulness and complete- 
ness of perfections, and those personally due to him. 

The second is, that they are the good and holy angels, who behold his 
face and the Father's, who do give him the eulogy and praise of them. And 
the testimony of angels ought to have a mighty impression upon us. You 
see what a weight is put upon but one angel's testimony that gave Eevelatioa 
to John, and it is as the seal set to the whole book, Rev. xxii. 16, ' I Jesus 
have sent mine angel to testify these tilings.' What then is the testimony 
of all the holy angels, the whole choir of them 1 And so it is prefaced to 
these words in the foregoing 11th verse, 'And I beheld, and I heard the 
voice of many angels round about the throne, and the beasts, and the elders : 
and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thou- 
sands of thousands, saying with a loud voice. Worthy,' &c. This witness of 
theirs must therefore have an answerable reverential repute with us , for they 
must needs be held the most faithful and able witness in this matter. . In- 
deed, above all other creatures, we men redeemed do experimentally feel what 
he is as he is a Redeemer, and know that, in that resjject, better than they. 
And therefore there is that emphatical difference to be observed in the song 
of the chorus of men, giving glory to him. Rev. v. 9, 10, 'Thou wast slain, 
and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, 
and pet)ple, and nation ; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests : 
and we shall reign on the earth.' Oh, how feelingly do they enlarge upon 
it ! But yet the angels, when they say, ' Worthy is the Lamb that was slain,' 
though they go no further in their mention of it, yet they speak all this upon 
their own knowledge, and that a knowledge of sight, and not of obscure faith, 
as in a glass darkly ; for they see his person every day, — 1 Tim. iii. 16, ' taken 
up into glory, seen of angels,' — and seen as now he is in glory, since his taking 
up ; and so are to be valued for the most competent witnesses to this matter 
of his personal glory, as also for the most faithful and impartial, in that he 

Rev. V. 12.] a discourse of cheist's eeward. 223 

is of anotlier nature from theirs : ' He took not the nature of angels.' But 
yet they are so taken witli, and overcome witli this glory of his person now 
it is in their eye, that not only they envy not at this his exaltation as man 
60 far above them, as the evil angels of their own nature do, and for that 
cause did, that you see on the contrary how they magnify and extol it. You 
may well and worthily then receive their testimony, as next to that of God 
himself, and say, in allusion to what John says of God's witness of Christ, 
1 John V. 9, 'If ye receive the witness of men, the witness of angels 'ia 

And so I am more immediately arrived at that comparison I promised in 
each particular of these glories set in opposition against every answerable 
humiliation, not only emptying of them in Christ's humbled condition, but 
the perfect contrary brought upon him ; and this the holy angels themselves 
give us occasion, and invite us to do, by saying, ' Worthy is tlie Lamb that 
was slain ; ' they considered, and took in both into the burden of their song. 

Let us therefore, as I said before, turn that part of the optic glass that 
renders the sun in its brightest strength and glory, and then turn the other 
end that renders it as a small snuff, discoloured, and riding in darkness and 
blackness ; and we may, among other, make this use of it, when you come to 
the sacrament to celebrate the memory of Christ crucified, take a view of 
Christ in both. First, see him as crowned with glory and honour, as the 
Apostle speaks they saw him, Heb. ii., sitting on the throne of Majesty on 
high; and the)i as crowned with thorns, naked, despised, hanging on a 
tree. You have them both in sight in that one ver. 9 : ' We see Jesus, who 
was made a little lower than the angels, by the suffering of deatli, crowned 
with glory and honour.' And that (Bsol'/xj rt, a little lower, understand not 
of his being, in that he was a man, therefore a little degree lower ; but it is 
spoken of the shortness of the time in which he was made lower ; for other- 
wise, as for the lowness itself of condition which he was brought unto, the 
comparison unto the angels was not sufficiently expressive, it is too high to 
set it forth ; for he was in that respect made lower than any man. ' I am a 
worm, and no man,' said he, Ps. xxii., that before had said, ' My God, my 
God, why hast thou forsaken me ? ' And as you consider any part of his de- 
basement, mingle this thought with it. Thus glorious should my Jesus have 
been at that time, but he gave himself, and all, away for me. 

The first attribute is power ; that is, authority, huvaiMi;, which is here put 
for J^ouff/a, as sometimes elsewhere ; for here it is distinguished from layjji, 
strength, which is another of the particulars that follows. And it is a sure 
rule in interpreting this place, that each of these seven are distinct from the 
other, else they observed not the number seven, the number of perfection. 
And to set out Christ's completeness thereby is his scope, John xvii. 2, 
' Thou hast given him power over all flesh ; ' and, Matt, xxviii., ' All power 
is given me both in heaven and earth,' even all that power executive, not 
essential, which God himself means actually to exercise or put forth ; all this 
power is committed to him ; as himself at another time saith, John v. 22, 
' All judgment is committed to the Son.' And thus as in respect of actual 
exercise of authority, God's and Christ's power as God-man may be said to 
be of equal extent, — one God, one Lord, of both whom are all things that are, 
— so by virtue of this he hath aU subject to him, 2 Pet. iii 22, * Angels, and 
authorities, and powers being made subject to him ;' so as Christ, by virtue 
of it, commands whatever is done in this and that other world. You have seen 
him in his greatness in this respect. 

See him now stript of all this: Matt. xx. 25 'Ye know that the princes 


of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise 
authority upon them.' Then, ver. 28, he propounds his example, 'The Son 
of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his hfe 
a ransom for many.' It is as if he had said, The Son of man foretold by Daniel, 
(as in chap. vii. we find it,) to whom was ' given dominion, and glory, and a 
kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him : his 
dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his 
kingdom that which shall not be destroyed,' ver. 14. Though it was his. 
right to exercise dominion on these petty constables, who, for such are kings 
over the nations, yet under him ; instead of being over, says he, all these sorts 
of attendants, I minister to all, and my whole life is a service devoided of 
all authority but over devils and diseases ; but othervAdse it is a subjection to 
all other ; and I am not only a servant unto God herein, but am subjected 
to men. And what was his end in this but to make a price of redemption for 
us thereof, together with his whole life, and ' to give his life a ransom for 
many "2' He is subject not only to the lawful authority of the Roman em- 
pire as then extant, but so he would have been of any state he might have 
been supposed to live in, wliich he considered enough then ; the exactors of 
tribute required it of him by Peter, to put him in mind of it. Matt. xvii. * 
But he declared, in his answer to their demand, himself a king's son ; and 
therefore he says, ver. 26, 'The children of kings are free.' And in those 
words he speaks to this effect : To give thee, Peter, a demonstration of what 
authority and dominion I have in this world, I will not pay it out of that 
ready-money I have, or thou hast by thee, nor will I borrow it of any man, 
but I will command a fish to pay me tribute, and with that do thou pay 
Caesar. So as whilst he subjects himself to this authority, he shews a greater 
authority himself had, which Csesar had not. This authority, power, and 
dominion he gave away, and receded from it ; yea, further, he that had 
authority to command all in heaven and earth, a far larger and superior 
domuiion than Caesar's reached to, was often put to hide himself, and fly 
from that authority that sought his life, as if he had not been able to have 
commanded the preservation of it. Thus when a babe he was forced to go 
into Egypt for fear of Herod ; when come back again, to go into Nazareth 
for fear of Archelaus ; and when come to age, he was so divested and emptied 
of all power as he was forced to retire into the borders of Canaan, at one 
time, to hide and skulk, as we say. And again, John iv. 1, 3, ' When there- 
fore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and bap- 
tized more disciples than John, he left Judea, and departed again into 
Galilee.' And another tune, John xi. 53, 54, ' Then from that day forth 
they took counsel together for to put him to death. Jesus therefore walked 
no more openly among the Jews ; but went thence into a country near to the 
wilderness, into a city called Epliraim, and there continued with his disciples.' 
Yea, then when he was to be apprehended by a band of men, he yet con- 
siders enough what power and authority he had in heaven for his rescue : 
Matt. xxvi. 53, 54, 'Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, 
and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels 1 But 
how then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be T Even then 
he subjects and empties himself: If I should take this on me, how should 
the Scriptures be fulfilled i which have said, I must die, and suffer, and 
thus it must be. So at the bar he sufiers liimself to be arraigned by autho- 
rity, and to be smitten by an imder-officer, as one that reviled the autho- 

* It appears, however, to have been a tax imposed on the Jews by themselves, for the 
maintenance of the temple-service, that Jesus paid on this occasion. — Ed. 


rity which the smiter of him judged he ought to have been subject to, yea, 
thought much at it that so poor a wretch as he should presume not to do it : 
John xviii. 22, ' And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which 
stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the 
high priest so ? ' As if he should say, Answerest thou, so vile, so mean a 
wretcli as thou art, the high priest so 1 And he then also considers what 
was his due, and declares it before them openly at the bar, when they con- 
temned him, as being then, through his own willing emptying himself, in 
their power. Thus, Matt. xxvi. 64, ' Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said : 
nevertheless, I say unto you. Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting 
on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven ; ' that is, 
You have me now under, and this is your hour, and you think of me but as 
of another man subject to you : neverthless, I say unto you. Hereafter shall 
ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the 
clouds of heaven. What need I say more as to this argument but this, that 
he to whom all authority in heaven and earth is committed, was accused and 
condemned, and the cause for which he was condemned was, that he was a 
rebel and a traitor unto authority 1 

The second particular glory of which Christ divested himself for us is 
riches, which some refer to those riches of wisdom spoken of, CoL ii; but 
wisdom we find, comes in after ; nor are they riches of glory, for they are in 
like manner summed up in glory, which also follows. But these riches here 
are attributed to Christ as a king, which is the subject of this chapter ; and 
a kingdom consists, as in authority, so in riches, &c.; and so these riches do 
import the right of possession unto all things whatsoever — the jus or domi- 
nion over aU creatures, as being his proper goods and chattels. And to this 
purpose it is said, ' All is yours, for you are Christ's;' so that all are his first 
and originally, and our right is but a derivation from \\m\. We read that 
Wisdom (that is, Christ) says, Prov. viii. 18, 'Kiches and honour are with 
me.' The earth is full, as of his glory, Isa. vi., for that is spoken of Christ; 
so of his riches, as Ps. civ. 24. And of Christ it is that it is said, Ps. xxiv. 
1, 'The earth is his, and the fulness of it; the world, and they that dwell 
therein;' it is spoken of Christ, ' that king of glory,' as ver. 8, 10, of whom 
that psalm is made : for it is he to whom those everlasting doors did open 
when he ascended, as in the close of that psalm. His riches lie not in 
chattels only, but in persons also : ' the fuhiess of the earth, and the inhabi- 
tants also,' as in that psalm. The angels here, you see, acknowledge that 
aU riches are his, and therewithal that themselves possess not a foot of 
ground in heaven but what is Christ's. And if they, the supremest rank of 
God's creation, are his servants, as that angel acknowledgeth himself to be, 
Piev. xix., and ministering spirits, Heb. i, — and servants and ministers about 
a great king or great person are part of their riches, — then surely all things 
else must be put into this inventory. Now see the grace, the love of Christ, 
as the apostle speaks, 2 Cor. viii. 9, ' That though he w^as rich, yet for your 
sakes he became poor.' He emptied himself of the possession of all, and left 
not himself so much as a hole to hide his head in. He speaks in relation to 
his outward possession of anything; for his scope in that place was to 
exhort to giving to others. And this poverty was from his verj' birth. Con- 
sider but how his mother did lie in, — you that are rich, fine dames, you will 
soon be sensible of this more than others : she lies in in straw, as beasts at 
best, not in a bed, no, not in a house, but a stable ; and the babe himself 
was laid in a manger. His parents that brought him up from an infant 
were poor, and such must his accommodations and breeding be. Witness 



the offering they made at his bringing to the temple, Luke ii. 24. And 
after in his life, the world was not amended with him. He lives upon the 
charity of others, and had but merely wherewith to live. He is made de- 
pendent upon women, who themselves have not to give, but out of that their 
husbands allow them ; thus Luke viii. 3 ; and therein was made a servant ; 
for so is the borrower to the lender, as Solomon speaks. And at his death 
it continued still to be thus with him. He is fain to commend his mother 
to another, to John, to keep her when he is gone, having notliing himself to 
leave her. His clothes, though mean, were not his own to dispose of at that 
time; but the guards and watchmen that waited him till death cast lots for 
them before his fixce ; and himself considered it, and laid it to heart, as in 
Ps. xli., (made of him, and expressing his heart, ver. 9.) It is strange that 
in the midst of such tortures he then hung in, he should mind this circum- 
stance, so small a one : but we are thereby taught that he considered every- 
thing he suffered, as well as every sin of ours he suffered for; and was accord- 
ingly afflicted that he that was so gi-eat, so rich a person, if he had had his 
own in his right and due, should be brought to this, and stripped of all, and 
should have those his mean and worthless clothes to be disposed of before 
his eyes, in a way of sport, as well as otherwise. This wounded and pierced 
his heart, as well as that they pierced his hands and his feet, and gave him 
vinegar to drink, and wagged their heads in scorn ; and his poverty, and 
emjDtiness of all comforts, and want of all supplies in those resjjects, he was 
deeply sensible of. And the jDsalm begins with, ' Blessed is he that considers 
the poor;' for he was such, and speaks it as glad that any did consider him 
in that estate. 

The third thing instanced in is ivisdom, which is as large as his authority. 
He knows all things that are, or fall out within his dominion; which are all 
things. Ivings see not with their own eyes, but the eyes of the Lord run 
through the whole earth. He knew Paul, where he dwelt. Acts ix., as also 
that church, Kev. ii. 13, 'I know where thou dwellest,' and so all parti- 
culars also ; and else, he were not a merciful high priest as man, if he knew 
not all our particular straits as men. He is the bisliop of souls, and 
knows all his flock himself. As man he shall judge the world, and is ready 
to do it now, as Peter speaks ; and therefore knows all that God hath done, 
or will do, or all persons to be judged : ' All things are naked before him' — 
and that him is Christ there — 'with whom we have to do.'"* And all these 
things he knows, not by the hearsay of angels, that are his messengers sent 
by him, not to bring him intelligence, but to execute his will ; them yet he 
employs as ministers for liis business : but he knows them all in himself, as 
he did that particular matter then in Mark v. 30. 

Now let us see him in his weakness, and emptying himself for a time in 
this respect. How ignorant was he of many things ! As of the day of 
judgment, and of the fig-tree, &c. Yea, ignorant of letters and learning. 
This they spake of him that had cause to know him, his kindred that lived 
in the same place, and therefore name his condition and calling ; and they 
that knew his sisters, Mark vi. 2, 3, spake thus of him, ' From whence hath 
this man these things ? And what wisdom is this which is given to him 1 
Is not this the carpenter,' that hath lived always at his trade, and wrought 
for us, ' the son of ilary, the brother of James and Joses, and of Judas and 
Simon 1 And are not his sisters here with us ? ' 

See Lapide in locum out of I\Iolina. 























'When ue hideth his face, who can behold him?' — Job xxxiv. 29. 


R B E 11 T 0, 


eiimii acuminis, suilmi candoris, pietatis ac literarum cultokl, 

fautorique, opellam hanc, 

lauorantis conscienti^e consolatoriam, in perpetuie 

observantijE testimonium : 















That which drew these sermons from me, next to thy good, was to right 
myself. They were first preached eight years since, and some notes thereof 
were, to say no more, dispersed into the hands of many, to my prejudice. 
They are here presented as they were preached, with little alteration or addi- 
tion in method, style, and matter ; only, to make up the treatise more com- 
plete, I entirely added, against the publishing thereof, that whole discourse 
about Satan's part and hand in these desertions, beginning at Chap. VI. In 
handling which, I trust I have not at all incurred that severe increpation of 
the Apostle against curious speculations about angels, of * intruding into those 
things which I have not seen' ground and warrant for in the word. Sure I 
am, I have endeavoured to follow the school, in their labyrinths herein, no 
further than I found a clue of Scripture and right reason clearly guiding and 
warranting my way ; without which I account the ways of this old and wind- 
ing serpent, in his communications to us, to be, as Solomon speaks, ' like the 
way of a serpent upon a stone,' hidden, and past tracing or finding out. And 
lest any of the weaker readers, especially those in distress, to whom more 
speculative and doctrinal discourses, though about things practical, prove 
usually tedious and unpleasing, should, in reading that piece, be discouraged 
at the first, my advertisement is, that, if they find that part of the way craggy 
or tiresome, which I hope they will not, they would divert out of it, and 
come in again at Chap. XI. ; from whence to the end they shall find what is 
more accommodate to their understanding and conditions, and more practi- 
cally speaking to their distress. The blessing of Heaven go with it ! 




Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, 
that walketh in darkness, and hath no light ? Let him tricst in the name 
of the Lord, and stay upon his God. Behold, all ye that kindle afire, 
that compass yourselves about with sparks : tvalk in the light of your 
fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This ye shall have of mine 
hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow. — IsA. L. 10, 11. 

The words paraphrased. 

We have in these words a true believer in his worst, and natural men in 
their best condition, set forth together unto our view; and withal the 
power of true faith, as it alone upholdeth him in the saddest hour of dark- 
ness that can befaU him, opposed unto and compared with the falseness of 
their presumptuous confidence, in their greatest security ; together with the 
differing supports of either; the one in ver. 10, the other in ver. 11. 

First, take a true believer, who hath had the least beam of the * light of 
the glory of God, which shines in the face of Christ,' 2 Cor. iv. 6, let in 
upon his soul, and his heart so taken with that sight as it became eternally 
divorced from all things here below, and resolved to adventure all his future 
hopes of comfort and happiness in the enjoyment of that light of God's 
countenance alone : which that he may enjoy, he feareth to offend the Lord 
more than hell, and endeavoureth as truly ' to obey the voice of his ser- 
vants,' as ever he desires to attain unto that happiness. Think with your- 
selves, what is the worst thing, next to the eternal loss of God, really and 
indeed, that can be supposed to befaU this man. ^Vhat worse than to have 
that cranny, through which he first espied that beam, to be as it were clean 
shut up, the ' light of God's countenance' withdrawn ; yea, all light and ap- 
pearance to him of his own graces withheld and overclouded ; the face of 
heaven so overcast with darkness that neither sunlight nor starlight appeareth 
to him, so as he hath no light ; yea, further, finds his soul beset and be- 
sieged round with all the powers of hell and darkness, and the terrors of the 
Almighty shot into his soul 1 And he, thus quite left, walking in this dark- 
ness, is filled with strong fears and jealousies that God is not his God ; nay, 
questioning whether he ever will be ; yea, apprehending, by the wrath he 


feels, God to be become his enemy, Psalm Ixxvii. 7. All this is set forth to 
us here as the very estate of one who * feareth the Lord and obeys him ; ' 
and is comprehended in these words, ' that walketh in darkness, and hath no 
light.' You see him at his worst. 

In which forlorn condition, what is there to be found to relieve and sup- 
port this man 1 But only one thing, which is here held forth to him, ' the 
name of the Lord,' for him to trust and stay himself upon ; both that name 
of God, Exod. xxxiv. 6, 'The Lord God, gracious and merciful,' &c., and 
that name of Christ which is called, Jer. xxiii. 6, ' Jehovah our righteous- 
ness.' Both or either of 'which, he, by the naked hand of faith laying hold 
upon, may now make use of as of a staff, (as David compares it, Psalm xxiii. 
4,) whilst he thus ' walks in darkness,' and ' through the valley of the sha- 
dow of death,' safely to trust and stay himself upon, so as in the end to come 
forth ' to see light in God's light for evermore,' Psalm xxxvi. 9. You see 
likewise the prop of his soul in this condition. 

