The summe of Grotius his Exposition of this Second Chapter of the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians is this: First, He interprets the coming of Christ of the destruction of Jerusalem.
A MODEST ENQUIRY INTO THE Mystery of Iniquity, THE FIRST PART, CONTAINING A Careful and Impartial Delineation of the True IDEA ofANTICHRISTIANISM IN THE Real and Genuine Members thereof, such as are indeed opposite to the indispensable Purposes of the Gospel of Christ, and to the Interest of his Kingdome.
BOOK TWO, CONFUTING GROTIUS AND RIBERA
By HENRY MORE, D. D.
BOOK II. CHAPTER I
- 1. The great Usefulness of shewing the folly of Ribera‘s and Grotius his Expositions of these two Chapters of the Apocalyps.
- 2. That, according to Ribera, the Beast is the Devil.
- 3. The seven Kings the wicked Kings of the seven Ages of the world.
- 4. That five of these Ages were gone over in S. John‘s time, and that the Reign of Antichrist is the seventh, and Rome Heathen the Whore.
- 5. The general Usefulness of our Joint-Exposition.
- 6. That the Beast is not the Devil, proved there-from by several circumstances: Nor the seven Heads seven such Ages, by the deadly wound in the sixth Head.
- 7. Nor the Whore Rome Heathen more then the Two-horned Beast.
- 8. That the Devil cannot be the Beast that was, and is not, &c. proved by arguments not leaning on our Joint-Exposition.
- 9. Farther proof from that part of his Name [and yet is,] with a Vindication of that reading.
- 10. A confutation of Ribera‘s Exposition of the seven Heads from the groundlesness and exceptionableness of his division of the duration of the world into seven Ages.
- 11. From the Ununitableness of the Kings of the Age into one Head.
- 12. From the Devil’s eminency and superiority over these Heads.
- 13. From the leaving neither room nor time for an eighth King.
- 14. From the disproportionableness of the seventh Age of the world to the rest, and especially to the strange Feats they say Antichrist is then to atchieve.
- 15. And, lastly, from the seven Hills necessarily appropriating those seven Heads to the Roman Empire.
- 16. That these Expositions of Ribera, as also of the rest of the Roman Interpreters, were very weak even in Grotius his own judgment, which set him upon minting new ones.
1. HItherto we have laid out our pains in the fully demonstrating what is the true and genuine sense of these two chief Chapters of the Apocalyps. But because the Hypocrisy and Unwillingness of those whose Interest biasses them another way will be ready to shuffle off the weight and evidence of so plain a Demonstration, in pretending that Learned men have given quite different Expositions of these Prophecies, and that therefore it is uncertain what they signify, I will bring in the two chiefest Expositours, and which the Church of Rome does most of all stick to and applaud herself in, I mean Ribera and Grotius; and shew plainly how fond, how forced, and indeed how impossible their Expositions are; that even prejudiced men themselves may be ashamed hereafter to take shelter in such wretched subterfuges.
2. Ribera‘s Exposition of the Beast with seven Heads and ten Horns, that was, and is not, and yet is, and of the Whore of Babylon that rides on him, is briefly this. ‘The Beast is the Devil, considered in reference to his condition of reigning or not reigning in the world. In Bestia non Diabolus intelligitur, sed Diabolus regnans.Wherefore whereas it is said, The Beast which thou sawest, was, and is not, he interprets it thus: The Devil in the foregoing Ages before Christ was Diabolus regnans, but in S. John‘s time he was not Diabolus regnans, because then the Prince of this world was cast out. And therefore in this sense he is said to be the Beast that was, and is not, but will be Diabolus regnans again in Antichrist, which is the Seventh Head, in whose reign he comes up again out of the bottomless pit.’
3. ‘The Seven Kings are the wicked Kings of the Seven Ages of the world, from Adamto the last Judgement. The first Age is from Adam to Noe, in which Cain and the Giants are particularly taxed. The second from Noe to Abraham, wherein Nimrod is perstringed. The third from Abraham to David, wherein the Kings of Aegypt and other people are noted for Persecutours and Opposers of the People of God. The fourth from David to the Captivity of Babylon, wherein the people of the Jews were much afflicted by the Kings of Assyria. The fifth from the Captivity of Babylon to the coming of Christ, wherein they were much afflicted by the Chaldeans and Greeks. The sixth from the coming of Christ to the coming of Antichrist, wherein the Church has been much persecuted by the Roman Emperours and by the Turks and Saracens, and may be still more by such as may arise hereafter. The seventh from the coming of Antichrist to the last Judgment, wherein Antichrist with his ten Horns, that is ten Kings, shall persecute the Church worse then ever.’
4. ‘Five of these Heads, that is, of these Ages with their wicked Kings, were gone over in S. John‘s time: one Age was then and still continues: the other, that is the Seventh and Last, is not yet come, but when it is once come, it must continue but a little while, that is to say, three years and an half, or fourty two months; Antichrist being that Beast in the thirteenth Chapter, according as he interprets it. And lastly, for’ the Whore that rides this Beast that was, and is not, he says it is Rome Heathen.This is a clear and faithfull Proposall of Ribera‘s Exposition, as any one may see that will have recourse to him upon the place. Let us now see how much or rather how little truth there is in it.
5. In the Examination whereof, as also of the following Exposition, we may discern the Usefulness of our demonstrating so plainly That one and the same thing absolutely is understood by the Seven-headed Beast in the Thirteenth Chapter and by the Seven-headed Beast in the Seventeenth, as also by the Whore of Babylon and the Two-horned Beast. For this even of it self will easily detect the Trivialities and Faulterings of these Expositions.
6. That the Beast that was, and is not, cannot be Regnum Diaboli (as Ribera speaks) vel Diabolus regnans in mundo per sua membra, qui ab initio fere mundi regnare capit in hominibus, is demonstrable from the Beast with seven Heads in the thirteenth Chapter, which is the same Beast, and whose time of continuance is but fourty two months. Which is a sign that Ribera is quite out of the story. For the same numericall Beast must have the same duration of time. Again, he makes the Beast in the Thirteenth Chapter to be Antichrist, but this the Devil: which is another faultering in his narration. But further, whenas the Beast in the Thirteenth Chapter is said to come out of the Sea, it is plain, according to the usual meaning of that Type in the Prophetick style, that it is a Body Politick consisting of Men: But how can the Devil be such with his dark Legions? they are not Men, but Devils, nor to be led captive, nor to be killed with the sword, as it is said of the Beast there mentioned. Moreover, the Dragon, that is, the Devil, is said to deliver his forces to the Seven-headed Beast in that Chapter; how then can the Beast be the Devil?
To all which you may adde, That the Sixth Head of the Beast in that Chapter is wounded to death, not to be healed till the Revival of the Beast and the Recovery of him in the Seventh Head. But how can the wicked Kings of the Sixth Age be said to be wounded to death, or the Beast not to revive till the Seventh Head, when the Church of Christ has been so dreadfully persecuted in the Primitive Times, and is to this very day so cruelly infested by the Turks, as heretofore by the Saracens? These actions are no signs of the Sixth Head being wounded to death more then the foregoing Heads, nor so much neither. Lastly, how can the Devil in this Seventeenth Chapter be the Image of the restored Beast that had received the deadly wound? For the Devil when he is again regnant will not Pagano-christianize, as I may so speak, but grosly Paganize, or Judaize, as our Adversaries confess; and therefore will not be an Image, but either the Thing it self, or not so much as an Image, but a Thing quite different.
7. And for the Whore that rides on the Beast, I might demand in what sense Rome Heathen has two Horns like a Lamb; with other such enquiries, which for brevity sake I omit. I will rather take notice how indecorous it is to phansy Rome Heathen to ride the Devil, whenas it is more proper to conceive her rid, that is to say, guided and acted and instigated by him.
8. But that the Beast that was, and is not, is not the Devil, we shall now evince by other arguments without relation to the Thirteenth Chapter. As, first, If the Devil be a Beast, that which makes him so is the wickedness of his nature, his persecutiveness of the Church of God, and his endeavour of erecting against him a Kingdom of Idolaters. Now the Devil has never ceased to be such from the beginning of the world to this very day. This is the very nature of the Beast, and his nature is not yet slain in him, nor ever was, nor ever will be. Wherefore it never was nor ever will be true of him, That he is the Beast that was, and is not. For to be regnant and then cease to be regnant, does not make him to be a Beast and then no Beast, but onely no regnant Beast. But that also is false, that he has yet at any time ceased to be a regnant Beast.
For till Christ came he reigned over all the World, excepting the Jews. After Christ came, he tyrannized over the Christians for about three hundred years. And after the Empire in a manner wholly turned Christian, yet the Kingdom of the Devil was no less then all the Habitable world besides, in comparison whereof the other is but a small spot of ground; and yet what great slices have been pared off therefrom? Besides his Rule in Christendom it self by superinducing so universal a spirit of Antichristianism into it, consisting of gross Idolatries and bloudy Persecutions of the dear Servants of God. Now let any one consider and say whether the Devil be Bestia non regnans, or regnans in the world from Christ’s time to this day: and how groundless an Interpretation this of Ribera‘s is, that understands the Beast that was, and is not, of the Devil at large, and not of the Roman Empire in such a sense as we have expounded it.
For that it is the Fourth Empire which is the Roman, the ten Horns do plainly indicate, which are the Ensigns of the Fourth Beast in Daniel, which I think no man has been yet so grosly extravagant as to interpret of the Devil.
9. Besides, this Beast is not onely styled The Beast that was, and is not, but there is also added to his Title [and yet is.] Which whole Title cannot be true of the Devil regnant in Antichrist’s time according to Ribera‘s sense. For he being then regnant, he is the very same Devil in every respect, and a man cannot say he is not regnant, though it be then true that he is. So that part of the Title onely will agree to him, namely that he was, and is. Which is another plain detection of the falsness of Ribera‘s Exposition.
Nor is there any Evasion in the various readings. For Copies generally have it, […], Which seems such a contradiction, that it has made some leave out […], and others turn it into […] neither reaching the meaning of the Apostle. But seeing this reading we follow so generally obtains, notwithstanding its seeming harshness and contradictiousness, it is an unexceptionable argument that it is the true and genuine reading indeed, and that merely the undubitable authentickness of Copies has made it bear down the other two readings which the over-much boldness and unskilfulness of some had ventured to cast into the place of the true one.
10. Again, concerning his Exposition of the Seven Heads, many things are to be objected. As first, That his dividing the whole duration of the World into Seven Ages is a thing groundless and merely arbitrarious, there being nothing either in Tradition or Scripture to countenance it. There is indeed an ancient Tradition of Elias, that divides the duration of the World into four parts, Two thousand years Vacuity, Two thousand the Law, and Two thousand the Messias, and then the great Sabbatism. But of such a division as Ribera has made here there is no News nor Example in Antiquity. And in the steps he takes, he has very unmannerly troden over the head of Moses, as if he was not a man great enough to be taken notice of amongst the Joints of this Division; whenas certainly he is one of the most eminent Epocha’s of time, as appears by that Tradition of Elias, and therefore ought to have been mentioned before he came to David: As also Enoch, so famous for his Assumption into Heaven, his Birth ought to have been noted before he came to Noe. Besides other as justifiable Divisions which were easy to observe. But these short intimations may]suffice to shew how lubricous and fictitious a Comment, Ribera‘s Exposition is in this regard.
11. But, secondly, How can the Kings in each one of these Ages, having no subordination to one another, but being absolute and absolutely disjoin’d in their respective Kingdoms, or rather having no political Coordination or Correspondence as Heads of one Body Politick, how can they make up but one Head for an Age? There is no warrant nor example of any such thing in the Prophetick style. But if you will say they are one Head, because they belong to one Body, the Devil, all the whole Succession of wicked and persecutive Kings throughout all these Ages will be but one Head upon this account, and so the Beast will have but One Head, not Seven. For distance of time and Succession makes no difference of Heads nor Beasts in the Prophetick style, but some distinction of nature in them.
12. Thirdly, It is very harsh and incongruous to make these wicked Kings the Heads of the Devil, whenas the Devil is their Prince and Head; he being above them both in his preeminency of Nature, as being an Angel, though but a wicked one, and they but wicked Men; as also by right of Jurisdiction, all those that are Rebells to the Kingdom of God making an Accession to the Kingdom of the Devil. So that the Exposition in this respect is as harsh and preposterous as the painting of an Horse with his Head on his Coccyx, and his Tail hanging down before his Breast.
Spectatum admissi risum teneatis, amici?
13. Fourthly, If the Seven Kings be the wicked Kings of the Seven Ages of the world even to the very day of Judgment, what is that Eighth King? and what Age of the world will he be in? For there seems neither room nor time left for him. Why, truly Ribera has pitched upon a very subtil Merchant, who will insinuate into all times and places (if it be possible) for his own advantage. This Eighth King, saith he, is the Devil. But the Devil, say I, is the Beast, according to his own Hypothesis, and this Eighth is said to be one of the Seven Heads. But how can one and the same be both the whole Beast, and yet but one of the Heads thereof? Wherefore it is plain that his Exposition in this regard is against common sense and the very first Notions of humane Understanding.
14. Fifthly, The Seventh Age of the world, which is the measure of the Reign of Antichrist, is most ridiculously disproportioned to the rest, it being but three years and an half, as Ribera has computed it. Which yet were more tolerable, if it were well proportionated to those great Exploits that Antichrist is to doe in that short space. For he is to subdue all the World, or, if you will, the Ten Kings which they feign will be the Rulers over the whole World when Antichrist begins to lay about him. For having first made an Expedition against Three Kings, namely, the King of Aegypt, the King of Libya and the King of Aethiopia, & overcome them and slain them, the other Seven shall submit to him, and become the Seven Heads of Antichrist, the first of which being mortally wounded in his service, he shall miraculously raise him from the dead. Thus by a wonderfull Metamorphosis have they changed the Ten Horns into Seven Heads, and made the Horns of Antichrist to grow before the Heads. So pitifully are they put to it in their prevaricatory Expositions of the Oracles of God.
And not content to adorn this great Potentate with that one single Miracle of raising the slain from the dead, they also allow him a power of literally bringing down fire from Heaven, and of making his own Statue to speak. His Royal Palace they place in Judaea, and derive his Pedigree from the Tribe of Dan, and make his Throne the very Temple of God at Jerusalem, and proclaim him the expected Messias of the Jews, to whom they are all to gather themselves. He must besiege Rome, and burn it, and call to himself the Nations from all the Quarters of the Earth, to conspire the utter Extirpation of the Christian Name from under the Cope of Heaven; and, as it seems, notwithstanding all the vigilancy of the Pope and his whole Conclave of Cardinals and their active Emissaries and all the Forces of Christendom, will in a manner wholly effect it: and all this, which is the Miracle of Miracles, within the space of three years and an half. Nay, which is still more miraculous, This quadrimular Antichrist shall not onely over-run Christendom, but subdue the Grand Signior, over-run the Persian, make the Tartarian Cham submit to him in the North, and extort Homage from the remotest Kingdoms of Africa. Which is such a piece of Prophetick Fabulosity as no man would ever vent in the most Romantick History. So incredible therefore is this Exposition of Ribera in this regard also concerning the Seven Heads of the Beast.
15. Sixthly and lastly, To that Beast onely to whom the Seven Hills belong some way or other, can the Seven Kings appertain; for both are said to be signifi’d by the Seven Heads of the Beast, and therefore both have a proper and peculiar reference to him: for they being his Typical Heads, to him must needs appertain what they are said to typifie. But it is plain that the Seven Hills appertain to the Roman Beast, that is, to the Roman Empire: Therefore it is necessary that the Seven Kings likewise appertain thereunto. From whence it will follow, that these Kings cannot be the Kings of the Seven Ages of the world. For Rome was not built till about Anno Mundi 3200, when even the Fourth Age of the World, according to Ribera‘s own reckoning, was almost expired. So impossible every way is this Exposition of his, and against all sense and reason. And yet it is the very best the Romanists have, and in which they think they have the safest shelter, as appears in Cornelius à Lapide and Lessius his adhering thereto rather then any other they have hitherto lighted upon.
16. The weakness of all which Expositions Grotius, as it seems, friendly commiserating, has minted one of a-new at his own Forge; which though we have else-where in some sort examined already and found light and adulterate, yet it being a matter of so great moment, we will give it a second Trial; wherein if it be again found manifestly salse, and more fully detected to abound with gross Incongruities and Impossibilities, I cannot imagine any thing omitted, for the giving us the greatest assurance that any one can desire of the truth of that Exposition we have made of these Seventeenth and Thirteenth Chapters of the Apocalyps.
- 1. What the meaning of the Scarlet Beast with seven Heads and ten Horns, and of the Woman riding him, is according to Grotius.
- 2. A Confutation of Grotius his Interpretation, out of our Joint-Exposition.
- 3. Two main Grounds or necessary Supporters of Grotius his Interpretation: The one, That S. John reckons the Seven Heads beginning at Claudius; with the Confutation thereof. 4. The other, That this Vision was wrote in Vespasian‘s time; with a Discovery of the weakness and falseness of that Opinion.
- 5. That Claudius his banishing the Jews from Rome falls many degrees short of a proof, that John was then exiled into Patmos: And that Impulsore Christo in Suetonius does not so much as evince that any Christians were then expelled the City.
- 6. And if the Decree reached Christians, it does not strait follow that S. John was concerned therein.
- 7. An Answer to a Passage in Epiphaniusalledged for S. John‘s Exile then.
- 8. An Answer to another alledged to the same purpose.
- 9. That Epiphanius his Testimony makes against Grotius his main Project.
- 10. That Epiphanius is but one single Father against the rest, and that the Testimony of Irenaeus alone is far to be preferred before his.
- 11. An unexceptionable clearing of the sense of Irenaeus his Testimony; and that the very detorsion of it will not serve Grotius his turn.
- 12. That there is not the least shadow of Probability that the Apocalyps was wrote before toward the end of Domitian‘s reign.
- 13. Proofs out of the Apocalyps it self, that it was not wrote before the Persecution under Domitian.
- 14. The great consequence of the clearing this Truth, it wholly subverting all Grotius his Interpretations of the Seals and Trumpets and all their Synchronals.
1. Let us therefore more accurately examine Grotius his Interpretation; the summe whereof is this: ‘The Scarlet Beast ridden by the Whore of Babylon is the old Roman Idolatry guided and dispensed by the ancient Ethnick Roman State or Domination, as he calls it. The Seven Heads of the Beast are seven Roman Emperours, Claudius, Nero, Galba, Otho, Vitellius; which five were fallen when S. John had this Vision, or at the least wrote it, as Grotius supposes. But Vespasian was then reigning: Titus, the seventh, was not yet come; and when he was come, he was to continue but a while. But the Beast that was, and is not, and is the Eighth King, and consequently an Eighth Head, that’s Domitian, who, as Grotius pretends, reigned first in his Father Vespasian‘s absence, but receding from the government of the Empire at Vespasian‘s return, was then the Beast that was, but is not, but was after to emerge and resume the Empire again after Vespasian and Titus his reign, and to die a violent death. The Ten Horns, he saith, are Ten Kings which were not as yet (that is, in S. John‘s time) in side & reverentia Imperii Romani, but should be for a time: And those, saith he, were the Ostrogotthi, Wisigotthi, Vandali, Gepidae, Longobardi, Heruli, Burgundiones, Hunni, Franci, Angli sive Saxones.’
2. These are the main strokes of Grotius his Interpretation of the Seventeenth Chapter of the Apocalyps: the general lineaments of which not answering to those of the Thirteenth, may make it upon that very account suspicable to those that duly consider what great presumption there is, or rather demonstration, that these two Chapters handle the very selfsame things, but are so contrived, that the one may give light to the other.
Wherefore the Dragon in the Twelfth Chapter, with seven Heads bearing seven Crowns, (which plainly shew that the signification of Kings, not Hills, is there to be understood) being wounded to death in one of his Heads in that fight, and healed so that all wondred after him, I would demand of Grotius, which of these Emperours was wounded to death in a fight with Michael, and was then revived again to the wonder of the world. Again, there are but seven Kings in the Thirteenth Chapter; how come there to be eight in the Seventeenth? Thirdly, The eight Kings in the Seventeenth Chapter are all Idolatrous according to him, but the Inscription of Idolatry is onely upon seven Heads in the Thirteenth, which implies the Beast had no more then so. Of which things there can be no sense, unless according to such an Explication as I have already exhibited.
Furthermore, If the Beast in the Seventeenth Chapter be the Roman Pagan Idolatry, how comes it to continue but fourty two months in Grotius his sense? for that is the continuance of the Seven-headed Beast in the Thirteenth. Himself also acknowledges the Ten Horns of one Beast not to be the same with the Ten Horns of the other. I omit to note that Dominatio Romana, which he says is the Babylonish Whore in the Seventeenth Chapter, is not the same with Magia in the other Chapter; whenas notwithstanding I think it clear enough that the Whore of Babylon and the Two-horned Beast are the Types of one and the same thing. But this I confess may well seem too Magisterial to make my own Exposition, though never so true, a Rule for others. Wherefore I shall wholly release Grotius from any such unequal terms, and examine his Interpretations of these two Chapters of the Apocalyps upon free and common Principles, such as all men do appeal to.
3. And that, first, in a more general way, searching into the solidity of two main Grounds which he supposes: The one, That S. John begins the reckoning of the seven Heads of the Beast from Claudius; the other, That this Vision of the Whore of Babylon and the Beast that was, and is not, was wrote by S. John in Vespasian‘s time. Which Grounds are so necessary for his Interpretation, that without them it is not onely incongruous, but impossible; forasmuch as Five are said to be fallen, and one to be,&c. which therefore this Interpretation necessarily requires and implies to be Vespasian, and that he then was when this Vision was either seen or wrote. Wherefore his Reasons for these Grounds deserve a more diligent Examination.
For the first of which he alledges these two. First, That Claudius was the first persecuting Emperour, I mean that persecuted the Christians. Which yet is contrary to the whole stream of Antiquity, who fix the first Persecution upon Nero, omitting that expulsion of the Jews from Rome as a thing either inconsiderable, or as not properly appertaining to the Christians as such, but as they were Jews. But so far as I see, Caius, the Predecessor of Claudius, afflicted both Jew and Christian more by his enormous Extravagancies then ever Claudius did, concerning which Grotius himself has wrote in his Notes upon 2 Thess. 2. Moeror metúsque maximus & Judaeorum & Christianorum plenum habuit effectum. So that the Epochemight have begun at Caligula as well as Claudius according to this rate, which shews the Exposition to be but arbitrarious. Besides, if the Epoche begin at Claudiusbecause a Persecutor, why did not the account break off where Persecution ceased? For Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Titus and Vespasian are none of them infamous for any persecution.
The other reason why this Epoche is fix’d on Claudius is, because S. John himself was banished into Patmos in Claudius his time, and therefore S. John accounts from the time of his Banishment, as Ezekiel from the Epoche of his Captivity. But this is a very weak Allegation. For Ezekiel did not compute the time from his particular Captivity, but from the Captivity of Jeconiah, as you may see again and again in Gaspar Sanctius upon Ezekiel. Besides that it is one thing for a man to compute what happened to himself, as Ezekiel did, from the time of his private Captivity, and another to reckon the succession of Kings or Emperours from so private an Epoche. And then, which is still worse, it is not at all probable that S. John was banished into Patmos in the reign of Claudius: not onely because he suffered not as a Jew, but as he was a witness of Jesus; but also because he has not set down that Epoche, which had been very necessary, and but ill omitted, if there were any such great stress lay upon it, as to assure us of the truth of the main Visions of the Apocalyps.
Adde to this, that S. John was not at Rome, and therefore unconcerned in this Edict of Claudius; and if he had been there, or where-ever else he was, there is no mention made of any confinement to places in these Expulsions. And we see that Act. 18. Aquila and Priscilla, that were expelled from Rome, abode securely enough in Corinth,to whom S. Paul joyned himself, and wrought on his Trade with them. And, lastly, it is against the whole current of Antiquity, Irenaeus, Origen, Tertullian, Eusebius, Hieronymus, Nicephorus, Victorinus, Primasius, Andreas and Aretas, and against the universal suffrage of both Papists and Protestants, who with one voice declare that S. John‘s Exile into Patmos was under Domitian. But I need not insist on these things so much for the present, sith the confutation of his second Ground will make this vanish also.
4. Which second Ground is, That the Vision of the Whore and the Beast was wrote by S. John in Vespasian‘s time. But unless it was seen then, it will not serve the turn; forasmuch as it is not the voice of S. John, but of the Angel, that says, Five are fallen, and one is, and therefore the Vision, as well as the writing thereof, must be in Vespasian‘s time: And also in the Island Patmos, because once and for all at the beginning of this Book of Visions he saith, they happened to him in the Isle of Patmos, and never gives any other intimation throughout the whole Book: whence it is incredible but that they all befell him in that Retirement. Which things I note to meet with Grotius his supposition in his De Antichristo, That though S. John was banished into Patmos under Claudius, yet he was out of the Island in Vespasian‘s time. From whence I would infer, that the Vision of the Whore and the Beast was not seen by John in Vespasian‘s time. Which is the utter destruction of Grotius his Exposition, as I noted before.
5. And this alone of his own concession were enough to put an end to this Debate: but it being a matter of such great consequence, I shall insist a little larger upon it, and no less then demonstrate the utter insufficiency and weakness of this Ground of Grotius. Wherefore sticking close to the Catholick suffrage of Antiquity and of all Writers as well Protestants as Papists, let us again consider what reason Grotius has to exile S. John into Patmos in Claudius his time: for Claudius his expelling the Jews from Rome falls short of banishing John into Patmos by many degrees.
For, first, Grotius was to prove that by Jews are meant Christians in that place. For there are no contemptible reasons to induce one to believe that the Jews, not the Christians, are meant there. First, Because the Christians sought a Kingdom above, not on the Earth: but the Jews ran mad after such a Christ or Messias as would make them Masters of the World; and therefore they onely could seem dangerous in Rome,as whose Tumults tended to an Earthly Booty. Secondly, In the Acts this Edict of Claudius is mentioned as touching the Jews onely, and Aquila and Priscilla, as being Jews, (for there is not the least intimation of their being Christians) are said to depart from Rome to Corinth. Thirdly, The fresh remembrance of Tiberius his Edict against the Accusers of Christians might have still that influence upon the mind of his Successors, that so suddenly no such harsh Sentence should pass against them; especially they being a people, as I said, whose thoughts were on Heaven, did not lie at catch for things on Earth. And, lastly, None of the Ancients ever taxed Claudius for any injury done to the Christians; whenas if they had been banished, and S. Johnhimself confined to Patmos, (which had been a very severe punishment, and to flesh and bloud little less tolerable then death) undoubtedly the Infamie of so great a Cruelty would have been transmitted to Posterity by the Church, and Claudius not escaped the brand of a Persecutor.
Nor do those words of Suetonius prove the Edict to belong to the Christians, Claudius Judaeos impulsore Chresto tumultuantes Româ expulit; but onely that there was an Edict against the Jews. For who can believe any weight in his asserting that they tumultuated impulsore Chresto, whenas Christ was not then alive on Earth, much less at Rome, to incense the Jews into Tumults? unless it was that the Jews were occasionally vext at the Christians in Rome, and made a great deal a-doe at their acknowledging such a Messias as was crucifi’d, and therefore of whom there was no hope of serving their turn for the regaining of their liberty and making them great men in this world. Wherefore there being such a stir with the Jews concerning their Chrestus or Messias against the Christians, uncertain Fame might make Suetoniusphrase it so as he has: but this Inspection into the Genius of the Jews might cause Claudius to expel them out of the City, it may be, in favour of the Christians, as well as for his own security. This passage in Suetonius is so far from determining this Edict to the Christians, that Orosius gives this judgment of it: Utrùm Oros. lib. 7. cap. 6.contra Christum tumultuantes Judaeos coërceri & comprimi jusserit, an etiam Christianos simul, velut cognatae religionis homines, voluerit expelli, nequaquam discernitur.So little assurance is there that Claudius did any evil at all to the Christians by that Edict mentioned in Suetonius.
6. But suppose that Decree reached the Christians also at Rome; it is but an arbitrarious surmise to think it reached to other parts of the Empire: and if to other parts of the Empire, it is not a Confinement, as I have above hinted, but a Banishment at large from some one certain place; and then onely of such, it is most likely, as were in Tumults, or at least from such Towns where they might have caused Tumults; which was most unlikely in the place where S. John resided, the sweetness and peaceableness of whose spirit would tempt any discreet Governour to retain him, for the better keeping things in peace. And yet so extravagant is this supposition, that he is the onely man that is thus sharply dealt with, nor can they produce an example of any one else thus banished in Claudius his time; and yet all the Apostles certainly were busie enough in doing their duties to propagate Christianity in the Empire.
7. I but you will say, this Record of Claudius his expelling the Jews from Rome, being seconded with the Testimony of Epiphanius, who affirms him banished into Patmosunder the same Emperour, is such a double cord as will not easily be broken: Which I would the easilier grant, if they had any strength at all single; as I have shew’d the first has none, and shall doe the like for the second.