On the contrary, let us behold, as all are here called to do, the best and 
most secure of unregenerate men, encom[)assed about with all means and 
supports of confidence and comfort, whether of legal righteousness of their 
own, which these Jews made boast of, together with the addition of all 
worldly and outward comforts , both which the prophet here compares to 
fire and sparks, as preserving light and comfort in them. As, (L) Let theii 
lives and natural dispositions abound with never so many sparks of legal 
righteousness, which themselves have kindled • for so he compares all thost 
several acts and performances of natural and acquired righteousness, struck 
out and educed from the powers of natural principles improved, which make 
a great blaze in a man's own opinion and esteem ; which yet, not proceeding 
from the Holy Ghost baptizing them as with fire and renewing them, nor 
from internal principles of regeneration, which Christ compares to fire, Mark 
ix. 49, are all in God's account but as a sacrifice offered up with strange 
fire, which was forbidden, and are here said to be of their own kindling. 
And such were the sparks in the light of which these Jews walked, who 
' went about to establish their own righteousness,' Bom. x. 3, and with con- 
fidence trusted therein, and not on the name of the Lord. And further, 
(2.) Let those men be surrounded and encompassed about with the greatest 
splendour of worldly glory, and abound in all those good things this world 
can afford them, — the comforts whereof, Solomon, Eccles. vii. 6, in like man- 
ner compares to a fire of thorns, and the pleasures of it to the crackling of 
thorns, as here to sparks, — and let them keep never so good fires to warm 
and cheer themselves withal, lay on as much every day as shall even encom- 
pass them about with sparks ; and in the light and confidence of both these 
let them walk for many years, despising that other poor believer that feareth 
to be found in his own righteousness, and refuseth to be comforted by any 
of these : yet, let them know, says Christ, who is brought in as the speaker 
here, that when they have thus walked presumptuously and securely, and 
even w'alked themselves weary, as it is Isa. xl. 31, Aveary of all their own 
ways and pleasures, as they will be one day ; and then at their deathbeds 
think to lie down and rest them ; they shall lie down indeed, says Christ, 
and their bed shall be of my making and providing, — ' This you shall have of 
my hand ; you shall lie down,' — but ' in a bed of sorrow' and despair, in Avhioh 
tliey shall lie down never to rise again. 

Chap. l.J a child of light walkinu in darkness. Ii37 


The main proposition and subject of this discourse thence deduced : That a child 
of God may ivalk in darkness. — That thereby distress of conscience, and 
desertion in the want of assurance of justification, is meant, proved. 

This to be the meaning of the words will more fully appear in opening the 
several propositions to be delivered out of them, whereof the first and princi- 
pally intended is this : That one who truly fears God, and is obedient to 
him, may be in a condition of darkness, and have no light ; and he may walk 
many days and years in that condition. 

And herein, further to explain the text, and bottom this great point well 
upon it, and more particularly to discover what the condition of a child of 
God, thus in darkness, is, we will first inquire what is meant by walking in 
darkness here in this place. 

First, Walking in darkness is taken in 1 John i. 6, for living in sin 
and ungodliness — in the commission of known sins or omission of known 
duties, going on in the works of darkness. But so it is not to be taken 
here; for Christ would not have encouraged such to trust in God, who is 
light, and there can be no fellowship between him and such darkness, as the 
Apostle tells us. Nay, the Holy Ghost reproves such as do ' lean on the 
Lord' and yet transgress, Mic. iii. 11. And besides, the text speaks of such 
who for their present condition fear God and are obedient to him, which if 
they thus walked in darkness they could not be said to do. Neither — 

Secondly, Is it to be meant of walking in ignorance, as, John xii. 35, it is 
taken. For one that hath no light, in that sense, can never truly fear God 
nor obey him : the ' heart that wanteth knowledge is not good,' says Solo- 
mon, Prov. xix. 2 ; and so to walk in darkness is accompanied with walking 
'in vanity of mind,' Eph. iv. 17. But — 

Thirdly, He means it of discomfiture and sorrow, as often we find in 
Scripture darkness to be taken, as Eccles. v. 17; as, on the contrary, light, 
because it is so ' pleasant a thing to behold,' is put for comfort, Eccles. xi. 
7. And that so it is taken here is evident by that which is opposed in the 
next verse, ' Walk ye in your light, yet ye shall lie down in sorrow.' But — 

Fourthly, Of what kind of sorrow, and for what 1 Whether from outward 
aflBictions, or inward distress of mind and conscience ; or, to use Solomon's 
distinction, whether by reason of man's ordinary infirmities, or of a wounded 
spirit ? That is yet in question. And — 

First, It is not to be restrained to outward afflictions only, which are called 
man's infirmities, as being common to man ; which arise from things of this 
world, or from the men of the world ; though to ivalk in darkness is so taken, 
Isa. lix. 9, and I will not exclude it here. For, in them also, a man's best 
support is to trust in God ; and it is the safest way to interpret Scriptures 
in the largest sense Avhich the words and coherence will bear. But yet that 
cannot be the only or principal meaning of it ; for besides what is further to 


be said to the contrary, lie adds withal, ' and hath no light,' that is, no com- 
fort. Now, as philosophers say, non dantur puree tenebroe, there is no pure 
darkness without some mixture of light ; so we may say, there is not mere 
or utter darkness caused by outward afflictions : no outward affliction can so 
universally en\iron the mind, as to shut up all the crannies of it, so that a 
man should have no light. And besides, God's people, when they walk in 
the gi-eatest outward darkness, may have, yea, often use to have, most light 
in their spirits. But here is such an estate spoken of, such a darkness as 
hath no light in it. Therefore — 

Secondly, It is principally to be understood of the want of inward com- 
fort in their spirits, from something that is between God and them ; and so 
meant of that darkness and terrors which accompany the want of the sense 
of God's favour. And so darkness is elsewhere taken for inward affliction of 
spirit and mind, and want of light, in point of assurance, that God is a man's 
God, and of the pardon of a man's sins ; so, Ps. Ixxxviii. 6, Heman useth 
tliis word to express his distress. And the reasons why it is thus to be un- 
derstood here are — 

First, Because the remedy here prescribed is faith; to stay himself upon 
God, and that as upon his God ; he puts in his God, emphatically, because 
that is the point he is troubled about, and concerning which he is in dark- 
ness, and of which he would have such a one to be persuaded. And that is it 
which faith, which is propounded here as the remedy, doth in the first place 
and principally look unto, as its primary aim and object. 

Secondly, In the foregoing verses he had spoken of justification, whereby 
God pardons our sins and accepts our persons; the prophet, or Christ in 
the person of his elect, (as some,) having exj^ressed his assurance of this : 
'God is near that justifies me, who shall condemn?' Which words the 
Apostle, Rom. \Tii. 32, 33, doth allege in the point of justification, and to 
express the triumphing assurance of it ; and applies them in the name and 
person of true believers too. But because there might be some poor souls, 
who, though truly fearing God, yet might want this assurance ; and upon the 
hearing of this might be the more troubled, because not able to express that 
confidence which he did ; therefore he adds, ' Who is among you that feareth 
the Lord, and walketh in darkness ? ' &c. : as if he should have said to such, 
Though you want the comfortable sense and assurance of this, yet be not 
discouraged ; but do you exercise faith, go out of yourselves, rely upon Christ 
and that mercy which is to be found in God : you may fear God and want 
it, and you are to trust in God in the want of it. 

Thirdly, These words have a relation also to the 4th verse, where he says, 
as that God had given him this assurance of his own justification, for his 
own particular comfort, in those immediately foregoing verses to the text, 
so there, that God had also given him the ' tongue of the learned, to minis- 
ter a word of comfort in season to him that is weary and heavy laden :' and 
thereupon, in this ver.se, he accordingly shews the blessed condition of such 
persons as are most weary through long walking in darkness ; and withal he 
discovereth to them the way of getting out of this darkness, and recovering 
comfort again. And in all the word of God there is not a more comfortable 
and seasonable word to one in such a condition to be found. All which 
argues it is spoken of inward darkness and trouble of spirit, and that in 
point of applying justification, and God to be a man's God. 



The particulars of the distress contained in these two phrases : walking in 
darkness ; having no light. 

The second thing to be inquired into is, What is the condition of such a one 
who is thus in darkness, and who hath no light ? Which I will so far dis- 
cover, as the phrases used here will give light into, by the help of other 

1. First, he is said to have no light. 'Light,' saith the Apostle, Eph. v. 
13, 'is that whereby things are made manifest,' that is, to the sense of sight, 
to Avhich light properly belongs ; and as light and faith are here severed, 
as you see, so sight also is, in 2 Cor. v. 7, distinguished from faith, which 
is the evidence of things absent and not seen, Heb. xi. 1. When, therefore, 
here he says he hath no light, the meaning is, he wants all present sensible 
testimonies of God's favour to him ; he sees nothing that may give sensible 
present witness of it to him. God's favour, and his own graces, and all the 
sensible tokens and evidences thereof, which are apprehended by spiritual 
sight, are become all as absent things, as if they were not, or never had been ; 
that light which ordinarily discovers these as present, he is clean deprived of 

To understand this, we must know that God, to help our faith, which, as 
I said before, is distinguished from sight, as we now speak of it, vouchsafeth 
a threefold light to his people, to add assurance and joy to their faith ; which 
is to faith as a back of steel to a bow, to strengthen it, and made to be taken 
off or put on to it at God's good pleasure. 

(1.) First, the immediate light of his countenance, which is a clear, evident 
beam and revelation of God's favour, immediately testifying that we are his, 
which is called the sealing of the Spirit, received after believing, Eph. i. 13 ; 
which David desired, and rejoiced in more than in aU worldly things, Ps. 
iv. 6, ' Lord, lift up the light of thy countenance ;' in which, more or less, 
in some glimpses of it, some of God's people have the privilege to walk with 
joy from day to day : Ps. Isxxix. 15, ' They shall walk in the light of thy 
countenance ; in thy name shall they rejoice all day.' And this is here utterly 
withdra-v\Ti ; and it may thus come to pass, that the soul, in regard of any sense 
or sight of this, may be left in that case that Saul really was left in, 1 Sam. 
xxviii. 15, 'God is departed from me, and answers me not, neither by pro- 
phets nor by dreams ;' though with this difference, that God was really 
departed from Saul, but to these but in their own apprehensions : yet so 
as, for aught they can see of him, God is departed clean from them ; answers 
them neither by prayer, nor by word, nor by conference ; they cannot get 
one good look from him. Such was Jonah's case, chap. iL 4, ' I am cast out 
of thy sight ;' that is, he could not get a sight of him, — not one smile, not one 
glance or cast of his countenance, not a beam of comfort, — and so thought 
himself cast out. And so he dealt with David often, and sometimes a long 
time together : Ps. liii. 1, ' How long wilt thou hide thy face from me V and, 


Ps. Ixxxix. 46, ' How long,' &c. ; even so long <as David puts God in remem- 
brance, and pleads how short a time in all he had to live, and complains how 
in much of that time his face had been hid from him, ver. 47. And the like 
was Heman's case, and this also long, even from his youth up, Ps. Ixxxviii. 
14, 15. So from Job, chap. xiii. 24. Yea, and from Christ himself, ' My God, 
my God, why hast thou forsaken me V 

But concerning this you will ask. How can this dealing of his stand with 
his everlasting love, continued notwithstanding to the soul, that he should 
deal so with one he loves ; but especially how it may stand with the real 
influence of his grace, powerfully enabling the soul all that while to go on 
to fear and obey him 1 

For the first ; it may stand with his everlasting love, and God may be his 
God still, as the text tells us ; so, Isa. liv. 8, ' For a moment I have hid my 
face, but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee.' It is but 
' hiding his face,' and concealing his love, as David concealed his love from 
Absalom, when his bowels yearned towards him. And God takes the liberty 
that other fathers have, to shut his children out of his presence when he is 
angry. And it is but ' for a moment,' — that is, in comparison of eternity, — 
though haply it should be thus with him during a man's whole life ; and he 
therefore takes liberty to do it, because he hath such iin eternity of time to 
reveal his kindness in ; time enough for kisses and embraces, and to pour 
forth his love in. 

And for the second ; the real gracious influences and efi'ects of his favour 
may be continued, upholding, strengthening, and carrying on the soul still 
to obey and fear him, whilst he yet conceals his favour. For, when Christ 
complained, 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken meV when as great 
an eclipse in regard of the light of God's countenance was upon his spirit as 
was upon the earth, yet he never more obeyed God, was never stronglier 
supported, than at that time, for then he was obeying to the death. Like as 
we see that when the sun is eclipsed, though the earth wants the light of it, 
yet not the influence thereof; for the metals which are engendered in the 
bottom of the earth are concocted by the sun ; so as though the light of the 
sun comes not to them, yet the influence and virtue of it doth, and altereth 
and changeth them. So doth God's favour visit men's hearts in the power, 
heat, and vigorous influence of his grace, when the light and comfort of it 
doth not, but is intercluded. Deus se comviunicat, vel qud beatus, vel qud 
sancius; qud beatus, gaudium el gloriam ; qud sanctus, gratiam: utrumque 
voluntarie, ideoque non utrumque simul nece>isario. 

(2.) The second light which God vouchsafeth his people ordinarily to help 
and eke out their faith, is the sight and comfort of their own graces, unto 
which so many promises belong; as, of their love to his people, fear of his 
name, desire to obey him. So that often when the sun is set, yet starlight 
appears ; that is, though that other, the immediate j^rescnce and evidence of 
his favour, shines not on the soul, yet his graces therein appear, as tokens of 
that his love : so as the soul knows that there is a sun still, that gives light 
to these stars, though it sees it not ; as in the night we know that there is 
a sun in another horizon, because the stars, we see, have their light from it, 
and we are sure that it will arise again to us. 

Now a soul that hath true grace in it, and goes on to obey God, may also 
want light to see these his graces, and look upon his own heart as empty of 
all. And as they in the storm. Acts xxvii. 20, so he in temjjtation may 
come to have 'neither sunlight nor starlight;' no light, as in the text. 
Thus, Isa. Ixiii. 17, the church there complains that God had hardened them 


from liis fear : tliey were afraid, feeling their hearts so hard, that the fear 
of God was wanting ; which yet was there, for they complaiu of the want 
of it. 

(3.) But yet, thirdly, though he want the present light of God's counte- 
nance, and the sight of present grace, yet he may have a comfortable re- 
memhrance of what once before he had still left, and so long is not utterly left in 
darkness. Therefore further know, that the state of one that fears God and 
obeys him may be such as he may have no comfortable light or remembrance 
of what grace, &c., formerly he had, 2 Pet. i. 9. One that hath true grace 
in him only lacks the exercise of it, — for I take it that place is to be under- 
stood of a regenerate man, because he was ' purged from sin,' — and is now said 
to lack grace because he doth not use it ; for idem est non habere, et non uti, 
a man is said not to have that which he doth not use when he ought to use 
it, especially in things whose worth lies wholly in use and employment, for 
it is as good as if he had it not. Now, such a man may fall into such a 
blindness that he ' cannot see afar off,' and so forgets his former assurance, 
'that he was purged from his old sins ;' yea, it may be, calls all into question. 
Thus David, in Ps. xxx. 6, 7, though his heart was but even now, a little 
before, * full of joy ' and assurance of God's favour, yet God did but ' hide 
his face,' and all was gone ; ' I was troubled,' says he. He was thus blind, 
and could not see what was but a little past him, as it is with men in a 

And the reason of these two last assertions is as evident as the experience 
thereof. For graces in us shine but with a borrowed light, as the stars do, 
with a light borrowed from the sun. So that unless God will shine secretly, 
and give light to thy graces, and irradiate them, thy graces will not appear 
to comfort thee, nor be at all a witness of God's favour to assure thee. For 
our spirit, that is, our graces, never witness alone; but if God's Spirit joineth 
not in testimony therewith, it is silent : 'The Spirit of God witnesseth with 
our spirits,' Rom. viii. 16. Now therefore, when God hath withdrawn his 
testimony, then the testimony of our hearts, and of our own graces, hath no 
force in it. 

But you wiU say, Can a man have the exercise of grace and not know it 1 
fear God, &c., and not discern it ? 

Yes ; and some graces may then be as much exercised in the heart as at 
any other time. He may fear God as truly and as much as ever, and yet 
this fear have no light in it to discover itself to him ; it may be in the heart, 
in esse et operari, when not in cognosci, — it may have a being and a working 
there, when not in thy apprehension. 

The reason is, because, as the influence of God's favour may be really in 
the heart, when the sense, sight, and light of it is withdrawn, as was said 
before ; so the power of grace may in like manner be in the heart when the 
light and comfort thereof is wanting. And although it is true that every 
man having the power of reflecting upon his own actions, can discern what 
thoughts are in him and what affections, and can tell, for the matter of 
them, what he thinks on, that he puts his trust, and that he is grieved, &c. : 
but yet so as he may still question whether those thoughts be acts of true 
and unfeigned faith, and whether those affections of sorrow for sin, &c., be 
sanctified affections, holy, and genuine, and spiritual affections ; and the 
reason of the difference is, because though the natural ' spirit which is in a 
man knows the things of a man,' as the apostle hath it, 1 Cor. ii. 1 1 (that 
is, his own thoughts, &c., understanding them physically, as they are acts of 
a man), yet what is the true goodness of them morally, in discerning this, 

VOI. Ill Q 


the ' spirit of a man is deceitful, and cannot know it,' Jer. xvii. 9, without the 
supernatural light of the Spirit of God, who as he is the giver and actor of that 
grace in us, so ' is given of God that we might know the things which are 
given us of God,' 1 Cor. ii. 12. ' Light is sown for the righteous, and joy for 
the upright,' says the Psalmist. Grace, and the exercise of it, is the seed 
which they continually scatter; but light and joy is the crop that is to be 
reaped. The seed often lies hid long, though it will come up in the end. 
Thus light or joy may be severed from grace ; and the comfort of it from 
the power of it. 

2. Secondly, let us further consider the other phrase, and what is inti- 
mated thereby to be his condition, when, as it is said, he walks in darkness : — 

(1.) First, to walk in darkness implies to be in doubt whither to go; so 
John xii. 35, * He that walks in darkness knows not whither he goes.' And 
thus the soul of one that fears God may be filled with doubts whether God 
will ever be merciful to him, yea or no, and not know what God means to 
do with him, whether he shall go to heaven or hell. Ps. Ixxvii. 7-9, ' WUl 
the Lord be merciful?' which speeches are spoken doubtingly ; for, ver. 10, 
he says, ' this was his infirmity,' to call this into question. So Heman, Ps. 
Ixxxviii. 5, 6, 11, 12 : he thought himself as one that was in hell, 'free 
among the dead,' that is, as one admitted free into the company of them 
there, ver. 5 ; free of that company, as you use to say, and of the number of 
those 'whom God no more remembered :' in such darkness was he, ver. G. 
And to raise him out of that condition was a thing he doubted whether God 
would ever do, ver. 10-12 : 'Wilt thou shew wonders to the dead? shall 
thy wonders be declared in the grave V that is. Did God ever shew mercy to 
one that was in the same state that they in hell are in? which is my state 
now ; yea, so as to be out of hope. So Lam. ui. 18, ' My hope is perished 
from the Lord.' 

(2.) Secondly, those in darkness are apt to stumble at everything. So 
Isa. lix. 10 ; one effect of darkness, mentioned there, is to ' stumble at noon- 
day.' So take a soul that is left in darkness, and it will stumble at all it 
hears out of the word, either in conference or at sermons ; all it reads, all 
promises it meets with, it is more discouraged by them. Oh, think they, 
that there should be such glorious promises, and not belong to us ! Such a 
one misapplies and misinterprets all God's dealings and the Scriptures against 
himself, and ' refuseth comfort,' as Ps. Ixxvii. 2 ; yea, and, as at the 3d verse, 
when he ' remembers God, he is troubled.' 

(3.) Thirdly, darkness is exceeding terrible and full of horror. When 
children are in the dark, they think they see fearful sights ; it is therefore 
called the 'horror of darkness,' Gen. xv. 12. So his soul here may be filled 
with fears and terrors from God's wrath, and of God's being an enemy to 
him. Heman was almost distracted and out of his wits with terrors, Ps. 
Ixxxviii. 15. So the church thought, Lam. iii. ; yea, and concluded it for 
certain that God was her enemy : ' Surely he is turned against me/ ver. 3. 

Chap. IILj a child of ught walking in daekness. 243 


The efficient causes of this distress. — First, the Spirit; whether he hath any 
hand therein, and how far. 

Having thus explicated and proved this, that this doth and may befall one 
who truly fears the Lord, for the more full clearing of it I will further shew — 
I. The efficient causes ; 
II. The cases wherein; 

III. The ends for which, God leaves his children in such distresses. 
I. For the efficient causes of this so woeful, desperate, dark condition of 
God's child; they are three which have a hand in it ; — 

1. God's Spirit. 

2. A man's own guilty and fearful heart. 

3. Satan. 

1. For God's Spirit. Although he hath a hand in some part of this dis- 
quietness, yet we must take heed how we put upon him any of those doubts 
and desperate fears and conclusions whereby the child of God calls hia 
state into question. For the Spirit is not the direct efficient, or positive 
cause of them. 

And to this end we may consider that known place, Rom. viii. 15, * Ye 
have not received the spirit of bondage to fear again, but the spirit of adop- 
tion;' the right understanding of which will also prevent an objection. For 
some have alleged this place, as if the child of God, after he had once the 
Spirit, sealing adoption to him, could never after fall into apprehension of 
bondage — that is, into fears of eternal damnation — any more, or of being 
bound over for hell ; and that this can befall him but once, and that at his 
first conversion. 

But if we mark the words well, the Apostle affirmeth not that fears of 
bondage can never befall God's child again, but his scope is to shew that the 
Spirit which we have received, having been once become the spirit of adop- 
tion, that Spirit is never after again the spirit of bondage to us, nor the 
cause of such fears. Indeed, at first conversion, and before he did witness 
adoption, he then revealed our estate to us to be an estate of bondage; 
which he then doth in love, to drive us out of it; and then indeed he was a 
' spirit of bondage :' to which he hath reference when he says, ' to fear again,' 
because he was once such to them, and such the Holy Ghost then might be, 
and then witness to them that their estates were damnable ; for then it was 
a truth, in that they had hved in an estate of bondage, whereunto damnation 
was immediately due ; and had they died in it, had certainly faUen upon 
them. But when once, by making a man a son, he hath become the spirit of 
adoption to him, then if ever he should put him into such apprehensions 
md fears again, he should witness an untruth. Therefore, for the comfort 
if them and all believers, he tells them that he never crosseth nor reverseth 
ills testimony of adoption, but his office is to be ready as a witaess to seal 


to it. But yet, though the judge doth not condemn anymore, yet the jailor 
may trouble and affright us, and our own hearts may condemn us, 1 John 
iii. 21. God may give Satan leave to cast us into prison, to clap bolts upon 
us again, and to become a lying spirit of bondage to us, as he became a 
lying spirit in the mouth of AhaKs prophets; and he may give up our hearts 
to be fettered with ' the cords of our own sins,' Prov. v. 22, and to be en- 
snared with its own inventions, and fears, and jealousies. 

For a more distinct understanding of this, to manifest how it comes to 
pass that all this befidls God's child, I will shew how far the Holy Ghost 
proceedeth in it, and puts forth his hand towards it; and what Satan's work 
is, where he strikes in, and our own hearts, to work further and deeper dis- 
tress than the Holy Ghost by himself alone intended. For unto these three 
several hands is the whole to be ascribed, and the works of God's Spirit, and 
his concurrence therein, carefully to be severed from Satan's, as light from 
darkness at the first. 

Thus far, then, the Spirit of God may concur in this darkness that befalls 
his child : — 

(1.) Privatively. He may suspend his testimony, and the execution of 
his office of witnessing adoption ; he may vsdthdraw his comfortable presence, 
and hide liimself for a moment, and conceal his love, as other fathers will 
sometimes do ; as David did, when yet his heart was towards Absalom. He 
may not admit him to see his face, he may shut a son out of doors, when 
yet he doth not cast him off. He may ' retain their sins,' as Christ's ex- 
pression is, John XX. 23, — that is, call in the patent of his pardon which he 
had passed under his hand and seal, 'in earth,' that is, in their own con- 
sciences; take it out of their hands and custody, and call for it home again 
into the pardon- office 'in heaven,' Matt, xviii. 18, and there keep it. And 
also when Satan comes and gives in a false witness and evidence, and our 
own hearts thereupon likewise condemn us, the Holy Ghost may stand by, 
as it were, sUent, and say nothing to the contrary, but forbear to contradict 
Satan by any loud testimony or secret rebuking him, as he doth at other 
times; as Zech. iii. 1, 2. ■> 

(2.) Positively. He may further proceed : — 

[1.] To reveal and represent God as angry with his child for such and 
such sins formerly committed, and make liim sensible thereof; not barely by 
concealing his love, but by making impressions of his wrath upon his con- 
science immediately, and not by outward crosses only. Thus, Isa. Ivii. 17, 
18, God not only ' hid himself and was wroth,' — that is, expressed his wrath 
by hiding himself, — biit ' I smote him and was wroth;' and ver. 16, he con- 
tended and was wroth,' — that is, fought against him as an enemy, as Isa. 
Ixiii. 10, and this with his wrath upon his spirit. For it follows that the 
spirit was ready to fail, and the soul which he had made. So as it was the 
spirit which was the wliite God shot at and wounded, and that so deep that 
it was ready to fail and come to nothing : which Solomon calls by way of dis- 
tinction ' a wounded spirit,' which who can bear 1 and differenceth it from aU. 
other afflictions upon the outward man, which strike the spirit but through the 
clothes of the body mediately ; for, says he, ' the spirit of a man will sustain 
his infirmity ' — that is, all such outward afflictions wherein it suffers but by 
way of sympathy and compassion. But when the spirit itself is laid bare 
and naked, and wounded immediately by God's wrath, which only can reach 
it and wound it, who can bear this 1 Thus towards Heman, God did not 
only hide his face from him, Ps. Ixxxviii. 14, but 'his fierce wrath went over 
him,' and ' thy terrors,' says he, ' cut me off,' ver 16 j not wounded him only, 

Chap, III] a child of light walking in darkness. 245 

but even cut him off And sucli impressions of immediate wratli, as expres- 
sions and etlects of God's anger, tlie Holy Ghost may make upon the spirit 
of his chiild. For it is a truth that God is angry and wrotli with them when 
they sin ; which anger he may make known, not only by dumb signs in out- 
ward crosses and effects, but by an immediate witnessing, and plain and 
express speaking so much to their consciences, and making them to feel so 
much, by scalding drops of his hot displeasure let fall thereon. And as other 
fathers shew their anger by whipping the bodies of their children, upon this 
ground, as says the apostle, because they are the * fathers of our flesh,' Hob. 
xii. 9 ; so, for the like reason, may God shew his anger and chastise his 
children by lashing their spirits : for he is the ' Father of our spirits,' as he 
speaks in the same place. And likewise our spirits, and the very ' bones and 
marrow' of them, do lie ' open and naked to him with whom we have to do ;' 
and his word and Spirit being ' quick and jiowerful, and sharper than any 
two-edged sword,' are able ' to divide,' and cut even to the ' bones and mar- 
row,' as the same author speaks, Heb. iv. 12, 13. Yet withal, so as when 
he expresseth his wrath thus upon their consciences, he doth not witness 
that this is an eternal wrath which he hath conceived against them ; for it 
is but a temporary displeasure, ' it is but for a moment,' as Isaiah speaks, 
the indignation of a father; nor is it a wrath which revenging justice hath 
stirred in him, but fatherly affection, Heb. xii. 6. And though the Spirit 
tells them that God is displeased, yet never that they are accursed ; that is 
a false collection made out of it. Yet — 

[2.] The Holy Ghost may proceed yet further herein ; so far as to bring 
forth, and shew him, and shake over him the rod of his eternal wrath, espe- 
cially when he hath provoked Christ by presumptuous sins already, and to 
prevent his going on frowardly in the way of his heart. And this, both by 
presenting to them and setting on all those threatenings, which do hypotheti- 
cally and conditionally threaten, even to believers, eternal damnation : such 
as that which we find, Eom. viii. 13, 'If ye live after the flesh, ye,' even you 
believers, ' shall die ;' for there is a truth in all such threatenings, so condi- 
tionally propounded, which reacheth God's dearest children, under a condition, 
and with relation to going on in sin. To stop him and prevent him in which, 
when he is agoing on frowardly in the way of his heart, the Holy Spirit may 
bring home such threatenings to him, with respect to such a course as he is 
entering into, and accordingly stir up the fear of that damnation thus threat- 
ened, if he should go on in those sins he hath begun to commit. But to 
apply threatenings of eternal damnation simply to his person, as that thou 
shalt die eternally, this the Holy Ghost doth not speak to the heart of a be- 
liever, when he is a believer. And again also, the Holy Ghost may repre- 
sent to him and mind him of all those examples of men in whom, for their 
going on in sin, 'his soul hath had no pleasure,' Heb. x. 39 ; and of God'a 
dealings with them, — as how he sware against many of the Israelites, for 
their provocations of him, ' that they should never enter into his rest ; ' and 
how he rejected Esau for the despisal of his birthright, — and all this with this 
end, to startle and awaken him ; and with this intimation, that for such and 
such sins God might in like manner deal with him. For these and the like 
examples doth the Spii-it of God set before the believing Hebrews, Heb. iii., 
xii. ; and the believing Corinthians, 1 Cor. x. 5-13, to keep them in fearful- 
ness to oft'end. But to apply any such examples absolutely unto them, so 
as to say. Thus God intends to do with thee for such and such sins, and that 
God will never be merciful, this the Holy Ghost doth not speak to a be 
liever's heart. 



How Satan and our hearts increase this darkness hy false ooncliisions from 
the Spirit's work, illustrated hy the like in the illumination of lemr 
poraries. — The Spirit's work in both compared. 

And now the Spirit of God liaving proceeded thus far himself in causing 
such darkness and terrors of conscience in them that fear him; Satan and 
their own hearts, unto which he may and doth often further also leave them, 
may take occasion from these dispensations of the Holy Ghost, which are 
all holy, righteous, and true, to draw forth false and fearful conclusions 
against themselves and their estates, and start amazing doubts and fears of 
their utter want of grace, and lying under the curse and threatenings of eter- 
nal wrath at the present, yea, and further, of eternal rejection for the future, 
and that God mil never be merciful ; and so lay them lower, and cast them 
into a further darkness and bondage than the Holy Ghost was cause of, 
or intended : misinterpreting and perverting all these his righteous proceed- 
ings, as interpreting that withdrawing his light and presence, and hiding 
himself, to be a casting them otf, (thus Heman, Ps. Ixxxviii. 14;) so, like- 
wise, misconstruing that temporary wrath, chastising and wounding their 
spirits for the present, to be no other than the impressions and earnest of 
God's eternal vengeance ; and arguing, from their being under wrath, them- 
selves to be children of wrath ; and misapplying the application of all those 
threatenings of eternal damnation made by the Spirit, but in relation and 
under a condition of such and such courses for the future, to be absolute 
against their persons, and to speak their present estate. And because such 
examples of men cast off are presented to them, to shew them what advan- 
tage God might take against them ; they, mistaking, think they read their 
own destiny laid before them in them, and conclude tliat God will deal so 
with them. And thus the Apostle says of sin, Piom. vii. 11, that 'sin taking 
occasion by the commandment,' — he misunderstanding the scope of it when 
a Pharisee, — ' it deceived him, and therefore slew him ; ' and yet ' the com- 
mandment is holy, just, and good,' ver. 12. So Satan and our hearts, by 
occasion of these dealings of the Spirit, which are righteous and true, as 
himself is, who is the Spirit of truth and leads into truth, do deceive be- 
lievers, and lay them in their apprehensions ' among the slain, whom God 
remembereth no more,' as Heman speaks, Ps. Ixxxviii. 5. 

And as in these, so in other works and dispensations of God's Spirit, it is 
ordinary for Satan and our hearts to practise the like delusions and false 
conclusions upon them. To instance in those more common and inferior 
works of the Spirit on the hearts of men, not as yet savingly regenerated : 
the Spirit enlightening them, together with impressions of joy, and a taste 
of sweetness in the promises of the gospel, and of salvation revealed therein, 
which, under a condition of true repentance and conversion, the Spirit of 

Chap. IV.] a child of light walking in dakknkss. 217 

God doth nicake the ofTer and tender of known unto their hearts. Thus he 
wrought upon the stony ground, and in the Jews by John's ministry, John 
V. 35 ; which light, and taste, and revehition of this conditional proffer, tending 
in a way unto salvation, by alluring tlieir hearts to seek it, they often through 
Satan's abuse of this good work, and the self-flattery of their own hearts, do 
too hastily take to be that grace which accompanies salvation, (f^o'/xsi/a r^g 
auTTiilag,) or which hath salvation annexed to it ; from which the Apostle, by 
that very expression, Heb. vi. 9, doth difference those enlightenings men- 
tioned ver. 4. They thus mistaking these works precursory to grace, even 
as the Jews mistook John, that was sent but before to prepare the way foir 
Christ, to be that very true Christ that was to come into the world, and 
misunderstanding the intendment of God's most blessed Spirit in such hia 
dealings, they make up too hasty a conclusion not meant by the Spirit ia 
those premises. 

And I instance in these the rather, because these his dispensations of de- 
sertion, which we have in hand, towards them already regenerated, and tho8« 
forementioned visitations towards such as often attain not to regeneration, 
are in an opposite way of comparison exceeding parallel, and much alike ia 
the dispensations themselves, — as well as in the differing false conclusion* 
which are drawn from either, — and do therefore exceedingly illustrate the one 
the other ; God withdrawing himself as much in their sense from those who 
are in covenant with him, as he draws near unto and visits their hearts firom 
on high who are as yet strangers to him. The needle of God's fovour and 
love varying as much, that I may so allude, towards hell in their compass 
who shall be saved, as it doth heavenward in the other, many of whom arrive 
not thither. For as they are brought nigh to the kingdom of heaven, as 
Christ told him. Matt. xii. 34 ; so of true believers it may be said, that their 
souls do often draw near to hell in their own sense and apprehension, and 
'the pains of hell do take hold upon them,' And as the other are enlight- 
ened, as Balaam was, so they are left to walk in darkness and see no light ; 
and do taste of that wrath which the law threatens, as those other taste the 
goodness of that salvation the gospel offereth. God, out of a temporary 
anger, chastising them for a moment, as with a temporary favour he shiueth 
upon the other. That as they ' for a season rejoice in that light,' John v. 
35, so God's dearest children ' may be for a season in much heaviness,' aa 
the Apostle speaks, 1 Pet. i. 6, and ' walk in darkness.' And as the simili- 
tude of the dealings themselves runs thus far along in a parallel line of com- 
parison, so it holds in the false apprehensions which Satan and our hearts do 
make out of both. Aad the cause of the mistake in each is also alike. For 
God's dealings with those temporary believers being so like to those dealings 
towards such as receive a state of adoption from him, they thence too hastily 
conclude their acceptance unto life. And, on the contrary, God's dealings 
with these temporary despairers, as I may so call them, being so like in 
their sense to his proceedings with those he cuts off for ever, they, in like 
manner, as hastily conclude (' I said in my haste,' says David) their eternal 
rejection. Only in the issue they prove unlike : these desertions tending but 
to the present discomfort of true believers through their frailty ; but in the 
other, through their own willing neglect, their enlightenings turn to their 

So as, to conclude, we must warily sever the work of God's Spirit herein 
from that of Satan and our own hearts, not attributing such desperate con- 
clusions to the Spirit. Thus that depth of sorrow wherewith that humbled 


Comthian was well-nigh ' swallowed up,' 2 Cor. ii. 7, is ascribed unto 
Satan, when, ver. 11, it is made and termed one of his devices, which 
word doth in part refer to the Corinthian's sorrow. Thus David also im- 
putes that his questioning, Ps. Ixxvii., ' whether God would be merciful' to 
him, ver. 7, unto his own heart ; 'this is my infirmity,' says he, ver. 10. So 
as the blame herein is to be divided between Satan and our hearts. — To 
speak more particularly of either. 



How our own hearts are the causes of this darkness. — The principles therein, 
which are the causes of it. 

2. That our own hearts should be the causes and producers of such distress 
and darkness, when the Holy Ghost thus deals with us, is at all no wonder; 
because — 

(1.) As we are creatures, there is such a weakness and infirmity in us, as 
David speaks ; by reason of which, if God doth but hide himself and with- 
draw his presence, which supporteth us in comfort, as in being, we are ready 
presently to fall into these fears of ourselves. The Psalmist saith of all the 
creatures, * Thou hidest thy face, and they are troubled,' Ps. civ. 29 ; and 
this by reason of their weakness and dependence upon God. And no less, 
but far greater, is the dependence of the new creature upon God's face and 
presence ; that it cannot be alone and bear up itself, but it fails if God hide 
himself, as Isaiah speak.s, chap. Ivii. Especially now in this life, during 
the infancy thereof, whilst it is a child, as God speaks of Ephraim, Hos. xL 
1 ; then it cannot stand or go alone, unless God ' bear it up in his arms, and 
teach it to go,' as he speaks there, ver. 1-3. And then also, as children left 
alone in the dark are afraid of bugbears, and they know not what, and are 
apt to stumble and fall, which is by reason of their weakness ; so is it with 
the new creature in its childhood here in this life. It was my infirmity, 
says David ; and again, ' Thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled,' Ps. 
XXX. 7. 