There are two places alledged out of Epiphanius: The one Haeres. 51. Sect. 33. where speaking of S. John, he writes thus; […], &c. But these words are not spoken definitively of S. John‘s being in Patmos in Claudius Caesar‘s reign, but onely that he was in Patmos and did prophesie there: but for the time he says it was at the farthest in Claudius his reign; for that is the meaning of […], that it was the soonest that he could be thought to prophesie in Patmos, as an Exul there; but he does not say absolutely he prophesied then. So that it is a more lax and conjectural Affirmation concerning the time, and onely says that it is the utmost distance within which he may be thought to have prophesied; not denying but that the time of his Prophesying might be later, suppose in Domitian‘s time. Of which Petavius is so confident, that he writes over against Imperante Claudio in the Text, this short Marginal Note, Mendosè, pro Domitiano; he taking it for granted that Epiphanius speaks more definitively then I think he does. And I believe both Grotius, and others that cite the place to the same purpose with him, were aware of such a sense of […] as I have hinted, which made them leave it out of their Citation, as weakening the force thereof.
Nor is it any Argument that Epiphanius does dogmatically define that S. Johnprophesied in Claudius his time, because if he was not perswaded of that opinion, he would have followed the ordinary one, as being fitter to use against the Montanists,that would derogate from the truth of the Apocalyps, by reason of the Epistle to the Church of Thyatira, which they pretend to be wrote before there was any Church there: for then the later written the better. But supposing the Father uncertain which was true, and not assured but that the Montanists would prove that there was no Church as yet at Thyatira in Domitian‘s time neither; were there any likelihood that […]e would peremptorily pitch upon Domitian‘s reign rather then of the other, or rather not decline both, and betake himself to some other Answer, as indeed he does? For he seems to be in love with the Objection thus circumstantiated, he gaining so much (as he conceives) upon the Objectors as by their own Supposition to make them acknowledge S. John, or the Author of this Book of Visions, to be really endued with the Spirit of Prophecie. […] For if they say there was not a Church atThyatira in being at that instant when S. John wrote, they plainly declare that S. John did prophesie and intimated afore-hand that there would be one. Wherefore Epiphanius found little reason why he should, from the state of the present Controversie, chuse the ordinary opinion rather then that which is accounted his own.
8. The other place of Epiphanius is Haeres. 51. Sect. 12. where he tells us how S. John was impelled and constrained to write the Gospel by the instigation of the Holy Ghost; though he very much declined it […], yet he was forced by that impulse, and that in his old age, […] when he was more then ninety years old, after his return out of Patmos, which happened in Claudius his time. Where there is this adjection of the mention of his return from Patmos as a confirmation of the grandevity of the Apostle at that time.
Now let us see what service this Magnus testis & Historiarum diligentissimus Inquisitor (as Grotius calls him, as well as he does Petavius who so plainly contradicts him in this very point) can doe this learned Interpreter in the present case. For this passage, if there had been any force in the former, does quite obtund it, it shewing Epiphanius not at all diligent in Chronologie, (as Alcazar has also well observed) in making S. John above ninety years old in Claudius his time, whenas the common Tradition of the Church is, that he was very young when he entred upon his Apostleship. S. Jerom saith that Christ chose him when he was but a youth or child. Baronius makes him just twenty five years old at the Passion of our Saviour. The Scripture it self implies also that he was but young, in that Christ says to his Mother concerning John, Woman, behold thy son; which should imply that he was at least as young as our Saviour Christ, he being himself born of the Virgin when she was but of the age of fifteen, as Nicephorus relates out of an Epistle of Euodius Bishop of Antioch. But by Epiphanius his Chronologie S. John would be at least twenty years older then the Blessed Virgin, concerning whom notwithstanding Christ says to John, Behold thy Mother. And which is still worse, if S. John was ninety years old when he came out of Patmos under the reign of Claudius, it will run the Nativity of Christ near fourty years back, and place it long before Cyrenius was Governour of Syria; forasmuch as all men conceive S. John to be at least as young as our Saviour, if not much younger.
Which Absurdities detect Epiphanius not to be so great and unexceptionable a Witness in History as Grotius would make him. And therefore Petavius again peremptorily sets down in the Margin over against Epiphanius his […], Sub Cocceio Nerva Joannes revocatur ab exilio: Which certainly is the truth, and agrees with that time of S. John‘s age which Epiphanius allots to him, when he wrote the Gospel. For supposing him to be born about the same time our Saviour was, or a little later, this writing of the Gospel will fall into the years of Nerva, or at least some few years after Domitian, according as you shall finde it set down in Chronologies.
9. But supposing Epiphanius his Testimony of value in this case, the same Epiphaniusthat witnesses John in Patmos under the reign of Claudius, witnesses him out again in the same reign; which, as I have Sect. 4.already noted, spoils Grotius his Project, who would have S. John prophesy in Vespasian‘s time, else all the fat is in the fire as touching the Interpretation of the Seventeenth Chapter of the Apocalyps. But I think I have plainly proved that there can be nothing gained out of Epiphanius for establishing Grotius his conceit, these Passages of the Father being either but Conjectures or Inadvertencies, or else some lapses of the Scribe, who wrote, it seems, more glibly the name of Claudius then of the other two Emperours; as it might appear in that second Citation, S. John being indeed about that age when he came out of Patmos in Cocceius Nerva his time, but not in Claudius‘s.
10. So that Grotius has not so much as one Witness to countenance his new Invention; and if he had had this one, what is one to the whole stream of Antiquity and of the Churches? Nay, what is Epiphanius his Testimony compared with the Testimony of that one single Father Irenaeus, he living two hundred years nearer S. John‘s time then Epiphanius, and who expresly asserts, in Eusebius, that the Apocalyps was imparted to S. John at the end of Domitian‘s reign? For speaking of the Name of the Beast, he writes thus; […], If the name of the Beast had been openly to be divulged at this time, it would have been told by him that saw those Visions which under one collective Title are called The Apocalyps: For they were seen not long since at the end of Domitian‘s reign.
11. This I doubt not but is the genuine sense of these words, and that he speaks not of the Vision of the Beast alone under that name of the Apocalyps, but of the whole body of Visions so called: Otherwise for distinctness sake he would have said, not[…], but […], especially considering Apocalypsis had then passed into a known Title of this volume of Visions. Besides that the Name of the Beast was not seen by S. John, but the Number of his Name: And therefore whereas the Latine has it, Antichristi nomen per ipsum utique editum fuisset qui Apocalypsin videret, neque enim ante multum temporis visum est; I should easily believe that visum got in for visa, by the oscitancy of the Scribe. For unless the Interpreter of Irenaeus had understood [qui Apocalypsin videret] of the whole Collection of Visions, and not of the Beast onely and his Name, he would have rather said Revelationem,and for sureness have added ejus, to make the sense more distinct and determinate; qui Revelationem ejus videret. And lastly, suppose this Testimony proved onely that the Vision of the Thirteenth Chapter of the Revelation was seen at the end of Domitian‘s reign, (which I have not the least conceit of) it will not serve Grotius his turn, since this of the Seventeenth Chapter is later, both by order of situation in the Apocalyps, and also by nature. For it being the plainest Vision concerning the Beast with seven Heads and ten Horns that was exhibited to S. John, and containing in it a Key for the right understanding the other, it ought to come last, the Comment being naturally later then the Text, according to common sense and reason.
12. Wherefore seeing there is no proof at all that Claudius persecuted the Christians, much less that he exiled John into Patmos, but that Domitian was a notorious Persecuter, and universal Antiquity attesting that S. John was banished into Patmosunder him, and that there he received the Apocalyps; there is nothing to give a stop to the Conclusion, but that we may inferre that the whole Volume of those Visions was there wrote by him towards the latter end of Domitian‘s reign, as Irenaeus has affirmed, (the Second Persecution beginning not till the tenth year of Domitian) I mean the latter end of his real and uncontrovertible reign, when he succeeded his Brother Titus, not that imaginary one in his Father’s absence, for he was not then truly Emperour. And though we should admit he had two reigns; if the end of his reign be mentioned at large, as it is here in Irenaeus, it must either signifie the end of all that time he reigned, or the end of his more notorious and confessed reign, which is here all one, and therefore most certainly understood. So that there is no avoiding the Authority of Irenaeus by this sleight. Not to adde that there is no Persecution taken notice of in all Vespasian‘s reign, and therefore no Patmos for S. John,and consequently no Prophecy, as I have noted above. So that there is not the least shadow of probability that the Apocalyps was wrote at any other time then in what Irenaeus has declared it to be.
13. The Apocalyps it self also witnesses against this dream of S. John‘s being in Patmos under Claudius his reign, in that general Preface to all the Visions, I John, who am also your brother and companion in tribulation, and in the Kingdom and Patience of Jesus Christ, &c. Which shews it was a time of great distress amongst the Christians and of smart Persecution. Which was so to none but John, if this was in Claudius his time; at least not in Asia, to which Churches he writes.
But there is yet another more apposite place for our purpose, I mean, the Martyrdome of Antipas Bishop of the Church of Pergamus, who suffered under Domitian about the tenth year of his reign. That which I note as most remarkable in his story is, That he was solicited by the Governour of the place to renounce Christianity, because it was but a Novelty, urging upon him […] the very same argument which the Papists use to seduce our modern Antipae or Antipapists. But that which I drive at is this; That the mention of Antipas his Martyrdome as past in the very beginning of this Book of Visions does plainly detect that they were all seen after the beginning of the second Persecution, which was under Domitian, and above twenty years after the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus. For that the Record of Antipas his Martyrdome is true, there can be no doubt, his mention in the Apocalyps engaging the Church to take more then ordinary notice of that Martyr. Nor can any After-figments concerning his suffering, I mean the manner of it, make the faith of the Church at all suspected concerning the time. So solid assurance is there every way that this Volume of Apocalyptick Visions was delivered to John in Patmos at the latter end of Domitian‘s reign, and so convincing evidence on every side, that he must be Sceptical even to dotage that after due consideration can at all doubt of it.
14. The eviction of which truth I have thus copiously and industriously wrought out, because it does not onely lay flat to the ground all the Interpretations of Grotius in these Thirteenth and Seventeenth Chapters, but also all his Expositions of the Seven Seals and Seven Trumpets, and consequently of the whole Book of the Apocalyps.For he interprets the Seals and Trumpets of things that happened many years before this Prophecy: which makes the Apocalyps as good sense as if it were a Foretelling of things that were past; whenas the Preface to the whole Book runs expresly thus, The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants […], such things as are shortly to come to pass. But according to Grotius his Interpretation of the Seals and Trumpets, which are a chief part of the Prophecy, and also of the Battel betwixt Michael and the Dragon, and several other Visions, the Preface should have run thus, The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants what things came to pass some while ago. Which things being also set down so Aenigmatically, as if he had a minde to hide what was plainly brought to light in actual Events, the Title might have been more properly the Obvelation or Obscuration then the Revelation. So fruitful is one Absurdity once admitted for the encrease and multiplying many others.
1. That as Grotius has mis-timed these Visions, so his Interpretations are accordingly absurd and incongruous. 2. The groundlesness of his beginning the Compute of the Seven Heads at Claudius, and ending it in Domitian. 3. The dim-sightedness of the ancient Fathers that could not discern Domitian to be the Beast that was, and is not,though they stood so exceeding much nearer him then Grotius. 4. The trivialness and falsity of this Conceit of his. 5. The second, third and fourth Absurdities of Grotius his Exposition of this Seventeenth Chapter. 6. The fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth Absurdities. 7. The ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth. 8. The thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth Absurdities of his Exposition.
1. WHerefore the Foundation of Grotius his Expositions being so false and flitting; and such as cannot but shrink if it be hard pressed upon, the structure cannot be sound, nor well shapen, but forced, distorted, and difform. For if Prophecy will fit as well those times they aim not at as those they do, they will be clouded with such invincible obscurity, that they will lose both their usefulness and authentickness.
We shall shew therefore that Grotius, as he has gone upon a false Ground, so his Expositions of these Seventeenth and Thirteenth Chapters are answerably harsh and unapplicable, and that he has left the plain road, and rush’d through hedge and ditch, and pulled up all fences, to gather a Nosegay of Flowers that both smell ill, and immediately wither in his hand in the very gathering of them.
2. Supposing then that the Visions of the Seventeenth and Thirteenth Chapters were imparted to S. John in Vespasian‘s time, (which yet to me is undoubtedly false) let us take this brief view of the Harshnesses and Incongruities of his Interpretation.
As first, Whereas he makes the Seven Heads of the Beast to be Seven Emperours,five whereof were gone in Vespasian‘s time, namely Claudius, Nero, Galba, Otho, Vitellius; I have shewn already that there is no reason at all for his beginning his compute at Claudius, John neither being banished in his reign, nor he being so ill an Emperour as his Predecessour Caius Caligula, and the Church reckoning not their Persecutions before Nero, nor any complaint made of Nero‘s successours till Domitian, that these should be such Heads of Blasphemy above the rest of the Emperours. Whence it is a very groundless and fictitious thing to make but five Headsto have preceded Vespasian, whenas he was the tenth from Julius Caesar; and then to take in but two of his successours, Titus and Domitian, whenas at least thirty succeeded him, in whose time were eight of the Persecutions of the Christians.
3. For which curt reckoning Grotius has no excuse but that it falls so luckily to Domitian‘s share to be the Beast that was, and is not, and yet is; forasmuch as he had been Emperour in his Father’s absence, was not when this Vision was given, and yet was, to wit, in being, and should ascend out of the bottomless pit again, that is, be Emperour again, after his Father and Brother Titus his decease. This is the matter in which Grotius so much applauds himself, to the great reproach of the ancient Fathers, who being so exceeding much more near to the time of Domitian then Grotius, could not for all that discern the fulfilling of this Prophecy in him: which therefore was, it should seem, ever useless to the Church, being no premonition to them of any thing.
4. But to profess my own judgement freely concerning this Conceit, it seems to me to make the Spirit of Prophecy to affect the foretelling of pretty things rather then useful and weighty. But as I have already demonstrated out of Chronology that this supposition of the time of the Vision is false, (whereby the peculiar support and recommendableness of the interpretation is quite taken away) so are there also several Inconcinnities in it, and even Historical Defects, and nothing but what is hard and suspicable.
For, in the first place, I will deny that Domitian was ever really and truly Emperour in his Father’s time, but that he was onely a pragmatical and active young man, and did, as his Father Vespasian complains, terminos aetatis & concessa filio egredi, that he went something beyond his tether; which he might doe without being Emperour, as also be saluted by that Title in Courtship by Flatterers. But a civil salutation is no Instalment into the Imperial Power; otherwise Titus had been also Emperour in his Father’s time, whom the Souldiery, at his taking Jerusalem, did with an universal gratulatory Acclamation salute Emperour. Nay he wore a Diadem also at Memphis at the Consecration of the Aegyptian Apis, and great rumours and suspicions there were that he had seized on the Eastern part of the Empire against his Father. It were too voluminous a business to enter into History; but I doubt not but, laying all passages together, Titus will be found as much Emperour in his Father’s time as Domitian, and rather much more, and therefore a fitter person to be the Beast that was, and is not, then Domitian in that regard. But neither of them fit, because neither of them were truly and really Emperours before their Father’s decease.
Besides this, it is quite out of the road of the Prophetick style to call a Single Person a Beast, which in that style always signifies a Body Politick. And then to say he is not,because not Emperour, is hardly true; and that elegant contradiction, [that he is not, and yet is] so expounded, that he is a Man, though he be not an Emperour, is but a flat and dilute Opposition in comparison of that in the Exposition I have given thereof, in shewing that the Image of the Beast is the Beast and is not the Beast. But they could not say in Vespasian‘s time, nor in Domitian‘s own time, that Domitianwas Emperour and yet not Emperour at once.
And, lastly, his ascending out of the bottomless pit is a Prophetick phrase, the same that to ascend out of the Sea, o […] the multitude of Waters, which is proper to Bodies Politick, they consisting of multitudes of men, but not fit to be said of a Single Person, no more then Beast in the Prophetick style is.
5. Secondly, The Angel’s Interpretation of the Heads of the Beast is, that they are so many Kings, of which, saith Grotius, Domitian is the Eighth; […], He is the eighth King. Wherefore Domitian is plainly and unavoidably the eighth Head, according to Grotius his Interpretation, and the fore-going Exposition of the Angel, which cannot be rejected. Whence it will follow that the Beast has eight Heads, which is point-blank against all the Visions of the Beast which exhibit him ever Seven-headed.
Thirdly, Grotius notwithstanding makes Domitian the Beast himself. Which is a thing impossible, that one and the same Being should be both the whole Beast and the Head of the Beast. Besides, how hard and vexed a sense, or rather how palpable a piece of Non-sense, will that be that shall pretend to make Claudius, Nero, Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian and Titus the Heads of Domitian, they being all of one equal Supremacy, I mean Domitian with those other seven foregoing Caesars, and not in being when he was the Beast, and therefore impossible to be his Seven Heads?
Fourthly, How wild a conceit again is it, to clap Ten Horns on this one Man or Beast Domitian his head some Ages after his ceasing to be, as I have else-where noted Grotius to doe, who makes these Ten Horns to be the Ostrogotthi, Wisigotthi, Vandali, Gepidae, &c? Certainly it were requisite that Domitian were raised out of Hell again to live upon Earth, (as a late Essayer upon the Apocalypsimagines) to make this part of the Prophecie any thing at all applicable unto him. Whence the madness of Grotius his Exposition is more fully detected, that cannot be made out without the help of such incredible Extravagancies.
6. Fifthly, The Beast that was, and is not, is the very Beast which the Whore is said to ride upon, as is plain out of the Text: The Beast which thou sawest, was, and is not;and the Whore rode upon the Beast which he saw. Did therefore the Whore (which Grotius interprets Dominatio Romana) ride onely in Domitian‘s time, and go on foot in the former and following Ages.
Sixthly, The Beast which John saw, Grotius first interprets the Roman Pagan Idolatry. But was this Beast so short-liv’d as to be included within the space of the reign of seven Emperours? or did this Beast live so long time without any Heads, then with seven successive Heads, and then for a long time without Heads again, that it should be called the Beast with seven Heads and no more?
Seventhly, To call Idolatry in the Abstract a Beast, is quite out of the Prophetick style; and to make one and the same Beast one while Idolatry and another while Domitian, is to change Substances into Accidents and Accidents into Substances[…]and to speak contradictiously to the express Interpretation of the Angel himself, who says, The Beast which thou sawest, was, and is not, which in Grotius his way can be none but Domitian. Nor is there any subterfuge to be sought in a second Henopoeia in this case: for that Figure is no shelter for bungles and shifts from Abstracts to Concretes in the same kind, but a handsom Repository for different matters signifiable by one Type; as is easie to be understood from what is declared concerning that Scheme.
Eighthly, If Domitian be the Beast and the Whore the Roman Power, then the RomanPower rides on Domitian‘s back, as if Domitian were not the Head but the Body of the Empire, or, if you will, metamorphoz’d by this marvellous Interpretation into Apuleiushis Ass for the Roman Power to ride on. But then again Domitian being chief of the Roman Power himself, he must by this account ride also upon himself, and make a wonderful Centaure, such as the deepest-witted Poets never so much as dream’d of.
7. Ninthly, If the Whore be the Roman Pagan Power, how can she be said to be the Mother of Fornications, and out of her Cup to intoxicate the Kings of the Earth with that kind of wickedness, whenas all the Earth, before the Empire was Christian, were Idolaters of themselves, and stored Rome her self with multifarious kinds of Idolatry? Which Objection neither Grotius nor any one else, with all the fetches they have, will be ever able to assoil.
Tenthly, This Inscription on the Whore of Babylon, Babylon the Great,Apoc. 17. the Mother of Fornications, cannot be understood of Rome Heathen, as Grotius would have it, because there is prefixed [Mystery] before it; which would be a sorry Mystery indeed, if it were onely a bare Synecdoche, and should intimate no more then that Rome Pagan was another Babylon, that is to say, an Idolatrous City. O the depth of the Mystery!
In the eleventh place, Those ten Kingdomes which Grotius would insinuate to be the ten Horns, were not Kingdoms intra fines Imperii Romani, as he speaks, before the Conversion of the Empire to Christianity, nay indeed before the subversion of it, or discerption into many Kingdoms: how then could these Kings give their Power to the Beast; I mean not Apocal. 17. 13.onely to Domitian, who is farther removed from them, but to the Roman Pagan Idolatry, which by this time of Discerption had ceased to be the Religion of the Empire? Or how can they be said to eat the flesh of the Whore and burn her with fire, whenas the City of Rome had ceased to be Vers. 16.the Pagan Whore before these Kings were in being, much more before she was assaulted and sacked by Totilas,which was Anno 547. whenas Gentilism was cast out and the Temples of their Idols demolished all over the Empire about the year 399. the very next to that wherein (according to the Devil’s mistake upon his survey of the proportion betwixt the Inward and Outward Court of the Temple) Christianity was expected by the Heathens to expire?
And again in the twelfth place, How can those Ten Kings which Grotius assigns be said to fight against the Lamb in his sense, that is against Christianity Apoc. 17. 14.in the behalf of the Roman Pagan Idolatry, whenas the Empire had then become Christian, and was not that Pagan Beast to whom they should lend their aid and power against the preaching of the Gospel? Was it a likely thing that such ten Kings that were foes to Christianity should, as Grotiusspeaks, intra fines Imperii Romani Romanis ipsis concedentibus regnare? So impossible is Grotius his Interpretation concerning the ten Horns every way.
8. In the thirteenth place, This destruction of Babylon is a perfect […], a full and final destruction, set out by the casting a Milstone into the midst of the Sea. But none of Grotius his Ten Kings ever destroyed Rome in such a manner.
In the fourteenth, That exhortation to the People of God to goe out ofApoc. 18. 4.Babylon, lest they partake of her sins, can make no good sense in Totilas his time. For would the Angel have all the Christians leave the City of Rome in the year 546. and for several years upwards toward Constantine‘s time, because there might be some Pagan Idolaters still amongst them, and not rather keep the City, for the better suppressing Idolatry and quite extinguishing it, and not let it spread more by the receding of the hearty Christians out of it? Truly this gloss of Grotius is very ridiculous and incredible, that makes the Angel utter such an irrational Exhortation.
Fifteenthly, If [Come out of her, my people, lest ye partake of her sins] be, as Grotiusinterprets, Tu popule mi, ubi apparuerit Totilae exercitus, exite ad Basilicas Apostolorum extra Urbem, it will follow, that to have returned again into the City after Totilas was gone, had been to return into Babylon and partake of her sins again. Which is a very vain and fond conceit.
9. Lastly, His interpreting that Instigation [Reward her as she has rewarded you] to be made to Totilas and the Goths, is harsh and groundless. For what injury had Rome done to the Goths? but rather the Empire was injured by them. And therefore Grotius is sensible of the ill service that Pronoun […] does his Interpretation, and upon that account applauds a certain Manuscript that has left it out, but not very loudly, it being so generally contradicted by other Copies. Sed […]abest in MS. non malé.
1. That this Mis-timing of Visions must needs cast Grotius into the like Absurdities in interpreting the Thirteenth Chapter, and that his Exposition of the first verse thereof is guilty of at least nine or ten. 2. Four gross Contradictions in the second. 3. As many Incongruities or Weaknesses in the third. 4. As also in the fourth and fifth. 5. Two Absurdities in the sixth and seventh. 6. As many in the eighth. 7. Three Difficulties in the exposition of the tenth verse. 8. Five Incongruities in the eleventh. 9. His gross Interpretation of the twelfth verse. 10. Four Absurdities in the thirteenth. 11. Eight Incongruities or Weaknesses in his expositions on the fourteenth verse. 12. Three in the fifteenth. 13. Three or four more in the sixteenth and seventeenth. 14. And nine more in the eighteenth verse. 15. The astonishing consideration of the Absurdness of Grotius his Expositions compared with his Parts and Learning. 16. An useful Illation from this weak performance of his, That all the Expositions of the Romanists upon these two Chapters are superlatively frivolous and incredible.
1. THus many Incongruities and Inconsistencies, that I may not say Impossibilities and Contradictions, are there in […] Exposition of this Seventeenth Chapter. Let us now see how successful he is in the Thirteenth: where he taking the same liberty of applying the Prophecy to times it was never meant of, it will be a wonder if we finde not the Interpretation alike harsh and incongruous. Let us pass therefore through the whole Chapter from verse to verse. Where
In the first, he makes the Beast with seven Heads and ten Horns to be the RomanIdolatry, whose Heads are seven Hills, and whose Horns are ten Kings, namely, of Armenia, Thracia, Galatia, Pontus, Judaea, Arabia, Adiabena, Suevia, Alpes Cottiae,and Alpes Idionni. From which account notwithstanding he varies in his second Notations: And concerning which I will omit to note any thing farther, then that such 1 petty Kings as some of them are, in comparison of the Roman Empire especially, could not well deserve the name of the Horns thereof, and that in reference to Idolatry, 2 as if they were so peculiar Defenders of it. For there is no History that mentions their goring any one so particularly and considerably in the behalf thereof; and Judaea is an unsutable Horn for an Idolatrous Head to wear. Besides that their 3wearing of Crowns seems too magnificent an ornament for them that are acknowledged (besides the scantness of the Territories of some of them) to be Tributaries to the Roman State. So that the Invention seems something faint touching these Ten Kings, and the Prophecy useless, they tending to no notice of any thing to the Church that might at any time be useful for them.
But now concerning the Beast it self. Besides that it is 4 not according to the Prophetick style to interpret a Beast to be a Vice but a Body Politick, how can the 5Roman Idolatry be represented thereby, sith it is said to ascend out of the Sea, which Grotius confesses to signifie ortum habere? But the Roman Idolatry could not be prefigured to S. John as a thing to arise hereafter, since it had been in the world so many Ages agoe, and did still continue. Wherefore it was not to 6 begin with the fourty two moneths to come, nor was to end with them in Grotius his sense. Nor did the Deifying of their Caesars make a new Idolatry, no more then taking other Deities into their worship. Nor did that Idolatry 7 continue but fourty two moneths, as Grotius expounds moneths in this place; I say, neither the Roman Idolatry nor Cruelty continued but fourty two moneths: and therefore the Beast here described cannot be Idololatria ferino more saeviens in that meaning Grotius would have it.
Adde to all this, That the making the Seven Heads to be the Seven Hills of Rome is a very unlikely Exposition here, both because in the foregoing Chapter these Heads are said to be 8 crowned, which is not proper for Hills, and one of them in this Chapter to be 9 wounded and healed again, which is as little proper to these dead Heaps of Earth; as also it is very harsh to 10 clap on seven Heads and ten Horns in a Concrete sense upon a Beast that is an Abstract. Which is as harsh as to make the body of a Bull Redness in the Abstract, and then to set a solid Head and Horns upon him of hard bone and flesh, &c. If a man will be so curious as to count, he will finde Grotiushis Interpretation guilty of at least nine or ten Weaknesses or Incongruities in this very first verse. But we proceed.
2. In the second, he makes Claudius the Body of this Beast which is Panther-like, and Domitian the Mouth thereof; then which nothing can be more extravagant. For this Beast with seven Heads and ten Horns he acknowledges to be the Roman Idolatry in the 17th Chapter also. Whence it will follow, 1 That Claudius is both the Body of the Beast and one of the Heads; and 2 Domitian both Body, Head and Mouth, as may appear from what was noted in the foregoing Chapter. And also, which is as harsh as any thing, Claudius being the Body of the Beast and Domitian the Mouth, 3 the Body will be without a Mouth for as many years as there are betwixt Claudius and Domitian‘s reign, which was about fourty years. The 4 Dragon also giving his power to the Beast and his Throne, can be no Prophecy of the Roman Idolatrie’s receiving of it, because that was done many Ages before.
3. In the third, he makes the Head of the Beast wounded to death to be the Capitol,and the healing thereof the building of it up again by Vespasian; upon whose Coin was stamped Roma resurges. 1 Now, first, I say that it is an hard Metaphor to say an Edifice of wood or stone is wounded to death, and then healed. But suppose the Capitol wounded, 2 the Hill was not hurt, at least not wounded to death; so that unless there were seven Capitols as well as seven Hills, the Conceit will come off very hardly: but if you leave the Capitol, and take to the Hill, the Hill can no more be said to be wounded then a mans Head whose Hat is onely cut. Again, the main thing aimed at by Grotius in interpreting this wounded Head of the fall of the Capitolis not true. 3 For Idolatry was not at all lessened by the fall of the Capitol, nor the fear of the Romans that the worship of Idols would fall after it, but that the Empire would be ruined by the incursion of the Northern Nations; and upon this account is that Omen inscribed upon Vespasian‘s Coin, Roma resurges. And, lastly, whereas it is said that all the world wondered after the Beast upon the healing of his deadly wound; it is manifest that some 4 stranger thing then the building up the Capitolmust be understood thereby. For was it any wonder to strike all the world, that the Capitol should be built up again by so rich a City and the Lady of the world? Truly the great wonder had been if they had not re-built it.
4. In the fourth, he interprets […], Idololatriae inservierunt: which is as if it were[…], 1 they worshipped Idolatry. Which is a very hard phrase.