There is not only such a weakness in us as we are creatures ; but — 
(2.) Also an innate darkness in our spirits as we are sinful creatures. Since 
the fall, our hearts of themselves are nothing but darkness, and therefore no 
wonder if when God but draws the curtains, and shuts up the Light from 
us, that our hearts should engender and conceive such horrid fears and doubts. 
Thus, in 2 Cor. iv. 6, the Apostle compareth this native darkness of our 
hearts unto that chaos and lump of darkness which, at the first creation, 
covered the face of the deep, when he says that ' God, who commanded Hght to 
shine out of darkness,' — he referreth to the first creation, Gen. i. 1, 2, — ' hath 
shined into our hearts,' even of us apostles, ' to give the light of the know- 
ledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.' So that no longer 
than God continues to shine, either the light of comfort or of grace, no longer 
do our hearts, even of us believers, retain light in them. And if at any 
time he withhold that light of comfort in his face, when yet he continueth 
an influence of grace, then so far do our hearts presently return to their for- 
mer darkness ; and then doth that vast womb of darkness conceive and form 
all those fears and doubts within itself. Considering withal that our hearts 
are a great deep also, so deep in darkness and deceitfulness as no plummet 
can fathom them ; ' deceitful above all things, who can know it V Jer. xvii 9. 
Darkness covereth not the face of this deep only, but it is darkness to the 


bottom, throughout darkness. No wonder then, if when the Spirit ceaseth 
to move ujjon this deep with beams of light, it cast us into such deeps and 
darkness as Heman, complaining, speaks of, Ps. Ixxxviii. 6, and frameth in 
itself such hideous apprehensions and desperate conclusions of a man's own 

(3.) Especially seeing there is so much strength of carnal and corrupt rea- 
son in men, ready to forge and invent strong reasons and arguments to con- 
firm those sad fears and darkened ajDprehensions ; and those drawn from those 
dealings of God's Spirit mentioned. For as it is said of the Gentiles, that 
when ' their foolish hearts were darkened,' — that is, when left and given over 
to their own natural darkness, — ' they became vain in their imaginations,' or 
(as the original hath it) in their reasonings, XoyiaiJM;, Rom. i. 21 ; and this 
even in those things which God had clearly revealed in his works to the light 
of nature, of which that place speaks : so may it be said even of those who 
have been most enlightened, that their hearts are apt to become much more 
vain in their reasonings about, and in the judging of their own estates before 
God, out of his word and dealings with them, if God once leaves them unto 
darkness. And this that great caveat given to professors, James L 22, gives to 
ixnderstand, when they are exhorted to take heed that ' in hearing the word' 
they be not found ' deceiving themselves by false reasonings.' So the origi- 
nal, 'Ttaoakoyi^oixivoi iavTous, renders it ; which is as if we should say, false- 
reasoning themselves : as we use to say, in a like phrase of speech, befooling 
themselves. And this is spoken of judging of their own estates, concerning 
which men are more apt, through the distempers and prejudices of self-love, 
to make (to speak in that phrase of the Apostle) false syllogisms, and to 
misconclude, than about any other spiritual truth whatever. And as men 
that want true faith, the unsound hearers of the word, of whom the Apostle 
there speaks, are thus apt, through carnal reason misapplying the word they 
hear, to frame and draw from thence, as he insinuates, multitudes of false 
reasons to uphold and maintain to themselves a good opinion of their estates : 
so, on the contrary, in those who have true faith, all that carnal reason, 
which remains in a great measure unsubdued in them, is as apt to raise and 
forge as strong objections against the work of faith begun, and as peremp- 
torily to conclude against their present estates by the like misapplication of 
the word, but especially by misinterpreting God's dealings towards them. 
And they being sometimes led by sense and reason, whilst they walk in dark- 
ness, they are apt to misinterpret God's mind towards them rather by his 
works and dispensations, which they see and feel, than by his word, which 
they are to believe. This we see in Gideon, Judges vi., who, because God 
wrought not miracles, as he had formerly for his people, but had delivered them 
into their enemies' hands, from thence reasoneth against the message of the 
angel, (Christ himself,) who had told him, ' The Lord is with thee,' ver. 12. 
But he objects, ' Oh, my Lord, if the Lord be with us, why then is all this 
befallen usl Where be all the miracles which our fathers told us of? But 
now the Lord hath forsaken us,' &c. This we may also see in Asaph, or 
what other holy penman of the 7 3d Psalm ; his heels were well-nigh tripped 
up in the dark : ' My feet were almost gone,' says he, ver. 2, — that is, from 
keeping his ' standing by faith,' as the apostle speaks, Rom. v., — and this by 
an argument framed by carnal reason, from God's dispensation of outward 
prosperity to wicked men, but, on the contrary, ' chastening of him every 
morning,' with outward afflictions, as the opposition doth there import. And 
how peremptory is he in his conclusion thence deduced 1 ' Verily, I have 
cleansed my heart in vain,' ver. 13 ; and what reason hath he ? ' For all the 

Chap. V.] a child of light walking in darkness. 251 

day long I have been plagued,' &c., ver. 14. He thought his reason strong 
and irrefragable, else he would not have been so concludent : ' Verily,' ttc. 
But what would this man have said and thought if he had been in Heman's 
condition, or in Job's or David's 1 If in those sliallows of outward troubles, 
which are common to man, his foith could not find footing, but he was well- 
nigh carried away with the common stream and error of wicked men, to 
have condemned himself and the ' generation of the righteous,' ver. ] 5 ; how 
would his faith have been overborne ' if all God's waves and billows had 
gone over him 1 ' as David complains. Psalm xlii. 7. How would he have 
sunk in Hcman's deeps, Psalm Ixxxviii. ? or in David's, Psalm Ixix 2, 'I 
sink in the deep mire, where there is no standing : I ana come into deep 
waters, where the floods overflow me?' speaking of such 'waters as came 
in unto his soul,' ver. 1, even the floods of God's immediate wrath breiikirig 
in upon his conscience, overflowing the inward man, and not the outward 
only. How much more peremptorily would he have concluded against him- 
self if this had been his condition 1 As indeed they, and many others of the 
generation of God's children have done, when they have lain under and 
walked in such distresses. 

And the reason of all this is as evident as the experience of it : — 
[1.] In general ; reason is of itself a busy principle, that wlLL be prying 
into, and making false glosses upon all God's matters as well as our own, 
and trying its skill in arguing upon all his dealings with us. Thus Jeremiah 
must needs be reasoning with God about his dispensations towards wicked 
men, chap. xii. 1, 2 ; and Job, of his dealings with himself, chap. xiii. 3. 
And reason being likewise the supreme principle in us by nature, and our 
highest difference as we are men, therefore no wonder if, when we are left to 
ourselves to ' walk in darkness,' we ' walk as men,' as the Apostle speaks, 
2 Cor. X. 3 ; and, to use Solomon's words, do lean to our own wisdom, Prov. 
iii. 5, even because it is our own, and was brought up with us. It is our 
great Ahithophel, and, as David says of him, ' our guide, with whom we 
have taken so much sweet counsel' in aU our worldly and politic affairs. 
In which only we should make use of its advice ; but we too often take it 
into the sanctuary with us, and ' walk in company with it into the house of 
God,' (to allude to what David says there, Psalm Iv. 13, 14;) that is, we 
suffer it to meddle in matters that pertain to the sanctuary, and to debate 
and conclude of our spiritual and eternal estates, as well as of our temporal. 
And, which is worse, we are opinionative of its judgment therein ; ' I thought,' 
says Asaph, in that forementioned psalm, 'to know this,' ver. 16, — that is, 
he thought to have comprehended and reached God's mind, in those his di.s- 
peusations, by the discussions of reason, and so to have concluded rightly 
from them; whereas, 'after he had gone into the sanctuary,' ver. 17, with 
faith alone, and thereby consulted with the word, he confcsscth his own wis- 
dom and best reason to have been as ignorant of God's meaning, and of those 
rules he proceedeth by, in those his dispensations towards his children, ' even 
as a beast' (ver. 22) is of those principles which men walk by, or the inten- 
tions they have in their ways. If reason then, when it is so utterly unskil- 
ful and mistaken in the premises, will yet be exercising and trying its faculty 
in reasoning from them, no wonder if the conclusions thence deduced be so 
wide and wild ; and yet, with Asaph, we think we know this. 

[2.] But more particularly; carnal reason is the most desperate enemy to 
faith of all other principles in man. For until faith be wrought, it is the 
most supreme principle ; but then faith deposeth and subjecteth it, and 
afterwards doth often contradict it; yea, excludes it, as unskilful in its matters, 


from being of its counsel. And so deep and desperate is this enmity against 
faith, that look, what is the most especial work and business of faith, which 
is to alter our estates before God, and put us into a state of justification and 
to assure us of it, therein it shews a more peculiar enmity against faith, by 
opposing it in that work of it more than in any other. This enmity shews it- 
self both before and after faith is wrought, and the one illustrates the other. 
For as before faith was wrought, carnal reason shews its opposition, by using 
the utmost of its strength to persuade a man of the goodness of his estate, 
though without faith ; thereby to prevent the entrance of faith and our 
seeking after it at all, as not needful to change our estates or to justify us, 
and thus would keep it wholly out ; and therefore, in the first working of 
faith, the Holy Ghost brings faith in by force of open arms, as a conqueror 
casting down all those strongholds and reasonings — Xo^/ff/x&i)?, as the word is, 
2 Cor. X. 5 — which carnal reason had been long a-building and a-fortifying, 
and so erecteth faith a throne upon the ruins of them all : thus, in like 
manner, after faith is thus wrought, all that carnal reason which is left un- 
subdued doth, out of a further revenge of such an overthrow, and with a 
greater degree of enmity, oppose faith still ; only it diverts the war, now 
mustering up new forces, and turneth all the great ordnance a clean contrary 
wayj namely, to persuade a man, by all the objections it can raise, of the 
badness of his estate now, as before of the goodness of it ; hereby to blas- 
pheme the great work of faith in justifying of us. And also because that, 
next to justifying us, the oflSce and errand of faith is to settle in our hearts 
peace with God, and a persuasion of our being in his favour, as Rom. v. 1 ; 
therefore doth carnal reason bend the utmost of its power and acumen to 
persuade ujjon all occasions, by all the most specious and seeming arguments 
it can start and suggest, that God is not at peace with us, nor as yet recon- 
ciled to us; merely to contradict faith in what is the principal point it 
would persuade us of 

So that as in men, whilst unregenerate, carnal reason endeavours by false 
reasonings to preserve a good opinion of their estates in them ; in like man- 
ner, the very same principle of carnal reason, continuing its opposition to 
faith, doth as much persuade to a bad opinion of their estates when they are 
once regenerated. 

[3.] And to conclude this; if in any condition that befalls God's child 
carnal reason hath the advantage and upper ground of faith, it is now when 
it is in ' the valley of the shadow of death,' as David speaks, when it walks 
in darkness, and hath no Light. A condition that doth afi"ord a most com- 
plete topic for carnal reason to frame objections out of; when, in respect of 
God's dealings with him, there is a seeming conjunction of all bad aspects 
threatening perdition and destruction; when faith is under so great an 
eclipse, and is left to fight it out alone in darkness, and hath no second : 
when, on the contrary, carnal reason and our dark hearts, which are led by 
sense, are possessed with the sense, the dee^^est and most exquisite sense, 
and impressions of (that which the heart is most jcidous of) God's sorest 
wrath and displeasure, and that felt and argued, not mediately and afar off, 
by consequence from outward afilictions, but immediately from God's own 
hand. Thou always hast suspected, says carnal reason, that thou wert a child 
of wrath, and that thou and God were enemies, but now thou findest it put 
out of question, and that from God's own mouth, 'who s] eaketh' grievous 
things ' against thee,' Jer. xxxi. 20 : thou hast it also under his own hand, for, 
lo, ' he writeth bitter things against thee,' — that is, in thy conscience, — as Job 
speaks, chap. xiiL 26, and 'holdeth thee for an enemy,' ver. 24; and whips 

Chap V.] a child of light walking in darkness. 253 

tliee -with the same rod of his immediate wrath and displeasure wherewith 
he lasheth those that are cut from his hand, and whom he rcmembereth no 
more, but are now in hell, as Heman speaks. ' A time also this is when this 
present sense of wrath so distemiiers, and, to use Heman's words, distracts 
the mind, that it cannot listen to faith, which speaks of nothing too but of 
what it sees not; even as the people of Israel could not attend to Moses's 
message of deliverance, through the anguish of their present bondage, Exod. 
vi. 9. So as no wonder if then carnal reason be most busy, and takes this 
advantage to frame and suggest the strongest objections to the soul whilst it 
is in this distemper. 

(4.) Add unto all this, that as there is such strength of corrupt reason 
which is thus opposite to faith, so that there are many other principles of 
corrupt affections in the heart which join and take part with carnal reason 
in all this its opposition against faith, and which set it a-work and do back 
it as much in persuading God's children that their estates are nought, as in 
securing men unregenerate that their estates are good; and the hand of 
self-love, which bribeth and biaseth carnal reason, especially in judging of 
our estates, is found as deep in the one as in the other; — and this doth yet 
give farther light to this point in hand. For look, as before faith is wrought, 
self-flattery, which is one branch of self-love, bribeth and setteth carnal rea- 
son a-work to plead the goodness of their estates to men unregenerate, and 
causeth all such false reasons to take with them which tend to persuade thera 
to think well of themselves : so when once faith is wrought, jealousy, and 
suspiciousness, and incredulity, — which are other as great sprigs of pride and 
self-love in us as the former, which do begin to sprout and shew themselves 
when that other is lopped off, and which do grow up together with the work 
of faith, — these do edge and sharpen the wit of carnal reason to argue and 
wrangle against the work of faith and grace begun; and all such objections 
as carnal reason doth "find out against it are pleasing and plausible to these 
corrupt prmciples, for they are thereby nourished and strengthened. 

And the reason why such jealousies and suspicions, &c., — which are such 
contrary dispositions unto self-flattery, which swayed our opinions of our 
estates before, — should thus arise and be started up in the heart upon the 
work of faith, and be apt rather to p)revail now after faith, is, [1.] because that 
in the work of humiliation, which prepares for faith, all those strongholds of 
carnal reason being demolished which upheld self-flattery, and that false good 
opinion of a man's estate, and those mountainous thoughts of presumption 
as then laid low, a man is for ever put out of conceit witli himself, as of 
himself. At which time also, [2.] he was so thoroughly and feelingly con- 
vinced of the heinousness of sin, which before he slighted, and of the great- 
ness and multitude of his sins, that he is apt now, instead of presuming as 
before, to be jealous of God, lest he might have been so provoked as never 
to pardon him ; and is accordingly apt to draw a misinterpretation of all God's 
dealings with him to strengthen that conceit. And, [3 ] having through the 
same conviction, the infinite error and deceitfulness of his heart before, in 
flattering him and judging his estate good when it is most accursed, so clearly 
discovered and discerned, he thereby becomes exceeding jealous, and afraid 
of erring on that hand still, and so is afit to lend an ear to any doubt and 
scrapie that is suggested. Especially, [4.] he being withal made apprehensive 
both of that infinite danger to his eternal salvation there may be in nourish- 
ing a false opinion of the goodness of his estate, if it should prove otherwise ; 
because such a false conceit keeps a man from saving faith, whereas to cherish 
the contrary error in judging his estate bad, when it is in truth good, tends 


but to liis present discomfort : so as he thinks it safer to err on that hand 
than the other. And, [5.] being also sensible of what transcendent concern- 
ment his eternal salvation is of, which he before slighted, this rouseth suspicion, 
■which in all matters of great consequence and moment is always doubting 
and inquisitive, and also keeps it waking, which before lay asleep. And all 
these being now startled and stirred up, do not only provoke carnal reason 
unsatisfiedly to pry into all things that may seem to argue God's disfavour, 
or the unsoundness of our hearts, but also do give entertainment to, and 
applaud all such objections as are found out, and makes up too hastily false 
conclusions from them. 

(5.) Last of all, as there are these corrupt principles of carnal reason and 
suspiciousness in us, to raise and foment these doubts and fears from God's 
dealing towards us ; so there is an abundance of guilt within us, of our false 
dealings towards him. And we have consciences, which remain in part de- 
filed, which may further join with all these, and increase our fears and 
doubtings ; and as we are dark and weak creatures, so guilty creatures also. 
And this guilt, like the waves of the sea, or the swellings of Jordan, does 
begin upon these terrible storms from God to rise, and swell, and overflow 
in our consciences. As in David, Ps. xxxviii., when God's wrath was sore 
upon him, ver. 1, 2, then also he complains, ' mine iniquities are gone over my 
head,' ver. 4. There is much guile and falseness of heart, which in those 
distempers, when our consciences do boil within us, and are stirred and 
heated to the bottom, doth, like the scum, come up and float aloft. Thus 
in David, when he was under the rod for his sin of murder, as the guilt of 
his sin, so the guile of his s])int came up, and he calls for ' truth in the in- 
ward parts,' Ps. IL 6. For as his sin, ver. 2, so his falseness of heart was 
ever before him; and with an eye to this he spake that speech, Ps. xxxii.. 
Oh, ' blessed is that man in whose spirit is no guile, and to whom the Lord 
imputeth no sin.' Thus he spake when God had charged upon him the guUt 
of his sin, and discovered to him the guile of his spirit, ver. 4, 5. And this 
guile doth oftentimes so appear, that our consciences can hardly discern any- 
thing else to be in us ; it lies uppermost, and covers our graces from our 
view : and like as the chaff, when the wheat is tossed in the fan, comes up to 
the top, so in these commotions and winnowings of spirit do our corrup- 
tions float in our consciences, whilst the graces that are in us lie covered 
under tliem out of sight ; and the dark side of our hearts, as of the cloud, 
is turned towards us, and the light side from us. And indeed there are in 
the best of us humours enough, which if they be stirred and congregated in 
our consciences, may alone cast us into these burning fits of trouble and dis- 
tress ; so as whilst God's Spirit shall withhold from us the light of our own 
graces, and our own consciences represent to us the guile and corruptions 
that are in our best performances, our hearts may conclude ourselves hypo- 
crites, as Mr Bradford in some of liis letters doth of himself, and others of 
the saints have done. Yea, so as even our own consciences — which are the 
only principle now left in us which should take part with and encourage 
faith, and witness to us, as the ofiice of it is, the goodness of our estates — in 
this may join with the former corruptions against us, and bring in a false 
evidence, and pronounce a false judgment. Even conscience itself, which is 
ordained, as the urine of the body, to shew the estate of the whole, and there- 
fore is accordingly called good or evil as the man s state is, this is apt in such 
distempers to change and turn colour, and look to a man's own view as foul 
as the state of a very hypocrite. 

And the reason of this is also as evident as is the experience of it. Even 


because conscience remains in part defiled in a man that is regenerate ; and 
though Ave are ' sprinkled from an evil conscience ' in part, yet not wholly ; 
so as though our persons are fully discharged from the guilt of our sins, 
through the sprinkling of Christ's blood, before God ; yet the sprinkling of that 
blood upon our consciences, whereby we apprehend this, is imperfect. And 
the reason is, because this very siirinkling of conscience, whereby it testifies 
the sprinkling of Christ's blood, and our justification thereby, is but part of 
the sanctification of conscience, as it is a faculty, whose office and duty is to 
testify and witness our estates ; and therefore, as the sanctification of all 
other faculties is imperfect, so of conscience also herein. And hence it is 
that when God's Spirit forbeareth to witness with conscience the goodness 
of our estates, and ceaseth to embolden and encourage conscience by his 
presence, and the sprinkling of Christ's blood upon it against the remainuig 
defilement, that then our consciences are as apt to fall into fears, and doubts, 
and self-condemnings, even as much as, when he withdraws the assistance of 
his grace, those other faculties are to fall into any other sin. And therefore, 
as the law of sin in the other members may be up in arms and prevail so far 
as to lead us captive unto sin ; so may the guilt of sin in our consciences 
remaining in part defiled, by the same reason prevail against us, and get the 
upper hand, and lead us captive to fears and doubtings, and cast us into 



The third efficient cause, Satan. — His special malice in this temptation, com- 
mission. — Access to, and advantage over us in this temptation, by reason 
of the darkness in us. 