In the fifth, here Domitian is made the Mouth of the Beast, as was said before, and by attributing the reign of the Beast to him, 2 the whole Beast: and this because Domitian‘s Persecution is supposed to be but three years & an half; for he began to persecute, saith Grotius, in the thirteenth year of his Reign, and was slain in the sixteenth. 3 But this does not prove that his Persecution was just three years and an half; and Baronius and other Chronologers place the beginning of that Persecution in the tenth year of his Reign. Besides, 4 the Text does not say, He shall persecute three years and an half, but continue so long. But Domitian continued above three years and an half, for he reigned sixteen years according to Grotius his own confession.
5. In the sixth and seventh, he makes Domitian still the Beast, and expounds [And there was power given him over every Tribe, and People, and Language] of the power of his Example to a more impudent exercise of Idolatry. That’s one shift. Another is this, That in his reign the Dacae, Catti and Sarmatae were overcome, and the Roman Idolatry propagated thereby: as if it were a worse Idolatry then that of those Barbarians. But let any one judge if such a lank and improper sense as this can fill out the meaning of the Prophecie, which speaks of a 1 Political, not Moral, Power over the Nations, and of a thing as 2 new. But that the Roman Empire had such a large Dominion, was true in the reigns of the fore-going Emperours as well as in his.
6. In the eighth, here he makes the Beast, whom all (whose names are not in the Book of Life) do worship, to be in one Exposition Domitian, and that to 1 worship him is to imitate him in Idolatry and Cruelty; which is a very insipid sense, and without example in this case, and such as himself seems out of conceit with: And therefore in his after-Exposition Domitian is not the Beast, but Idolatry, as if to 2 worship Idolatry were a more tolerable phrase. But there must needs be this shifting and fridging when an Interpretation sits so uneasie on a Text as this does.
7. In the tenth, If any one strike with the sword, he shall perish by the sword; This he applies to Domitian who was stabbed by Stephanus. But it seems to be 1 most natural to conceive the menaces of leading into captivity and perishing by the swordspoke concerning the same party. And therefore Captivity being not understood of Domitian, that being smitten by the sword is not understood of him; but that the Prophecie concerns a Body Politick, and not a Single Person. For the 2 Patience and Faith of the Saints seems also to imply a larger exercise of these vertues then the term of three years and an half would urge them to: as also there seems to be an Intimation of being 3 freed from their troubles after this Beast is vanquished; but if Domitian be he, not the smallest part of them are over by his death, there being no fewer then eight grievous Persecutions behind. Not to suggest that there was a greater affliction upon the Christians in Nero‘s time then in Domitian‘s, whom Tertullian calls onely Portionem Neronis. And therefore the Faith and Patience of the Saints were most exercised then. Which further betrays the groundlesness and arbitrariousness of Grotius his Exposition.
8. In the eleventh, here he makes the Beast with two Horns like a Lamb to be Art Magick, and the Two Horns themselves to be Abstinence from Meats, and Chastity or Abstinence from Women. Which he would have to be an imitation of Christianity, and therefore to be called the Horns of a Lamb. But in that this Beast is said to speak like a Dragon, that it is imply’d that what he utters is for the honour of the Devil. In which Interpretation there are these flaws. 1. That the Beast is an Art, and not a Body Politick; which is against the Laws of the Prophetick style. 2. That the Horns are simulated Vertues, not Political powers seated in some men or other; which is the genuine meaning of Horns in the phrase of the Prophets, and which is to be found first before we adjoyn any other secondary sense to the Type. 3. Vowed Coelibateand Abstinence from Meats are so far from being the characteristical Vertues of Christianity, that they are disavowed by her, as being either Parts or Signs of the Great Apostasie that was to seize the Church. 4. There seems plainly intimated a strange contradiction and opposition in the Property of this Beast, That it looking so Christian-like, should speak for the Devil: but if this Beast were Magick, it were strange if it did not speak the language of the Dragon. Lastly, The times which Grotius fixes this Prophecie to, namely of Domitian and Trajan, do not agree with his conceit, these Emperours being no favourers of Magick, but the former rather a persecutor of it, and of that very Apollonius whom he conceives to be especially pointed at in this Prophecie.
9. In the twelfth, he makes the Two-horned Beast’s exercising all the power of the former Beast before him, to signifie, that Magick also had her Sacrifices as well as Idolatry. But truly Magick though it had Sacrifices, yet they were clancular ones, as being so horrid and execrable. And Philostratus makes it his business several times to clear Apollonius from that suspicion. Which is a sign that Magick had not so open an exercise of its abhorred Sacrifices as this Text would import, if Grotius his Interpretation were true. Plinie calls them Sacra Prodigiosa, and tells us that this sacrificing of men was taken away by a Decree of the Senate, bestowing this Epiphonema upon the Roman State for so doing, Non satis aestimariHistor. Natur. lib. 30. cap. 1.potest quantum Romanis debeatur qui sustulere monstra, in quibus hominem occidere religiosum erat, mandi verò etiam saluberrimum.And this certainly is properly that Magick which was distinguishable from Pagan Idolatry simply so called, (which worshipped and invoked the Devil as well as the Magicians;) but such, as the Roman Idolatry would not suffer her to exercise her power in her sight upon any pretence. Nor did Apollonius exercise any such power, who being a Pythagorean abhorred all bloudy Sacrifices whatsoever.
10. In the thirteenth, he interprets the bringing down fire from Heaven of that Lightning which happened at Apollonius his birth, and of that glimpse of Light that Achilles Ghost gave at his departure after Apollonius his conference with him by night at his Sepulchre. Which is a very frigid Exposition. For why should that Lightning which happened at Apollonius his birth be imputed to him as an effect of his Magick, 1 who was neither capable then of being a Magician nor any thing else? Besides that he was born before this Prophecie, as Grotius himself must needs according to his own account acknowledge and admit; and therefore upon 2 that ground the Interpretation is impossible. That glimpse of Light also which Achilles Ghost gave at his parting, that it should be the causing fire to fall from Heaven, is altogether incredible; 3 for this glimpse of Light was upon Earth where the Ghost was, did not fall from the Skie; besides, it was in 4 private, as the story in Philostratus will prove, not […], not in the face or view of the world.
11. In the fourteenth, he interprets the making of an Image to the Beast, of Apollonius his boasting that he had raised up the Ghost of Achilles in favour of Idolatry. But who ever expounded […] (which is to make an Image, Picture, or Statue) to raise a Ghost? For supposing […] would signifie so as Umbrae in Latine, (of which notwithstanding I dare say there is no example) yet […] would not be good sense; forasmuch as these Umbrae are not made by Magical Evocations, but made onely to appear. 2. He would not have said […], which ordinarily signifies no more then […], but […], if it were a boast of something done already, and not a precept or command to doe something. 3. If the sense were […], it would have been said also, to continue the sense in the following verse, […], as any one will acknowledge that does but observe the contexture of the whole sentence. Lastly, whereas this conjuring up the Ghost of Achilles was to revive the Beast who had the deadly wound, as Grotius intimates, this clashes with what was acknowledged before, that this wound was healed in reedifying the Capitol. Nor can this healing be naturally understood of any more then the first-mentioned wound which the Beast received in the Battel with Michael.
But Grotius distrusting the fitness of this Exposition, upon second thoughts forges another to adde to it, namely, That the Disciples of Apollonius caused a Statue to be erected to him. But if this be [……], Apollonius will prove the Seven-headed Beast, because the Image is erected to him. 2. Grotius produces no History that attests that certain Magicians, Disciples of Apollonius, gave any such order. 3. That expression [Saying to them that dwell upon Earth] is too big for the private Instructions of any Disciples of Apollonius to one single Town or some few persons therein. Lastly, it is but a lank business to take notice of one single Statue for Idolatry, when there were already innumerable numbers of them in the Empire.
12. In the fifteenth, he interprets the Two-horned Beast’s giving life or breath to the Image, so that it would speak, of Apollonius his Confabulation with Achilles Ghost, or of his Statue’s speaking. But suppose his Statue did speak, (which yet Philostratus,who made it his business by travel and enquiry to know where Apollonius was buried, does not mention) it is not presently to be imputed to Magick, since that Idol-garrulity is often noted in History without any such reflexion. 2. That Image that is here said to speak, is said to give in charge that they that would not worship the Image of the Beast should be killed; but there is no record of any such Edict from either the Ghost of Achilles or the Statue of Apollonius, that they that would not worship their Images should be killed. 3. But if the worshipping of the Image of the Beast be understood of the Universality of Images or Idols; besides that it is exceeding hard and extravagant to change that settled sense of this word in which it had been used thrice before, that also will want proof, that either the Statue of Apollonius or Spectre of Achilles ever gave any command that they that would not worship Images should be killed.
13. In the sixteenth and seventeenth, […] seems most naturally to be spoken of the Image of the Beast in the fore-going verse, of whom it was said […], which was either the Ghost of Achilles or the Statue of Apollonius: here of a sudden Magia is understood; which is but an harsh shift. But this Magia it is that makes all ranks of men to enter into some Religious Society or other, and in token thereof to receive either the mark of this or that God, as of a Thunder-bolt for Jupiter, an Ivy-leaf for Bacchus, an Helmet for Mars, a Trident for Neptune; or the Names of such Gods, or the Number comprised in their names, or else not to be permitted to buy or sell.
But against this I urge, That the Mark of the Sealed is not a visible puncture or stigmatism, and therefore it’s likely that, in a Book so Symbolical as the Apocalyps is, the Mark of the Beast does not signifie so grossly and literally. 2. These Fraternities or Societies were not the procurement of Apollonius his Magick in Trajan‘s time, they being in use long before. Lastly, it is not credible, nor is there any History to make it good, that no Pagan could buy nor sell, unless he had some such sacred Stigmatism upon his body. So inadequate and groundless is this part of Grotius his Interpretation.
14. In the eighteenth, he makes Ulpius Trajanus to be him to whom the Number 666 belongs; but very groundlessly, nay against all reason. For it is a mere mistake in him to think that the Number is understood of the number of any mans name whatsoever, because it is expresly said that it is the Name of the Beast:And Ribera takes away all occasion of any such errour, interpreting [For it is the Number of a man] according to the mind of Aretas, (or at least according to what he thought should have been his mind as well as his own) in quite another sense, Numerus enim proprius hominis est, & intellectum habentis ac ratiocinantis est numerare. 2. If it were the Number of a man, it being intended for the note of one most signally wicked and mischievous to the Church, why must it fall to Trajan‘s share, when there were Emperours far worse then he, or rather when he was so very good an Emperour, and not so cruel a Persecutor of the Christians as several others were, but one that easily desisted being once rightly informed of things; who gained so much on the Christians themselves, that they thought he got to Heaven, and amongst the Heathens made up part of that auspicious Acclamation of the Senate to their Caesars, Felicior Augusto, Melior Trajano? 3. What a leap is this to leave all the Seven Heads of the Beast, and pitch upon one that has not been in play all this while? 4. That also is very weak and suspicable, to find this number in his Praenomenor Fore-name, and not in his Name. 5. But far worse to fall short, or rather to misreckon, in the account; for assuredly in […], write the final Sigma as you will, it being still a Sigma, it will have no other valor then 200: whence the whole summe of the Name will not be 666, but 860, as any one may see that will reckon: For that Sigma even in the end signifies 200, is plain in […] and several other examples. This is most certainly true, and there is no subterfuge at all to avoid it, as Maresius, Grotius his Antagonist, has fully made good against him; as he has indeed every where, in a manner, worsted him, though Grotius so unseemly contemns him, trampling him down into the durt under that uncivil Nick-name of Borborita. 6. The Mark, the Name and the Number belong all to one; wherefore if the Number be Trajan‘s, the Mark must be his also. But might no body buy nor sell who had not his mark on their hand or fore-head? 7. Here is wisedom, let him that has understanding count the Number of the Beast, is such a Preface as implies another sort of numbering then the mere summing up the Numeral Letters of a Name into one summe. 8. To what purpose was this setting down the number 666 for the denoting of the Emperour Ulpius Trajanus, it never entring into any ones head that this number reflected upon him till Grotius hit upon it and mist it both at once? 9. And, lastly, if […] did contain in it just 666, (as it does most certainly 860) it would follow indeed that this would be no lett but that Trajan might be that former Beast in the Vision, according to Grotius his Exposition. But we are withall to remember that he had before made Domitian to be that Beast, and Claudius; so that a Triumvirate of Beasts is but One Beast. And not onely these three Varieties, but it must be Idolatryin the Abstract besides: which is grosly against our second Rule of rightly interpreting of Prophecies. Thus infinitely forced and distorted, nay, groundless, contradictious and inconsistent, is Grotius his Exposition of these two Chapters of the Apocalyps all along.
15. The consideration whereof has even cast me into an astonishment, that a Person of those admirable Parts and Learning, and, as I have been always prone to think, of great ingenuity, should ever please himself in any such performance as this; and I am more puzzled to find out the cause of this strange Misadventure ofhis, then of any Phaenomenon of nature that ever sollicited my thoughts. For to think he was in good earnest in this Exposition, and sincerely delivered his judgment, his known skill and sharpness of sight in other things will not permit: Nor will that Ingenuity and Integrity I presumed always to be in him suffer me to suspect he would willingly and wittingly, in favour of a party, forge false glosses and adulterate the true meaning of the Oracles of God; there being, in my apprehension, nothing more abominable, then for a man whom God has blest with Parts and Learning and an honest Reputation amongst men, to make use of all these against him that gave them, and for the serving of an Interest to doe so great a disservice to the Kingdom of Christ, as to hide the most concerning Truths thereof, by blinding the eyes of men by the interposing of the Idolized lustre of his own Name betwixt those Truths and them.
16. But I will not be too inquisitive into what I cannot fathom. That which is more useful for us to consider is this, That Grotius, a man of those excellent Parts and Learning, and so throughly read in History, and having also so great a zeal and resolution to make good sense of these Visions in the behalf of the Church of Rome,and for that end taken to himself the liberty (even against the whole stream of Antiquity) to chop into such Times as he thought made most for his turn; yet for all this having made so pitiful and impossible a piece of work of it, though certainly in his own judgment considerably better then any thing the Church of Rome had invented for her self before; it is plain partly from hence, I mean, from Grotius his own judgment, who has by this new Invention antiquated and condemned all their precedent Expositions, and partly from our observation of the multifarious Incongruities and Impossibilities of his, that there is no Interpretation extant, against the main sense of the Protestants, that is not superlatively weak and frivolous, nay incredible and impossible.
1. The first Consectary from our Joint-Exposition, with a Demonstration of the truth thereof. 2. The great Usefulness of the second Consectary for the peace and security of the Church. 3. The settled Notion of Long and Short. 4. A Demonstration of the truth of this Consectary. 5. The third, fourth, fifth and sixth Consectaries, together with their Proofs. 6. The Demonstration of the seventh Consectary, with an intimation of the special usefulness thereof for the Peace of Christendom. 7. The eighth Consectary, with the Proof thereof. 8. The ninth Consectary, with a copious Demonstration of the truth thereof. 9. The truth of the tenth Consectary, clearing the Protestants from Schism, plainly demonstrated. 10. The eleventh Consectary, with its Proof. 11. The Proof and notable Usefulness of the twelfth Consectary. 12. Ho […]clearlyand plainly that part of Antichristianism which consists in Idolatry is prefigured and foretold in these Visions, we have explained in our Joint-Exposition.
1. WHerefore having cleared the coast of all Opposers, and made sure of the right sense of these two Chapters of the Revelation, there being nothing strained nor forced in our Exposition of them, but all according to the acknowledged Laws of Prophetick Interpretation in those four Rules I have laid down, and the usuall meaning of the Symbols noted in my Prophetick Alphabet; let us now take notice of some few, but weighty, Consectaries, partly contained in, but necessarily flowing from, the continued and perpetual Firmness of our Joint-Exposition of the said Chapters. As first,
That the Fourty two months, by which the Continuance of the Seven-headed Beast with ten Horns, after the healing of his wounded Head, is prefigured, are not months of Days, but 1260 Years.
This does necessarily follow from our Joint-Exposition, wherein we have clearly demonstrated, That the Beast whose deadly wound was healed, and the Beast that was, and is not, and yet is, are one and the same Beast absolutely and adequately, and therefore must of necessity have one and the same duration. But the Duration of the Beast that was, and is not, and yet is, cannot be 42 months literally understood: wherefore they must signify Symbolically, and be interpreted of months of years, as there are weeks of years in Daniel. Now that the duration of 42 months cannot be literally understood of the Beast that was, and is not, and yet is, is plain from hence, in that it is said of the Seventh King that he should Apocal. 17. 10.stay but a short space. Which must be a peculiar Property of him, and distinct both from the immediately preceding and immediately succeeding King. Which implies that both they should stay longer then he. And yet that short-lived King did continue about an hundred years at least, as may appear by History, and will be farther demonstrated in the following Consectary. Whence the Beast that was, and is not, must needs continue above three years and an See Mystery of Godliness,Book 5. Ch. 15. Sect. 2.half, nay above an hundred years. Which fourty two months having no fitness to typify, it is manifest that by these months are meant 1260 years. Which was the thing to be demonstrated.
That the Church was free from Idolatry and Antichristianism till about four hundred years after Christ.
2. This is a main Truth, and a mighty Bulwark against the rampant fury of many Fanatical Sects that would reform even to utter Confusion, Deformity and Destruction, under pretence of calling any thing Idolatrous and Antichristian that does not stand with their own phancy. But this Consectary is a Protection to the greatest and most considerable Truths of Christianity; there being a Subscription, as it were, by the Finger of God to the general sense of the Church concerning such things as were then universally held or concluded in Councils, that they were neither Idolatrous nor Antichristian.
3. Now the truth of the Consectary appears thus: The Seventh King, which is called […], (and which I have proved to be the Emperours purely Christian) it is said of him that he must Apoc. 17. 10.continue a short space; which, unless the Prophecy speaks altogether undeterminately and defines nothing thereby, must in reason be thought to be about a third part of that space which this Expression intimates to be long. For Short and Long are not absolute terms, but relative or comparative, and are two Extremes which imply a Middle. Wherefore we cannot better settle the determinate Idea of them then by supposing a Line divided into three equal parts, and to look upon the whole Line as the Subject of Longness, two thirds of the Line as the Subject of Mediocrity, and one third of Shortness. From whence we may gather universally what proportion (to speak accurately and Mathematically) Short and Long must bear the one to the other: That in strictness of Notion, that which is just the third part of the other, is short in comparison of it; but in common use of speech, though it be something more or less, it will break no squares.
There must either be some such way as this to settle this Notion, or else Short and Long will signify nothing, but be words spoke at random, unless it be in such cases as there is a known measure of Mediocrity; as when we say a tall man or a low man, where it is taken for granted that a middle stature is so many foot and no more. Having seriously considered the necessity of some determinate Notion of these two terms, and how naturally they fall into this proportion, I could not but consent to so plain a Conviction, though I might justly seem prejudiced against it by what I have wrote elsewhere concerning […], but I had not then so accuratelyMystery of Godliness,Book 5. Ch. 16. Sect. 9.weighed the matter.
4. Admitting therefore that to be the genuine sense of these terms of Short and Long which I have propounded, and comparing the continuance of the Seventh King with the continuance of the Sixth, that is to say, of the Pagan Caesars, which from Julius to Constantine is about 360 years; it is plain that the continuance of the Seventh King, that is, of the Christian Caesars, must be 120 years or thereabout: which added to Ann. Christi 312, when Constantine was converted to Christianity, make 432 years. Which I would not pronounce to be so defined as to understand a Mathematical accuracy in the proportion of Short and Long, but with some latitude, such as befits the use of common speech in such Expressions; though it be necessary to have recourse to this Mathematical Idea, that we may judge whether the use of these terms be tolerable or extravagant. But what I leave more laxe here will be more particularly bounded in the Proportion of the Inward and Outward Court of the Temple; which will gird in this time a little within 400 years, but so as this present way of Compute will be very flexible and obedient to it. For supposing the Short term, viz. 120, subdivided into three degrees or parts, any thing above two thirds thereof may rationally be deemed Short in the first degree of Comparison. And we are to remember that the Duration of the Beast restored is computed by Months of years, which, as I have above noted, intimates a latitude no less then any thing within thirty in the computation of these Epocha’s; the pinching of things to a year’s coincidence being of no usefulness in these long Periods, nor in the nature of the things that are predicted, and therefore not affected nor intended by that Spirit that dictated these Prophecies. Which I doubt not but is a very solid and true Observation. Wherefore it is plain enough that the Churche’s lapse into Antichristianism was not till about four hundred years after Christ, the reign of the Seventh King not expiring till then.
That the Reign of Antichrist is comprised within the compass of 1260 years or thereabout.
5. For thus long is the Empire to continue Idolatrous, as is evident out of our Joint-Exposition and the first Consectary thereof. But it is in a manner impossible for the Empire to continue Idolatrous any longer then the Idolatrous Clergy thereof rides it and guides it, which is the Whore or the Two-horned Beast, and these Types the Types or Symbols of Antichrist: Which we shall farther prove to synchronize with the Ten-horned Beast, that is, with the Pagano-Christian Empire, in the following Chapter.
That Antichrist is long since entred into the World, and has reigned about twelve hundred years already.
The truth of this Consectary is evident from the second, wherein is shewn that […], or the succession of the purely Christian Caesars, was not above 120 years or thereabout. Which added to the year of Constantine‘s Conversion, 312, make up 432. From about that time Antichrist began his reign, and therefore has reigned at least twelve hundred years already.
That according to Prophetical Compute the Ruine of Antichrist is near, and that nothing can retard it but the Sinfulness, Hypocrisy and Factiousness of the Reformed Churches; and that therefore that voice of Him that cried in the Wilderness, Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand, is again very seasonable in this our Age.
This Consectary is exceeding plain from the three Consectaries immediately going before, nor is it needfull to adde any thing to the farther clearing it. Onely see, if you will, my Mystery of Godliness, Book 5. Chap. 17. Sect. 10.
That the Roman Empire divided into Ten Kingdoms is the Seat of Antichrist.
This is directly contained in our Joint-Exposition; the Beast with ten Horns being there proved to be the Roman Empire thus divided. And the Whore, which is Antichrist, is said to sit upon this Beast, and the Two-horned Beast to be the Idolatrizing Clergy of the Empire under those two Imperial Patriarchates of Rome and Constantinople; as also the Whore and the Two-horned Beast are proved to be all one. Which fully make good this sixth Consectary.
That the Ruine of the Fourth Monarchy, and the Introducing of the Fifth, which is the Kingdome of the Saints of the most High, as Daniel calls it, does not imply warrs and spoil and the invading of the rights of any Prince or People, according to the tenour of the Prophetick style, but merely the renewing of the Empire into an Evangelical Purity in Doctrine and Worship and in Christian Life.
6. This plainly appears out of our Joint-Exposition, where it is manifest that the Beast, which is the Roman Monarchy, is said to be slain and not to be in rerum natura, merely because the Pagan Idolatry was expelled out of it, or ceased to be the Religion of the Empire; and that the Beast was revived from the dead and brought into Being again, merely by re-introducing Idolatry again into the Empire, and by Paganizing upon the Objects of Christianity. Which may be also farther confirmed from the sixth Seal, where Heaven and Earth seem to fall together, and the whole Political Universe to be dissolved, and yet the Roman Empire it self stood still in Being, onely there was a change from Paganism to the Christian Faith. Of which sixth Seal Mr. Mede himself notes thus: I am verò Mutationis hujusce Objectum est Imperium Romanum; at non quà politicè à Caesaribus gubernatum, sed quà Satanae principi ejúsque Angelis Daemonibus religioso nomine subditum.
Wherefore it is evident that according to the Prophetick style this Fourth Idolatrous Monarchy may be destroyed by the mere extermination of Idolatry out of it again and whatsoever is Antichristian, and that thereupon ipso facto the true Kingdome of the Saints of the most High begins, though not an hair of any mans head falls to the ground, nor any Prince or Subject be injured in any of their Rights or Possessions. This Consectary is exceeding plain, and as highly useful for the asswaging that furious heat in some kinde of Fanaticks that expect such a Kingdome of the Saints as the Jews did a Messias, one that would serve their temporal Advantage. But the love of the world has blinded both their judgements alike.
That no Exposition of the Seventeenth Chapter of the Apocalyps, that makes not […], or the Seventh King, purely Christian, can be true and perfect.
7. This will easily appear if we consider that wonderful Harmony which is found, upon this supposition, betwixt the Thirteenth and Seventeenth Chapters; where the Beast is said to be slain, in one of them, and to cease to be, in the other; to be the revived Image of the Beast, in one, and the Beast that was, is not, and yet is, in the other. That though there be eight Kings, yet there are but seven Heads of the Beast, which nothing can salve but this Hypothesis. For while the […] reigned, the Beast was not. But if that Head was not purely Christian but Idolatrous, the Beast was still in Being, and had eight Heads in the computation of the Angel himself. But it is plain that there is supposed in the Beast a ceasing to be, from those words, Was, and is not, and shall ascend out of the bottomless Pit; which that excellent Interpreter Mr. Mede has failed to give their genuine sense for want of this supposition. For he saith, it may be[Page 367]said of this Beast, and that in S. John‘s time, & jam olim eam fuisse, necdum See Preface Sect. 7, 8, 9.tamen natam esse: which to an unprejudiced minde must needs sound very harshly applied to the words of the Text. For no man will say of a thing still in Being, It was, much less adde, and is not. Such an harshness as this grates so hard upon my senses, that if I could not understand the Prophecy without such violence against the ordinary meaning of words, I should be much dis-heartened from giving my assent. But Mr. Mede has done so singularly well in other things, that we may well excuse him in this.
That the Whore of Babylon sits not now at Constantinople, but that Old Rome is, if we may so speak, her Seat Imperial.
8. The truth of this Consectary appears from several Conclusions in our Joint-Exposition. 1. That the Whore of Babylon rides upon the Roman Empire, and guides and governs it in matters of Religion; which is not true of the Turk at Constantinople.2. The Whore sits upon that Seven-hill’d City that was, as it were, the Lady of the World in Saint John‘s time, (that is given as the surest character of her Seat,) which we know Constantinople then was not. 3. The Name of the Beast is found to be […], which Beast with two Horns being the same with the Whore, it is plain that this Whore is seated in Italy. And though Bishop Mountague has shewed his wit and pleasantry in finding the number 666 in […], yet I think he did it onely to sport with his despised Opposers, and to play upon their ignorance. For how can 666 be supposed to be meant for the Name of Mahomet, whose Name is wrote so variously in Greek Historians? For in Nicetas he is called […], in Chalcocondylas […], in Joannes Cantacuzenus […], in Ducas Michael […], and lastly in Joannes Cananus[…] and […]. but […] he is no where called that I can meet with, nor is it likely that his name would end in […], but […]. So that I suspect that it is onely a witty Commentum of the Bishop’s to make himself merry withall. 4. The famousness of the Seven Hills at Rome does so drown the notice of the other, that it is not likely but they are, though not onely, yet chiefly aimed at in the description of the Seat of the Whore. But if one of the Cities onely were aimed at, it were intolerable to conceit that the Prophecy is so lubricous and defective, as, when there were two Cities, the one exceeding famous for her Seven Hills, the other so little famous, that it is frequently question’d whether she has Seven Hills or no, that it should understand this latter by the Seven-hilled City and not the former, there being no intimation in the Text given to understand it of the latter, or any way to determine it thereto. 5. The Whore or Antichrist that sits on the Seven Hills was many hundred years, as appears by the fourth Consectary, before the Turk was Master of Constantinople, which happened not passing two hundred years ago; so that Antichrist it should seem sat a thousand years besides the cushion. 6. Upon the fore-head of the Whore of Babylon is written Mystery; but the Turk is an open and professed Enemy of Christians. 7. And lastly, The Whore or Antichrist is the debaucher of the Empire with Idolatry and the worshipping of Idols; the Turk a destroyer of them. So fond is their conceit that can imagine the Turk to be the Antichrist prefigured in the Apocalyps.
That the Church of England or any other Protestant Churche’s departing from the Church of Rome, is no Schism.
9. This is plain at first sight out of our Joint-Exposition. Nor can it be Schism to doe that which it were a sin to omit the doing of; or, if that will not serve, which we are exhorted to doe by the voice of God in the Apocalyps, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. Which is a Monition worth the Apoc. 18. 4.listening to for as many as tender their safety and salvation, their security from sin and the punishments thereof.
That the Authority of neither Fathers nor Councils after 400 years from Christ, or thereabout, is of any validity to determine Controversies against the ProtestantChurches touching those things which the Church of Rome and they disagree in.
10. This naturally follows from the Epocha of Antichristianism falling about that time we mention: After which the Church being supposed in some measure lapsed into that great Apostasy, neither the Fathers Doctrines nor her Councils can have right to decide the Controversies betwixt the Papists and us so as authoritatively to testifie against us. But it is observable that their Testimony will hold good against the Papistsin such Points as they contradict them in, because they are in that witnesses of the successive minde of the Church as yet unaltered by this growing Corruption; or at least testify matter of fact against the false Pretences of the Popish Traditions.
That all Visions that are Synchronal to this of the Beast with seven Heads and ten Horns, which is said to continue fourty two moneths, have necessarily the extent of one thousand two hundred and sixty years.