Thus far our own hearts, upon the Holy Ghost's deserting, become authors 
unto us of this darkness. 

3. But herein believers wrestle not alone with flesh and blood, and the dark- 
ness thereof; but do further conflict also with those spiritual wickednesses, 
the princes of darkness, Eph. vi. 12, about their interest in those heavenly- 
privileges, as the phrase there used, sv ro7g s'^rovoavloic, may be well inter- 
preted ; even with Satan and his angels, whom the Apostle compares to ' a 
roaring lion, that seeks whom he may devour,' 1 Peter v. 8. And like as 
when ' God makes his natural darkness, and it is night, then the young lions 
creep forth, and roar after their prey,' as the Psalmist says, Ps. civ. 20, 21 : 
so do these roaring lions, when God hath withdrawn the light of his counte- 
nance, and night comes on, and those damps and fogs of jealousies and guilt 
begin to arise out of a man's own heart ; then come these forth, and say, as 
David's enemies said in his distress, ' Come let us now take him, for God 
hath fors<aken him ;' let us now devour him, and swallow him up with sorrow 
and despair. And as God says of those enemies of his church, Zech. i. 15, 
* I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction ;' so 
when God is angry with his child, and but a little, and doth hide his face 
but for a moment, yet Satan watcheth that hour of darkness, as Christ calls 
it, Luke xxii. 53, and joins his power of darkness to this our natural dark- 
ness, to cause, if possible, blackness of darkness, even utter despair, in us. 

Now, concerning Satan's working herein, we will, as in the former, more 
distinctly treat thereof by way of explication of it, (1.) more generally ; (2.) 
more particularly : — 

First, in general; (1.) Satan, he hath a special inclination, and a more pecu- 
liar malicious desire, to vex and molest the saints with this sort of tempta- 
tions, of doubts and disquietness that God is not their God ; so as all his 
other temptations unto sin are but as the laying in and barrelling up the 
gunpowder, and making of the train, for this great plot of blowing up ali. He 
tempteth Peter to deny his Master, — ' Satan desires to winnow you,' — but he 
hath a further reach, a design upon his faith, which Christ foresaw, and 
therefore did mainly bend his prayer against it ; ' but I have prayed that 
thy faith fail not.' Satan hoped by that gross sin to have drawn him into 
despair. We may likewise observe how he did place this temptation in the 
forefront of those three assaults which he made upon Christ ; who as in his 
obedience, so in his temptations, is made a complete example unto us ; for 
he was tempted in all things, that is, with all sorts of temptations, and also 
like us for the manner, only without sin, Heb. iv. 15. Now he tempted him 
not only to vain hopes, when he shewed him the glory of the whole world, 


and to presuniption, to throw himself down lic.adlong from an unwarrantable 
ground ; but first and primarily, to jealousies and distrusts between him and 
bis Father, and between his human nature and the divine. For when Christ 
Lad newly received that testimony from all the three Persons, — the Father 
proclaiming him to be his Son from heaven ; the Spirit descending on him at 
his baptism, it being the special grace and institution of that ordinance to seal 
up adoption and regeneration, — then comes Satan and tempts him to question 
that voice, that it might be but a delusion. And Christ's human nature never 
having done any outward miracle as yet, as appears John ii. 11, he would now 
have had him take this occasion, in the extreiiiity of his hunger, by command- 
ing stones to become bread, to make trial whether he was the Son of God or 
no, and hypostatically united to the second Person ; which if God should not 
do for him, then to question his sonship, and think all this to be but a de- 
lusion. This was the meaning of it, ' If thou be the Son of God, command 
these stones to be made bread,' etc. ; withal insinuating that God, leaving him 
even destitute of daily bread, which parents that are evil give unto their children, 
and not a stone instead of bread, might seem to occasion an if whether he 
was the Son of God or no. The reasons of this are — 

[1.] Above all graces in us, he is the greatest enemy to faith; therefore, 
1 Thess. iii. 5, the apostle was jealous of Satan in nothing more than in this, 
lest he had been dealing and tampering with, and perverting their faith : ' I 
sent to know of your faith, lest by some means the tempter hath tempted 
you ;' for faith in God is the greatest enemy unto Satan, it ' quencheth aU 
his darts,' Eph. vi. 16. By ' standing stedfast in which' we 'resist him, so 
that he flies from us,' 1 Pet. v. 9. As therefore faith is that rh 'i^yov, that 
work of God and the master-grace, John vi. 29 ; so despair and doubting is 
the masterpiece of Satan. And in faith he is envious especially at the joy 
of our faith, Rom. xv. 13. And as comfort is the most proper work of the 
Spirit, and most pleasing work to him, so is discomfort and distress the proper 
work of this evil spirit. And again — 

[2.] As he is most opposite to the Holy Spirit, so he delights to blaspheme 
his work in our hearts to us, by persuading us that all is counterfeit. 

[3.] He is called iyjohg, that envious one, and the main object and mark 
of his envy is this, that G;xl should be our God, who hath cast off him ; 
and therefore, when he sees he cannot separate between God and us really, 
he will endeavour to cast and raise up jealousies that he is not our God in 
our apprehensions. He endeavoured to raise jealousies between God and our 
first parents, — 'God knows ye shall be gods,' &c., — as if God had forbidden 
them that fruit out of envy towards them of a better condition. And the 
like he endeavoured between Christ's human nature and the divine, though 
hypostatically united. And likewise — 

[4.] That God hath given us eternal life, and that life is in his Son. 
This being that great truth of the gospel, so as a Christian that believes it 
not makes God a liar, 1 John v. 10, 11 ; therefore Satan, being that great liar, 
opposeth this great truth and our faith therein above all other. His envy at 
the advancement of our nature in Christ, according to that truth, is thought 
by some to have been his fall and ruin, so understanding that in John viii. 
44, ' He abode not in the truth.' However, he doth now delight to make 
God a liar to us in our apprehensions, by questioning his promises, and 
especially to enforce the persuasion thereof out of God's own dealing with, 
us, ' perverting his righteous ways.' 

(2.) And secondly, as Satan hath such a desire, so God may give his child 
lip into Satan's hand for a while thus to afflict and terrify his spirit. His 



last commission over Job seemeth to extend thus fjxr, for his life only was 
excepted, Job ii. 6, ' He is in thy hand, only save his life : ' and therefore, 
after that leave given, we hear Job, although never brought to question his 
estate, yet crying out of terrors, and of the sins of his youth ; for Satan 
then, as he smote his body Math boils, so buffeted his spirit. And though 
Satan hath wiU of himself, and a desire to it, and power physical enough, 
and abilities, to inflict this at all times, yet he must further have power 
moral, or leave and commission from God. And God sometimes gives to 
Satan power over the sons and daughters of Abraham, Luke xiii. 16, even 
as well as others ; and as their bodies to be vexed by him, so their spirits ; 
and as to provoke them unto sin, so much more to terrify for sin, there 
being more of punishment than of sin in that. Thus he left David to Satan, 
to provoke him unto sin, as well as Judas. Therefore that provocation to 
number the people, as it is imputed to Satan and his malice, 1 Chron. xxi. 1 ; 
so also to God and his anger, in giving leave first to Satan, 2 Sam. xxi v. 1. 
And as an ' evil spirit from the Lord' troubled Saul's mind, 1 Sam. xvi. 14; 
so a ' messenger of Satan was sent to buffet' Paul's spirit, 2 Cor. xii. 7. 
Wherein yet God doth no way help Satan with any further power than what 
as an angel he furnished him with at his creation ; nor with any assist- 
ance or information of our secret sins against us, to enable him the more 
to assault us, — this I find not in Scripture, — but permissive power only. 
Which is either — 

[1.] Obtamed and given at Satan's motion and request first made ; so that 
phrase, Luke xxii. 31, ' Satan hath requested and petitioned to winnow you,' 
as that also. Job ii. 3, ' Thou movedst me against him,' doth imply ; and as 
it may seem by singling out and calhng forth some one for this combat ; as 
he did him more especially, to whom therefore Christ addresseth that pre- 
monition, and the word s^riT/jgccro implies as much. So also Job was smgled 
out for this duel both by God and Satan. Or else — 

[2.] Tlids is done through the ordinance of excommunication and censures 
of the church duly administered, clave non en-ante, for gross and scandalous 
sins. The proper inward effect that accompanies that ordinance which casts 
men out of the church, being inward affliction and distress of conscience by 
Satan, — which of all afflictions is the greatest punishment, £T/r/^/a, as the 
Apostle calls it, 2 Cor. ii. 6, — thereby to bring a man to repentance. Even 
as, on the contrary, the special work of baptism, to such as were fideles adulti 
and believers already, was by joy in the Holy Ghost to seal up their adop- 
tion and regeneration unto him ; as to the eunuch. Acts viii. 39. This we 
may see in the excommunication of the incestuous Corinthian ; whose excom- 
munication is therefore expressed to be ' a delivering him up unto Satan, in 
the name of the Lord Jesus,' 1 Cor. v. 4, 5 ; that is, he Avas to be cast out 
by a commission from Christ, which going forth in his name, when they 
published it on earth, he signed it in heaven. Upon which, rightly admi- 
nistered, doth ensue, first, that as the church doth cut them off from com- 
munion with them, so God cuts them off from communion with himself, and 
hides and withdraws the light of his countenance, the witness of his Spirit, 
and his comfortable presence. And not only so, but ' delivereth them up to 
Satan,' that being the consequent of it ; which therefore, because it implies 
the former, is put to express the whole proceeding. Which delivery of him 
unto Satan was not a giving him a commission to carry him on to more sin, — 
though that often be indeed the effect of it in hypocrites, as in Alexander, 
1 Tim. L 19, — for the end propounded by the Apostle was to 'destroy the 
flesh/ that is, corruption and the body of sin j and that ' the spirit might be 

Chap. VI.] a child of light WALKiNa in darkness, 259 

saved,' ver. 5, tliat is, that contrary principle of grace which yet remained, 
but was ready to die, as it is Ilev. iii. 2, might be saved and kept from death 
and destruction : but it was t^f terrify and afflict his conscience, and to stir 
up in him the guilt of his sin, with terrors for it, which God sanctifieth to 
humble and to mortify the flesh. And thus, when that Corinthian was ex- 
communicated, did Satan accordingly deal with him ; for in the next epistle, 
2 Cor. ii. 7, we find him well-nigh ' swallowed up of sorrow,' which was 
Satan's doing ; for, ver. 11, ' We are not ignorant,' saith the Apostle, in refer- 
ence partly to this, ' of his devices.' And thus Satan continued still to 
handle him, even now when he began to be truly humbled, and was a fit 
subject to receive forgiveness and comfort, ver. 7 ; when, though he feared 
God and obeyed him, yet he walked in darkness till the church received him. 
Or else — 

[3.] When this ordinance is not in the case of such sins administered, then 
God himself, who works without an ordinance sometimes the same effects 
that with it, doth excommunicate men's spirits from his presence, and gives 
them up to Satan, by terrors to whip them home to himself So that God 
gives him leave to exercise power over both godly men and wicked men, only 
with this difference : wicked men God gives up unto him as unto t. ruler 
and their head ; they are therefore called the ' rulers of the darkness of this 
world,' Eph. vi. 12, who therefore 'work effectually in the children of dis- 
obedience,' Eph. ii. 2 ; or else as captives to a prince, he taking them 
'captive at his will,' 2 Tim. ii. 26, so as they are captived and ' led away,' 1 
Cor. xii. 2. But his own, God gives up to him but as prisoners to a jailor, 
as a magistrate may do his child, to commit him ; who hath not a power over 
his prisoner to do anything with him, but only by appointment for a time, 
with a limited commission, and therefore cannot put him on the rack or into 
the dungeon, but when and how far God pleaseth : even as when Satan is 
said to have ' cast them into prison,' Rev. ii. 10, his commission was but for 
ten days, and then God rebukes him. 

(3.) Satan having thus obtained leave, now to shew how able and powei-ful 
he is to work darkness in us, I need not much insist on. His physical and 
natural power to work upon our spirits, by his creation as he is an angel, is 
exceeding great. We are a middle sort of creatures between them and beasts ; 
beasts being merely corporeal, they merely spiritual, man between both. 
' He made us a little inferior to the angels,' Heb. ii. ; though but a little, yet 
inferior ; and in respect of that inferiority, we are exposed to their working 
and crafty wiles. The great advantage they have hereby over us, the Apostle 
insinuates when he says, ' We have not to do with flesh and blood, but spiri- 
tual wickednesses,' Eph. vi. 1 2 ; that is, with spirits, in abilities transcending 
the power of the flesh and blood ; for flesh is used to express weakness when 
it is thus compared, as here, with spirit : so Isa. xxxi. 3. Therefore they 
are there also called, as prmclpaUti.es for their authority, so poivers for their 
natural abilities ; and that to work upon us, for it is spoken in that relation. 
All which power, how great soever in him at his first creation, is now be- 
come the power of darkness ; and so called because most powerful that way ; 
namely, to cause and work darkness in us. And though he can for a need 
* transform himself into an angel of light,' by deluding his deceived enthu- 
siasts with false joys, yet therein he doth but act a part, it is but forced. 
But to shew himself an angel of darkness, by terrifying and afi"righting weak 
consciences, this is natural now to him ; his power lies most in this. There- 
fore his title further is the ' ruler of darkness ; ' and also he is called ' that 
strong man,' — strong, as to keep peace, Luke xi. 21, in those he deceives with 


a false peace, so to make war and commotions in us when he is cast out. 
We are bidden, therefore, to stand upon our guard, and to look that ' we 
have on the whole armour of God, that we may be able to stand against his 
wiles,' Eph. vi. 11. 

(4.) Only, in the fourth place, though Satan hath never so much power, yet 
the advantage and exercise of this his power to work those disquietments in 
us is by reason of that sinful darkness which is in us. We may say, that as 
unless he had power from above, — that is, from God, — so nor unless he had 
furtherance from beneath, even from those principles of guilt and darkness 
in us before-mentioned, he could not disquiet us. ' Satan cometh,' saith 
Christ, 'but hath nothing in me.' A commission he had, and therefore 
came ; but he had nothing of his image, or of the guilt of any of his works, 
to work upon in Christ ; and therefore could effect nothing at all upon his 
spirit. That, therefore, which gives him privilege, scope, and matter to work 
thus upon us is something within us ; there being, even in the best, something 
which doth belong to his jurisdiction, which maketh their spirits fit subjects 
for his temptations to take upon. In Eph. vi. 1 2, they are called the ' rulers 
of the darkness of this world ; ' and, Col. i. 12, 13, their power is called ' the 
power of darkness ; ' so as darkness is his territories, dominion, and jurisdic- 
tion : for it is his work and his image, without which he could have no power 
at all with us. 

(5.) But by reason of this remaining darkness he hath a double advantage 
over us : — 

[1.] An advantage of more near, intimate, and immediate access to our 
spirits, to close with them, to suggest unto them, and to work upon them; 
and to tempt not only, as one man tempts another, by the outward senses, 
but by the inward also, which is an exceeding great advantage. And though 
it is true that, as he is an angel, he hath naturally by creation ability thus 
to do ; yet as he is now a devil and an unclean spirit, were we but perfectly 
holy, as in innocency, he should be debarred all such near communication to 
us. To this jmrpose it may be observed, that in that his temptation of Adam 
in innocency, he was not permitted, in his first assault, till he had sinned, 
to come within him to work upon his fancy and affections indiscernibly ; but 
only mediately and externally, by an audible voice in the body of a serpent. 
And likewise, as touching the second Adam, we read not that he had access 
to his inward senses and spirit ; but only by an external suggestion by voice, 
and by visible representations ; as when he shewed Mm the glory of the world 
in visible landscapes of his own making, which were represented to the eye. 
What else was the reason why he took the advantage of a mountain 1 If it 
had been by working on his inward senses, any place would have served for 
that. But the devil then appeared in a visible shape, and so tempted him, for 
he would have had him fall down to worship him. Cceterum mains ille ex- 
trinsfcus, ac non per cogitationes, Christum adortus est, quemadmodum et 
Ad(nmim. Nam ne ilium quidem per immissas cogitationes, sed per serpentem, 
impetivif.* Another time we find him crept into one of his apostles, to assault 
our Saviour by him. Matt. xvi. 23, ' Master, spare thyself,' says he ; when 
therefore Christ says to him, ' Get thee behind me, Satan : thou art an offence 
to me,' So as still Satan was kept at a distance, and could come no nearer. 
And that he should yet come thus near to him, made Christ also, in that 
great temptation in the wilderness, with so much vehemency and indignation 
at last say to him, 'Avoid, Satan,' Matt. iv. 10, as loathing the nearness of so 
foul a spirit. For what fellowship, — that is, such thus near, — should light 
* Damasc. Ortho. Fidei, lib. iii., cap. 20. 

Chap. VI.] a cniLD of light walking in darkness. 261 

have with this angel of darkness ? Nor should he have such more near and 
inward access to our spirits, but for that darkness in us, by reason of which 
he thus comes witliin us ; and as darkness mingleth with darkness, so ho 
with our spirits. So that as the light of grace in us begun doth fit us for 
God's drawing nigh to us, so this darkness, remaining in part unexpelled, ex- 
poseth us to Satan's drawing nigh so near as to mingle with our spirits, and, 
as it were, to become one S[)irit with us. 

[2.] As hereby he hath this advantage of access to get within us, so this 
darkness in us is also as fit fuel and as tinder to his fiery temptations, that 
presently enkindleth and inflamcth. So as aU those effects of the principles 
of darkness mentioned he can both increase and augment, and so add black- 
ness to that darkness in us. And darkness being his dominion, therefore so 
much darkness as is in us, so great a party he hath in us to work upon. 
Hence, therefore, all the effects that he worketh in unregenerate men, who are 
nothing but darkness, he may work in regenerate men, according to the pro- 
portion of the remainder of darkness in them, to a certain degree, and for a 
limited season ; as to delude their reason, falsely accuse and terrify their 
consciences, &c. Only final despair and revenge against God, which is that 
sin unto death, this the Apostle excepteth ; for having occasionally mentioned 
that sin, 1 John v. 16, he adds, ver. 18, that ' he that is bom of God sinneth 
not,' that is, not that sin ; and he subjoineth, ' but keeps himself that that 
evil one touch him not,' that is, not with the least infusion of the venom of 
that "sin which is properly his sin, John viiL 44, and which he toucheth their 
spirits with who become the serpent's seed. And therefore all such instances 
as we find, that shew how he hath wrought on the spirits of carnal men by 
reason of their total darkness, may be alleged to shew in a proportion what 
he may also work on regenerate men for a season by reason of their dark- 
ness in part remaining : all things happening alike to ail. — Thus in generaL 



More partimlarly, how Satan works upon those three principles in us: 
first, on carnal reason. 

Seeing therefore the exercise of Ms power lies in that darkness which is in 
us, let us more particularly see how able and powerful he is to work upon 
those several principles of carnal reason, guilt of conscience, jealousies and 

First, on carnal reason; on which he chiefly worketh in this sort of tempta- 
tions, the strength whereof lies in false reasonings, wherein, if in anything, 
he hath the advantage. 

1. First, his abilities to forge and invent false reasonings and arguments 
to overthrow our faith, are, as they must needs be conceived to be, exceed- 
ing great: who for this knowledge is called dal/ji^uv; as well as Satan for his 
malice ; and for his subtlety in outreaching us, a serpent : who when young, 
outwitted our first parents; 'he beguiled Eve through his subtlety,' says 
the Apostle, 2 Cor. xi. 3, then when their reason was not depraved ; but 
now he is grown 'that old serpent,' Rev. xii. 9: and we are become 'chU- 
dn )t to be tossed to and fro,' Eph. iv. 14. He hath had time enough to 
improve his knowledge in ; a student he is of five thousand years' standing, that 
hath lost no time, but as he is said to 'accuse day and night,' Rev. xii. 10, 
BO is able to study both day and night ; and he hath made it his chief, if 
not whole study, to enable himself to tempt, and plead against us. It is his 
trade. Therefore as men are called lawyers or divines from their callings, 
so he the tempter and the accuser from his employment. And by this his 
long experience and observation he hath his iio7j,u.ara, 2 Cor. ii. 11, his set 
and composed machinations; Ms /u^sdodziac, Eph. vi. 11, his methods of temp- 
tations, which are studied and artificially moulded and ordered ; even such 
systems and methods of them as tutors and professors of arts and sciences 
have, and do read over again and again to their auditors. The Apostle calls 
them ' darts,' ver. 16, — and he hath a whole shop and armoury of them ready 
made and forged, — which, for the acuteness and subtle sophistry that is in 
them, are called ' depths of Satan,' Rev. ii. 24 ; which depths, if in any point, 
are most to be found in this : for he is more especially versed in this great 
question and dispute. Whether a man be the child of God or no 1 more than 
in any other. All other controversies he hath had to deal in but in particu- 
lar ages, as occasionally they were started; but this hath been the standing 
controversy of all ages, since God hath had any children on earth : with 
every one of whom, more or less, he hath at one time or another had solemn 
disputes about it ; so as he knows all the advantages, windings, and turmngs 
in this debate, all the objections and answers, and discussions in it. 

And as other controversies, the longer they are on foot, and the further 
they have been carried along, the more they are enlarged, improved, and 
grow more subtle; so must this needs also, especially in this latter knowinij 

Chap. VII.] a child of light walking in darkness. 2G3 

age of the world, and by reason also of tliat seeming near similitude which 
hypocrisy holds nnto the truth and ])owcr of grace, which hath fazzled * and 
entangled this controversy. The objections and difficulties which a believer 
meets \\'ith in beating out a right judgment of his estate, are greater than in 
any controversy the world ever knew, and afford stranger knots, and require 
as acute distinctions to dissolve them as the school knows any ; and 
indeed such as, did not the Holy Ghost sometimes cut, sometimes untie 
them for believers, by witnessing with our spirits that we are the sons of 
God, bare reason alone could never determine in it. Now Satan, through 
long experience and observation, hath all these at his fingers' ends, and hath 
reduced them all to commonplaces long since. He hath still observed and 
laid up what answers have relieved the spirits of behevers in such and such 
a doubt cast in by him, and then studies a further reply against the next 
time, or for the next believer he shall have to do -vAith. 

2. Secondly, as he hath thus thoroughly studied this controversy, and 
knows all the windings and false reasonings in it ; so withal, by his daily study- 
ing and considering men, he knows how best to suit and make use of those 
reasonings, both to persons and seasons. It is the sole business of those evil 
spirits to study men ; for this end they ' go up and down the earth.' And 
he hath commonplaces of men, and their several frames and temper of spirit, 
as well as of temptations ; he knows all the several ranks and classes of men 
in the state of grace ; and according to their ranks, with what sort of temiJ- 
tations to encounter them. For men's temptations are ' various and mani- 
fold,' 1 Pet. i. 6 ; even as the gifts and operations of the Spirit are, 1 Cor. xii. 
4, 5. Now, he having beaten out this controversy with all sorts, knows 
how to lay the dispute, how to order, and marshal, and ajiply objections, 
and wield his blows with most success and advantage. That as physicians, 
having observed the several workings of medicines of all sorts, upon several 
ages and constitutions, and what several issues and effects they have had, do 
therefore accordhigly prescribe and apply several medicines according to the 
several and differing conditions of their patients, though sick of the same 
disease. Thus Satan, he by observation finding the hearts of some men ' an- 
swering' to some others, ' as face to face in water,' as Solomon says ; and 
withal remembering what reasonings have always taken most with such a 
sort or strain of Christians, whose corruptions and whose graces were much 
alike unto those in this or that man he hath now to deal with ; accordingly 
he makes use and application of these reasonings again. The tempers of 
men's spuits we know are diverse, and so are capable of diversity of sugges- 
tions. And again, the operations of grace, as of sin, are various in those 
several tempers. And God's dealings with and workings upon his children 
are as various as either. Some he humbleth much, some are led on with com- 
fort ; some he works on wdth a sudden and marvellous light, as if the sun 
should rise on the sudden at midnight, and on others insensibly and by 
degrees, as when the dawning steals upon the day ; some have had a false 
and counterfeit work before, some were never enlightened until savingly; 
and this variety affords rise and occasion for several temptations. So as 
what kind of work any other Christian hath had is apt to be made an excep- 
tion to another that wants it. I was never thus humbled, says one ; nor I thus 
comforted, says another; I had a sudden violent work indeed, which came 
in Uke a spring-tide, but now the tide is fallen, and my first love abated, 
says a third; I had some workings and enlightenings heretofore, says an- 
other, and I was deceived then, and I may be so now also : and so he hath 

* Embarrassed — Ed. 


that vast task set him, to compare a counterfeit work with a true. Thus 
every several way of working lies open to several exceptions; and as we say 
that every calling earthly hath its several and j)roper temptations, so the 
several ways and manners of effecting this calling heavenly have their several 
veins and currents of temptations. All which Satan knows, and hath often 
traced; and accordmgly knows how to fit them to men, and to prosecute 
them the most advantageous wa}-. 

So in like manner he takes the compass of every man's knowledge, notions, 
and apprehensions; according unto which, as our knowledge is more or less, 
we are also capable of several temptations. Many reasonings and objections, 
which, Uke small hail-shot, could not reach or make any dint at all upon men 
of parts and knowledge, both because they by reason of their knowledge do 
soar high out of the gun-shot of them, and have also on the ' whole armour 
of God,' as the apostle speaks, Eph. vi. — that is, are in complete armour, 
abounding in all faith and knowledge, — yet such reasonings may be fittest to 
level with at such as are more ignorant, and fly low, and have but some few 
broken pieces of that armour to defend some parts with. But on the con- 
trary, those other of his great-shot, which he dischargeth on men of know- 
ledge, they would clean fly over the others' heads, and not come near 
such smaller vessels. All in Thyatira knew not Satan's depths, nor were 
capable of them. Rev. ii. 24. Thus the ignorance and the want of know- 
ledge of the meaning of the Scriptures, and of the ways of grace chalked 
forth therein, how doth Satan abuse, to the clisquietment of many poor 
and good souls that want much knowledge, by putting false glosses upon 
them ! How many weak soids do stick in shallows, and are sometimes a 
long while terrified with gross mistakes, and like small birds are held long 
under with limed straws of frivolous objections, which great ones fly away 
with ! That great apostle, being a man of knowledge, was not easily taken 
with such chaff. ' We are not ignorant of his devices,' says he, 2 Cor. ii. 11 ; 
and therefore Satan takes another course with him, and comes with down- 
right blows, and falls a-buffeting him, 2 Cor. xii. 7. Thus doth Satan take 
measure of the bore, as I may so speak, of every man's understanding, and 
fits them with objections proportionable, in several sizes. And as the Apostle 
in his semions prepared milk for babes, but strong meat for strong men, so 
doth Satan in his temptations apply and suit them to men's notions and appre- 
hensions, still framing objections according to their reading. 

3. Thirdly, he is able undiscernibly to communicate all his false reason- 
ings, though never so spiritual, which he doth forge and invent, and that in 
such a manner as to deceive us by them, and to make them take with us. 

(1.) First, he is able not only to put into the heart suggestions and soli- 
citations unto sensual and worldly objects; such as that into Judas's heart, to 
betray his Master for money, John xiii. 2, and to tempt married couj^les 
severed to incontinency, 1 Cor. vii. 5 ; but also the most subtle and abstracted 
reasonings concerning things spiritual, which are utterly remote from sense, 
he can insinuate and impart according to the measure and cajDacity of 
men's apprehensions. Therefore we are said to wrestle with them about 
things heavenly, and our interest therein is often made the matter of con- 
tention and the subject of the question. So that phrase, Eph. vi. 12, iv roTg 
i'TTD'j^a.iioi;, when it is said, ' We wrestle with spiritual wickednesses in hea- 
veidy,' is rather to be understood of heavenly things than of heavenly places ; 
the word signifying rather supercelestial, in the highest heavens, whither, if 
rendered of places, the devils never came since their fall. And it being used 
elsewhere for heavenly things, as Heb. viii. 5, and the preposition h, or in, 

Chap. VII.] a c;;ild op light walking in darkness. 2Go 

being likewise sometimes put to express the object-matter about wliicli a 
tbing is conversant, as Matt. xi. 6, 'Blessed is be that is not ofieuded in me,' 
— that is, with or about me, and for my sake, — it may congruously be so here 
meant, as noting to us, that the price, the stake, about wldch we wrestle with 
Satan are not things worldl}^, as honours, riches, and the like, but things 
heavenly, which concern our souls and estates hereafter. 

Now the contention being about heavenly things and spiritual blessings, it 
cannot be transacted but by reasonings suitable ; that is, spkitual false rea- 
sonings, abstracted from sense and fancy. And in this respect they are 
termed spiritual wickednesses, because in such wickednesses they deal and 
trade in especially, or as much as in those that are sensual ; as tempting to 
unbelief, despair, blasphemy against God, of which sort are all those tempta- 
tions we have now in hand. And that he is able to convey and suggest such 
spiritual thoughts and reasonings of what sort soever, appeareth many ways : 
as by injecting blasphemous thoughts against God, such as do sometimes 
transcend the wit and cajiacity of the receiver of them ; and is manifest like- 
wise by Saul's prophesying even from the immediate dictating and suggestion 
of an evil spirit, as is expressly said, I Sam. xviii. 10 ; in the like manner to 
which haply the Sibyls also prophesied. 

But more evident it is in all those damnable heresies which have been 
broached in all ages, as in the primitive times among the Romans, the 
broachers whereof are made the emissaries of Satan ; therefore, Bom. xvi. 
18, he having branded them, unto the Bomans, that taught false doctrines 
among them, and having instructed them against them, he gives this en- 
couragement about them, ver. 20, ' that God should tread down Satan under 
theu- feet shortly,' having respect to Satan's work in those errors mentioned, 
ver. 18, Satan being the main author of them. Thus in the church of 
Thyatira, those cursed heretics who applauded themselves, and were admired 
by their followers for the depths and profoundness of their learning, shewn in 
those heresies they broached : ' depths, as they speak,' Bev. ii. 24. But if 
they caU them depths, says the Apostle, I wUl caU them depths of Satan, — 
* depths of Satan, as they speak,' — for the devil was the master and the 
author and suggester of them. So, in after-times, aj^ostasy is ascribed to 
spirits of error, — that is, devils, which he foretcUeth men should give heed 
unto, 1 Tim. iv. 1, — and to the working of Satan, 2 Thess. ii. 9. It was he 
that sharpened their wits and pens. Now then, by the same reason, there 13 
no reasoning about our estates, though never so spiritual, but he can suggest 
it, as well as he did those depths of the heresies to the broachers of them. 
So as Satan can not only make those false reasonings, which our own hearts 
forge, more specious and probable, and suggest further confirmations of them, 
which are enough to add unto this darkness ; but he is also able to put in 
new, which himself invents, of what kind soever they be. 

(2.) Secondly, he is not simply able to suggest them, but to insinuate 
them in such a manner as to take with us and deceive us ; yea, and often to 
set them on with a deep impression. Therefore, in those places forementioned, 
it is not simply said that there should be spirits which shall suggest errors, 
but so suggest them as that ' men should give heed unto them.' Thus, 
1 Tim. iv. 1, and 2 Thess. ii., where the working of those very same spirits 
is set forth, ver. 9, it is not only said that they were sent as from God to 
delude, but with ' strong delusions ; ' siich as should have a strength put into 
them to prevail, so as that men should believe them. So also, that lying 
spirit which God sent, and who persuaded Ahab by a lie in the mouths of 
lus false prophets, commission was not simply given to him to suggest a lie. 


but SO as it should prevail witli Ahab ; so 3 Cliron. xviii. 21, * And the 
Lord said, Thou shalt entice him, and thou shalt also prevail.' And as he 
is thus able, when God gives leave, to delude wicked men's understandings 
■with false reasonings in matters of heresy and false doctrine, by reason of 
that total darkness that Is in them : so he is able, if God give leave, as some- 
times he doth, to bring strong delusions upon the minds of God's children 
also, through false reasonings about their own estates, by reason of that 
darkness which in part remains in them ; by means of which he may work 
the same effects for a time, and in a certain degree, in a godly man, which in 
another, as was before observed. Thus the believing Galatians, especially 
some of them, were so far ' bewitched,' as his word is, as for a time to assent 
to that great error in point of justification ; and this by reason of that foUy 
and darkness which remained in them, as he intimates, when he says, ' O 
ye foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that you should not obey 
the truth?' Gal. iii 1. And if in the very doctrine of justification itself 
believers were thus for a time deluded, which is rare, then much more may 
they, and ordinarily are they, misled in the application of faith, in the believ- 
ing their own personal justification, which is the point in hand. 

Only this is to be added here for caution's sake : that it is true that Satan 
cannot enforce an act of assent to any falsehood upon the understanding of 
any man. For how then should they ' all have been damned for believing 
that lie?' 2 Thess. ii. 11, 12; which should not have been unless it were 
their own sin ; which is as true of aU other temptations as that. Though 
Satan put the thcjught into Judas's heart, John xiii. 2, yet his own conscience 
owns it wholly as his own act, Matt, xxvii. 4, * I have sinned,' &c. 

Neither yet doth he so immediately concur to produce such an act of 
assent in us, as God doth when he worketh faith in us ; for then God's 
power and assistance in working good should be no more than Satan's in 
working evil. Tentationis potest esse causa efficax, at non peccati; potest 
necessitare homines ad sentiendum tentationem, non ad conseniiendum. 

And yet the Scripture phrases go far in ascribing unto Satan herein, when 
it says of those that believed not the gospel, that ' the god of this world 
hath blinded their minds that believe not,' 2 Cor. iv. 4 ; which notes out a 
superadded working of blindness unto their own natural blindness. As also 
when h'd says that ' the prince of the air is ivBfy:^v, that works effectually,' &c., 
Eph. ii. 2. And also that of the Corinthians whilst unregenerate, who as 
then are said to be ' carried and led away after dumb idols,' 1 Cor. xiL 2. 
All which phrases would seem to argue, not only a further power of working 
upon mens judgments than when one man doth endeavour to corrupt and 
persuade another man in a moral way, (because he suggesteth indiscernibly, 
and with more frequency and importunity, and holdeth the mind more to the 
object, and presenteth an army of confirmations at once, and is able so to 
marshal them as the mind can scarce resist ; and puts all these upon the spirit 
with a violent and imperious affirmation,) but further, also, they would seem 
to imply some kind of physical working, though not immediately on the 
spring of the clock, yet upon the wheels and weights of it — I mean the 
I)assions in the body and the images in the fancy, though not upon the un- 
derstanding immediately ; all which, what influence they have to sway the 
judgment and pervert it, experience shews. 

4. Fourthly, he is further able to follow and continue his reasonings as 
occasion is, and to keep up the dispute, and hold out arguments with us, 
and out-reason us, by putting in new replies to our answers, and so to main- 
tain and manage and carry along the dispute, and to come up with fresh 

Chap. VII.] a child of light walking in darkness. 2G7 

supplies : wliicli in this respect is called wrestling, Eph. vi. 1 2, ' We wrestle 
not with flesh and blood, but principalities and powers ; ' it being, as the 
bodily wrestling, transacted by reiterated assaults, and attempts to overcome 
and get the victory ; he, as it were, going about to strike up our heels, as 
wrestlers do — that is, to take away from under us those reasonings which 
supported us, by cavilling objections; which kind of spiritual wrestlings how 
often have we experience of in spiritual agonies ! In tlic hour of temptation 
believers find conflicts and bandyings of disputes, rationally carried along, 
and pertinent objections brought in against those answers which they secretly 
meditate of In which cause, therefore, divines bid men not to dispute 
with that cunning so[)hi.ster. Thus many, when death hath approached, have 
found that they have had their reasonings for their estates, and those evi- 
dences they have had recourse unto, taken away and confuted as fast as they 
have thought of them. 

And that Satan hath this dexterity and skill thus to manage such kind of 
disputes with us, is further evident in the framing of heresies, wherein he 
assists the contrivers of them with pertinent considerations to back and con- 
firm their notions, in their private meditations, studies, and contrivements. 
And indeed, if Satan were not able and skilful thus to oppose and reply, 
these kind of temptations which consist in disputes could not be managed ; 
for otherwise in them Satan disputed with us but as if one of us should 
reason with a dumb man that can hear, but his answers cannot be known, 
and so he knows no way what reply to make. Therefore surely Satan hath 
often some way, more or less, a guess and inkling what may be the answers 
of the heart again : which, were it otherwise, the glory also which God hath 
by the victory gotten over Satan in these temptations were much obscured, 
and Satan's confusion less ; for the victory of our faith in these disputes, and 
the resistance it makes, lies chiefly in those replies which are made, whereby 
it quencheth all his darts : whereof the devil, when he is once sensible and 
perceives it, he is confounded; for then, when he is once sensible and appre- 
hensive that he is resisted, doth he fly from us, as the Apostle speaks, James 
iv. 7, and that of his own accord, as the expression there imports ; even as a 
foiled and disgraced soldier. And this we may see in his carriage in those 
his temptations of Christ, which were managed by mutual disputes, and 
wherein the foiling of Satan was by the answers out of Scripture which 
Christ gave ; by which being confounded, ' he left him,' as the text says, Matt. 
iv. 11, as out of pride, ashamed that he was foiled. So that Satan, some 
way or other, is able to guess at, and discerns the replies in our hearts to 
his objections, as well as to make and cast in objections. 



That Satan is able to work upon that other corrupt principle in us : guilt of 
conscience. — Both how many ways Satan is able to know matter hy us to 
object against us; as also, to set it on, and work upon the guilt and 
erroneousness of the conscience. 