11. To be Synchronal is as much as to begin, continue and end together. Whence it is plain that that which is Synchronal to what continueth 1260 years, must it self continue so many years. But the 42 moneths of the Beast are 1260 years by the first Consectary: Which is a plain Demonstration of the truth of this last. The use of which Consectary is of very great moment for the detection of the falshood of such petty Expositions as some put upon those Visions which are Synchronal to this of the restored Beast. For extend them but upon this measure of time, and they will all crack and break into fitters, and thereby (which I would have thus timely taken notice of) excuse me from any farther Confutation of them.
Wherefore it will be worth the while to take notice of all those Visions that are Synchronal to this of the restored Beast, it being so necessary a Method to be assured of the right sense of them, and to discern more certainly in what Prophecies of the Apocalyps those Lineaments of Antichristianism, which I have noted in my foregoing Treatise, are prefigured.
12. In the mean time I need not, I think, re-minde my Reader, that [Page 369]the Visions of these two Chapters, which I have thus carefully interpreted, do plainly foretel that grand part of Antichristianism which consists in Idolatrous worship, how it should over-run the Empire by the seduction and activity of an Imposturous Clergy, figured out in the Type of the Beast with two Lamb-like Horns, but that would speak like the Dragon, and re-introduce the Image of old Paganism again, under the colour of a more heightned Devotion and Affection toward Christ, the Blessed Virgin, and the rest of the Saints and Martyrs: As also in the Type of the Whore of Babylon, who is called the Mother of Fornications and Abominations of the Earth, that is, of Idolatry and Pagan-like Worship; who […] […]the Kings of the Earth and all the Inhabitants thereof with the Cup of the filthiness of her Fornications,that is, seduces them to Idolatry. Hoc enim est […] Idololatriae calicem, as Grotius himself has interpreted it. Wherefore these are two notable Predictions of the Apostasy of the Church into Heathenish and Idolatrous worship. But I shall also produce others out of the same Book, after I have prepared the way by making good certain Synchronisms thereunto appertaining.
1. The Synchronism of the Whore, the Two-horned Beast, the restored Beast, or the Beast that was, and is not, and yet is, demonstrated out of our Joint-Exposition. 2. To which the False-Prophet is also proved Synchronal; the Virgin-Company, the Two Witnesses, the Woman in the Wilderness and the Outward Court, as being either the fame, Antistoechal, or necessarily connected all along with them. 3. Again, in a more abstract way, That the restored Beast, the Woman in the Wilderness, the Outward Court, the Two Witnesses are of equal time. 4. That the Woman in the Wildernessand the restored Beast begin together, and therefore are Synchronal. 5. That the restored Beast and Two Witnesses are Synchronal, as ending together. 6. That the Two Witnesses and Outward Court are Synchronal, as both beginning and ending together; And all these four Synchronal to the Whore and Two-horned Beast, because the Two-horned Beast and the Whore are Synchronal to the restored Beast, to which the other three are Synchronal. 7. That the Virgin-Company and the Sealed out of the twelve Tribes are all one Company, and therefore both Synchronal to the Whoreby an […], and consequently with the rest of the fix with whom She is Synchronal. 8. That the said Sealed Virgin-Company is Synchronal to the Series of the first six Trumpets, as being sealed immediately before the blast of the first Trumpet, and as being Synchronal to the Mourning of the Witnesses, which ceases at the end of the sixth Trumpet. 9. The six first Seals, the Fight of Michael and the Dragon, and the Inward Court, proved Synchronal. 10. That the Vision of Apocal. 11.measuring the Temple begins from the first Epocha, indicated from the quality of the Person that holds in his hand the opened [Page 370]Book. 11. From his supplying the place of the seventh Angel, and the space of the seventh Trumpet with seven Thunders. 12. From the suspending of the sound of the seventh Trumpet to make a Regression. 13. From the newness or new condition of the Book in the Angel’s hand. 14. From the voice communing or talking with John from Heaven, as in the beginning of the Prophecies of the Seals. 15. From the bitterness of the Book in his belly; From his being bid again to prophesy, and that before many Kings, and Peoples, and Nations. 16. From the Epocha of the Vision of the Apocal. 12.ensuing Chapter. 17. The Synchronism of the first six Seals with the Inward Court, of weighty concernment. 18. The Millennial Empire of Christ, the Palm-bearing Company, the New Jerusalem and the Ligation of Satan, that they are all in some sense Synchronal to the Seventh Trumpet.
1. THat the Beast with seven Heads in the Thirteenth Chapter is Synchronal with the Beast that carries the Whore in the Seventeenth, is plain, in that they are the very self-same Beast in every Respect, as appears out of my Joint-Exposition. That the Whore of Babylon also and the Two-horned Beast are the self-same Thing, is made evident in the same Exposition; and therefore they must be Synchronal, unless one and the same thing can begin to be after it has continued in Being, and continue after it ceases to be. That the Whore or the Two-horned Beast is Synchronal to the Seven-headed with ten Horns in these two Chapters, is evident, in that the Two-horned Beast is the Reviver and Healer of this Seven-headed Beast, or Restorer of him into Being; that is, An Idolatrous Clergy makes again an Idolatrous Empire; one of them cannot be without another, nor continue longer one then another, from the very nature of the things themselves. So that it is manifest that the perpetual connexion of the nature of the things signified by those Visions assures them to us to be Synchronal, to begin, continue, and end together. And thus by the plain and palpably-demonstrable sense of the Visions of the Thirteenth and Seventeenth Chapters do we gather infallibly, That the Two-horned Beast, the Whore of Babylon, the Beast that was, and is not, and yet is, or the Beast Healed or Revived, which is said to have seven Heads and ten crowned Horns, are Synchronal one to another.
2. But there are four Visions more, Synchronal to these three, which may after the same manner be demonstrated to be so; I mean from the natural and necessary connexion betwixt the things themselves prefigured, or by their perfect Identity under several Schemes and Types, the things that they naturally signifie being already contained in the three first Synchronalls, or else by way of […] or continued Opposition to them. As, by way of Identity, the False-Prophet, that is, the whole Body of false Prophets, must needs be Synchronal to the Two-horned Beast or the Whore,they being but the same things under several Types or Terms. By way of […] or opposite Correspondency; as the Mournful Witnesses, and the Virgin-Company. For supposing the [Page 371]true Church never failed to be, (as all are agreed upon) there must needs run along with the times of the Whore or Two-horned Beast the Virgin-Company and these Mournful Witnesses in correspondent Opposition to them, and the latter by a causal Connexion with them, and therefore may be an example of the first way mentioned, though not instanced in before.
The Subject also of those two mixt Visions is necessarily implied in the same time with the three first Synchronals, upon this granted Hypothesis, That the true Church never fails. For then the Woman in the Wilderness what is it but this pure Virgin-Church hid in the Paganizing Empire, which is the Image of the Beast? and what the Exteriour Court of the Temple troden down by the Gentiles, but the Christian Empire dedicated to Christ and the true worship of God, over-run again with a new kinde of Gentilism or Idolatrous worship, which so overflows, that the true and Virgin-Churchis hid in a manner in this deluge of Idolaters, at least troden down and debased and made the Abjects o […] Christendome? Wherefore, I say, from the very nature of the things themselves and close connexion they have one with another there is a very palpable Evidence that the Whore, the Two-horned Beast, the restored Beast with seven Heads and ten Horns, the False-Prophet, the Virgin-Company, the Woman in the Wilderness, the two Witnesses, the Exteriour Court of the Temple troden down by the Gentiles, are all Synchronal one to another.
3. But we will not altogether omit that more abstract way Mr. Mede has gone to prove these Synchronals. First, then, it is plain that the Woman in the Wilderness, the Ten-horned Beast restored, the Exteriour Court troden down by the Gentiles, the Mourning of the two Witnesses are all of equal time. For the Woman’s stay in the Wilderness is noted by a time, and times, and half a time, as also by 1260 daies; both which expressions signifie Three years and an half literally. The Ten-horned Beast restored, his continuance is set down by 42 months, as also the Conculcation of the Outward Court; and the daies of the Mourning Witnesses are 1260. All which terms of time are equal to those of the Woman in the Wilderness, and are literally Three years and an half. Of all which if any one signifie Symbolically, I think there is no body that can be so Sceptical or perverse as to deny that the other doe so too. Now that these four are not onely Equal, but Synchronal, will appear briefly thus.
4. The Woman in the Wilderness and the Ten-horned Beast restored begin together. For while the Woman hastens into the Wilderness, the Dragon casts a floud out of his mouth to carry her away, if he could, before Apocal. 12. 15.she came thither: But he missing his aim, and driven on with Fury, betakes himself to another course immediately, restoring the Ten-horned Beast, and endowing him with his forces, his Throne and his Apocal. 13. 2, 3.mighty Power. Wherefore the Woman could no sooner get into the Wilderness, but the Dragon had furnished out an Enemy against her. But it is evident that equal Times beginning at one and the same Epocha, are Synchronal.
5. The Ten-horned Beast restored and the Mourning of the two Witnesses end together. For at the end of the sixth Trumpet the Witnesses Apoc. 11. 12, 14, 15.ascend into Heaven, and at the beginning of the seventh, which is conterminous to the end of the sixth, this Acclamation is from Heaven, All the Kingdomes of the World are become the Kingdoms of the Lord and of his Christ. Whence it is plain, in some sense or other, that the 42 months, which is the time of the Reign of the Ten-horned Beast restored, do then expire. But Times that are equal and expire together are also Synchronal.
6. The Mourning of the two Witnesses and the Conculcation of the Holy City or Exteriour Court by the Gentiles begin together; as appears Apocalyps 11. where it is plainly implied that they commence at one and the same time, I mean the Mourning of the two Witnesses, and the Vers. 2, 3.Object of their Sorrow, the Holy City troden down by the Gentiles. And besides, at the end of the sixth Trumpet the Witnesses ascend into Heaven, […]d at the beginning of the seventh the Gentiles are said to be wroth by reason of the judgements of God upon them: So that this Synchronism (though, considering the Synchronals were before found equal, Vers. 18.it be needless) is made fast at both ends. But the Woman in the Wilderness being Synchronal to the Ten-horned Beast restored, this Ten-horned Beast to the two Witnesses, these two Witnesses to the Treading under foot the outward Court or Holy City; it is manifest that all four are Synchronal one to another.
But in virtue of our Joint-Exposition it is demonstrable also that the Whore, the Two-horned Beast, and the Ten-horned Beast restored, which is plainly the Beast that was, and is not, and yet is, are Synchronal one to another. For the Whore and the Two-horned Beast are all one Company or Condition of men, by whose persuasions and directions the Pagan Empire, which had been wounded to death by the pure Preaching of the Gospel, was again made to Paganize, and so was healed of that wholsome wound, and revived again into that former Idolatrous state, and became the Beast that was, and is not, and yet is. From whence it is plain that the Authours of this Restauration of the Beast, or these Makers of the Image of the Beast, as such, began with the Beast: And they are, I mean this Beast and the Pseudo-prophet, (who is typified by the Whore and the Two-horned Beast) both of them at once taken and cast alive into the lake of fire burning with Brimstone, Apocalyps 19. 20. Wherefore this Ten-horned Beast restored being, as was above proved, Synchronal to the Woman in the Wilderness, to the two Witnesses, and to the Treading under foot the Holy City or Outward Court; it is manifest that the Whore of Babylon also and the Two-horned Beast are Synchronal to them, they being all Synchronal to the Ten-horned Beast restored. And that in summe, the Woman in the Wilderness, the Ten-horned Beast restored, (which is the same with the Beast that was, and is not, and yet is, or the Image of the Beast) the Holy City or Outward Court troden under foot by the Gentiles, the Mourning Witnesses, the Two-horned Beast, the Whore of Babylon, that all these six are Synchronal one to another.
7. Of the Synchronism of the Virgin-Company with the Whore, (and consequently with the other five of these six) see Mr. Mede. It is not a thing that can be stuck upon, by reason of the necessary […], and the great congruity that Christ should have his marked Souldiers, which are the Regiments of the Lamb on Mount Sion, as soon and as long as there were such as bore the Mark of the Beast, which is supposed all along his reign, seeing the receiving this Mark is nothing but an open profession of what party one is, or at least an appropriation to that party.
Of those true Members and marked or sealed Souldiers of Christ there is mention in the Seventh and Fourteenth Chapters of the Apocalyps, in both which places the Number is the same, namely 144 Chiliads, or Regiments; and they are said to be sealed or marked upon the fore-head: Affliction and Patience, and at last a joyful Victory over their Enemies, is the fate of them both: They are both an Apostolick Company, and abhorring from Idolatry, in that they are called Virgins in the fourteenth Chapter, and in that there is such caution in the ranging of the twelve Tribes in the seventh, that they have the precedence that are most notorious for their zeal against Idolatry, and Dan and Ephraim quite excluded the number for their special obnoxiousness in that crime, as you may see more at large in Mr. Mede. For that these twelve Tribes are understood of Christians, and not of Jews, no man will doubt that considers how full of Israelisms the Apocalyps is every-where, insomuch as that false Christians are called counterfeit Jews, Revel. 2. 9. I know the blasphemie of them that say they are Jews, and are not, but are the Synagogue of Satan.
It is manifest therefore that the 144 thousand sealed Servants of God in the seventh Chapter, and the 144 thousand in the fourteenth Chapter, are the same Apostolick or Virgin-Company. Which is of marvellous great use to take notice of, forasmuch as it will hence be evident, that the six first Trumpets are Synchronal to our first six Synchronals, they being all Synchronal to these 144 thousand sealed Souldiers or Virgin-Regiments of Christ.
8. That our first six Synchronals are Synchronal to these 144 Regiments has been already proved, in that they and five of the six synchronize with the Whore. That the Series of the first six Trumpets is Synchronal to them is thus demonstrated; For they begin with the first Trumpet, and continue to the end of the sixth. That they begin with the first Trumpet appears from Chap. 7. For after the effect of the sixth Seal, whenas the Procedure should have been to the seventh, which is the Seal of the Trumpets, there is a suspension awhile till these 144 thousand be sealed, and so fore-armed against the evils of the Trumpets; but they being once sealed, the seventh Seal is opened, and the seven Angels appear with their Trumpets, &c. That the 144 Regiments in their condition of warfare and […] to their opposites that war under the mark of the Beast, terminate at the expiring of the sixth Trumpet, is plain, in that the mournful condition of the Witnesses, which synchronizes with this warfaring condition of the Virgin-Company, ends at the ending of the sixth Trumpet: Chap. 11. 14. The second Woe is past, that [Page 374]is to say, the sixth Trumpet is past; which is spoken immediately upon the ascending up of the Witnesses to Heaven, and the great Commotion of things that befell at the same hour. Wherefore the 144 Virgin-Regiments that were sealed at the beginning of the first Trumpet terminate, as to their conflicting condition, at the end of the sixth.
And thus you see that, according as it is in Mr. Mede‘s Scheme of Synchronisms, the Company of the 144 thousand out of the twelve Tribes of Israel, sealed with the Seal of God in their fore-head, is as it were the communis Terminus of all those Synchronals on this side and that side thereof, as namely of the Series of the six first Trumpets on one side, and then of our six first Synchronals on the other; namely, the Ten-horned Beast restored, the Whore, the Two-horned Beast, the two mournful Witnesses, the treading under foot the outward Court or Holy City, and the Woman in the Wilderness.
9. So that we have a safe and fast grasp of the whole succession of things in these Prophetick Visions, having laid hold on this middle part so strongly that they cannot wriggle from us, but it will be easie for us to discover the necessary order of the rest. For the six first Seals must needs go before the seventh; and the Battel betwixt Michael and the Dragon before the Wounding or slaying of the Beast and the Restoring of him. Whence it will follow partly from the Nature of the things, and partly from their Order, that they are Synchronal; I mean the Series of the first six Seals, and the Battel of Michael with the Dragon. And that the Inward Court of the Temple, wh […]h the Angel found Symmetral or Commensurable to his Reed, is also Synchronal to the six first Seals, may appear from hence, in that the Symbol is so significative of the condition of those times: For in that bloudy war of the Dragon the Saints of God willingly sacrificed their own lives for his cause: which is most fitly set out by the Altar of Holocausts placed in the Inward Court of the Temple, and answers very plainly and palpably to the Vision of the fifth Seal, where the Souls of the slainare said to cry for vengeance from under the Altar.Apoc. 6. 9.
10. But besides this, Chap. 11. the Visions begin again from the first Epocha of time that the Seals do; whence the Inward Court must be exquisitely Synchronal to the first six Seals, being the Outward Court began with the seventh.
Now that there begins a new Series of Prophecies from the first Epocha, there be several remarkable Indications, Chap. 10. and sufficient to convince any one that has any measure of sagacity. As, first, The Magnificency of that Angel, as he is called, that has the opened Book in his hand, is so great, that it is highly probable that it is no meaner person then Christ himself: the description of those bright gleams of Glory be like those in the first Chapter which are attributed unto him. And that he is called[…], what is that but […]? And his being pictured out with a Rain-bow about his head, and his face as the Sun, what can this signifie less then the Sun of Righteousness, which is the Eternal Word, and whose Attire is the World which himself has made? His speech also betrays him, his roaring like a Lion intimating that he is the Lion of the Tribe of [Page 375]Juda. It should seem therefore that he that under the shape of a Apoc. 5.Lamb had opened the Book with seven Seals even to the very last Seal, appears here under another shape, beginning a new Series of Prophecies from the same Epocha in this opened Book.
11. Which we may be the better assured of, if we consider that he steps into the place of the seventh Angel, and fills up the space of the seventh Trumpet with seven Thunders. Which is an evident sign that the whole course of the seven Seals is run through to the last Thunder-clap of the Day of Judgment, so far, or rather in such a manner, as he thought good at this time, till he began afresh again.
12. Thirdly, In that he swears that there shall be Time no longer, but in the days of the voice of the seventh Angel, when he shall sound, and the Mystery of God be finished, as he had declared to his servants the Prophets, (in which certainly there is a regard to Dan. 12. 7.) it is plain that there is a forbearing to proceed explicitly to the very end of the seventh Seal, that is, to the special and determinate effect of the seventh Trumpet. Which suspension does not a little assure us that there is a Regression; and whither, I pray, if not to the very first Epocha of a new Series of Prophecies? Nay a Regression is necessarily implied from the Angel’s swearing there shall be no more time then what is taken up in the seventh Trumpet, which sounds not till the Resurrection of the Witnesses, as you may see in the following Chapter, ver. 14, 15.
13. Fourthly, This either new Book (which yet I do not now think so probable, but rather that it is the former Book, all whose Seals are opened by the Lamb, and is still in his hand, though he be now under another shape) or new condition of the Book (it being an opened Book now, whenas before it was a sealed one; the first a Book to be look’d upon with the eyes, this to be swallowed down into the belly) does imply a new Series of Prophecies to be begun, and of another nature from the former; the one, suppose, respecting the Fate of the Empire, the other of the Church, as Mr. Mede would have it. But to have all this new preparation for no new design, were strange and incredible.
14. Fifthly, That which Mr. Mede urges of a voice from Heaven as of a Trumpettalking with S. John, is not altogether devoid of force. For, as I have noted else-where, the mention of the Trumpet, which is in this third place suppressed, and which Mr. Mede would have understood, may be omitted, that the meaning of the Prophecies may not lie too bare. But it is observable that there is a considerable Affinity betwixt the entrance into the first Series of those Prophecies of the Seals, and these of the opened Book. For it is plain chap. 4. 1. that he says there was a door opened in Heaven, and that the first voice, which was as of a Trumpet, communed with him. So here, chap. 10. he saith, that a voice from Heaven communed with him,[…], whereby is intimated a vocal discourse or conference, and instead of […] here is […] which though it may seem referrible to the voice from Heaven, v. 4. yet the less need there is of that intimation, in respect of the thing so freshly done, the more probable it is that it refers to that voice from Heaven that communed with him, chap. 4. 1. And the rather because that voice onely [Page 376]is said […], this vers. 4. of this Chapter onely […], and therefore it cannot so well be said […], whenas it is not at all said […] before. Whence vers. 8. […] is most naturally referred to Chap. 4. 1. and therefore indicates a new beginning of Prophecies from that very Epocha.
15. But, sixthly and lastly, Upon John‘s swallowing down the Book, we may observe such circumstances as do strongly intimate a new Series of Prophecies, wherein the Fate of the Church may seem chiefly concerned. First, in that it is said to be bitter in his stomach, though sweet in his mouth. Of which bitterness of these Prophecies more then of the former no reason can be given if they respect the same Subject, and one does not concern the Empire, the other the Church of God. Wherefore the Fate of the Church is contained in these, and consequently from as high an Epocha as those of the Empire. Secondly, in that the Angel saith […] which, unless it were to begin again to prophesie from the first Epocha of the times he has hitherto prophesied of, would be a very unaccountable passage. For he had prophesied in another sense again and again already, in seeing and declaring so many Visions as he had. Thirdly, in that it is added, Before many Peoples and Nations and Tongues and Kings, it is a sign that he does not proceed to some few particular things behind, but is to act more rousingly, must altiùs rem repetere; and having taken his repast in devouring the little Book, begin his race afresh from the first Epocha, and with as general concernment to the world as the Prophecies of the Seals were.
16. These considerations, I think, may induce any one to believe that the Eleventh Chapter begins from the first Epocha of the Apocalyptick Visions. But adde to all this, that the Twelfth Chapter does, as has been already demonstrated: for there is no Vision in the Seals higher then the fight of Michael with the Dragon. Which is a Demonstration that S. John in this second bout of Prophesying returns to the highest Epocha, and that he begins a new Series of Prophecies, namely, concerning the Church. Which being thus plainly evinced, I appeal to any one if it be at all likely or possible that he should begin with such an headless Vision as would fall short of the first Epocha three or four hundred years.
17. Wherefore assuredly, as the Outward Court troden down by the Gentiles is Synchronal to the first six Trumpets in the seventh Seal, so the Inward Court is Synchronal to the first six Seals; which was the thing to be demonstrated, and which is a Conclusion of excellent use and weighty consideration, as may appear in its due place.
18. Finally, as our Middle Synchronals have thus necessarily detected those that precede, so they will with like facility and certainty discover them that succeed. For the Thousand years wherein the Saints reign, Satan is bound, the Palmiferous Company triumphs, and the Heavenly Jerusalem is seen upon Earth, all these must in some sense plainly Synchronize with the seventh Trumpet. And the seventh Angel sounded, and Apoc. 11. 15.there were great voices in Heaven, saying, The Kingdoms of this world are become the Kingdoms of the Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever. So that it is plain that the Millennial Empire of Christ [Page 377]and of his Saints is under the seventh Trumpet. The Palmiferous Company Apoc. 7. 9.also immediately succeed the 144 Virgin Regiments which are Synchronal to the first six Trumpets, whence necessarily this company of Palm-bearers are under the seventh. The Fall of Babylon also conterminates with the sixth Trumpet, and therefore the New Jerusalem, which succeeds it, must needs be found in the seventh. And, lastly, Satan, who fought with Michael all along the first six Seals, and bore such sway in the Kingdom of Antichrist in the first six Trumpets, cannot be said to be bound, cast into the bottomless Pit and sealed up there for a thousand years, till the Millennial Empire of Christ, till the glory and brightness of the Heavenly Jerusalem upon Earth, till the Victory and Triumph of the Palm-bearing Company, that is, till the sounding of the last Trumpet; not onely the Series of the Synchronals, but the very nature of the things themselves, forcing the Ligation of Satan into this last Period of times.
This is very easie and plain. But if any one be unsatisfi’d, he may reade Mr. Mede,Part 2. Synchronism 4, 5, 6, 7. where he shall have a more full and copious demonstration of these Synchronals contemporizing with the seventh Trumpet. But how this contemporizing is to be understood, will better appear out of this following Chapter.
1. Mr. Mede‘s Account of placing the first six Vials within the sixth Trumpet. 2. That the truth of this Account depends upon an unlikely sense of the Expiration of the Reign of the Beast, as if immediately after 42 months it should entirely and universally expire. 3. A caution touching the Interpreting of the Prophetick style. 4. That the Expiration of the Reign of the Beast upon the Exit of the sixth Trumpet is but partial or speciminal, argued from the seventh Trumpet’s being also called a Woe-Trumpet. 5. As likewise from the seven Thunders. 6. Two more Arguments to the same purpose. 7. Lastly, from the fixed Epocha’s of the Middle Synchronals compared with the affairs of Europe. 8. That it follows hence that all the seven Vials are naturally to take their places in the seventh Trumpet, as being the seven last Plagues. 9. The same further proved from the Song of the Harpers upon their victory over the Beast. 10. And from the order of the Vision of the Vials; as also from the appearing of the Temple (out of which the Angels come) after the sixth Trumpet, and before any of the Vials be poured out. 11. In what sense the Middle Synchronals are to be fulfilled at the Exit of the sixth Trumpet. 12. A larger Declaration how all the Middle Synchronals expire together, in what sense or degree soever they do expire. 13. Of the commencing of the last Synchronals, and what the time of the Millenniummore eminently so styled. 14. The serviceableness of the premising these orderly Synchronisms for his further search into the Prophecies that foretell the Lapse of the Church into Antichristianism.
1. I Had almost omitted the placing of the Vials; the first six whereof Mr. Mede ranges within the sixth Trumpet, briefly upon this account: Because they being the seven last Plagues of the Beast, they are to begin with the inclining of the Beast to ruine. But it was proved above, that the 42 months of the Beast’s domineering over the Saints and overcoming them expired with the last breath of the sixth Trumpet, as all those middle Synchronals do. And it is as true that the Throne of the Beast does not wax dark before the fifth Vial. Wherefore he concludes, that at the least five Vials, if not six, precede the seventh Trumpet.
2. Which Ratiocination of Mr. Mede‘s were very firm, if we could be sure that the meaning of the Continuance of the Beast for 42 months were such as he supposes it, namely, That this Duration or Reign of his is to be understood absolutely, That he shall reign so long and no longer, and not comparatively, That after 42 months he shall not reign with that full power and victory over the Saints, so keeping them under that they cannot appear a distinct Polity able to defend themselves from his Tyrannies and Cruelties.
Which latter may be a warrantable meaning of the Prophecie as well as the other, namely, That as soon as there appears a Kingdom or Polity of truly Evangelical or Apostolical Christians, not Superstitious, nor Idolatrous, nor Persecutive and Bloudy, but such as joyn heartily with one another in the plain Points of Christian Religion, and make no other Fundamentals then the undoubted meaning of the Word of God requires, and leave men free in the rest; That as soon, I say, as such a Polity as this is in being, the 42 months of the Beast may be said to expire as to the entireness of his Reign; and also for that there is that set on foot which will certainly be his ruine, and therefore in the Prophetick style he is accounted as ruined already. According to which tenour Mr. Mede has interpreted that of Esay, Chap. 21. 9.Babylon is fallen, is fallen: whenas in the time of Esay there was onely the first Ground-work laid for her ruine by the Medes, who casting off the Assyrian yoke and rescuing themselves into liberty, and building Ecbatana under their new King Deioces, laid the foundations of a Kingdom fatal to the City of Babylon.
Nor can we well understand that in the Apocalyps upon the sounding of the seventh Trumpet, to that height it seems to be spoken, The Kingdoms of the world are become the Kingdoms of the Lord and of his Christ. Chap. 11. 15.Of which I must confess I cannot but surmise the most sober meaning to be something parallel to that saying of our Saviour, Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the Prince of this world be cast out; and yet he kept Joh. 12. 31.possession till Constantine‘s time. But in such a sense as the Kingdoms of the world at the beginning of the seventh Trumpet are become the Kingdoms of Christ, the Beast has lost his Kingdom and his 42 months are expired.
3. Wherefore there is great caution to be used in understanding the Prophetick Expressions, which always sound very high and lofty, and express things so as most fills the mind and strikes the phancie, whenas if they were set down strictly and restrainedly to a […], it would [Page 379]flat the Height and Majesty of the Style, and make it lose its rapturous power with the Reader; besides that considerable usefulness which such courageous and triumphant Expressions may carry along with them.
4. Nor is this onely a possible meaning of the Expiration of the 42 months of the Beast with the sixth Trumpet, but also very probable. First, because the Seventh Trumpet is one of the Woe-Trumpets, and therefore signifies ruine and destruction in some sense or other. The second Woe is past, (that is to say, the prefiguration of it, in such a sense as Ovid says, Janus habet finem. But it is plain that the effect of the sixth Trumpet may continue after the seventh is begun, as the effects of the first Seal and first Trumpet do after the second are begun, the succession, in the effects, of these parts of the Visions lying not always as the quarries of a Pavement, but as the scales of Fishes, one reaching over part of the other. But this by the bye.) and behold, the third Woe cometh quickly; which is this seventh Trumpet, which therefore is a blast of Destruction upon all the Powers that oppose the Kingdom of Christ: Which supposes therefore that he is going on conquering and to conquer, and that all the work is not done at the entrance of the seventh Trumpet, but so much is behind that in all likelihood the 42 months of the Beast are not expired in any other sense then such as I have already defined.