Thus we see how able Satan is to join with and assist carnal reason in 
us against ourselves. We will now further consider what power and work- 
ing he may exercise upon that other prmciple in us, our consciences ; in 
joining with the filth and defilement thereof, in accusing us and lajing par- 
ticulars to our charge ; in which consisteth the greatest of his strength, even 
in an army of accusations of us to ourselves, which in this warfare he mus- 
ters up against us. This sort of temptations we have in hand consists either 
of false majors or false minors, which are like the two wings of an army. 
His false majors, they are such as, misapprehensions of the ways and of the 
work of grace, or misunderstanding of sayings of Scripture, &c., which by 
reason of that darkness of ignorance that is in us, he puts upon us wrested 
and perverted. As, that to relapse into the same sin again and again is 
not compatible with grace ; and many the like. For the opinions whereby 
some do measure what strictness is essential to the being in the state of grace 
are often too severe and rigid ; as in others, too loose. The measure of som^ 
is too scant, not giving allowance to failings ; as of others, too large, taking 
in such gross corruptions, and the constant practice of them, as cannot stand 
with grace. And Satan deceives with both : as the one sort, of profane men, 
to flatter themselves to be in a good condition when they are not, so the 
other, of weak and tender consciences, that they are not in a good estate 
when they are. And in like manner places of Scripture misunderstood do 
oft prove matter of great temptation to many ; as that Heb. vi., unto one 
who, having fallen from his first love, concluded he could never be saved, be- 
cause it is there said, that ' they which are once enlightened, if they fall 
away, it is impossible they should be renewed to repentance;' whereas it is 
only to be understood of a revengeful lotal apostasy. Thus, as Elymas ' per- 
verted the right ways of the Lord,' Acts xiii. 10, so doth Satan also ; Elymas 
being therefore there called ' child of the devil,' because he did the work of 
bis father therein. 

Now, all such false reasonings as are founded upon such mistakes of the 
things, and of the rule itself whereby we should judge of our estates — false 
majors — do properly belong to the former head of carnal reason. But he hath 
another wing of forces to join to these ; and they are false accusations of a 
man to himself, from the guilt of his own heart and ways, misconceits of a 
man's self, and misapplications to a man's self : another sort of arguments, 
wherein the minors are false. So, although a man be full of knowledge, and 
through the light thereof hath a right judgment both of the Scriptures and 
of the ways of the work of grace by which men's estates are to be judged, 

Chap. VIIL] a child of light walking in DARKKiiSs. 2C9 

and so therein Satan cannot be too hard for him with all his soj^histry ; yet 
by misroi)rosentiiig a man to himself, and by perverting his own ways to 
him, making that which is straight seem crooked, and all in him to bo 
hypocrisy, a man is brought to puss a false sentence upon himself So as if 
tliis subtle pleader cannot deceive the judge, as I may so speak, with falso 
rules and mistakes in the law itself, tlicn he endeavours it by misrepresent- 
ing the case of the party, and puts in a false bill of accusation, so ordered 
and coloured as to procure a judgment against him ; laying before the eyes 
of men's consciences their by-ends, deadness, and hardness of heart, and false- 
ness in such and such turnings of their lives ; excepting against what is good 
in them, aggravating what is evil, and all to enforce from thence a false con- 
clusion. To instance in some one false reasoning of this latter sort, Satan 
oft argueth and chargeth the conscience of one distressed in this or the like 
manner : — 

' Those in whom any sin reigneth, or in whose hearts hypocrisy and self- 
love is the predominant i)rinciple, are not in the state of grace.' 

' But such a one art thou,' &c. For the proof of wjiich rainor he mus- 
ters up and sets in order, in the view of conscience, a multitude of instances 
of sins committed, thus heinously, thus oft ; of duties omitted, and if per- 
formed, yet with such and such pride of heart, self-aims, &c. In which sort 
of reasoning the major and first proposition is true ; but the minor, the as- 
sumption, such a one art thou, that is most false. And although there be 
a ti-uth in the instances alleged to prove it, that such sins have been com- 
mitted, and that in performance of duties such particular by-ends, &c., do 
arise and are found in the heart ; yet not in that manner as he would lay the 
charge, not as reigning, not as the swaying and prevailing principle in a man's 
whole coiirse. That hypocrisy is there cannot be denied ; but that hypoc- 
risy rules there and is predominant, and that nothing but hypocrisy, is false, 
which yet Satan amazeth the conscience with, to bring forth this conclusion 
out of all, ' Therefore thou art a hypocrite ' Which conclusion likewise, how 
able he is to set on with terrors and affrightments, we shall shew anon. 
That which we have now in hand is to shew how able he is for those kind 
of false reasonings, the deceit of which lies chiefly in the assumption and 
viinor proposition ; that is, in misapplications to a man's self. In which he 
hath principally to deal wdth conscience ; for the guilt of a man's particular 
ways, actions, and corruj^tions, the seat whereof is the conscience, is made 
the matter of the evidence and the proofs of those minors; and the defile- 
ment and erroneousness of the conscience is that principle in us which he 
works upon when he enforceth such a misapprehension from those evidences. 

Wherein, by the way, we may take notice of a difference between the Holy 
Ghost's dealing with a believer, when at any time he comes with the word, 
and searcheth and tries his heart, and discovers corruptions to us, — to wit, 
such a searching as David prayed for, ' Examine me, Lord, and try my 
heart,' &c., Ps. xxvi. 2, cxxxix. 23, — convincing and reproving us, and that 
sometimes with some sharpness, for our by-ends, hypocrisies, &c. ; when also 
he 'bores the ear, and shews wherein we have exceeded,' as Elihu speaks, 
Job xxxvi. 9, 10 ; — and between these other siftings and winnowings of Satan, 
as Christ's phrase is, Luke xxii. 31. The difference is, that the Holy Ghost 
dealeth sweetly herein, but as a father that rebukes and convinceth his child 
of his misdemeanours ; but without putting in any such sting in the conclu- 
sion, that therefore we are hypocrites ; nor to any such meaning or purpose 
thence inferred, that therefore sin reigns in us, &c. : but in these of Satan, 
that is the issue he mainly drives all to, and it is made the foot, the burdeu 


of all those his accusations, and is as the scope and argument that nins 
through the whole of that his charge against us. 

And in respect to this his misrepresenting our estates, and false aggra- 
vations of our sins unto us, he is called, as the tempter, which is in a general 
relation to all sorts of temptations, so the accuser, xaTriyoQiig, Rev. xii. 10, 
or irapleader against us ; and as the accuser of us to God, in God's court, 
and before his tribunal, (for to accuse in a court the word may seem to im- 
port,) so in the court of our own consciences. And as he tempts us unto 
sin, so also for sin and by sin, — that is, the guilt of it, — to draw us to despair. 
He that accused Job unto God, would sure accuse Job unto himself much 

And though it may be truly affirmed that neither Satan nor our own con- 
sciences can ever aggravate unto us too much the intrinsical sinfulness, the 
teinousness and vileness of our sins in their due and proper colours, and true 
aggravations of them, which we can never come to see enough, as not to hate 
lor loathe and mourn for as we ought ; yet Satan and our own consciences 
may, in the representation of our sins, put such false apprehensions and such 
aggravations upon them as may make us apprehend too much about them ; 
as when it is suggested that they are such as are not compatible with the 
state of grace, or that they are utterly unpardonable. He may likewise use 
them as inductions to prove a false conclusion. And also, although our sins, 
if truly, can never be enough represented, if it be in oi'der to drive a man 
more to God's grace and unto Christ : yet to present them singly and alone, 
and to hold the mind and intention of it so to them as to cause us to forget 
our own mercies, and in such a manner as thereby God's mercies and aU 
comforts are hidden and concealed from us ; this is that is Satan's practice, 
and is the cause of this deep bondage we thus here speak of And in this 
respect that name, -/.arriyoooc, the accuser, is given this evil spirit in a direct 
and full opposition to that special name and office of the Holy Ghost, -^ra^a- 
xT^rirog, the comforter or pleader for us : because as the Holy Ghost maketh 
intercession in our own hearts unto God for us, and upon true repentance 
helpeth us to make 'apologies' for ourselves, as the word is, 2 Cor. vii. 11, 
and coraforteth us by discovering ' our graces given us of God,' as 1 Cor. ii. 
12, and by pleading our evidences, and witnessing with our spirits that we^' 
are the sons of God ; so on the contrary, Satan is -^arriyosoi, an accuser, by* 
laying to our charge the guilt of our sins, by impleading our evidences, mis- 
representing our estates, thereby to deject us and 'swallow us up with 
sorrow,' as 2 Cor. ii. 7. 

And further ; because in these accusations his scope is to misrepresent our 
estates to us, and falsely to disquiet us, therefore he is yet more especially 
called did^oKos, a slanderer, as one that falsely and lyingly calumniateth and 
slandereth all our graces, all God's dealings towards us, all our dealings 
towards him ; slandering our persons, our estates to us, charging us to be 
hypocrites, unsound, and carnal, and counterfeit Christians, still misconstru- 
ing all unto the worst. Which false calumnies and charges of his, I take 
most properly to be those 'darts' mentioned Eph. vi. 11, which are there 
said more especially to oppose our faith ; and therefore faith is there said to 
quench them. From which trade of his forging darts of calumnies, he hath 
his name didSoXog, a slanderer, from dia(3r/.X}.ot} ; a metaphor it is, from cast- 
ing darts, (for the slanderous calumnies of the tongue are ' as a maul, and 
a sword, and a shar}) arrow,' as Solomon speaks, Prov. xxv. 1 8 ; their teeth 
spears and arrows, Ps. Ivii. 4 ;) and such are these kind of Satan's temptations 
and accusations against us, even as darts and arrows that wound and pierce. 

Chap. VIII.] a child op light walking in daekness. 271 

and run through the passions and affections, that strike the soul through 
and through with fears. His name, 'rtwA^m, the tempter, is from cra/jw, to 
I)iorce ; because such are his darts, so sharpened, and flung with that force, 
as tliey are fitted to pierce, and enabled to run through. And besides the 
sharpness of the darts themselves, they are said to be fiery, as making double 
way for themselves ; for a piece of iron, though blunt, yet if fired red-hot, it 
runs through without resistance. 

Satan, he is that great general of the whole powers of darkness in us ; 
and therefore even the forces of the guilt of sin, the proper seat of which is 
the conscience, he hath some command over, as well as of the power of sin 
in other members : and therefore as he can muster up and set on fleshly 
lusts which fight against the soul, and provoke and back them in their as- 
saults upon us, so he can clap on the chains of guilt and bondage upon our 

And as he can stir up that guilt that is in us, so also work upon that in- 
judiciousness and erroneous defilement that is in the conscience, to judge of 
a man's own estate ; this Satan works upon and abuseth. For as he hath a 
power to work upon the corruption in the rest of the faculties, so also over 
the defilement and pollution of the conscience; misleading it in its verdict 
of our estates, as cunning pleaders do a silly jury. The wards of conscience 
are of themselves loose, and naturally misplaced, but he with his false keys 
wrings and perverts them much more ; it naturally gives an uncertain sound, 
but he by his false alarms and panic fears cast in doth much more con- 
found the testimony of it. And how easy is it to trouble a soul disquieted 
already, and to work upon jealousies which are raised ! We see how far a 
cunning man can insinuate with jealous natures, to increase suspicions and 
' surmises. When a humoirr is stirred, how easily is it wrought on ! And 
thus often when the Spirit hath already read us a sharp lecture, and ex- 
amined our consciences, then Satan he strikes in, and descants upon it aU 
to deeper terrors and distress. 

But the more full and distinct explication of Satan's work of accusa- 
tion of us herein requires a further search and incpiry, and a larger demon- 
stration : how Satan should come, and how far, to know matter by us thus 
to accuse us of For if he doth accuse, he must, as is said Acts xxviii., 
' have aught against us whereof to accuse ;' else it were in vain. And there 
is this difierence between these kinds of temptations wherein we are exer- 
cised about the guilt of sin, and those other unto sin : that the object-matter 
of other temptations is what is without ourselves ; but in these, that which 
is in us and from us, and hath been committed by us, is made matter of ob- 
jection against, and disquietment unto us. That which is from within the 
man disquiets the man. 

But ere I enter upon this inquiry I must premise a general caution, to set 
limits to our discourse therein. 

And the caution is this : That we are to reserve and maintain this, both as 
an undoubted truth and as God's sole and royal prerogative, that he can 
alone both search and know the heart and conscience. As in Like manner. That 
he can only by his wrath immediately make those deep and killing wounds 
and gashes with which men's souls are often here and hereafter externally 
wounded : (of which by way of caution also in the next chapter.) Which 
two glorious and incommunicable attributes of his, that eulogium of the word 
of God, Heb. iv. 12, 13, seems fully to hold forth unto us : where, as at the 
gate of Paradise was set a cherubim with a flamuig sword to keep our 
fallen parents from ever entering in again, so there Christ is represented as 


that supreme judge with, whom, as at the 13th verse, we are eternally to 
have to do, (or, as the original, rrfo; ov TiimTh 6 Aoyo;, to whom we are to give 
an account, for so }Jyo; is, Rom. xiv. 12, and elsewhere, taken ;) and he 
there stands with that dreadful sword of his word ready drawn and bran- 
dished, — that word by wliich he will judge men at the latter day, John xiL 
48, and which therefore is called zpiri/iog, ver. 12, a judger of the thoughts. 
&c., — and this to the end that by the awful terror thereof he might 
compel and drive those that hear the gospel to ' enter into that rest,' to 
which he had exhorted, ver. 11, which is set open by him for men now 
fallen to coine into. 

AVhich sword, as it hath a double edge, as there, so in his hand, who 
alone can -udeld it, it serves to a double use. That whereas in a judge two 
things are requisite to the complete performance of his office, — (1.) skill and 
knowledge to find out and examine the fact ; (2.) power to execute and tor- 
ture the malefactor when found guilty, — he shews how both these do transcen- 
dently and solely meet in him, by relating what power is found to be in his 
ivord, (which is the ensign of his justice and instrument of his power in judg- 
ing,) which is said to be a ' discemer of the thoughts,' and a sword that 
pierceth and woundeth the soul and spirit vnih unutterable anguish. Which 
wounding power of the word is distinctly set forth (as some) from the be- 
ginning of the 12th verse to those last words, 'and is a discemer of the 
thoughts ;' from whence, to the end of the 13th verse, that other, the search- 
ing and all-judging property of God and his word, is laid forth to us : but 
rather, as I conceive, the Apostle, in one continued metaphor, carries along 
the expression of both throughout the Avhole, though more eminently the 
one in that former part of the words, and the other in the latter ; yet so 
as both are alike made the royalty of God, which is the thing we have in 

Neither needs it stumble any that this is there attributed only to the 
word of God, of which he only seems to speak, for that is all one as to ascribe 
it unto God ; for as ' where the word of a king is, there is power,' says 
Solomon, Eccles. viiL 4, so, where the word of God is, there is the power of 
God, and so is it here to be understood : and therefore, as in other scrip- 
tures, his word is said to create, and by it the heavens to be established, &c., 
and also. Gal. iii. 8, in the like phrase of siDeech, the Scripture is said to fore- 
see, that is, God foresaw, who writ the Scripture, so also here, to know 
and wound the heart. Which to be the Apostle's express intention here 
appears by the connexion of the 1 2th and 1 3th verses. For whereas, ver. 
12, he begins with attributing this power unto the word, yet in the end 
he closeth his speech with transferring all that was said thereof upon God 
himself, ver. 13, 'with whom we have to do.' 

To open the words a little more largely, so as to clear this assertion out of 
them, which it is necessary to premise. The words are, ' For the word of 
God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing 
to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and 
is a discemer of the thoughts and intents of the heart : neither is there any 
creature that is not manifest in his sight ; but all things are naked and opened 
to the eyes of him with whom we have to do.' 

And, first, of that sole searching power of the soul in this chapter, and of 
that other, the sole wounding power of the conscience, in the next chapter, 
we shall have the like occasion to premise. 

For the present ; that searching, examining, and judging power of the word 
now in hand, he expresseth by an alJUiion to the anatomy of bodies; which 

Chap. VIII. ] a child of light walking in darkness. 273 

then, though not so frequently as now, was yet in use ; or else to the cutting 
up of the sacrifices, whether those of the Jews or as it was used among the 
lieathen, especially by the soothsayers, who curiously searched into every in- 
ward part, as we find in the prophet Ezokicl, chap. xxi. 21 : and his similitude 
stands then, that look, what the entrails are to a sharp sword, or sacrificer's 
knife, or the like instruments of anatomy in a strong and skilful hand, such 
are all the most inward and secret parts of the heart, even those which are 
most difficult to be divided, unto this sword in God's hand, when he is 
pleased to use it to search heart and reins, and to discover and bring forth 
to judgment the secrets thereof He can use this sword not only to unrip 
and strip off the outward clothes of outward and formal actions, and so pre- 
sent the soul naked, as his expression is, ver. 13 ; nor only to flay off all the 
skin, to excoriate, and so to see what lies under it, as the next word there, 
7i7^a-)(r^Xinij,i\,a., which is translated ' opened,' doth sometimes signify ; but, 
further, to cleave and cut up to the back-bone, for even so deep doth the 
signification of that word reach, that so all the inwards may appear, and 
this so curiously divided and laid asunder, as to see and view apart what is 
in each. ' It pierceth to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit.' By which, 
grace and corruption are not so properly here to be understood, for then he 
would have rather said flesh and spirit ; and besides, the persons he speaks 
this of are principally those who shall be found secret unbelievers, who have 
not spirit in that sense at all in them ; but they are here used to express 
those two main powers of the heart : the soul, — that is, the inferior part, that 
more sensual part, wherein the afi'ections are, as 1 Thess. v. 23 it is also 
used, — which it divides by discovering how close and inordinately all those 
affections cleave to sin ; and then of the spirit, — that is, the superior part, of 
the understanding, conscience, &c , — which it rips up by discovering how 
these plot and contrive the accomplishment of sin. ' Dividing ;' that is, dis- 
covering apart, with difference, how things are carried severally in each : 
and withal, what correspondency and intercourse there is between these ; how 
sin and all our actions pass through them from the one to the other, even as 
blood and spirits do through the veins and arteries, in all the parts from 
each to other. And as in the body there are several regions, as anatomists 
call them, divided by partitions : the vital parts in the upper loft next 
the neck, in Avhich are lodged the heart and lungs; the natural parts 
in that lower, and these divided by the midriff, as by a floor between them : 
so in the soul — to which haply Solomon alludes, when he calls the several 
powers of it ' the chambers of the belly,' Prov, xviii. 8, as some read it — 
there is the sensual part of the affections, the soul, &c., which is, as it were, 
in a distinct room from that more sublime and spiritual part, the spirit. 
And as the ' spirit of man ' — that is, the conscience and understanding of a 
man — ' searcheth all those chambers,' as it is there, (that is, ' knows what 
is in man,' as the Apostle speaks, 1 Cor. ii. 11; which yet when it doth so 
it is not by an innate light, but with God's candle, as Solomon's expression 
there is ; that is, by the word and the light thereof set up by him in it :) so 
here, the word, under another similitude, — namely, of a sword, — is said to 
cut up and to discover all within those several regions. And in the spirit 
it is said to discover what can be imagined, most retired and withdrawn, and 
so locked up as no eye could find it out, which he expresseth by mentioning 
such parts as are most inwardly seated of all other : the marrow, which we 
know is enclosed within the bones ; and the joints, or ligaments by which 
the joints are knit and move ; these it unbares and discovers also. Both 
which he interprets in the next words, ' and is a discoverer of the thoughts 

VOL. IIJ- 8 


and intentions of the lieart,' which are a more plain interpretation of what 
he had expressed by those two metaphors. The utmost intention and end, 
in all our actions, that is as the marrow; because as the marrow gives mois- 
ture to the bones, so by these our ends, all our jjurposes and resolutions, by 
which we are supported in all our actions, are strengthened and confirmed. 
And then our devising thoughts or plottings, our contrivements and machi- 
nations, those by which we artificially do connect and hang together many 
joints of means to accomplish and bring to pass our intentions, — which 
thoughts of all others we strive to hide and conceal, — these are as the joints, 
or (as the word aoiLui rather implies) as the ligaments, and the sinews, and 
the tendons by which the joints do move; so these are they upon which our 
designs do move and turn : even aU those cogitationes compaginatoe, plotting 
thoughts, the word it discovers and cuts up, and also judgeth and examineth, 
and passeth sentence upon them ; yea, and that so exactly, as not the small- 
est fault can pass imcensured by it. It is as a curious critic in this review : 
x^irr/.oc, it judgeth exactly, as critics use to do. So as by this anatomy 
which the word makes, all things in man, every creature, even the least Jibra, 
the smallest sting in the heart, which would escape the sight of the most. 
exact anatomist, are all ' naked and opened,' and cut up, ' before the eyes of 
him with whom we have to do.' 