5. Which will appear more reasonable, if in the second place we consider the seven Thunders, which I doubt not but are the contents of the seventh Trumpet; and theApoc. 10. 3. 4.Text says, That that mighty Angel (which Expositors ordinarily interpret to be Christ, the Lion of the Tribe of Juda) cried with a loud voice, as when a Lion roareth, […], that is, and while he cried, the seven Thunders uttered their voices. Wherefore this roaring of the Lion of the Tribe of Juda all along those seven Thunders, and the Distinction of the space of the seventh Trumpet into seven portions, wherein certainly a state of War and of seven notable Battels and Victories, or Judgments and Triumphs, in some sense or other is understood, does imply a vast Continent that de jure belongs to the Kingdom of Christ, unsubdued at the beginning of the seventh Trumpet. And therefore it is very reasonable that a very great share of the Roman Empire may be under the jurisdiction and guidance of the Two-horned Beast, even at the first blast of the last Trumpet or within the sound of the first Thunder.
6. Thirdly, It is said of the Whore of Babylon, who is adjudged to be burned, that her smoke ascends […], that is, to the remotest and utmost Ages of the world. But there is no smoke but there must be some fire, nor any fire but there will be matter combustible. Wherefore that passage insinuates that something of this Whore will be left to be burning to the utmost Ages of the world, even to the Ages of the last Trumpet. And it is plain that while some Kings burn her, others pity her, such as had committed fornication with her, and lament over her Apoc. 18.while they see the smoke of her burning.
Fourthly, It seems more consonant to the Wisedom of God to continue these Antichristian Canaanites for a time, partly for a foil to set off the purity and unspottedness, the beauty and loveliness of the Apostolick [Page 380]Church, and partly to be an excitement and exercise of their Zeal, Vigilancy, and all other Graces and Vertues.
7. Fifthly and lastly, The Epocha of the Middle Synchronals is so firmly fastened to the time of about 400 years from Christ, both by the proportion of the short space of the seventh King’s continuance in respect of the sixth, and of the Inward Court in respect of the Outward, as also of the exquisite fitness of Mr. Mede‘s Interpretation of the first Trumpet; that there is no likelihood that the Remains of the 42 months or the 1260 years of the Reign of the Beast should suffice for such a Mutation of the Empire, as will amount to any higher a sense of finishing his Continuance then I have given: and Interpreters (though Prophets write in Rapture and Ecstasie) are bound to expound their Visions with caution and sobriety. Unless the Affairs of Europe should break of a sudden, as Olaus says the Frozen Ocean does, and roars along like thunder with the crack of the Ice, and then immediately sinks, (which is a miracle above belief) I see no probability at all of any other sense of the stinting the Reign of the Beast to 42 months then I have already declared.
8. The Consequence of which Conclusion will be, that there is no ground left for placing the seven Vials before the seventh Trumpet; and therefore it may justly be suspected a kind of Luxation to the Chronological Scheme of Prophecies, which Mr. Mede has otherwise ingeniously and judiciously disposed. Wherefore let every member take its right place, and let the seven Vials either run parallel to the seven Thunders, (which then its likely were the rather suppressed, because they were to be supplied by these) let them run within the seventh Trumpet, as the seven Trumpets within the seventh Seal: for this appears the most easie, natural and proportional disposing of them. And they seem to claim the right of this posture in that they are called the Apoc. 15. 1.seven last plagues wherein the wrath of God is finished or ended; which would not be if they were not the Plagues of the last Trumpet: Or else at least let them Synchronize with the first Thunder, as the seven Thunders do with the last Trumpet. Which I shall more determinately discourse of in its proper place.
9. To all which you may adde what we find Apoc. 15. where there is mention made of those that have already got the victory over the Beast, and like the Israelites escaped out of Aegypt, and therefore having the Harps of God in their hands, sing the Song of Moses the servant of God, and the Song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Apoc. 15. 3, 4.Lord God Almighty, just and true are thy ways, thou King of Saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorifie thy Name? For thou onely art holy: for all Nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest. Which answers exactly to our supposition, That there is onely at first some particular Victory and restrained Reign of Christ to some Nations or Kingdoms; which being a pledge of future successes, that Acclamation was in Heaven, The Kingdoms of this world are become the Kingdoms of the Lord and his Christ. Of which this Song of the Harpers may be the truest Comment, All Nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest. Not that they are come already, but will assuredly fall under his subjection. Here is the [Page 381]first espial of the Vers. 5.Temple of the Tabernacle in Heaven, whither also the Witnesses did ascend.
10. But after this is the effusion of the seven Vials, as is plain out of the order of things in the Text; whether you take notice of those Middle Synchronals which are set out by the time of their continuance (as Apoc. 13. 5.that of the restored Beast, to which is added presently the Chap. 14.Virgin-Company, as running in a parallel opposition thereto) after which this Song of Moses follows, as a Thanksgiving for those first Victories over the Beast; or consider the Temple opened in Heaven, which in order follows after this Song, and out of which the Angels come that have the seven Vials.For from both it is intimated that the Vials run all up into the seventh Trumpet. Which is farther still to be confirmed from Chap. 11. where the Temple of God is also opened in Heaven, and the Ark of the Covenant mentioned as here, and a compendious Symbolical Periphrasis of wrath and vengeance; so that it is hugely reasonable to conceive they mean the same thing. But that appearance (Chap. 11.) of the Temple and Ark is after the seventh Trumpet began to sound. Therefore the seven Vials are within the blast of the seventh Trumpet.
11. In short, (and yet to reach to the bottom of this present business) it is of exceeding great moment to take notice that the seven Middle Synchronals of the Prophecies of the opened Book have their fulfilling either quoad speciem or quoad gradus, as to the kind or as to the degrees in the same kind, one degree being sufficient for the fulfilling of the Prophecies quoad speciem; and that one of these Synchronals cannot be fulfilled quoad speciem or quoad gradus, but ipso facto they are all fulfilled, they being so intimately united one with another. As for example, Suppose that but in one State or Kingdom in Christendom the Church has become purely Apostolical in Doctrine and Discipline, in Life and Conversation, it follows from hence that quoad speciem the Reign of the Beast is expired, that is, that there is one Specimen or Instance of this specifick Event, namely, of such an Expiration of the Rule of the Beast as brings along with it the Resurrection of the Witnesses and the Succession of the Kingdom of Christ in the place. Which if it fall out at or towards the expiration of the 42 months and from a fit Epocha, the Prophecie is truly fulfilled in all circumstances quoad speciem, in this first Example, but may proceed farther and farther afterwards in Degrees or Latitude.
But the thing that I contend for is this, That this first way of fulfilling is onely aimed at in these Middle Synchronals of the Prophecies of the opened Book, and that the Degrees are reserved for the Vials in the last Trumpet.
12. And what I instanced in the Reign of the Beast must be true of all the rest, That their fulfilling that contemporizes with the first six Trumpets, and terminates upon the first blast of the seventh, is a fulfilling onely quoad speciem or quoad esse, not quoad gradus, which are reserved for the seventh Trumpet. And my reason is, Because all these seven Synchronals are so nearly united or signifie so much one and the same, that they must necessarily advance or be retarded together. As for example, We cannot conceive the Whore of Babylon burnt in any one Kingdom, that is, the [Page 382]Clergy to cease to be Idolatrous and Antichristian, and to become purely Apostolick in Doctrine and Discipline, but we may be sure that the Civil Magistrate ceases there to be Antichristian too, and that the Ten-horned Beast in this place has finished his fourty two months; the Two-horned Beast also vanishes, as being one and the same with the Whore; the Witnesses break off their mournful Prophecie, as having here nothing to complain of; the Outward Court is in this part cleansed of the Pollution of the Gentiles that trod it under foot; the Woman is here no longer hid in the Wilderness amongst brutish Idolaters, but appears as a glorious City upon an Hill to attract the eyes of the Nations unto it; and, lastly, the Marked or Sealed Virgin-Regiments lose their […] in this place, and instead of fighting Souldiers become a College of peaceful Priests clothed in white, and are before the Throne of God and serve him day and night in his Temple.
Thus jointly will these Middle Synchronals ever be fulfilled, be it more or less, whether barely quoad speciem, or repeatedly quoad gradus; the first fulfilling conterminating with the Entrance of the seventh Trumpet, the other advancing in it to the effusion of the last Vial.
13. And what is worthy our observation, those last Synchronals we have above noted, namely, The Millennial Reign of Christ, The Palm-bearing Company, The new Jerusalem, and The binding of Satan, do commence in such a way and proportion as these Middle Synchronals expire. But that special and most eminent Epocha of the Ligation of Satan, as also of the Millennial Empire, I conceive commenceth not till after the seventh Vial; and the Apoc. 20. 3.Devil’s being let loose again for a little time is to be placed somewhat before the voice of the seventh Thunder, wherewith the whole Earth is to be set on fire, and Death and Hell to be all of a flame thereby. But the intermediate space is the Millenniumeminently so styled.
14. This I believe is the truest and safest apprehension we can have of the Series of things in the Apocalyptick Visions. Which having thus competently cleared, I shall with the greater satisfaction to my self, and to others, I hope, proceed to the producing such passages out of this Prophetick Volume as predict the several kinds of Lapses of the Church into Antichristianism: for we now know whereabout to seek for them, namely, among the Middle Synchronals of either Prophecie, which reach from about the four hundredth year after Christ to these very Ages.
1. That there are Three more Middle Synchronals that foretel the Churche’s Lapse into Idolatry: As the Vision of the Outward Court troden down by the Gentiles. 2. The Woman in the Wilderness: What meant by Wilderness. 3. A brief account of the sense of the whole Vision. 4. That there is an Hypallage in her being said to flie into the Desart, like that of Hades being cast into the Fire, and of the Kingdom being given to the [Page 383]Saints, in Daniel. 5. That our Interpretation of the Woman in the Wilderness does not clash with Mr. Mede‘s, though different from it. 6. The third synchronal, the Virgin-Companie: The meaning of the Number of their Regiments, and of the new Song which none could learn besides them. 7. How the Vision of these Virgin-souldiers implies the Lapse of the Church into Idolatry.
1. BEsides those notable and leading Prophecies of the Idolatry of the Church in the Thirteenth and Seventeenth Chapters of the Revelation, there are farther Intimations of the same Lapse in other places. Indeed no less then six of the seven Middle Synchronals of the Prophecies of the opened Book are Predictions of this Idolatrous state of the Church. Three of which we have done withall, namely, the Whore of Babylon, the Two-horned Beast, and the Beast with seven Heads and ten Horns.
The first of those three behind is the Outward Court or Holy City troden under foot by the Gentiles for the space of 42 months. Which Apoc. 11.Outward Court or Holy City, that it is to be understood of those that make a visible profession of Christianity in the world, appears from the evidence of the Synchronisms, that of the Temple or Inward Court reaching from the beginning of the Church to the time of its Lapse into such a Condition as was not commensurable to the Reed of the Angel, and therefore rejected. The Court that is without the Temple, […], cast it out: so the words signify. But the Outward Court belongs to the Inward; and the Jews having been cast off long before, it is plain from hence that all this is understood of Christendom. Nor is it any more wonder that the Jewish Templeor Courts thereof should typify the Christian Church, then that their Tribes did, Chap. 7. For this is but an usual Israelism.
Wherefore Christendom being the Scene of these Transactions, and it being presently after added concerning this Outward Court, that it is given to the Gentiles, and that they shall tread under foot the Holy City fourty two months; (which Holy City and Outward Court is in a ma […]ner the same thing, the very Camp of Israel being the Outward Court in the Wilderness, and this Outward Court the Receptacle of the People of Israel at their solemn times of worship when the Temple was built, as Mr. Mede has well observed) it is evident, Christendom was to be over-run with Gentilism, that is, with Paganism, the life and soul whereof is Idolatry, so long a time; forasmuch as the Holy City or Outward Court is supposed here in being, that is to say, a people that do profess Christianity and are externally dedicated to God, but in the interim are over-grown with an Heathenish kind of Superstition and Idolatry.
And in that this Outward Court is said to be given to the Gentiles, that is answerable to what is wrote in Ch. 17. For God has put it into their hearts Ver. 17.to fulfill his will, and to agree and give their Kingdom unto the Beast, untill the words of God shall be fulfilled. So fatal, as I may so speak, does this Apostasy of the Church seem to be, and so little reason have those great Politicians of Italy to sacrifice to their own Nets, as I have above noted, and impute all to their own wit, when they have apparently [Page 384]hitherto rowed with the stream. But the times are coming wherein they will find the course of things turned, and their Resistence of a due Reformation a fighting against God. Which is worth their observing, that they may take up in due time.
2. The next of those latter Synchronalls is The Woman in the Wilderness, namely, That Woman that Apocal. 12. 1.wears upon her head a Crown of twelve Starrs,whose glory it is to be that pure and Apostolick Church, uncontaminated with after-Superstitions and Idolatries; that Woman that is said Vers. 2.to travail in birth and was pained to be delivered, and after long throes and pangs, that is to say, sharp persecutions, at last Vers. 5.brought forth a Male-childe that should rule the Nations. This Woman not changing place herself, is notwithstanding said Vers. 14.to have the wings of an Eagle given her, whereby she fled into the Wilderness, there to be secured from the persecution of the old red Dragon, which is the bloudy Pagan Powers of the Roman Empire as yet unconverted to Christianity: And indeed by being thus escaped, though but into a Wilderness, she was sheltred from them. But in that she is said to be in a Wilderness,it is an intimation that she is hid and blended amongst them that under the outward profession of Christianity did again Paganize in their Superstitious and Idolatrous Worship; as you may understand out of the acknowledged meaning of Wilderness in the Prophetick-Alphabet. For that Men, not a mere Solitude of Trees and Beasts, is understood by Wilderness, is plain also out of that in the Evangelist, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.Which he spoke not to Beasts Matt. 3. 3.and Trees, but to Men, whom these resemble when they are wholly taken up in the functions and delights of the mere Vegetal and Animal nature, of which Superstition and Idolatry is one part, as I have above intimated.
3. The sense therefore of this Prophecy is this, That the pure and Apostolick Church, though sheltered therewithall for a time from the red Dragon, was over-run with a kind of Christiano-Paganism from one side to the other, from the East wing to the West wing of the Eagle or Roman Empire; which, because it had its Eastern and Western Caesars, is figured with two wings, and that with greater facility then the Leopard in Chap. 7. 6.Daniel with four, which signified the quadripartition of the Greek Empire into four parts. This therefore intimates the GreekChurch as well as the Latine to be culpable in this matter of Idolatrous worship, correspondently to what I have said of the two Horns of the Beast, that they intimate the two Imperial Patriarchates, that of Rome, and the other of Constantinople, the two chief Summities of the Idolatrizing Clergie. This I doubt not but is the meaning of the Woman in the Wilderness, though it seems something hard that she is said to fly into this Desert, this Desert rather coming upon or over-running her in the thing signified.
4. But it is an Hypallage, of which this is no solitary Example, but like that of casting Hades into the lake of fire and brimstone, whenas that fire is rather cast into Hadesat the Conflagration of the world by Thunder and Lightening; 2 Figure even needlesly affected for Elegancy sake by Poets.
Brutium ponto feriente Corum.
Such an Hypallage as this I suspect also to be in Daniel ch. 7. where he speaks of the Kingdoms under the whole Heaven being given to the Saints of the most High. The meaning whereof may be nothing else but that they that are possessed of these Kingdoms may turn Saints, that is, Professours and Abettours of the pure and Apostolick Religion, unsophisticated with the Idolatrous Inventions and Injunctions of Antichrist. But however it were desirable that those that are over-ready to phansy themselves Saints, if this Hypallage does not please them, that at least they would imitate the modesty of the Expression of the Text, and would not take Kingdoms before they be given them.
5. Mr. Mede interprets this Vision of the Woman in the Wilderness in something a different sense from us; paralleling the Israelites flight from Pharaoh into the Wilderness to the Woman’s flight from the red Dragon, and their liberty of serving Jehovah there after the Rites appointed by Moses to the liberty the Christians had to exercize their Religion, their lapses also into Idolatry to the Idolatrous Apostasy of the Church of Christ in this condition, and finally their 42 Journeys in the Wilderness mentioned Numb. 33. to the 42 months the Woman is said to be in the Desert. Which if they had been expresly set down in those termes, and not onely equivalently in 1260 dayes, or a time and times and half a time, it had been the more pat and convincing. But however his Interpretation is very plausible and handsome, and may be one sense of the Type, though not the onely sense. For it is the property of these Prophetick Types to abound with Allusions. But the state of the Church in the Wilderness being the same with that of her bondage in Aegypt, as appears from Apocal. 11. in that respect I account that Interpretation I have given more passable, or rather more Authentick. Ver. 8.But I see no need that they should one exclude another, the Reign of the Dragon being truly the Reign of Pharaoh over these new Israelites, (saving that this of the Dragon was more bloudy;) and the state of the Wilderness in which the Woman is hid being not onely a Revival of that bondage of Aegypt again, but the restoring again also of the Dragon as Idolatrous, in fabricating so lively an Image of him in this new Pagano-Christianism, which the Apocalyptick Visions do so copiously predict.
6. The third and last of these latter Synchronalls of the Book-Prophecy is the Apocal. 14. 1.Virgin-Company, the sealed Souldiers of the Lamb upon Mount Sion, whose Description is admirable and mysterious. For in that they are said to be 144 Chiliads or Regiments, it is not the defining of their number, but their nature or quality, according to the use of the ancient Cabbala that describes the property of things by Numbers. The Root therefore of 144, which is twelve,plainly detects them to be the true disciples and successours of that Church that Christ founded in his twelve Apostles, and that they had not adulterated the Christian Religion by any Idolatrous worship or unwarrantable Institutes of men, but that they were faithfull to him whose name they bore on their fore-heads, as the marked servants of God and of the Lamb, and being bought with the price of his most precious bloud would not become the servants of men in any thing that was to the dishonour or disinterest of him that bought them.
That Vers. 3.new Song also that the Harpers play upon their Harps before the Throne, which none can learn but those 144 thousand, what is it but the Joy of a pure Conscience before God and all his Holy ones, and that ineffable pleasure of the Divine Spirit dwelling in them, which none can be partakers of but the Sons of the new Birth, who are redeemed from the Earth, and set free in mind and affection from all the entanglements of this present World; who have a simple and sincere heart, and in whose mouth there is no guile,but are upright and irreprehensible before the Throne of God? Which is so transporting a condition and so unexpressible, I mean this Righteousness, and Peace, and Joy in the holy Ghost, that it is no wonder that it is said that none but those 144 thousand know what belongs to this Melody. Prov. 14. 10.The heart knoweth its own bitterness, and a stranger does not intermeddle with its joy. But this is an Excursion not so close to our present purpose.
7. That which we are chiefly to observe is this, That this Virgin-Company is a Synchronall that runs along in parallel Opposition to those that receive the Mark of the Beast, and are professed Idolaters, as this Expression of their Virginity in the sense of the Prophetick style plainly implies; according to which, These are they that have not defiled Apocal. 14. 4.themselves with women, may fitly be understood. Nor do they onely abstain from Idolatry themselves, but also exhort others to make choice of a due Object of their Adoration, to worship Him that made Heaven and Earth and the Sea and the Fountains of waters. They denounce judgment Ver. 7, 8, 9.also against Babylon, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great City; because she made all Nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her Fornications. And, lastly, a third Angel out of the same Company denounces most direfull and ever-durable torments to those that worship the Beast and his Image, that is to say, that submit themselves to that revived and enjoyned Idolatry which I have already so fully described. Which commination I would have them seriously to consider that think it so indifferent a thing to be Papist or Protestant: as if such Tragicall Menaces as these were mere Scare-crows and idle Mockeries.
1. Three more Prophecies predicting the Churche’s Lapse into Idolatry. As the Vision of the sixth Trumpet, which is proved to respect the Roman Empire long after it became Christian. 2. That in this Vision the Greek and Latine Church are both apparently taxed of Idolatry, and with Aggravations common to Pagans and them. 3. That it appears from the same Vision of what great consequence it would be for Christendom to reform from this gross sin, and that they are their best friends that plainly and freely rebuke them for it, and for those other crimes reflected upon in this Vision. 4. The Prophecy of Paul to Timothy proposed, and the first part thereof expounded out of Epiphanius touching the Inspirers of this predicted Errour. 5. As also that part that contains the Errour it self, [Page 387]namely the worship of Daemons: From whence it is plain the Prophecy concerns this notorious Lapse of the Church into Idolatry. 6. As also from the Instruments of the Broaching this Errour. 7. And from the mentioning of the Mystery of Godliness immediately before, to which this Mystery of Iniquity is opposed. 8. And lastly from the Times of the Lapse, which are termed […]. 9. Which is proved to be a proper Term of the Prophetick style denoting that Time and Times and half a Time which is the latter section of the continuance of the Fourth Monarchy. 10. That the course of these […] and of the Reign of Antichrist is indigitated by those Numbers of Days in the last of Daniel.
1. TO these Middle Synchronalls of the Book-Prophecy we will onely adde the Vision of the Sixth Trumpet, the Prediction of S. Paul concerning the Apostasy of the Latter times, and that Prophecy in Daniel from whence he seems to have drawn that Prediction; and then we shall have done.
And truly the Vision of the Sixth Trumpet is very signal and notorious. That it is meant concerning the Turks invading Christendom, according as Mr. Mede has interpreted, I have abundantly made good against Grotius in my Book 5. Ch. 16. Sect. 5.Mystery of Godliness. To which we adde briefly, That it is plain that the Invasion of these Euphratean Horsemen is long after the Empire became Christian, nay indeed Pagano-Christian; forasmuch as it is the Sixth Trumpet, the last of those that taken together in order Synchronize with the reign of the Pagano-Christian Power, The Beast that was, and is not, and yet is.And for the place as well as the time, that it was the Empire to which this Vision belongs, appears from that often-repeated Character whereby it uses to be denoted, the proportion of a third part; For the Apocal. 9. 15.third part of men are here said to be killed. But that the Roman Empire was look’d upon by S. Johnas the third part of the known World in his Age, is evident in that Description of the red Dragon with seven Heads and ten Horns, in that he is said to have struck down the third part of the Starrs with his tail to the ground, Apocal. 12. 4.
Moreover the posture of these Horsemen was such, as Mr. Mede has also noted, in respect of S. John in Patmos his seeing them coming as from Euphrates, that they must needs march upon the Territories of the Roman Empire: Which also the consideration of our third Rule of interpreting Prophecies does more fully assure us of. For what had S. John to doe with any Visions but such as concerned the Church of Christ? Wherefore there is no reason to doubt but that Mr. Mede‘s Interpretation of the Sixth Trumpet is very true.
2. From whence it will evidently appear, that there is a Prevision of that gross Idolatry which would be in both the Greek and Latine Church. For after the description of that numerous Army of the Turks under the Type of the EuphrateanHorsemen, and the great Execution they did, the third part of men being killed by the fire, smoke and brimstone that issued out of their Horses mouths that roared like Lions against their Enemies, to which you may adde the preceding Plague of the Saracens, those [Page 388]tormenting Locusts; it is said, that The rest of the men which were not Apoc. 9. 20, 21.killed by these Plagues repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship Devils, and Idols of Gold and Silver and Brass and Stone and of Wood, which neither can see nor hear nor walk; Neither repented they of their Murthers, nor of their Sorceries, nor of their Fornication, nor of their Thefts. Can there be a more express and plain Prophecy of the Idolatry of the Christian Empire then this? For the sense plainly is this, That though the Turks and Saracens had over-run the EasternChurches, and laid all wast with fire and sword, yet the Western Part of the Empire did not lay it to heart, (nor indeed the Greek Church as they should do) but that the Church of Rome did notwithstanding persist in their Idolatrous worship, in the worshipping of their Daemonia or Daemons, the Souls of men departed, (our English Translation reads it Devils, and none certainly (whenas they are not God) would receive Divine honour after their deaths, unless they were become Devils; so great aSee Book 1. Ch. 12. Ver. 3. Sect. 4.Reproach is that pretended honour the Romanists give to the Saints) in the worshipping of Idols of Gold and of Silver and of Brass, &c. which neither can hear nor see nor walk. This is added as an Aggravation and more palpable detection of the madness or sottishness of this Sin.
And is it not the same in the Images of the Saints as in the Images of the Heathen Gods? Can the Images of the Saints see more clearly, hear more quickly, or walk more nimbly then the Idols of the Heathen? Wherefore we see such a ground of the reprehension of this sin of Idolatry is alledged as is common to that of the Paganswith this of those that call themselves Christians. So that there is no hole for them to escape out at.
But there are other Crimes also which the Roman Church, notwithstanding the severe judgment of God against the Greek Church, has not repented of: as namely of her Murthers, in shedding of innocent bloud, or cruelly and hatefully persecuting men under pretence of Heresy; of Sorcery, in such a sense as I have expounded it in my Book 1. Chap. 18.Idea of Antichristianism; of Fornication, in the unnatural Constitution of their unclean Clergie; and of Thefts, in their frauds and impostures to emunge the simple people of their money. But these things belong not to this present Head.
3. In the mean time it is exceedingly worth our Observation, of what infinite consequence it would be to the safety and prosperity of Christendom, if they would reform from this gross sin of Idolatry, the worshipping of Daemons and Images of Gold and Silver and other Materials. For who knows, or rather who knows not, but that God, who brought that exceeding great scourge of the Turk upon the Christian world for their gross Idolatries, may make him flow back again into his own Chanell, if we would once return to that ancient, pure and Apostolick Christianity? For the Cause of this great evil once removed, the Evil it self will be removed also.
Whence it is plain that they are the truest Friends to Christendom, even to Romeherself, that do not sooth them up in their sins, by mitigating [Page 389]and hiding their foul miscarriages, but deal apertly and plainly with them for their own safety; that neither admit nor invent subterfuges to countenance or palliate their Idolatrous and Superstitious practices, but tell them plainly how much they are apostatized from the true worship of God and Christ into Paganism and Idolatry. Better are the Rebukes of a faithfull Friend then the hired flatteries of a glozing Mercenary.
4. Wherefore persisting in the same liberty of speech, I shall adventure to pronounce that that Prediction of S. Paul, 1 Tim. 4. respects the Apostasy of the Empire into Idolatrous worship, by means of the seducing and seduced Clergie thereof, who taught them to give religious worship to mere men departed this life, and so turned the deceased Saints of God, as much as in them lay, into Pagan Daemons. The words of the Prediction are these: Now the Spirit speaketh expresly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of Devils; speaking lies in Hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with an hot-iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, &c. It should be rendred, Through the Hypocrisy of them that speak lies, having their conscience seared with an hot-iron, &c. as any one that understands Syntax must needs acknowledge: for […] and […] cannot agree in Grammar; nor Devils and Seared consciences in usual phrase or sense.
There cannot be a better Gloss upon the first part of this Prediction then what Epiphanius has occasionally wrote upon it in his sharp reproof of the Collyridians, who gave Divine worship to the Virgin Mary, offering up a Cake or Cracknell to her. They did […], as that Father speaks; from whence they were called Collyridians. Of which Idolatry he saies certain women in Arabia were the first Inventours, who came out of Thrace thither, and there practised this nefarious […], which he calls […] (which I the more willingly take notice of, because Idolatry is so often styled by that name in the Apocalyps) and at last concludes thus fully and roundly upon the whole matter,[…]. Which last words do plainly import that this Apostasy here is understood of giving religious worship to Daemons, that is to say, to the Souls of men deceased:And it is observable that Chrysostom and Theophylact read […], not […], as Erasmushas noted upon the place, if any one like that word better then the other. But Epiphanius seems to understand the same thing by both, that is, the Souls of dead men religiously worshipped, which he compares with the Baalim worshipped by the Israelites, as the Psalmist complains, They joyned themselves to Baal-Peor, and ate the offerings of the dead.
Wherefore in brief, according to the mind of Epiphanius, […], Psal. 106. 2[…].which we render seducing spirits; are erroneous and fallacious Doctrines or[Page 390]Prophecies (as Grotius also ordinarily interprets […]) inspired into mens minds by the Devil. For so he calls it, […], a Diabolical Inspiration and Doctrine taught by the unclean Spirit to pollute the worship of God. This respects those words in the Text, Giving heed to seducing spirits,whereby he would have the Original of these wicked Doctrines noted.
5. But then the Matter or Object of them to be couched in that more definitive expression, […], that is, not Doctrines of Devils as taught and suggested by them, (for that he had touched before) but Doctrines of Damons, that is to say, concerning Damons, or the worshipping of the Dead, answerably to the Israelites worshipping the Baalim, which the Psalmist intimates to be the Souls of men deceased. […], saith Epiphanius, […]. For that Prophecy is fulfilled in these Collyridians, viz. Some shall depart from sound doctrine, giving head to fabulous stories and doctrines concerning Daemons. For that this Genitive may be a Genitive of the Object as well as of the Agent, any one will grant. And that Epiphanius understands it in that former sense, is plain both from his prefixing […] before […], (which fabulous stories are not conceived to be told by the Daemons, but of them) and also from what immediately follows, […], &c. For, he saith, there will be those that will worship the dead, &c. Which yet the Apostle does not say, unless […] signifies Doctrines concerningDaemons, which are the Souls of men deceased, as I have elsewhere sufficiently intimated. Wherefore it is plain from the Exposition of Epiphanius that this Prediction of S. Paul is very applicable to the Apostasy of the Church of Rome for their giving Divine honour unto the Saints, which is apparently […], to worship the dead.
6. Which will still be found more exquisitely to fit them of Rome, if we consider by what external means this Daemon-worship is promoted. For these that are said to depart from the faith, that is, from the sound doctrine of it, as Epiphanius has interpreted it, and to Apostatize into the Idolatrous worship of Daemons, are said to doe this […], through the Hypocrisy of tellers of lies, (the Apocalyps calls them […]those that make lies) that is to say, that feign Legends of the Miracles of their Saints or Daemons: and in deed doe it so impudently, as if they made no conscience of those pious frauds and fables, whence it is said that they have their consciences seared with an hot-iron. What can be more expressive of the Greek and RomanLegendaries then this? and yet there is still a more particular character added, Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats. Whom can this Character fit so well as the Orders of Monks, into whose Societies no man could be admitted but upon strict observation of these laws? They prohibited any one that would be of their Fraternity to marry, and enjoyn’d them also to abstain from certain meats. These things are so solidly and copiously made out in Mr. Mede‘s Apostasy of the Latter times, that I need adde nothing more but a Recommendation of that Treatise to the[Page 391]Reader. There is scarce any Prophecie falls more fitly upon any Event then this does upon the Church in those times when she had lapsed into this Daemon-worship by the seduction of a fraudulent and superstitious Clergy.
7. Thirdly, The summary Description of the whole Mystery of Godliness preceding so immediately before in the very last Verse of the foregoing Chapter, me-thinks there is a congruity that this immediate Digression into the mention of a Lapse from the purity of this Mystery should be of no petty concernment, the perstringing of a few Pythagorizing Christians, or such as might leave Christianity to follow Apollonius, of which notwithstanding I do not remember any particular stories; but a more solemn and notorious Apostasie of the Church of Christ, and the converting of that great Mystery of Godliness immediately before mentioned into a Mystery of Iniquity, as it is else-where called. For that expression of [Some shall depart from the Faith] is no bar[…]e at all to this meaning, as Mr. Mede has demonstratively made good by many and sufficient Examples, where [some] is said of the greatest part, and in a manner of the whole people, as you may see in the above-named Treatise.
8. Fourthly and lastly, The Preface to this Prediction, Now the Spirit speaketh expresly that in the latter times, &c. seems not onely too big, but too determinate another way, then to comply with what Grotius would put us off with, namely, a glance at Apollonius and his followers. For it is too dilute and frigid a Gloss to make no more of […] then to turn it off with a Posthac or Hereafter; as if the term of […]had not passed into a phrase of Art already, and had not been defined long since by the Angel in Daniel, or at least was not a necessary Consectary fromChap. 12.his Definition, who being asked how long to the end of these wonders, he held up his right hand and his left hand unto Heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever, that it shall be for a time and times and half a time: And being again asked by Daniel to declare more plainly when the end of those things should be, he gives this Answer, That the words are sealed till the time of the End, (which is so called, as being that notable section of time that lies next to the end of the Fourth or Last Monarchy:) but presently after addes this hint to point him to this time of the End, That from the time that the daily Sacrifice should be taken away, and the Abomination that makes desolate set up, should be 1290 days, but that blessed he should be that came to the 1335 days.
9. Now the end of those things Daniel enquired after reached, as appears from the Text and general consent of Expositors, even to the Day of Judgment, however that phrase is to be understood. Whence it is rational to conceive that Daniel‘s Prophecies reach through those four famous Monarchies or Kingdoms, the Babylonian, Persian, Greek and Roman, and that the Roman Kingdom conterminates or synchronizes with the fulness of time, or the end of Times and Ages, and being the Fourth and last division of this Sacred Kalendar of Prophecies, as Mr. Mede calls it, may rightly be termed the last times or last days, in which the Messias was expected and came. But after Christ’s coming, seeing there would be a very marvellous and notorious reign of Antichrist during this Fourth [Page 392]Monarchy or last time, who is figured out in the Two-horned Beast and the Whore of Babylon, which are of the Middle Synchronals of the Book-prophecie, and which I have already demonstrated to begin about 400 years after Christ, and that the time of their continuance is the same with a Time and Times and half a Time, and that this is 1260 years; it is evident that this share of time is the […], the latter times of these last, or the time of the End, as lying next thereto, and the very times the Angel speaks of in this Chapter, where he asserts with an Oath that those Wonders (that is, that prodigious Reign of Antichrist) should continue for a time and times and half a time; but that when he shall have accomplished to scatter Dan. 12. 7.the power of the holy people, namely, the Jews, then all things spoken of shall be finished. Which is the very same with that in the Apocalyps, where the Angel swears by him that lives for ever, that there should be no more time, saving in the days of the voice of the seventh Angel, Apoc. 10. 7.when he shall sound, and the Mystery of God be finished, as he has declared to his servants the Prophets, alluding particularly to this of Daniel. This is the right meaning of this passage of the Revelation according to common sense and Grammatical construction. Which plainly shews that the Time and Times and half a Time end with the sixth Trumpet.
From which considerations it is evident to any one that is unprejudiced, that this term of […] is a term of the Prophetick style, the same with the Time of the End, with an allusion to that Sacred Kalendar of Daniel consisting of the four Monarchies, as being the latter section of the continuance of the last, running on along with the Reign of Antichrist. For so does the Church generally interpret that Time and Times and half a Time in Daniel.
10. And that they do belong to the Reign of Antichrist even in our sense, Mr. Medehas, in my judgment, most convincingly made good even from those numbers of 1290 days and 1335, days in his little Treatise of those Numbers, which he calls Revelatio Antichristi. Which were certainly given as a Key to open the truth of Daniel‘s Prophecies concerning the reign of that Man of sin, and the time of his Discovery. The words Dan. 12. 9.are closed up and sealed till the time of the End, that is, till these latter times; but the wicked shall not then understand them, but the wise shall, and may be assured of them by this Key of Numbers of years from the Epocha of Antiochus his prophaning the Temple compared with the Event, the first notable Instances of Revealing of this Man of sin.
The first of these Numbers from that Epocha ends in the year of our Lord 1120, the latter in the year 1165. (For I have already so undeniably demonstrated that Days, stylo Prophetico, do signifie Years, both in this Treatise and in my Book 5. Ch. 15. Sect. 2.Mystery of Godliness, that I think no man will doubt of it; and that they cannot signifie Days here, Mr. Mede has with no less evidence evinced.) Now the Event is exact to Admiration. For in the year 1120 a true and perfect detection or description of Antichrist came forth, and not till then, as you may see by that compendious account which Mr. Mede has given thereof.
The ending of the other Period is also notable for the Waldenses and Albigenses, in whose times the Mystery of Iniquity was more fully detected, [Page 393]and by more numerous Companies protested against. Whence they are said to be blessedthat reach to those times, by reason of the great clearness of the Light of the Gospel that shined forth: nor less happy they that then also suffered for witnessing to it; but certainly much more blessed by reason that their Reward should be greater and more singular. For the Prophecie declares how things are in truth and reality, and not according to the judgment or sentiments of the soft and false carnal mind. See that judicious Author Mr. Mede, for I cannot dwell upon these things.
I will onely adde, for a farther assurance of Mr. Mede‘s Exposition, that no other will hold water. For it is not likely that these Numbers of Days should be any Interpretation of the Extent of the above-mentioned Time and Times and half a Time;they both of them varying from the just measure of that Period, and the sense also of that Aenigmatical expression being not so hard but that all hit on it and agree in it. To which you may adde, that the Epocha from Antiochus will not comply with this design, (and it is hard to make that Epocha signifie otherwise then literally with any credibility of meaning:) As also, that this way the main difficulty about which Danielwas so solicitous will not be satisfi’d, which was, When this time of the End would be,not of what extent it was. Unto the course of which, I mean of these […], or the time of the End, (which is that Time and Times and half a Time) these Numbers of 1290 and 1335 do in a special manner direct from the above-said Epocha, as you may see at large if you consult that excellent Interpreter I referred to before. The Angel tells Daniel, The words shall be sealed till the time of the End: and Mr. Mede shews plainly how the matter is revealed in this time of the End, and even in those very points of this Time which these Numbers direct to; which is worth our consideration and admiration.
1. Epiphanius his Exposition of the Prophecie of Paul to Timothy confirmed from the reference it has to that in Daniel. 2. Grotius his miss-timing this Prophecie of Daniel,and applying it to Antiochus, how rash and groundless. 3. A Confutation of his Application. 4. The right timing this Prophecie by Calvin and Mr. Mede, who both interpret it of the Roman State and Empire. 5. A more particular account of the two first verses of the Prophecie Mr. Mede‘s way; 6. As also of the third, 7. And fourth. 8. That the sense of this Prophecie so clearly accord […] with that of S. Paul, that it is manifest he refers to it in […]. 9. That though this Interpretation of Mr. Mede be unexceptionable throughout, yet the two first verses of the Prophecie may be otherwise expounded, and more suitably to S. Paul‘s Prophecie in his Epistle to the Thessalonians.
1. WE see therefore what small reason Grotius has to turn off these […] with a frigid and undeterminate Posthac, when [Page 392][…] [Page 393][…][Page 394]they signifie, in this place at least, so punctually and determinately. Which is yet impli’d still more plainly in that the Apostle says that the Spirit speaks […], which intimates some Record where this Prophecie is written in a manner totidem verbis.For if there be any force in reasoning from words and phrases, […] must signifie some such thing, not simply Inspiration, but verbal description of what is inspired. Which advantage neither Grotius nor any one else, I think, can alledge for their Interpretation, if it agree not with this which Epiphanius first so happily lighted upon, and Mr. Mede has so marvellously well improved, and is found most exactly to agree with that Prophecie of Daniel; which shall be the last Prediction of the Churche’s lapsing into Idolatry which I intend to produce. The words are these:
Then shall a King doe according to his will, and he shall exalt himself,Dan. ch. 11. v. 36, 37, 38, 39.and magnifie himself above every God, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of Gods, and shall prosper till the Indignation be accomplished; for that that is determined shall be done.
Then he shall not regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any God; for he shall magnifie himself above all.
For together with God in his seat he shall honour Mahuzzim; yea together with a God his Ancestors knew not, shall he honour them with gold and silver and with precious stones and pleasant things.
And he shall make the Holds of the Mahuzzim jointly to the forein God, whom acknowledging he shall increase with honour, and shall cause them to rule over many, and shall distribute the Earth for a reward.
2. This is Mr. Mede‘s Translation of the Text; which is very easie and natural as to rules of Grammar and Criticism, as I shall take notice afterwards. In the mean time I cannot but observe how groundless and irrational Grotius his Interpretation is, who expounds all this of Antiochus, both against the stream of Antiquity, who always suspected Antichrist to be here prefigured, and against all probability of things.
For to pass by the direction of those Numbers above mentioned, that fall into that Time and Times and half a Time that comprise the continuance of the Wonders Danielenquires after, (which Wonders are intimated in this present Prophecie as well as in that of the little Horn) as also the necessary determination of this Time and Times and half a Time by the Middle Synchronals of the Apocalyps; who can imagine that the Series of Daniel‘s Visions, Chap. 11 and 12. that reach to the day of Judgment, as certainly they do, should admit of so vast an Hiatus or gap as from the Gests of Antiochus to the end of all things, neglecting that long tract of time betwixt in which the Church is so much concerned?
Wherefore Calvin has judiciously adventured to interpret these verses of the RomanEmpire, which immediately succeeded the Greek, (in the last times whereof Antiochus is said to reign, according to the Prophecie of Daniel) though he has over-rashly on the other side rejected the opinion of the Ancients, who suspected Antichrist concerned in these verses. Mr. Mede therefore has most happily joyned them both together, as we shall see anon.
3. Now accordingly as Grotius has miss-timed the Prophecie, so his Applications [Page 395]are alike cold and incongruous. For he cannot make good that Antiochus was a Rejecter of the Gods of his Fathers, nor of the love of Women; against which the Roman Writers themselves expressly witness. For à Lapide upon the place affirms that he both worshipped the Gods of his Fathers, and made the Jews doe so too; and both G […]sper Sanctius and he tax Antiochus for his Mulierosity and excess in Luxury. And as touching Mauzzim, besides that […] in the plural number is not so likely to be the proper Name of any one God, he does not make it out by any History, that Antiochus was such a zealous worshipper of this Modin, as he would have him called, or that he had a Temple built to him in Modin; which is a City in Judea cut out in a Rock, and in all likelihood was a strong Hold, and therefore was called Modin, but without any reference to this imaginary Modin of Grotius, the strange God of whom Antiochus should be so zealous a worshipper. For which conceit he brings no proof but 1 Mac. 2. 15. where the Officers of Antiochus are said to make the Jews to sacrifice in Modin, but not to the God Modin. So that Grotius his whole Interpretation is but a mere precarious phancy. Let us now cast our eyes upon Mr. Mede‘s.
4. Mr. Mede therefore, accordingly as Calvin before him, supposes that at the thirty sixth verse of this eleventh Chapter the Prophecie of Antiochus breaks off, and that the Roman Kingdom comes into consideration: Which is not doubtful and conjectural, but necessary from the reasons already intimated. Wherefore […] is rightly rendred, Then shall a King doe according to his will. For that particle […] is of such a lax sense, that there is no injury done in putting upon it this determinate meaning. Accordingly as Pareus renders […], Tum flebunt, Apoc. 18. 9. And by King is here meant, as else-where in Daniel, a State or Kingdom. And that the Roman is here meant, the order of Succession implies, it following the Greek according to all Chronologie, and according to the sense of Historians is conceived to succeed the Greek upon the Romans Conquest of Macedonia, which was in the latter times of Antiochus. So fitly do things fall in for matter of time in our Hypothesis, which does promise an easie flowing of the sense all along; which is this.
5. In the first of these verses, That the Roman State or Kingdom towards the end of Antiochus his reign shall carry all before them and domineer as they list, they shall exalt themselves and make themselves greater then any Kingdom. For to conquer a Nation is to conquer their Gods, whom the Romans vocally called out of those Cities they took by a certain Charm I spoke of above, and so led away the Gods of the Nations as it were captive as well as the people. Nay the Officers of this State spoke marvellous things and blasphemous against the God of Gods, that is against Christ Jesus himself, when he was so mocked and despightfully used by his Persecutors and Crucifiers; and yet they prospered and were successful in the Empire, notwithstanding all this their villainy towards Christ, and bloudy persecution of his Members, wherein he was again reproched and blasphemed, till the determinate time of this Rage ran out, and that the Empire became Christian.
For, as it follows in the next verse, the time was next to succeed[Page 396]wherein the Roman Empire should contemn, neglect, and cast off the Gods of their Ancestors, that is, the Pagan Gods, and turn Christians; but that withall Marriage(which was in so high esteem with the Romans before, as it appears by those Laws which were called Julia and Papia, which Constantine abrogated) should be much slighted at first, but in process of time be superstitiously forbidden as well to Priests as Monks, that Man of sin then getting the rains of the Empire into his hands, who respected not any God, but for his nulling the Laws of Christ and trampling on the necks of Princes is justly said to magnifie himself above all: according as it is written of him in the Epistle to the Thessalonians.
6. And sutably to this lawlesness and contempt of God it follows in the next Verse,[…], that is to say, For together with, or besides, (for […] and […] will signifie so) God will he honour Mauzzim, […], in sua ditione, Grotius renders it, referring it to Antiochus. The Latine reads, in loco suo, referring it to the Idol. Mr. Mede, in his Seat, referring it to Christ the true God. There may be also another sense of […], viz. super basin ejus; as if that honour done to the Mauzzim was grounded in the honour intended therein to Christ: which is the plea of the Pontificians. The sense therefore briefly is this, That it is plain that this Roman Power, as was said in the foregoing verse, has cast away the true fear of God from them, and exalt themselves above every thing that is called God, even Christ himself, in that against the express Law of God they doe Divine honour to the Mauzzim (though in pretence of worshipping thereby the true God) with gold and silver and wooden Statues, and with whatsoever is costly and precious, as it immediately follows, […], that is to say, Even together with a God whom their fathers knew not, that is Christ, (who was truly […], a very stranger amongst the Roman Deities, and such as the ancient Romans never sacrificed to) will he worship them, viz. the Mauzzim, with gold, &c.
Whence it is plain that the Daemons spoke of by S. Paul are here prophesied of: For these Mauzzim are they, namely, the Saints by this Idolatrizing Empire turned into Daemons; which are here called Mauzzim by a wonderful strange prevision of God, this Hebrew word being for sense the very language of those that by too superstitious a zeal and affection towards the Saints brought in this Daemon-worship, placing a more sensible trust and repose in their Reliques and Protection then in the Omnipresent God himself. These therefore they called […], Towers, Fortresses, Walls, Bulwarks, Guards, Protectors, and what not? All which Mauzzim does naturally and properly signifie, as you may see more at large in Mr. Mede. So easily does the sense flow concerning the abuse of Saint-worship, who, though Christ be pretended in all that Divine honour done to them, yet it is plain they go partners with him in the Dedication of Temples and other Religious worship.
7. Which this last verse seems to aim at also in those words so artificially couched,[…], The holds of the Mauzzim with the strange God, (as if they were Joint-Tenants) which Holds are [Page 397]the Holy Houses, Churches, Chappels, Monasteries dedicated to the honour of Christ and the Saints. For these Holy Places are called […]Strong Holds in allusion to Mauzzim, which has a warlike sense in it, and signifies military Protectours and Champions, whose Houses therefore may well be called Strong Holds. The sense of the whole verse is this: And this Roman Power shall erect Temples and other Religious Houses to Christ and the Saints: where Christ is indigitated by […] a strange God, he being both according to his Humanity born of a stock distinct from all the Heathen Nations, so that he is more strange then any other could be in that respect; and also being perfect God and perfect Man, which is such a Deity as never the Nations had any thought of before: so singularly significant is this Description of Christ in this Prophecy, by this name of a strange God: But that he being once known to them, they should give him condign honour, saving that they should share part thereof amongst the Mauzzim, and make them also Rulers over the Empire, dividing the world amongst them as a Reward of their Sufferings, (as is pretended) one Saint being constituted Patron or Protector of one City or Countrey, another of another; accordingly as I have above more fully Book 1. Ch. 17. Sect. 4.declared.
8. This is so clear and easie a sense, th […] it is no wonder that S. Paul saies that the Spirit speaks […], expresly, that in the latter times, that is to say, in Daniel‘s Time and Times and half a Time, which is the latter part of the continuance of the Roman Empire, men should Apostatize from the Faith, and embrace the Doctrine of Daemon-worship or the worship of the Mauzzim. To which Prophecy the Event is so exactly answerable, that a man must be strangely blinded with prejudice that cannot see it: as also a strange contemner of Concinnity and Proportion, if he be not pleased to observe how handsomely and naturally that hideous and unproportionate Chasma betwixt the Predictions in the eleventh Chapter of Daniel and the twelfth is in this way filled up with matters of weighty concernment, and the Series of times continuedly carried on to the Day of Judgement.
9. Thus unexceptionable in it self is Mr. Mede‘s Interpretation of these four Verses in Daniel, and for ought I know may be one continued sense really aimed at throughout. But I must confess when I look upon those words of the Apostle, 2 Thess. 2. Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped,which seems a plain Allusion to these words of Daniel, He shall exalt himself and magnifie himself above every God; I cannot but suspect that, in an after-Completion of the Prophecy, the Pontifician Power, which is a kinde of revived Image of the Pagan Imperial Power of Rome so soon as the Pope had once out-topp’d the Emperour, is also here perstringed; and that therefore the two first verses of these four may be also interpreted of the Pope and of his Luciferian Pride, as I shall more distinctly shew in its proper place.
1. The Reasons of his Prolixity hitherto in the Predictions of the Idolatry of the Church, and of his future Brevity in the rest of the parts of Antichristianism. 2. The Second member of Antichristianism prefigured in the Apocal. 11 8.Witnesses lying slain in the Streets of the great City called Aegypt. 3. A short Paraphrase and Exposition upon that verse of the Apocalyps. 4. That the same thing seems to be prefigured in the Whore of Babylon her riding of the Beast. 5. What Predictions concern the Opposition to the Priestly Office of Christ. 6. That the Twohorned Beast and the False-Prophet are all one, and that both prefigure the Antichristian Opposition against his Prophetick Office. 7. That the Affliction of the true Prophets of Christ is prefigured in the Vision of the Two Witnesses, as also the Antichristian Opposition against the Kingly Office.
1. IN the mean time we have, I hope, with sufficient copiousness vindicated Divine Providence from the least suspicion of so remarkable a neglect or defect, as not to have as well predicted as fore-seen this general Lapse of the Church in this first and chiefest point of Antichristianism, Daemon-worship or Idolatry. Wherein I have been the more copious, it being the chief Characteristick of the Apostatized state of the Church, and indeed the Root of most of the rest of those Antichristian Enormities that have crept upon Christendome, I am sure of that which is at least next in hainousness, the Bloudy Persecution of the dear Children of God and faithful Members of Christ Jesus, who cannot submit to such Idolatrous practices.
But I shall return into my first Method, and search out the Predictions of each part of Antichristianism in that order I have spoken of them already. Which I shall be able to doe with greater brevity by far, having already made good my main design, and having nothing else to doe but to refer to many of those Prophecies which I have expounded already. Not to adde also how most of those parts of Antichristianism which are behind are nothing so fully and frequently predicted as this of Idolatry.
2. As it fares with the very next Member we are to consider, which is that Spiritual Bondage and Slavery men are brought under by that burthen of Superstitious Opinions and of tedious and fruitless Observances, and a false persuasion of Penances to be done, not for emendation of life onely, but for satisfaction; as if the Bloud of the Son of God were of no price nor value: whenas such Fictions are forged for no other end then to uphold the Tyrannical power, or to advance the unjust gains of the Priest.
At which condition of the Church I do not doubt but the Spirit of God points, Apocal.11. where the dead bodies of the Two Witnesses are said to lie in the streets of the great City, which spiritually is called Sodom and Aegypt, where also our Lord was crucified. […], that is, […], in a Mystery, or Typically, as Grotius himself[Page 399]acknowledges. I say therefore that this Great City, which is this Mystical Aegypt, that House of Bondage to the ancient Church of God in the Type, and to the modern in the Antitype, is the pretended Catholick Church of Rome; and that this Spiritual Slavery under the superstitious Impositions of the Pope, and of whatsoever other Clergy of the same stamp, is glanced at in this passage of the Vision.
For the Two Witnesses being Synchronal to the restored Beast, it is in vain to dream of any thing at Jerusalem that should be the fulfilling of this Prophecy. It is therefore, I say, the Church of Rome that is this Mystical Aegypt, and the Pope the Pharaoh of this Aegypt, with his hard Task-masters, that make the deluded people drudge and toil under the burthens of their Superstition. And the overthrow of this Spiritual Pharaoh and his Ecclesiastick Host is manifestly typified by that of the Aegyptians in the Red Sea, which answers to the Bloud of Christ, which is a wall on the left hand and on the right to the simple-hearted Israelites in their flight from these Tyrants of Aegypt, but overwhelms Pharaoh and his Host, and puts this Song of Thanksgiving into the mouths of those who, through serious meditation upon the proper virtue and intent of the bloudy Passion of Christ, have escaped this Aegyptian Vassalage; I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider has he thrown into the Sea: Or, which is the same, that Song of Moses and of the Lamb,Apoc. 15. Great and marvellous are thy Works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy waies, O King of Saints, &c. But of these things I have spoken already, and therefore this brief intimation Book 1. Ch 4. Sect. 5.shall suffice.
Onely for a corroboration of this Typical sense of Aegypt, I cannot omit to take notice how this Song of Moses and of the Lamb is said to be sung […]. Which is a notorious Indication Apocal. 15. 2.that the escape of the Israelites from Pharaoh through the Red Sea is alluded to in this Song; both in that the Sea upon whose shore it is sung is called a Sea of Glass, which represents the hard consistency which the Sea then seemed to have, being as a thick glassy wall on this side and that side of the Israelites, (nay indeed it is said in the Song of Moses, (Exod. 15. 8.) The flouds stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the Sea;) and also in that it is said to be mixt with fire, which intimates how these two massy walls of glass were penetrated by the sight of the Angel that went along with the Israelites through the Red Sea by Night. The Name or Colour also of the Sea may not unlikely be alluded to in this Description, Red being not an improper Epithet of Fire.
There may be also still a more Mystical meaning of this Sea mingled with fire, (the Spirit with the Bloud of Christ) which for brevity sake I pass over, and will onely adde a short Paraphrase upon the verse I first cited.
3. In the street of the great City, which spiritually is called Sodom and Aegypt, […], which is ordinarily rendred, where also our Lord was crucified: which is very good and easie sense if we referre […] to the great City, and read [which is spiritually called Sodom and Aegypt] Parenthetically; but if we referre it to, or rather joyn it with, Sodom and Aegypt, the sense seems more harsh, unless we understand[Page 400]an Ellipsis, the supply whereof would be, […], In the street of the great City, which is spiritually called Sodom and Aegypt, and the City where our Lord was crucified, that is, the Prophet-murthering Jerusalem, which certainly is alluded to, be this Ellipsishow it will: And the meaning of the Text I conceive to be this.
That that great Body Politick which pretends to be the Catholick Church, though so grosly Apostatized from the Apostolick Doctrine and Practice, is […], as Grotiusspeaks, Spiritually or Mystically called Sodom, Aegypt, and the City where Christ was crucified, with just reproach to their contrary Pretences. As if the Spirit of God should speak thus; Whereas this degenerate Church of Rome, by boasting of their Profession of vowed Coelibate and perpetual Virginity, would make show of being that true Virgin-Company, and the holy and chast Spouse of Christ and of the Lamb; I do pronounce them a Nest of unclean Birds, as foul as Sodom and as polluted as Gomorra: And whereas they would pretend to be the onely Church of my Son Christ, who hath declared that if the Son make you free, then are you free indeed, and to be that Jerusalem that is free, and is the Mother of all true Believers; I do proclaim to all the World, that they are, Spiritually or Mystically, that very Land of Aegypt and House of Bondage wherein my People are oppressed and tired out with tedious, Superstitious and burthensome Observances, that serve for nothing but to uphold the Pomp and Pride of that Spiritual Pharaoh and his unmerciful Task-masters, a Tyrannical and Idolatrous Clergy: And, lastly, whereas they would make men believe that they are that Holy City, which is a Refuge and Protection to the Saints of God and a Shelter from Persecution, where all tears shall be wiped from their eies, that New Jerusalem that descended from Heaven, (which they were if they were what they boasted, the true visible Church of Christ;) they are indeed a succession of that old Jerusalem, the superstitious and burthensome Scribes and Pharisees, who were the Crucifiers of my Son Jesus, as these are to this very day of his true Members, who himself, accordingly as he has told them, is persecuted so often as they are persecuted.
And therefore […] may respect as well the Members of Christ as himself, notwithstanding it is the first Aorist. For that is a good Note of Grotius his and a true one, Aoristi sine designatione tempor is designant quod fieri solet. And therefore here is intimated by […] the often-Persecution of Christ in his true Members under this power of Antichrist. For Crucifixion by a Diorism signifies any kind of Persecution.
Jerusalem therefore literally is not here understood under the disguise of Sodom and Aegypt, (which would not be any such mystical or spiritual meaning, but a mere Synecdoche, such as every School-boy understands) but that Great City, which is a Polity of men that pretend to be the onely true Catholick Church, though so miserably Apostatized from the Faith: This City, in such a mystical sense as I have declared, is called Sodom, Aegypt, and that Jerusalem that kills the Prophets, and crucifies our Lord in persecuting his Members.
[Page 401]But the thing that we note now especially is their being called Aegypt for keeping the People of God in such Spiritual Slavery and Bondage.
4. Which Slavery and Vassallage we may conceive also to be glanced at in the figure of the Whore of Babylon that rides upon the Beast. For that this Imperious Clergy of Rome is so called, seems not onely for that Babylon looks like the first Precedent of Idolatry in worshipping Belus, but for their Tyrannical Pride and holding the people in such a forcible Captivity, from under which no man might withdraw himself and make back toward Jerusalem and the true Temple of God, but he exposed himself to the Cruelty of this bloudy Whore, that sits as a Queen and saies she shall never see sorrow.
The Beast also being said to be rid by the Whore insinuates a kinde of beastly droyling and slavery the Christian Empire has groaned under for so many Ages. Which, that it might be more like a Beast, (an Horse or Mule that has no understanding) they endeavoured to keep as ignorant as they could, that the People might be the more patiently Priest-rid, as the phrase is, and carry their Riders with more ease and safety.
5. These are the chiefest strictures that do occurre to my minde in the Prophetick Visions that are applicable to this second member of Antichristianism, and that onely in this general way. That of S. Paul is more particular, Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats; but so easie to be understood, that the naming thereof is sufficient. And therefore I shall pass to the next branches of Antichristianism, those Oppositions that would run down the Sacred Offices of Christ,as he is King, Prophet and Priest. The grand Injury against the last of which is this, The making other Mediatours besides Christ, and giving them Religious worship, (which is predicted in S. Paul and Daniel in those places we have already produced and expounded, touching the Daemons or Mauzzim;) or else the suppressing or slighting the chief use of the Death of Christ, which is a comfortable ease of Conscience from all suspicion of God’s displeasure, or fear of punishment in the other world for want of satisfaction for our misdeeds here, so long as we have repented of them sincerely, and have amended our lives according to the word of Christ. Which abuse is one grand piece of that Slavery and Bondage that the People of God are held under in this Spiritual Aegypt; and therefore is generally prefigured in that Type we have already explamed, and also in the Whore of Babylon, according to what we have above intimated. So that we may pass over this Office of Christ, and proceed to his Kingly and Prophetick Office.