The reasons why God hath reserved this to himself are : — 

1. It was for the glory of God that he should have one private cabinet 
among the creatures, which he alone should know and keep the key of, 
which might argue his omniscience; as also one place to be sanctified in, 
whither no creature's eye could pierce : that so the greatness of his glory 
might appear, namely, in this, that he is not worshipped outwardly only, as 
great ones are, but inwardly, 'in spirit and truth;' and that his glory is 
such as commands the inward parts, which no eye seeth but his own : so as 
a man will respect God so much as to sanctify him in secret when no crea- 
ture looks upon him. 

2. That God alone might be the judge and rewarder of men's ways, and 
so looked at by them, to whom alone men must give an account; which 
would draw the creature's eye alone upon him, when the strength and first- 
born of all our actions are his subjects alone, and do come under his eye 
and view. Therefore it is said that he ' rewards men according to their 
works, whose heart he knows.' It was fit that he only should take upon 
him to reward who only could know the principles of all actions ; in which 
the chief of the good or ewll in the action lies. This is the great glory of 
God and Christ at the day of judgment, that 'they will discover the secrets 
of aU hearts,' 1 Cor. iv. 5. It is not said so much of men's actions, that 
they shall be then discovered, as that the secrets of their hearts ; for therein 
lies God's glory, which he will not give to any other. 

This premised as a most necessary caution, I come to the disquisition of 
that query mentioned : How, and how far, Satan may come to know so much 
matter against us whereof to accuse us 1 

1. In general, it may be considered — 

(1.) That he knows what ends, and intentions, and thoughts, and lusts 
such corrupt hearts as ours usually produce and bring forth in aU men ; and 
therefore can imagine what by-ends, &c., may be stirring in such and such 
actions, and so lay them to our charge ; and so often hit right therein, and 
speak a man's heart thus at random. For our natures are apt to bring forth 
' aU concupiscence,' as the apostle says, Rom. viL 8. Therefore if there were 
no more than he knows all temptations common to man's nature, he might 

Chap. Vlli.J a child of ligut walking in daukness. 27o 

go far in accusing every man ; he having keys of all sorts, sorted to all men's 
spirits, tries with every one which will enter. And as David's elder brother 
charged David, when he came into the wars, * This is the pride and the 
naughtiness of thy heart,' guessing at his by-ends in it, so doth Satan ; he 
often in like manner charges us by guess. Thus he did Job ; ' Doth Job 
serve God for nought 1 ' He knew such by-ends were in mens hearts, and 
so ventures to lay them to Job's charge also. 

(2.) Though he should know very little of us, yet he may from some one 
particular which he doth know or suspect, cast in a suspicious thought about 
a man's estate ; and so set the jealous heart a- work itself to search out 
more matter against itself. As in case of treason, the least hint given by 
some one sets the state a-work to examine the bottom of the business, and 
so to get all out. So as Satan often gives and casts in but a scruple, which 
proves as a theme for the heart itself to dilate upon, and the conscience upon 
inquiry finds matter against itself to prove and increase that surmise. — Thus 
in general. But — 

2. He may more particularly know much against us to accuse us of, and 
so frame bills against us out of what he knows, and this first supposing he 
had no access to our inward parts, and that he had no further way of know- 
ing of us than men hare one of another, it being made the limits of man's 
knowledge, by God to Samuel, to 'judge by outward appearance;' yet all 
those advantages which men have to know one another by, he hath over us, 
more than any man can have, and all more eminently. For — 

(1.) Those spirits can discern all corporeal actions, though not of all men 
at once, — for then why should Satan travel up and down the earth to review 
all in it '? — yet in that distance is proportioned unto them. They understand 
not only by innate inbred species, but some things per species acceptas a rebus. 
They learn daily. Thus ' by the church,' the good angels are said to ' learn 
what they never knew before of the mysteries of the gospel, Eph. iii. 10. 
And though those species in them, and their manner of knowing corporeal 
things differs from ours, yet they are analogical with ours, and we no more 
know the manner how they should receive species a rebus corporeis, the 
images of all things done by bodily substances, than a blind man can ima- 
gine how men that see should receive in colours. Yet this we may be sure 
of, that all that the senses or mind of man can know, that they can also, for 
natural things are all clebita objecta, clue objects made for them : for they 
were therefore made to be discerned by intelligent creatures ; and if by any, 
then by the most supreme and intellectual natures. 

(2.) They make it their business to study men ; it is their trade to go up 
and down and consider men : ' Hast thou not considered,' says God to Satan, 
* my servant Job r Satan useth to consider and study men; and as the 
Apostle exhorts to ' consider one another to provoke to love,' so Satan con- 
siders men to provoke to sin, and to tempt for sin unto despair. 

(3.) He may be privy to our vocal confessions of sins to God or men ; unto 
our laying open our own hearts to God in private prayers, or to others in 
trouble of conscience : therefore so much of the heart as is this way disco- 
vered he can and doth know. And why may not God permit him, and give 
him the liberty and advantage to accuse us, even of that which he comes to 
know by this means % It being for the trial of his servants, especially in 
case they have returned again to those sins which they confessed, and yet 
have not forsaken ; it is just that then as the guUt of former sins returns upon 
us in such a case, so that Satan should be permitted afresh to charge us with 
them ; and that, in this case, a man should lose the privilege of sigillum 


confessionis, of the secresy and seal of confession, as I may so speak. And 
if God may permit a man to whom we have confessed, according to God's 
own ordinance, yet to tell things confessed, and to cast them in our teeth, as 
sometimes it hath fallen out ; why may not Satan, the accuser of the bre- 
thren, sometimes be permitted to lay that to our charge which he only knew 
this way 1 

(4.) He is and can be present at all our more retired actions, and is privy 
to them, being with us at bed, board, in all companies. By means of this 
he can accuse us — 

[1.] Of all gross actions done that are obvious to sense ; which, indeed, are 
usually the greatest matter of accusation, and do lie upon us most heavily 
in such temptations, as David's murder and adultery did on him. ' My sin,' 
says he, * is ever before me.' And these having pulled a man down, and put 
him into prison and clapped him up, our own consciences then may come in, 
with all our more privy corruptions, as lesser creditors use to do. And when 
once the soul hath, by means of the accusing of one foul act, given way to 
doubting, then all other privy corruptions join and oifer themselves to accuse 
us also ; for they ' lie at the door,' as God told Cain, ready for such an 

[2.] Also he may by this be able to accuse us of all deadness, and drowsi- 
ness, and neglect in the performance of holy duties, as want of attention and 
quickness in them, for these are easily discerned by any one that is obser- 
vant ; and of the want of stirring aifections, and also of neglect of holy con- 
ference in all companies, and the like. If a godly man were to follow a man 
up and down in all companies, how much might he know of a man and be 
able to accuse him of ! 

[3.] By such observations he may know a man's bosom sins. So he knew 
and observed Judas's bosom sin to be covetousness, and accordingly sorted 
his temptation to it. 

(5.) By what he sees outwardly of our actions, he can many ways guess at 
inward corruptions, which are the principles of them. He hath all the ways 
which a wise discerning man hath, who should always watch a man, and se\ 
himself to study a man, and that hath opportunity to suggest when he 
pleaseth, on purpose for trial and discovery ; all the ways such a man hath 
to know the heart Satan hath. And that which Solomon says of a wise 
man, that though ' the heart of man be deep, yet a man of understanding 
will fetch it out,' Prov. xx. 5, holds true of Satan much more. As, [1.] by 
comparing one action with another, one speech with another ; so wise men 
guess at men's ends in things, and their respects that move them. [2.] By 
gestures. By a cast of a man's countenance and behaviour, men are often 
discerned ; by the like may Satan see into us. Thus Joab discerned David's 
pride in his command for numbering the people, so as it was loathsome in 
his eyes. And if Joab discerned this by the outward carriage of the matter, 
how much more might Satan, that put in the motives to persuade him to it ! 
The Jesuits bid those of their followers who are to deal with men, when they 
talk with any whose minds they would discern, still to observe their eyes, to 
see what alterations are in their countenances, as through which the mind is 
transparent ; now Satan he is a good physiognomist, and he eyes a man. 
[3.] Further, he himself suggesting many motives and reasons in businesses, 
this way and that way, casting in many by-ends and motives to be considered 
by us, he observes how the heart comes off at such and such suggestions, or 
where it stuck, and what suggestion it was that turned a man this way or 
that way, and fetched him off The Jews might see what moved Pilate to 

Chap. VIII.] a child of ught walking in DARKNKSftf. 277 

crucify Christ, because at that saying, as the text notes, that * else he was an 
enemy to Ciesar,' he gave sentence. So Satan, when he stirred up David by 
proud arguments to number the people, he must needs know what pride was 
in his heart. Now — 

(6.) Besides all this, how far he may have an insight into the fancy and the 
images therein, which follow and imitate the inward thoughts of the mind, 
as the shadow doth the body ; and also into the passions, which are but the 
flowing and reflowing of corporal spirits, and in which the affections of 
the will discover themselves ; this I leave to others to determine. For the 
present, this is certain, that although all the powers of the reasonable soul be 
fast locked up from him, as we shall shew, and the immediate acts which are 
immanent in the soul itself utterly hidden from him ; and that, take the soul 
as it is the immediate subject and root of them, so intuitive no devil can 
discern them, no more than one angel can discern the thoughts of another ; 
yet arguitive, and as they do transire, and appear, and are put forth in the 
body and corporal organs, outwardly in actions, or inwardly in the images 
of the fancy or the passions, and so, quasi in alios, and mediately, they may 
be very far discerned and looked into by angels. Which yet will nothing at 
all prejudge that prerogative which is given to God, when he is said alone 
to know and search the heart, but give its full allowance ; nor that privilege 
which is given to the soul itself to enjoy, namely, that ' none should know 
the things of a man, but the spirit that is in man,' 1 Cor. ii. 11; as we shall 
have occasion to shew in the Appendix to this discourse. 

Besides, therefore, these advantages and ways of knowledge, somewhat 
common to us men, each of other, t^ey have a further and more near way 
of knowing the acts of the reasonable powers, the understanding and will, 
than we men can have ; even as they have also a way of communicating their 
thoughts to us in a mort intimate, close, secret manner, yet still such as falls 
short of an intuitive knowledge of them. They can go into a room further 
then we ; and into a room which is next the privy chamber, which yet re- 
mains fast locked up unto them. As their power in all other things reacheth 
a degree higher than ours, so in this also. To open this a little : — 

Those reasonable powers and faculties in us, the understanding and the 
will, the immediate immanent acts of which are thus in themselves fast locked 
up, being yet in this life drenched in the body and bodily organs, upon which 
their working doth depend : as, the understanding is joined to the fancy, 
which makes parhelii, and resemblances, and shadows of those thoughts the 
mind secretly conceives and forms, so as scarce any thoughts do stir but the 
fancy imitates them, and acts them as far as it is able ; and the will also is 
conjoined with the affections, which are drenched and shew themselves in 
bodily organs and spirits, so as not any motion of the will puts itself forth, 
but more or less some affections of the body do stir with it ; and therefore 
affections are as well defined by their motion in the body as by their seat in 
the will itself. As when anger is defined, ira est ehullitio sanguinis circa 
cor, a boiling of blood about the heart ; and affections are but the Sowings 
and reflowings of spirits to and from the heart. 

Now both these, both phantasms and passions, aU divines do grant that the 
devils may know, and that to know them they have a nearer access to us 
than men can have each to other ; yea, and that they may discern them in- 
tuitive, as we do things which are present before us : how else should they 
work upon fancy ? And otherwise, there were no diabolical dreams ; nor 
angelical neither, caused by good angels. But we find that a good angel 
dictated to Joseph a great article of faith — Christ's divinity and nativity. 


It was done in a dream, and therefore to his fancy. So they inspired the 
Sibyls, and dictated prophecies, as was said. And so the evil angels prompted 
Saul's fancy. And this they do, not by creating new species and images, 
but evocando, calling forth the images there already. For the images of 
things in the fancy being corporal species, they can no more beget a new 
corporal image than they can make a body anew. And therefore, all the 
power of the angels cannot cause a blind man to dream of colours. 

And therefore, their way in communicating their suggestions to us herein 
must be by discerning the species, to \Ai, of all words heard or read that lie 
in the fancy already ; and so by ordering and composing them, even as a 
compositor in printing doth his letters that lie confused before him, into 
words and sentences, to represent to the reader's eye what he would have 
read by him : so he to the understanding, which doth naturally print off and 
take the impression off from the fancy of whatever is in it as fast as he doth 
set them. And by the like reason, that he can call these phantasms forth, 
and so view the species and images laid up there already, to set them thus 
as he pleaseth ; by the same reason it must be supposed that he is as able to 
discern any of them in the fancy at any time, then when reason itself calls 
upon any of them, and maketh use of them, as it doth whenever it sets itself 
to think or muse. And these and all other operations of the sensitive 
powers they may view and see as truly, for aught I know, and as intuitively 
even, as we see colours and species of things in the eye of a man. So as 
these evil angels may, when God permits, get into the head, and see all the 
images and species in the fancy, and those that are in direct conjunction with 
the understanding, which it is then thiiiking and musing of ; even as a mar 
doth what images are in the apple of the eye of another man ; and so by dis- 
cerning those phantasms, which the understanding actually then vieweth and 
maketh use of, he may then judge what the mind is musing of And again — 

2. As we discern men's passions when they dye and affect the outward 
parts, as if shame dyes the face red, or fear paints it white ; so may the 
angels more secretly discern the motion of them within us, which is the 
cause of this alteration without. They can go further than we men can; 
they can see the inward commotion of the spirits in our inward parts, even 
in their channels and springs, as in that boddy heart we carry within us, 
and in the veins and arteries, and so know Avhat affections are stirring. And 
this is evident by this, in that they are able to work upon the passions 
also. Now, their power of working upon these affections ariseth from their 
knowing them, and skill to move and stir those spirits and humours elec- 
tively, wherein these passions are seated. And herein their power of dis- 
cerning us exceeds that in us men in discerning other men, as that of 
communicating their minds to us also doth. For as they can communicate 
secretly by fancy itself, we but by outward words and signs to the outward 
senses of others, so they can discern more secretly what is in the fancy, and 
not only what appears in the outward parts, which is yet but a room further 
that they get into, which we men cannot come to. So in like manner their 
power over our passions doth exceed also. They can see into the passions 
and discern the least rising of the tide, the least turn of the stream of affec- 
tions in our veins, and in the corporal heart. Satan can discern those lesser 
aguish fits of passion that accompany any act of the will which men discern 
not. As also, they can stir those passions by working upon the humours 
and spirits they float in, which men cannot come to do. But of this great 
and necessary query, as also how by means of this he conmiunicates all his 
temptations to us, more largely in an Appendix to be annexed to this treatise. 

Chap. IX.] a child of IiIoht walking in darkness. 279 


How able Satan is to work upon that third principle, the passions and 
corrupt affections, and bring home his false conclusions with terrors. 

Thus we have seen how able Satan is to work upon those two forementioned 
principles, of carnal reason, and abuse it with false majors; and also upon 
conscience, in laying our sins to our charge, with misrepresentations of our 
estates. It remains now only, that we shew how he can stir and work upon 
the passions and corrupt affections in us, and make use of them ; and so set 
on all those folse conclusions — that we are hypocrites — thence deduced, with 
hideous and horrid lears and terrors. 

1. And in respect to these terrors, as he is called a serpent, as was said, 
for sleights, and cunning reasonings, and wiles ; so likewise a lion, of all 
beasts the strongest, Isa. xxxviii. 13.* A roaring lion, of all the terriblest, 
and most terrible in his roaring; whose roaring is therefore often in Scrip- 
ture put to express the working of dreadfulness and horror ; ' The lion roars, 
who will not tremble V Amos iii. 8. And, as some have observed, and the 
Psalmist seems to intimate it, Ps. civ. 21, by his roaring he strikes such 
horror and amazement into all other beasts, as they stand still as exanimated, 
and so he seizeth and preys upon them as he pleaseth. And in this respect 
also of his working on the passions is it thr,t those darts beforementioned 
are principally called fiery; namely, for that dolour, and anguish, and in- 
flammation, and combustion they cause through the distempering the affec- 
tions. Those fears which our own hearts engendered within us were but as 
smoke; these darts of his put a fire into them, and do cause them to flame 
and blaze. The allusion is to the poisoned darts which the Scythians of old, 
and other nations now, use in war, dipped in the blood and gall of asps and 
vipers ; the venomous heat of which, like a fire in their flesh, killed the 
wounded by them, with torments the likest hell of any other. Which Job 
also alludes to, chap, vi, 4, ' The arrows of the Almighty are within me : the 
poison,' or, as others read it, the heat and fervour ; we may use both, and 
read, ' the hot poison thereof drinks up my spirit,' even as fire preying upon 
moisture. And what were those arrows he speaks of there but terrors? 
So it follows, ' the terrors of God,' &c. In the same phrase of which that 
Corinthian is said to have been in danger to have been drunk up — -/.aravodf — 
as the word signifies, with over-much sorrow, when Satan had to do with 
him, 2 Cor. ii. 7 ; and the same word is again used of the devil, 1 Pet. v. 8, 
'seeking whom to drink up.' So that as Satan inflames other members, and 
the inordinate lusts in them, with a superadded natural vehemency and 
violence ; as the tongue, which, though of itself full of poison, is said to be ' set 
on fire from hell,' James iii. 1 G, that is, from Satan, (who is called hell, as in 
that speech, 'the gates of hell;' as the good angels, the noblest creatures, are 

• It seems clearly to be not Satan, but God himself, that is so designated in thia