6. The Opposition to the latter whereof is plainly predicted in the mention of the False-Prophet in the Apocalyps, which is the same with the Two-horned Beast, who is the Restorer of the wounded Beast, (that is, of the Pagan Empire become Christian) into a new kinde of Paganism, and is said to work Miracles in the sight of the Beast, wherewith he deceived them that dwell on the Earth, and made them worship the Image of the Beast and receive the Mark of the Beast, &c. Chap. 13. Which things are so plainly said of the False-Prophet, Chap. 19. 20. that there can be no doubt but the Two-horned Beast and the False-Prophet are the same. And the Beast was taken, and with him the False-Prophet [Page 402]that wrought Miracles before him, with which he deceived them that received the Mark of the Beast and them that worshipped his Image.
Wherefore it is plain that the False-Prophet and the Two-horned Beast, and consequently the Whore of Babylon, are all one, as I have above noted; and that therefore the Roman Idolatrous Clergy, that pretend to be such an infallible Church, as if God did unfailingly inspire them in what-ever is concluded upon by their Pope, or at least by him together with what they will call a General Council, are figured out here, by way of reproach to this boast of infallible Inspiration, in this Title or Style of Prophet. But for that they delude the world by false Doctrines, and either Diabolical Miracles or cunning Cheats and Forgeries of Miraculous Effects, the same Company of men is more ignominiously and openly branded for this Impiety by the prefixing that deserved Epithet of False, […], The False-Prophet. What can be more plain then this? Or what a more wicked Opposition to the Prophetick Office of Christ, then for one to take upon him to be his infallible Vicar-General of Christendome, and yet to fill the world with Idolatry and Lies? Which this Body of Pseudo-prophets have done in some measure, more or less, for about these 1200 years, as is manifest from the last Consectary of our Joint-Exposition.
7. Whence we may be sure that the true Prophets, who speak according to the tenour of Apostolick Doctrine, would have but a sad time of it, and the Prophetick Office of Christ, as he illuminates these by his Word and Spirit, be opposed and resisted, nay these Instruments of his contradicted and oppressed with all imaginable injury and violence, accordingly as this Mystery of Iniquity should grow up in the Church; which seems to have commenced about 400 years after Christ.
Which Condition of the Church I conceive is prefigured in the Vision of the Two Witnesses, whose mournful Prophecy in Sackcloth is Synchronal to the Reign of the False-Prophet, as has been above demonstrated. But the Description of things is such as comprises the Opposition to the Kingly Office of Christ as well as Prophetical, as shall appear in our Explication of the Vision. For for any one to take upon him to be the infallible Interpreter of the Law of a King, is to give Laws for him, and to despoil him of his Throne and Sceptre. Or by what-ever other Device his Laws may be suppressed and kept from the People and other Laws put in their room, this KinglyOffice is plainly made nothing by it. But that the Word of God contained in the Old and New Testament is thus dealt withall by this False-Prophet, I have in my Idea of Antichristianism sufficiently declared.
1. An Explication of the Vision of the Witnesses. Ver. III. The reason why they areTwo. Ver. IV, V. Why Two Olive-trees and Candlesticks, and what meant by theirkilling men by the fire that proceeds out of their [Page 403]mouths. Ver. VI. That their power of shutting up Heaven from raining may be attributed to them onely by aMetalepsis. 2. Or rather by a Zoopoeia of the second sort. 3. According to which Figure they are said to smite the Earth with every plague of Aegypt; And what the meaning of these Plagues may be. Ver. VII. […], The War and Death of the Witnesses, what they mean. Ver. VIII. Aegypt and the fore-going Plagues fitly mentioned together. Ver. IX. The meaning of Three daies and an half, and of theBodies of the Witnesses lying unburied. Ver. X. What meant by the Dwellers upon Earth. Ver. XI. What by the Spirit of God coming into the Witnesses. Ver. XII. That the true Witnesses do not invade Heaven, but ascend thither when they are called. Ver. XIII. The Earth-quake, City, Fall of the City, and the Slaughter of 7000 Names of men, what they mean. 2. That the Antichristian Opposition to the Regal andProphetical Office of Christ is clearly prefigured in this Vision of the Two Witnesses.
1. LET us now enquire what news of these Injuries in this Vision of the Two mournful Witnesses; who complain not without a cause, as well the Regal as Prophetick Office of Christ being so palpably opposed by that Man of sin. We shall give a brief Explication of the Vision, proceeding orderly from verse to verse, beginning at the third, and holding on till the fourteenth, where the story of the Witnesses endeth.
Ver. III. And I will give unto my two Witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and three score daies in Sack-cloth.
That these Daies are so many Years, appears from the last Consectary of my Joint-Exposition. That these Witnesses are Two, is partly from the Types they allude to in the Old Testament, and partly from the nature of the things they signifie. The Typesthey allude to are Moses and Aaron, Elias and Elisha, Zerobabel and Jesua, three several Pairs of holy men that are famous for their conduct of the People in such times as bear also analogy to these of the Two Witnesses, whose Prophecy is during the Conculcation of the Outward Court of the Temple by the Gentiles, that is, while it is polluted with Idolatry, as Moses and Aaron were over the Israelites in the Wilderness, where they often lapsed into Idolatry, (to which the Woman in the Wilderness may haply allude,) Elias and Elisha in their Baalitical Apostasy, and Zerobabel and Jesua when they were yet in the Captivity of Babylon.
There are also three Pair of things that may be fitly signified by these Two Witnesses.Either the suppressed Magistracy and Ministry, (such I mean as answer in opposition to the Ten-borned Beast and False-Prophet, and bear a resemblance with Moses and Aaron, Zerobabel and Jesua;) or else the People of the Jews, (I mean such of them as are so sincere, that, were it not for the sway of Antichristianism in the world, would be converted to Christ) together with the Virgin-company of Christians; or lastly, (which answers to these two last Witnesses) the Old Testament and the New,which may be added by an Henopoeia to the other.
Ver. IV. These are the two Olive-trees, and the two Candlesticks standing before the God of the Earth.
[Page 404]It is a plain Israelism, alluding to that in Zachary, Chap. 4. 11. What are these two Olive-trees upon the right sight of the Candlestick and upon the left side thereof? And then ver. 14. These are the two Anointed ones, that stood by the Lord of the whole Earth. Which Interpreters universally understand of Zerobabel and Jesua.
Ver. V. And if any one will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth and devoureth their enemies; and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.
It is an Allusion to the story of Moses and Elias their bringing down fire upon their Opposers. But here it is to be understood more Mystically of the Fire of the Spirit, or of the Law of God proceeding out of their mouths, whereby they convince the world. Jer. 23. Is not my word like as fire, saith the Lord, and like an hammer that breaks a rock in pieces? Ver. 19Like that of the man out of the Sea, 2 Esdras 13. whose voice whensoever it went out of his mouth, all they burnt that heard it. And again in Ver. 4.the same Chapter, And lo, as he saw the violence of the multitude that Ver. 9▪ &c.came, he neither lift up his hand, nor held sword nor any instrument of war: But onely I saw that he sent out of his mouth as it had been a blast of fire, and out of his lips a flaming breath, and out of his tongue he cast out sparks and tempests. And they were all mixt together, the blast of fire, the flaming breath and the great tempest, and fell with violence on the great multitude which was prepared to fight, and burnt them up every one; so that of a sudden of an innumerable multitude nothing was to be perceived but onely dust and smell of smoke. Which is afterwards interpreted, ver. 38. And he shall destroy them without labour by the Law which is like unto Fire.
By this we may know what is meant by [If any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.] And it was the word of the Lord to Zerobabel, who is alluded to in these Witnesses, Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts. So plain is it that the weapons Zechar. 4. 6.of the Two Witnesses in the time of their mournful Prophecy are onely Spiritual. Which is a thing worthy the noting and seriously considering.
Ver. VI. These have power to shut Heaven, that it rain not in the daies of their Prophecy; and have power over waters to turn them into bloud, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they please.
In the days of their Prophecy, that is to say, of their mournfull Prophecy, or in the days of their prophesying in sackcloth; as is plainly to be understood out of the third verse. It is a manifest Allusion to Elias his hindering it from raining in Ahab‘s time for three years and six months, which is exactly the time of the Prophecy of these Witnesses, namely, 1260 days. But the meaning must needs be more mysticall, these days signifying years. Wherefore by Rain is meant the distilling of that pure refreshing Doctrine of the Gospel unadulterated by the false Glosses of men; which Heavenly drops descend not during the mournfull Prophecy of the Witnesses. But this shutting up Heaven thus is ascribed to them, not that they positively hinder the descent of this celestial dew, but by a Metalepsis, such as I have already observed in the Rider of the red Horse, to whom power is said to be given to take peace from the Earth, and that Apocal. 6. 4.there was given unto him a great sword, whenas yet there is no more understood [Page 405]by it, then that in his time there would be much killing one another. So that the Effect is put upon the Sign, when such a thing should be: as in that vulgar verse,
2. This is one warrantable sense; and yet there is still a better, If this shutting up of Heaven be attributed unto these two mournfull Witnesses not by a bare Metalepsisonely, but by a Zoopoeia of the second sort, such as I have above described; wherein, though the party to whom the Effects be attributed does not use any activity to produce them, yet in some sense he has a causal Influence upon them; as the absent Sun may be said to be the cause of Night and of all the Villainies committed under her shelter. So the suppression and putting out of place these Witnesses is the cause of the shutting up of Heaven, and of the scarcity of the pure Word amongst the people; but cannot be attributed to the Witnesses themselves, but onely by a Metalepsis, or rather a Zoopoeia.
3. According to which the turning water into bloud and the smiting the Earth with all plagues as often as they please, is attributed to them, namely by a Zoopoeia, though they have no positive activity therein, no more then the Sun in all the Murthers and Adulteries that are committed by his absence in the covert and concealment of the shady Night. And therefore whereas it is added, as often as they will, it is but the height and sublimity of this Scheme, and signifies no more then, as often as opportunities are offered for such effects, upon which the mournfull condition of these Witnesses have a consequentiall Influence, though not an active. And Will is attributed to them with as much reason and elegancy as the Activity it self; and indeed according to necessary Analogie, those occasional Consequences answering exactly to the occasional exertions of the Acts of the Will in him that is said properly to act, and not by a Zoopoeia. The Allusion is to Moses his smiting the Land of Aegyptwith those ten Plagues: The inflicting of which, in a Mystery, is ascribed to these two Witnesses while they are in this debased and dejected plight.
The sense therefore in brief is this: That the Roman Empire, in which is this Spiritual Aegypt that holds the people of God in bondage, whether the Waters thereof be turned into Bloud by intestine warrs and broils; or whether it no somely abound with Frogs, that is, with slimy, salacious, and venereous persons; or be full of lazy and Lousy beggars, a sordid and squalid poverty over-running the generality of men by reason of either the Oppression or ill Discipline of them that are in Power; or men be infested and disquieted with the importunate Incursions of swarms of Gnats and Flies, that is to say, with the Numerosity of Superstitious Scrupulosities and vexatious Controversies of Polemical Theologie, that sting and bite and disturb the minds and consciences of men to no purpose but for affliction and inquietude; or the Beasts, which the Platonists call our Bodies, be plagued with Murrain, that is, be charged with foulness and corruption and with the noisom poison of the deadly sins; or that the Multitude be unquiet, as if enraged with angry Boils and Ulcers; or the barbarous Nations from the North invade the Empire like a violent storm of Hailstones, or the Turk and Saracen from the South, as a numerous army of [Page 406]Locusts; or that palpable Darkness in Divine matters seize the minds of men; or that the First-born in every Family be found dead, that is (saith Alcazar) the Soul of every man obnoxious to eternal Death, (as if he would not have the Soul […], born later then the Body, but to be the first born in man; or rather because she has the right of Primogeniture, the right of Ruling over the Body:) That all these Plagues of the Mystical Aegypt, what-ever they be, (as certainly they cannot signify well) are attributed to the two mournfull Witnesses by a Zoopoeia, they being the necessary Consequence of the Witnesses Disgrace, Affliction, and Deprivation of Power and Office, as Darkness, Thefts, Murthers and Adulteries are of the Absence of the Sun.
Ver. VII. And when they shall have finished their Testimony, the Beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them and kill them.
The Greek has it, […] which signifies no more then, when they shall perform their Witnessings. And [out of the bottomless pit] is […], which is either, Out of a deep pit in the Earth, or Out of the Sea, and so may intimate either the Two-horned Beast, or the Ten-horned. The making war against them, by a Diorismus, signifies any manner of opposing them, and endeavour to suppress them, not excluding war and bloud-shed; as it happens to them toward the latter end of their Prophecy, among the Waldenses and Albigenses and others. And as War signifies any Opposition, so Deathor Killing any changing their condition into worse, so that they cease to be what they were before. And that this is a Political Death or putting out of Power is plain, in that their Resurrection is such. See Death and Resurrection in my Prophetick Alphabet. So that the sense is this, That no sooner shall they begin to perform their office of witnessing to the Truth, but they shall be assaulted, suppressed, and politically killed, that is, kept out of power.
Ver. VIII. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great City that Spiritually is called Sodom and Aegypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
This verse I have expounded already; onely you may here take notice how well this Appellation of Aegypt agrees with the mention of the Aegyptian Plagues before alluded to, which abode upon the Land because they still kept the People of God in bondage, and would not suffer them to serve God according to his own will and precept.
Ver. IX. And they of the People and Kindreds and Tongues and Nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in the grave.
This not being buried has a double sense, as you may see in the Prophetick Alphabet.But I must confess I take the more favourable to be the truer, and that their not being buried is a pledge of their Resurrection at last, that is, after three days and an half, which I have in my Mystery of Book 5. Ch. 15. Sect. 4.Godliness shewn to be Three Times and an half, or 1260 years; the very same with the time of their mournfull Prophecy. For they being onely Politically dead, it is not at all inconsistent in the verity of the thing signified that they should prophesy in a mournfull condition, nay indeed it [Page 407]is necessary to be so. And the Spirit of God designing the setting out these two parts of their condition, namely their Prophetical Witnessings and their Devestment of all Political Power, (which the Scripture calls the Death of a people, and their Recovery again into a Polity their Resurrection,) he has (partly because it were very incongruous to make them prophesy while they were dead, and partly because so long a time as their Prophecy is said to last, viz. 1260 years, was not so sutable for a dead body to lie unburied in the streets and then to revive) so contrived the Cortex of this Vision with such admirable artifice, as that these harshnesses are avoided in that Homonymia of Three days and an half, and all the parts of the Prophetick Figurations made to keep due proportion and symmetry, as well as the inward signification of the things meant; and yet without any prejudice to the finding out of the true meaning to him that is sagacious, the Three days and an half so easily casting him upon Three times and an half, which is the very same time with 1260 days. But whether in a secondary Intention these Three days and an half may have some such meaning as Mr. Medehas given them, Event will best define. For my own part, I see very little or no ground in the Text for any such meaning. See my Mystery of Godliness, and what I have above intimated in this Treatise.
Ver. X. And they that dwell upon the Earth shall rejoyce over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another, because these two Prophets tormented them that dwell on the Earth.
The dwellers upon Earth, Ribera in another place, out of Andreas, interprets Habentes in terra perpetuam cordis habitationem, whose minds dwel upon worldly things. These must needs rejoyce when the Two Witnesses are slain, their free Rebukes out of the Oracles of God being very disquieting and tormenting to these worldly and carnally-minded men. See my Mystery of Godliness.Book 5. Ch. 17. Sect. 8.
Ver. XI. And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entred into them; and they stood upon their feet, and great fear fell upon them that saw them.
That the Spirit of life from God en […]red into them is correspondent to what we have already cited out of Zacharie, Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts. That this Resurrection of them has a Political meaning, you may be farther satisfied in my Prophetick Alphabet, from what I have there said upon that Term.
Ver. 12. And they heard a voice from Heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to Heaven in a cloud, and their enemies beheld them.
I had rather render, […], For they heard, &c. this voice from Heaven raising them from the dead, as the voice of Christ did Lazarus. By which Heaven is here understood the higher places in the Political Universe, unto which the slain Witnesses are called by a voice from thence, saying, Come up hither. Whence it will not be unseasonable to note, That those that are the true Witnesses will not come before they be called, nor, like the ancient Giants, invade this Heaven against their wills that reside there; but stay till they have a lawfull call to Political Offices and[Page 408]Dignities. For it is not true of this Political Heaven, but of the Spiritual, The Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it Matt. 11. 12.by force.
And that these Witnesses are said to ascend up to Heaven in a cloud,it seems an Allusion to Christ’s Ascension after his Crucifixion, which is also alluded to here in the eighth verse. And the time of Christ’s mournfull Prophecy before his Resurrection was about Three years and an half, (if we may believe Chronologers) to make the Allusion still more perfect.
Ver. XIII. And the same time there was a great Earth-quake, and the tenth part of the City fell; and in the Earth-quake were slain seven thousand Names of men: and the Remnant were affrighted and gave glory to the God of Heaven.
That an Earth-quake signifies Political Commotions and change of affairs, is obvious to any one to note. But that the City here mentioned should be understood not of a City of brick or stone, but a Polity, has not been so easy for every one to hit on. But I conceive it is plain enough that this City is the very City mentioned in the eighth verse, which is called the great City, and this great City is the Whore of Babylon, and the Whore of Babylon is nothing but the body of the Idolatrous Clergy in the Empire, who appertain to the seventh or last Head of the Beast, which is an Head of Blasphemie as well as the six first, that is to say, an Idolatrous Head. Whence we may understand what is meant by these Seven thousand Names of men: For neither seven nor thousand signify any determinate number, (though by a pleasant Diorismus they seem to doe so) but onely the nature or property of those Names of men that are said to be slain, namely, That they are Titles, Dignities, Offices or Orders of men belonging to the State of Christendom as under the Seventh Head that is become Idolatrous and Antichristian. And in that this Number Seven is multiplied into a Thousand, it signifies a perfect and durable nulling all such Offices and Orders of men. Which if Mr. Mede had taken notice of, it would have saved him the labour of making out the sense of […], and also the solicitude touching the proportionableness of the Number of the slain. For no men at all here are necessarily implied to be slain,but onely all Antichristian Offices and Fraternities to be dissolved and abrogated, and things to be reduced to the purity of the first four hundred years. For to slay, by a Diorismus, signifies nothing else but a causing a thing to cease to be. This I little question but is the true meaning of this place. And […] will have a sense marvellous coincident therewith.
But that there is any design upon the brick and stone, the walls and buildings of Rome, either in this present Vision or any other in the Apocalyps, I do profess my self for the present so dim-sighted as not to discover; the Papal Polity, by an Hylasmus,not the material City, being understood in all the denunciations against her, so far as I see yet. So that if she be to be burnt, or sack’d, or sunk by Earth-quakes, it may be but a By-Accident, and not directly pointed at nor prefigured in the ApocalyptickVisions. But if such a thing should happen in such circumstances as should [Page 409]in a special and peculiar way fit with some of these Prophecies, it will be therein comprised by an Henopoeia of the second sort, as I have intimated in my Prophetick Schemes.
But be this how it will, I make no question but this thirteenth verse of the Chapter we are upon concerns mainly, if not onely, the Idolatrous Clergy it self. But it is said of the rest, […], (not the remnant) that they were indeed affrighted and amazed, but gave glory to the God of Heaven, as being just in his judgments.
2. Out of what I have written here and in my Mystery of Godliness, I think it is evident enough that that Antichristian Opposition that is madeBook 5. Ch. 17. Sect. 8.against the Prophetick and Regal Office of Christ is clearly prefigured in this Vision of the Two Witnesses, who are said to lie slain in the street of the great City during the Conculcation of the Outward Court of the Temple by the Gentiles.
And truly though some please themselves in conceiting this Vision such an invincible puzzle, I cannot but prosess that the fense thereof seems to me as clear as the Meridian Sun. And for that special Knot therein, imagined to lie in the eighth verse, how these Witnesses can be understood of Christendom, their bodies being said to lie dead in the City where our Lord was crucified, which must be Jerusalem; I have already intimated that this City is called the old Jerusalem spiritually or mystically, as well as Sodom and Aegypt. And if any one have an heart to hear, (for it requires no great labour of the head to understand it) the brief and plain sense of this verse is this: That these Two Witnesses shall lie despoiled of all Respect and Power in the Precincts of the Jurisdiction of that Church which hitherto has always been the greatest, and is now very large indeed, consisting of mere formal, carnal, and Hypocritical Professours of the worship of the true God, in which Church our Lord also was crucified. What can be more easy and plain then this? For it onely supposes that this carnal, Hypocritical, Witness-slaying Church of the Christians is one succeeding City, Synagogue or false Church with the formal, Hypocritical, Prophet-murthering Church of the Jews. Which is a plain truth, whether this Prophecy suppose it or no. But we proceed.
1. That the little Horn in Daniel is a Type of that Power which should oppose the Regal Office of Christ. 2. That the Fourth Kingdom in Daniel is not that of the Lagidaeand Seleucidae, but the Roman, proved from the universal Consent of Ecclesiastick Writers. 3. From the eminency and greatness of the Fourth Kingdom. 4. From the distance of time betwixt the Kingdom of the Lagidae and Seleucidae and the Kingdom of the Stone cut out without hands, or the Kingdom of the Son of man, which is also the Kingdom of Heaven or of God. [Page 408][…] [Page 409][…] [Page 410]5. Grotius his fond and profane Interpretation of the Son of man, as if thereby were meant the People of Rome. 6. The like extravagancy in his interpreting the Stone cut out without hands, of the same People. 7. The unsoundness of that conceit more particularly discovered. 8. The Kingdom of the Lagidae and Seleucidae farther proved not to be the Fourth Kingdom, from the Coexistence of the Ten Kings according to Type. 9. From their vastly-differing Periods, the one ending, according to Daniel,presently after Antiochus, the other not before the Day of Judgment. 10. From Daniel‘s making the great Horn the first King in the Third Kingdom, and four lesser to grow up after him on the same Goat’s Head. 11. From the four Heads of the Leopard, which are the four Successours of Alexander in this Third Beast or Kingdom, and from Daniel‘s reckoning Antiochus in the latter end of this Succession. 12. That the little Horn does of necessity appertain to the Roman Kingdom, become Ten-horned and Pagane-Christian at once. 13. That it is of equal duration with the Whore and Two-horned Beast, and at least coincident in time with them and the Beast restored. 14. From which Equality and Coincidence he is discovered to be the Whore or Two-horned Beast. 15. That the Patriarch of Rome is more especially concerned in this Type. 16. The exquisite Applicability of the Characters of this Horn to the said Patriarch. 17. The Application of those Characters that more particularly concern his opposing the Regal Office of Christ.
1. THat Prophecy also in Daniel of the little Horn that is said to change times and laws is an express Prediction of that Antichristian Opposition which is against the Regal Office of Christ. For that this little Horn is the same with the Two-horned Beastor the Whore in the Apocalyps, I think no man will scruple that considers that this Horn is part of the Roman Kingdom which is decyphered by Ten Horns, and that it belongs to that time when the Kingdom is actually Ten-horned; which is not in succession, but together; as the Ten toes of the Statue, which answer to these Ten horns, do not signify the succession of Ten Kings, but Ten Kings ranked in the same time, as the Toes of the feet of the Image, which have not properly a precedency, but rather a co-ordination in Site.
2. Now that the Fourth Kingdom which is prefigured by the iron leggs, feet and ten toes of the Image, and by the Beast with Iron teeth and ten Dan. 2.Horns, is not that of the Lagidae and Seleucidae, as Grotius would have it, but the Kingdom of the Romans, there are these weighty Reasons to convince us.
First, It is the universal sense of all Ecclesiastick Writers, That the Fourth Beast is the Roman Empire; as both Cornelius à Lapide and Caspar Sanctius, both of them Jesuites, yet do roundly assort. The words of the latter are these: Est ergò omnium sententiâ innominata has atque […]rribilis bellu a Romanum Imperium; neque necesse est quonquam nominare, cùm nemo non dicat.
[Page 411]3. Secondly, That it cannot be the Kingdom of the Lagidae and Seleucidae, as Grotius would bear us in hand, (in which odd conceit of his he forsakes the judgment of the whole Church of Christ, to follow Porphyrius his, who was a sworn Enemie to the Christian Religion) appears from what is said Daniel 7. 23. The Fourth Beast shall be the Fourth Kingdom upon Earth, […], Quod majus erit omnibus regnis, Which shall be greater then all Kingdoms; so the vulgar Latine and Vatablus. The Seventy also render it, […]. And it agrees best with what follows, and shall devour the whole Earth, (which must be understood in such a sense as Earth was before) and shall tread it down and break it in pieces. Which it could not be said to doe, unless it were so great a Kingdom as is here intimated. Now it is manifest that the Kingdom of the Seleucidae and Lagidae was neither greater, more excellent, nor a more victorious Kingdom then any of the three preceding, namely, the Babylonian, Persian, and that of Alexander the Great, from whose Kingdom they would make this of the Seleucidae and Lagidae distinct. Wherefore their Kingdom cannot be this Fourth.
This Inference is so plain to Gaspar Sanctius, that he does, though but justly, yet very severely, chastise Porphyrius for this errour which Grotius has so unluckily taken up. For he breaks out into these words upon this Text, Vide Porphyrii stuporem & oscitantiam, in cujus mentem venire potuit ut▪ existimaverit regnum eorum quiAlexandro successere omnium esse maximum, quódque omnem terram sibi subjecerit conculcaveritque, cùm reliquis regnis longè fuerit infirmius, & ab omnibus concisum aut malè vexatum. Nay, the very Prophecy it self makes the Kingdom of the Successours of Alexander less then his in power and greatness, Dan. 8. 22. where it is said that four Kingdoms shall stand up, but not in the power of Alexander:Which is, they shall be inferiour to him. Which questionless is meant of them joyntly, it being a needless intimation of them single.
4. Thirdly, The Kingdom of the Iron leggs and toes and of the Ten-horned Beast with iron teeth are one and the same Kingdom, according to Grotius his own acknowledgment, which he makes that of the Seleucidae and Lagidae. Now it is said that a Stone cut out of a Mountain without hands should break in pieces these leggs and toes, Dan. 2.nay the whole Image of iron, brass, silver, and gold, and so succeed this Kingdom of the Seleucidae according to his sense of the Vision. And Chap. 7. One like the Son of man in the clouds of Heaven comes to receive a Kingdom, namely, upon the destruction of Antiochus Epiphanesthat little Horn amongst the ten in this fourth Kingdom of Grotius his framing, of whom it is said, at the 21. verse, I beheld, and the same Horn made warre with the Saints, and prevailed against them, untill the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the Saints of the most High. Which is the same with the Son of man his coming in the clouds of Heaven, to receive the Kingdom [Page 412]of the Ancient of days, ver. 13. And both agree with the Stone cut out without hands, to shew it is not the work of man, but of the Ancient of days, God himself; and that this is indeed the very Kingdom of Christ, as Interpreters ever have expounded it. Which is a perfect contradiction to Grotius his dream, That the Fourth Beast with iron teeth and the iron leggs of the Image denote the Kingdom of the Lagidae and Seleucidae, and that Antiochus is this little Horn.
For Antiochus Epiphanes was dead almost two hundred years before Christ so much as preached the Doctrine of the Kingdom, or had any Disciples to follow him; and yet it is said Dan. 2. 44. And in the days of these Kingdoms shall the God of Heaven set up a Kingdom which shall never be destroyed. (From which passage I doubt not but that phrase [The Kingdom of God,] as also from that above [The Kingdom of Heaven]does so often occurre in the Gospel; as also that Title which Christ so often gives himself of the Son of man. And Grotius himself upon Matthew Ch. 8. 20. acknowledgeth that […] the Son of man mentioned Dan. 7. 13. is to be understood of the Messias.) Wherefore it is impossible that the Kingdom of the Lagidae and Seleucidae should be the Fourth Kingdom.
5. But here Grotius, contrary to his judgment when he wrote upon Matthew, has found a device which is scarce to be uttered without horrour and astonishment. So that I am infinitely amazed, that a man otherwise so learned and laudable, (as he speaks of Porphyrius) should be miss-led into so bad an adventure. The Son of man coming in the clouds of Heaven, according to him, is, Populus Romanus nullum intra se habens regem. When our Saviour Christ intimated to the high Priest that he was that Son of man that should come in the clouds of Heaven, it seem’d so high an Arrogation, that he rent his clothes and said he had spoken blasphemie. And truly I think that neither Jew nor Christian can well acquit Grotius of that crime, who attributes that which is the peculiar character of the Messias to a Prophane and Pagan people, and that forsooth because they had no King; as if they were ever the better for that. But they had Kings at first; and both in the Infancy of their Empire and afterwards they had a Supreme Power so great and imperial, as may excuse them from the least shew of Contempt. They had always over them a Sovereignty, so that they could not be deemed the Son of man for any such private condition. For the Summa Potestas is the Summa Potestas under what name or form soever, and of the same real grandeur. Besides that they were a most glorious and victorious people before Antiochus his time. So that it is a very dilute and sapless conceit of Grotius to apply the phrase of the Son of man to them, for any inconsiderableness in them or obscurity: For they were not so in the times of Antiochus.
6. Again, the Kingdom of the Son of man and the Stone cut out without hands are all one, both in truth and according to Grotius his own Concession. But this Stone is Christ and his Kingdom, as being Heavenly, […], a thing erected not by humane power, but [Page 413]by the power and Spirit of God. That this is the meaning of [without hands] is the general vote of Interpreters, S. Jerom, Irenaus, Justin, Epiphanius, S. Augustin, Theodoret, and several others.
Where think you does Grotius take shelter now? Why, This Figure which is so appropriate to Christ, and mentioned of him so often in the New Testament, This Stone must be cast away, as if it were neither precious nor a Corner-stone, and be bestowed again on a Pagan people, the Romans. For so Grotius does not stick to profess, Idem Lapis & Filius hominis; and he made the Son of man before the people of Rome. But can a man believe that the Original or Success of that people was […], a thing brought to pass by the special power and Spirit of God, and not more humano, according to the usual course of the World, and that not of the best kind, their beginnings being helped on by a rabble of Ruffians and Robbers?
7. No, but that is not Grotius his gloss, you will say. Let us therefore hear what it is; Lapis abscissus de monte sine manibus, according to him, is Exercitus populi qui suae esset spontis nullique regi pareret; cujus populi origo à monte, nempe Palatino. In which there is nothing sound nor solid. For was this Roman Army any thing more suae spontis in that they had not a Kingly Government at Rome? That Supreme Power of Consuls and Senatours was as directive and coactive as if it had been Regal.So that the motion of this Army was never the more spontaneous for this. Again, The Stone cut from the mountain without hands implies that it was then spontaneously divided from the Mountain, when it is said to be cut thence: But when the Romansfirst issued from mount Palatine, yea so soon as they were populus Romanus, RegalGovernment was amongst them, it being the first Government of this People, and therefore they were not then Populus suae spontis, according to Grotius his Conceit, so that he cannot bring both ends together. And, lastly, To interpret Mountain here in a literal sense, is unskilfully done, and not according to the analogy of the Prophetick style, nor the very intimation of the present Text, which says the Little stone became a great Mountain itself, and filled the whole Earth. Wherefore this Mountain signifying not literally but politically, there is no question but the other does so too, and that the Stone is in some sense homogeneall to this rocky Mountain.
Whence the sense is plainly this: That out of the great Mountain, that is, the RomanEmpire, there should be a People raised, not by humane power or policy, but by the Spirit of God, and the preaching of the Gospel by Jesus Christ and his Apostles, which should be a peculiar people to him, and become the Subjects of his Kingdom; that is to say, That the Church of Christ should be cut out of the Roman Empire without humane help. This is a most easy and undistorted sense, and against which there cannot be made the least Exception.
8. Fourthly, which I have already intimated above, The Ten Horns of the Fourth Beast with iron teeth, and the Ten toes of the iron leggs of the Statue, signify the same thing. Wherefore it is plain, [Page 414]sith the Ten toes imply a Coexistence of the Ten Horns, by reason of the coordination of their Site, that there must be Ten Kings together in the Fourth Kingdom. But in the Kingdom of the Seleucidae and Lagidaethere were not Ten Kings together all at once. Therefore that Kingdom is not the Fourth.
9. Fifthly, Antiochus Epiphanes, part of this Kingdom of the Lagidae and Seleucidae,is said to rise up in the latter time of the Kingdom of the Successours of Alexander, Dan. 8. 22, 23. Wherefore this Kingdom of the Lagidae and Seleucidae has expired near two thousand years ago. But the Kingdom of the Fourth Beast reaches even to the Day of Judgment. Dan. 7. 9, 10. And I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the ancient of days did sit—His throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him; thousand thousands ministred unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the Judgment was set, and the Books were opened, &c. That this is the Description of the Day of Judgment, is the general Opinion of both Christians and Jews, and answers exactly to the Lake of fire and the opening of the Books, Apocal.20. which Grotius himself does interpret of the Last Day. Whence we may safely conclude that the Kingdom of the Lagidae and Seleucidae is not the Fourth Kingdom,as having ceased so long before that time, though we understood the Day of Judgment in the sense of the Rabbins […]. According to which the meaning of [I beheld till the thrones were set—and the Books were opened] is this, That the Prophet Daniel had a prospect even to the utmost end of that great Day. But he begins more particularly at the beginning of that Day in the eleventh verse. But this I have onely noted by the bye.
10. Sixthly and lastly, Alexander‘s Kingdom and that of his Successours is all one Kingdom: But that of Alexander‘s is the Third according to Grotius his own Concession. Now that that of his Successours (of which Line are the Lagidae and Seleucidae) is one Kingdom with that of Alexander‘s, is evident out of Daniel, Ch. 8. 21. The rough Goat is the King of Graecia, and the great Horn that is betwixt his eyes is the first King. Now that being broken, whereas Four stood up for it, Four Kingdoms shall stand up out of the Nation, but not in his power. This is one plain proof that the Kingdom of Alexander and his Successours is all one Kingdom. For he calls Alexanderthe first King, which necessarily implies that his Successours are the second, and that therefore they all belong to one and the same Kingdom. Nay he says plainly, that these four Horns stand up for that great one, that is, in his stead. What is this but to succeed in place of him, as the Heads of one and the same Empire? For no new Beast is said to succeed this Beast, but the Horns the Horn. And then the comparing of them and saying, but not in his power, farther intimates a cognation and succession of one Line, and that he does not speak of the Heads of two different Kingdoms.
Which appears farther from vers. 8. Therefore the Goat waxed very great, and when he was strong, the great Horn was broken, and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of Heaven. But where should [Page 415]these come up, but on that Head that had lost this great Horn, which is compensated with four lesser ones, though in their kinde notable? For it is very incongruous and extravagant to phansy them to come up in any other. And surely, if they had belonged to any other Beast, that Beast would not fail to have been named. Wherefore they must either grow out of this Goat’s Head, or no where, unless out of the ground; which is ridiculous. And therefore it is plain, that Alexander‘s Kingdome and that of his Successours is but one Kingdome. For that Goat is but one and the same Goat under the Succession of this variety of Horns.
11. And yet there is still greater evidence of this truth from Ch. 7. 6. After which I beheld, and lo, another like a Leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the Beast had also four Heads, and Dominion was given unto it. That the four Heads of this Beast are the four Successours of Alexander, namely, Perdicca, Seleucus, Ptolemaens, Meleager, Grotius himself does frankly confess. The Wingstherefore denote the four Kingdomes Alexander‘s Empire was divided into after his decease; which is still look’d upon as one Beast notwithstanding, as the Roman is with its division into Ten Kingdomes, noted by ten Horns, or into Oriental and Occidental, figured by the two Wings of an Eagle.
Here Grotius, if he would speak out, would make Alexander the Beast, as he has Domitian and others in the Apocalyps against all the Laws of Prophetick Interpretation, nay indeed against all rhyme and reason. For he glosses thus, Pardus varium Animal, sic Alexander moribus variis. But how grosly incongruous it is, let any one consider. For then would Alexander be inferiour to his four chief Officers, and they would be the Head of him, which is a Political Absurdity; nay the Head of him when he ceased to be, which is an Absurdity Metaphysical. Wherefore Alexander is the first Head or great Horn of this Beast, not the Body of it, that he may be superiour to his four grand Officers; and not be the Beast to bear these four Horns or Heads when he has quite ceased to be on this stage of things. For these were not Heads, nor Horns, before he was dead. Alexander therefore is the first of the Succession of the Heads or Horns of this Beast, not the Beast it self.
But to come up closer to our business: I say, it is very manifest from these four Heads and four Wings that this Leopard is said to have, that the Third Kingdometakes into it the four first Successours of Alexander. Nothing can be more plain then this from the very Text. For the Leopard is described in the third place, and immediately after him the Fourth Beast is mentioned, and called the Fourth, v. 7. Wherefore this four-headed Leopard is plainly the Third Beast. But now that the succession of these four Heads even to Antiochus Epiphanes is the succession of one and the same Kingdome, is plain from Ch. 8. 22. Now that being broken, (namely, the great Horn) where as Four stood up for it, Four Kingdomes shall stand up out of the Nation, but not in his power. And in the latter time of their Kingdome (the Original has it […], which the Seventy render […], which is the very same with our English, and there is no doubt of the Translation) a King of fierce countenance—shall stand up. Which Grotius and every one acknowledges to be Antiochus Epiphanes.
[Page 416]Whence it is evident that the whole Succession of Alexander‘s Captains from the first four inclusively even to Antiochus his time is one Succession and one Kingdome. For he calls the times of Antiochus the last times of their Kingdome.
Wherefore it is plain, seeing that the Kingdome of Alexander is one and the same with the Kingdome of the four Captains, (for that is the Third Kingdome) and the Kingdome of the four Captains the same with their Succession even to Antiochus his time; that the whole Succession from Alexander to Antiochus is one Succession and one Kingdome. If this be not demonstratively true, there is no demonstration in Mathematicks. But if this be true, the Kingdome of the Lagidae and Seleucidae are not the Fourth Kingdome, but the Kingdome of the Romans, according as all sober men have hitherto held.
12. Which we being so firmly assured of, we shall easily know where to seek for this little Horn that is said to change times and laws. For where can we finde it but amongst those many Horns in the Roman Kingdome or Empire? not in the Greek, to which Antiochus Epiphanes appertains. And we have already plainly shewn that the Apocalyptick Beast with seven Heads and ten Horns is this Roman Kingdome; and that this Beast once healed, or in such a condition that it may be said of him that he is the Beast that was, and is not, and yet is, (which is when he is become Pagano-Christian) is this Empire actually divided into Ten Kingdomes, and that together with this Division the Empire began to relapse gradually into Idolatry by the Agency and Guidance of the Two-horned Beast or the Whore, whom I have also shewed to be Synchronal to the healed Beast, or the Beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
13. But the Beast restored or healed his duration is 42 months, which is 1260 daies,or a Time and Times and half a Time. For the abode of the Woman in the Wildernessis indifferently expressed by either of these latter; and the first and the second are joyn’d together in the Vision of the Outward Court and the Two Witnesses. Wherefore 42 months and a Time and Times and half a Time being the same with 1260 daies,they are the same one with another. But this little Horn in Daniel we speak of, his reign is also set out by a Time and Times and half a Time: Therefore it is of the same duration with the Whore or Two-horned Beast, which is Synchronal to the Beast restored, whose continuance is 42 months.
Wherefore it is a strong suspicion that there is a Coincidence at least of time, if not of affairs, or complication of natures (if not Identity of some) betwixt this little Horn in Daniel and those three Synchronals, the restored Beast, the Whore, and the Two-horned Beast. For that expression, Dan. 7. 24. And another shall rise after them,does not at all hinder, since the Seventy translate […], behind them, it signifying order of situation as well as of time. And this being placed behind is the most convenient posture for such an exploit as is attributed to this Horn, which is said to throw down or humble three Kings: which is more by treachery and craft then open force.
[Page 417]14. Now from this equality of time it will also follow that the duration of this little Horn is 1260 years, by the last Consectary of our Joint-Exposition. Which again shews how impossible it is this Horn should be Antiochus Epiphanes. To which you may adde that it is said to be different from the rest of the Horns, in the explication of them. Dan. 7. 24.And the ten Horns out of this Kingdome (that is, the Roman Kingdome, as has been demonstrated) are ten Kings that shall arise; and another shall rise […], behind them, and he shall be diverse from the rest, and he shall subdue three Kings. Now I demand what one of the ten Kings or Kingdomes is so different from all the rest, unless it be an Ecclesiastical Kingdome.
Wherefore the Coincidence of time with the Pagano-Christian Empire, and the long continuance, as also the difference of this Kingdome from the other ten, is more then a strong suspicion that it is part of the succession of a Kingdome Ecclesiastick, which is necessarily to run along with the Empire professing Christianity. But if the question be whether this part of this Ecclesiastick Kingdome be the uncorrupted Kingdome of Christ or the Reign of Antichrist, the solution is not difficult. For that it is not the Kingdome of Christ, is plain, in that Christ is said to come to burn and consume it.Whence it is manifest that the Church has not been out in their Conjecture in deeming this little Horn to be Antichrist; and therefore, say I, the same with the Two-horned Beast and the Whore, who is plainly Isochronal, and, I doubt not but, Synchronal to this little Horn, and is adjudged to be burnt in the Apocalyps, as this little Horn is here in Daniel.
15. To speak briefly therefore, This little Horn is the Idolatrizing Clergy of the Empire, but more chiefly and particularly that great and notorious part thereof under the Bishop of Rome, who has been a more then ordinary stickler for both the obtaining this degenerate Ecclesiastick Empire in the Roman Empire, and in lapsing and keeping down the Empire in Superstition and Idolatry; and therefore is rightly said to be an Horn growing out of this Beast, the Symbol (Beast) itself, according to Grotiushis own Confession, intimating Idolatry.
16. And if exquisite fitness of Application will assure us of the right sense of a Prophecy, we cannot fail in this, examining every character of this little Horn. For as it is little, so is the Original of the Popes mean and obscure, and their Secular Principality small in comparison of those Princes they have contested with. Again, As this Horn had the Eyes of a man, so it is well known that for politick quick-sightedness there has not been any Body of men comparable to the RomanHierarchy; insomuch that it is Proverbial to say, That the Roman Religion is nothing else but a mere trick of Policy to encrease and keep up the honour, power and wealth of the Pope and his Clergy. See Sir Edwyn Sandys his Speculum Europae, and you shall finde this part of the Prophecy fulfilled to admiration, and that it is not for nothing that this little Horn is said to have the Eyes of a man in it, which is said of no Horn in all the Prophecies besides this. Thirdly, As this Horn is said to have a mouth speaking great things, whether you mean thereby boasting of its own Sovereignty or Blaspheming, [Page 418]it is well known that from this Horn are uttered such words as imply the Pope greater then all Princes and Emperours, nay, that he is not onely said to be Infallible, but styled God, and declared worthy of divine worship. Fourthly, For the humbling and subduing three Kings, which this Horn is foretold to doe, is it not long since performed by the Pope of Rome, in his usage of Leo Isaurus,in ruining the Kingdome of the Lombards to get to himself the Exarchate of Ravenna,and in tormenting and disquieting Henry the Fourth and his Successours with his Thunder-claps and mischievous Political Plots, till he wrested from them all their Right and Jurisdiction in Italy?
17. Fifthly, and to come nearer to our purpose in hand; Whereas it is said that he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the Saints of the most High, and think to change Times and Laws; and they shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time: I say, this Idolatrous Clergy has bid fair toward the fulfilling this Period of times already; the Degeneracy of the Church beginning about four hundred years after Christ, and (which is more considerable) they having received so notorious a Check in the Decursion of this Half-Time, which is elsewhere called a Half-Day, in which his swaggering is pretty well diminished and chastised. Sixthly, And for his wearing out and consuming the Saints of the most High, he has done it even more bloudily and cruelly then the very Pagans on the Primitive Christians; which is the most furious Opposition against the Regality of Christ that can be imagined, thus to wast and destroy his true Subjects. Seventhly, And for his speaking great words against the most High, that is, against the Divine Sovereignty, is it not plainly done in the Pope’s pretences of having power to dispense with or lay aside the Laws and Injunctions of Christ, of which we have given several Instances in our Idea of Antichristianism, and such as are notoriously well known to appertain to that Church? Besides that he is Reus laesae Majestatis Divinae, in appointing Religious worship to his canonized Saints, which is an Honour due to God alone. Lastly, In that he is said to change Times and Laws; what innumerable Institutes are there of the Pope’s injoyning, of which may be truly said what our Saviour told the Scribes and Pharisees, […], From theMat. 19. 8.beginning it was not so? And what is this therefore but to change Times and Laws, and in many of them in a most perfect Opposition to the Laws of God and Christ, as I have already noted in its place?
Whence we see plainly, that this Antichristian Opposition against the Regal Office of Christ is very expresly foretold in this Vision of the little Horn, which rose up with the Ten Horns in the Roman Empire, and did fabricate Imperium in Imperio, as some phrase it, and became a Two-horned Beast in the Ten-horned Beast, erecting an Ecclesiastick Antichristian Empire within the Civil, in opposition to the true Empire or Kingdome of Christ, and in defeatment of his Power and Laws in the Church; nay, in opposition to those Immutable Laws of the Eternal Logos that enlightens every man that comes into the world.
1. The Vision of the Rider of the white Horse Apocal. 19. proposed. 2. A general account of that Vision. 3. What meant by the white Horse, what by the flammeous eyes of his Rider. 4. What by his Name known onely to himself. 5. What by his garment dipp’d in bloud, and that this as also the precedent Characters are applicable to Christ’s Body the Church. 6. The meaning of the Sword coming out of his mouth:7. And of the treading the Wine-press of God’s wrath. 8. The meaning of the Inscription upon his thigh, in reference to himself; 9. As also in respect of his Church to which it is applicable: As also the treading of the Wine-press, and the Sword coming out of his mouth.
1. THE latter of which two Oppositions, I mean that against the Eternal Logos, seems to me to be very lively prefigured Apocal. 19. beginning at the eleventh verse. Where we may see what has been held under in the reign of the Whore of Babylon, (which I have intimated to be the same with that little Horn in Daniel) by the Description of his Triumph after her Fall. For this Triumphal Pomp is upon her ruine, as it appears from the precedent Chapter that describes it. But the Pomp is described thus:
11. And I saw Heaven open, and behold, a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make warre.
12. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a Name written which no man knew but himself.
13. And he was clothed with a vesture dipt in bloud; and his Name was called THE WORD OF GOD.
14. And the Armies which were in Heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
15. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp Sword, that with it he should smite the Nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the Wine-press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
16. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a Name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
2. In this Vision you see that the Eternal Word of God, of which the holy Bible is in some sense and some part a Transcript, is at last upon his triumph adorned with many Crowns, and has got into possession of his just Title exposed visibly to the view of all the world in a writing upon the thigh of this great Heros, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. Which power the Lady of Babylon had usurped before, and under the pretence of her Infallibility had silenced not onely the express Law of the written Word of God, but most coursly and barbarously had troden down those Innate Principles of Morality and Reason that the Eternal Word had implanted in the Souls of men, and by terrour [Page 420]and cruel forcibleness did what she could to smother, stifle and extinguish them. But here the Scene of things is changed, and the pure Word of God has got the victory over the corrupt, Superstitious, Idolatrous and contradictious Opinions, and fond Institutes of that Antichristian Body of men over whom the Pope has a special Headship and Sovereignty.
3. There is no great difficulty in the understanding this Prophecy, if we have recourse to my Prophetick Alphabet, where I have set down what Horse, and what the Colour of White, signifie. That the Eyes of this Heros are said to be as a flaming fire,intimates his sharp-sightedness, as it is said in the Hebrews, That the Word of God is a discerner Heb. 4. 12.of the thoughts and intents of the heart, and that there is no creature that is not manifest in his sight, but that all things lie naked and open unto the eyes of him with whom we have to doe:Where the Written Word and the Eternal Word are jointly spoken of, as here they seem to be in this Vision, by an Henopoeia.
Again, in that his Eyes are said to be a flaming fire, we may note also how Fire is a Symbol of Intellectuality, especially a flaming fire, that implies light, as is easily understood out of the Philosophick Cabbala of the first Day’s Creation.
And we reade of […] in the Magick Oracles, and of […] attributed to the Soul as being […], as Plethon speaks. Wherefore the Logos here is rightly said to have Eyes like a flaming fire, because he is not onely Intellectual, but that Great and Eternal Intellect from whence all Intellectual Beings are; as also all their Operations exercised by virtue of the more pure, aethereal and igneous Spirits.
4. That also of having a Name written that no man knew but himself seems to be agreeable to the Cabbalistical Doctrine, who make Aaron a Symbol of the Eternal Word that fills the Universe, as also of Christ who is this Word Incarnate. The Allusion therefore may be to Aaron‘s having the Tetragrammaton written upon his Mitre, that Name which is said to be […], and could be read onely by the High Priest that had it written upon the golden Plate on his Mitre, as Alcazar has observed. But in brief, it signifies the Incomprehensibleness and Imperscrutableness of the Divinity of our Saviour; he alone who is it, being able to comprise it.
5. And in that his vesture is said to be dipt in bloud, it is a Symbol of his Passion: so that we may know that it is the Messias that is here meant; of whom S. John in his Gospel has said, […], The Word was made flesh. And here he is called […], The Word of God, and yet in a bloudy garment, that indicates his Humanity or Terrestrial body, (for this Body is but a Vestment of the Soul, no part of the Man, according to the Platonists) which made him capable of suffering death.
This is all spoken of our Head and Captain; and yet it may be not without some reflexion upon his Body the Church. To whom also the riding [Page 421]upon white Horses belongs, as appears in the fourteenth verse. They have also flammeous and fiery eyes, because of their Intellectual Graces, and it is said that the Spiritual man discerneth all things, 1 Cor. 2. They have also a name that no man knows besides themselves, which is their New birth, or the participation of the Divine Nature. Their garments also are died in bloud, in that so many have suffered Martyrdom for the testimony of the Gospel against the Idolatry and Tyranny of Antichrist; and all have been martyr’d, that is, slain and mortifi’d as to the life of sin, and besprinkled also with the bloud of the Lamb in the pardon of what-ever Transgressions are past. And, lastly, they are to be crowned and reign as Kings upon earth, for the Kingdom is given to the Saints of the most High, Dan. 7.
6. But to return to the Description of this Heavenly Heros: A sharp-edged Sword is said to go out of his mouth. Which is analogical to that in the Hebrews, The word of God is quick and powerful, sharper then any two-edged Heb. 4.sword. And in that he is said to rule the Nations with a rod of iron, it is an allusion to the second Psalm, which is a Prophecie of the Messias, Thou shalt rule them with a rod of iron, and break them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Which is a Prophetick Symbol of that wonderful contrition of heart that the powerful Word of God makes when sincerely and seasonably evibrated against the enemies of his Kingdom; as in the Epistle to the Hebrews it is said to divide asunder and cut betwixt soul and spirit, and hew down into the very joints and marrow. Such is the Militia of this Heavenly Host. He shall smite the Earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips will he slay the wicked, Esa. 11. 4.
7. And in that he is said to tread the wine-press of the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God, it looks as if it referred to that of Esay 63. Who is this that comes from Edom, with his died garments from Bozrah, this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Which answers to that in this present Vision, Whose name is Faithful and True, and in righteousness doth he judge and make war. But it follows in Esay, Wherefore art thou red in thy apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the wine-fat? I have troden the wine-press alone, and of the people there was none with me. For I will tread them in my anger, and trample them in my fury, and their bloud shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in my heart, and the day of my redeemed is come. This answers to what is said of the Rider of the white Horse in this Vision, that he was clothed in a vesture dipt in bloud: Which in both these Prophecies referrs both to the Passion of Christ, and his Spiritual Victories over his Enemies. The Wine-presses also answer to one another in each Vision.
And being that the Harvest is, as our Saviour says, the end of the world, the Vintage,which is something later then it, must be a later part of the end of the world. So that this Vision of Edom and Bozrah will very well sute in that respect also to this of the Apocalyps. And it is farther considerable that Bozrah signifies Vintage, and Edom the carnal persecutive Church, real enemies to the true Jerusalem, as the Edomites were to Israel. And I need not adde that Edom and Ismael are Types of one and [Page 422]the same thing. So that the warfare seems plainly to be spiritual, as it may be I shall take occasion to clear up more fully in another place.
8. Lastly, in that it is written upon his thigh, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS, it shews the Royal Descent of Christ even according to the flesh, as if he had laid claim to this Sovereignty by descent from David the King, accordingly as it is said, Chap. 22. I am the root and offspring of David, and the bright morning-star. The root of David, as to his Divinity; and the off-spring of David, as to his Humanity. But the meaning of this part of the Vision is, That the Word of God, that is to say, the Law of Christ, inward and outward, is at last in conspicuous Triumph, though it had been kept under and plainly troden into the dirt for so long a time in the Reign of the Two-horned Beast or the Whore.
9. But that the Church of Christ, which is his Body, has also a share in this part of the Vision, is easily discoverable. For in that this Title of King of Kings and Lord of Lordsis written upon his thigh, it signifies also the Dominion of his posterity the Church, as Ribera and Alcazar have rightly noted, and accordingly as it is said else-where in the Apocalyps. He has made us Kings and Priests, &c. And for the treading of the Wine-press of the wrath of God, or the subduing of Edom, does not Christ doe it by the powerful and convictive zeal of his Saints and faithful Ministers of his Word, who seriously and weightily laying the Law, and the heavy wrath of God against Sinners, to the hearts and consciences of these carnally-complexionated Edomites, squeeze out, if I may so speak, their corrupt bloud, that is, the principle of that ungodly life in them, (for in the bloud thereof is the life thereof) and so making them dead as to sin, after revive them into righteousness unto everlasting Salvation?
And so for that sharp-edged sword which is here said to come out of the mouth of Christ; it is in effect the very same that comes out of the mouths of his Saints, who rule the world by convincing them of their wickedness, and causing them to return to God. This sharp, piercing and vehement Reproof out of the mouths of the people of God against the Beast and the False Prophet is here said to be a Sword coming out of the mouth of Christ, because their mouths are his mouth by right use and possession, and he inspires by his Spirit, and they are onely his […] that transmit this fiery Law, this blast of fire and flaming breath, as it is called in Esdras, whereby the wicked are consumed; They are, I say, but as a seized Gate or Passage through which or in which this sharp-edged Sword, wherewith the Nations are smitten, is so powerfully brandished by our victorious Saviour. For this Flame and this Sword I take to be clear Truth, and sound and searching Reason inspired from the Eternal Word,which whetted with an holy, sincere and unaffected kind of Enthusiastick Zeal, and back’d with an unexceptionable Life and conversation, will be like a sharp-edged sword with the weight of running Quick-silver in the back of it, whose stroke will fall with such a sway, that it will even chine the enemy at one blow, will divide asunder soul and spirit, and pierce through the joynts and marrow, as the Apostle speaks.
But this is more then our present Scope intended, which was onely to[Page 423]shew that that Antichristian Opposition which is particularly made against the Kinglyand Prophetick Office of Christ is prefigured in the Prophets; which I hope I have sufficiently done in the Visions of the Two Witnesses, of the little Horn with Eyes, and in this present Vision of the Rider of the white Horse.
1. That the rest of the Sacred Titles of Christ are referrible to the Prophecies we have already treated of. 2. As likewise all the Oppositions to the Divine life in general,saving that of turning the Church into a City of Merchandises. 3. Which seems predicted in the Lamentation over the Ruines of Babylon, Apoc. 18. Ver. 11. The meaning of the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth verses. Ver. 14. Of the fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth. Ver. 17. Of the seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth. Ver. 21. The Exposition continued from the twentieth to the end of the Chapter.
1. AS for those other Attributes of Christ’s Person, as where he is called The everlasting Father, and styled God, Light, Truth, The Prince of Peace; the Oppositions to them are referrible to those Prophecies we have already treated of. The first to those that concern the first members of Antichristianism. For there is no greater enemie against the Second Birth or Holy Regeneration then that rabble of Idolatrous and Superstitious practices comprised in the two first members of Antichristianism.Those Prophecies also of the Mauzzim or Daemons to be worshipped are Prophecies of the Opposition against Christ’s Divinity; and the Darkness of Aegypt, of that against the Light of the Gospel: The False-Prophet and makers of Lies, against the Truth; and the warring against the Saints a contradiction to the Prince of Peace.These hints may suffice for those remaining Attributes of Christ’s Person. We shall now proceed to the Predictions of the Antichristian Oppositions to the Divine Life.
2. And the first were such as opposed the Divine Life in general▪ Which are indeed all those Oppositions hitherto, gross Idolatry, burthensome Superstition, the Oppositions against Christ as King, Priest and Prophet. To which those particular Oppositions against the Divine Life in general which I noted are also referrible, and therefore treated of already.
There is onely one thing behind; which is the turning of the Church of God into a Martor Fair by those religious Nundinations and Collations of Ecclesiastick Preferments for mere Secular Interest, the turning the exercise of Christian Offices into a mere Trade of gain for the Priests of what Dignity soever. This is known to be a gross miscarriage in the Church of Rome, and is in my mind most lively and graphically prefigured and depainted in that Lamentation upon the Ruine of Babylon, Apoc. 18. beginning at the ninth verse.
[Page 424]3. Which I shall endeavour briefly to give some light to in my rehearsing the Prophecie.
9. And the Kings of the Earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,
10. Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great City Babylon, that mighty City! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
That this City Babylon is not a City of brick and stone, but a Polity, and particularly the Roman Hierarchy, I have evidently proved in my Joint-Exposition. And truly it seems improbable to me, that the Spirit of God should put the Apostle upon composing so long and copious a Threnodia upon her ruine and desolation, if it signifi’d no more then the burning of the City of Rome in a literal sense, and so slightly as did Totilas, and with so little design or effect. Wherefore in that sense which we have already given, and do not at all doubt but is true, let us hold on briefly to illustrate the Text.
In these two first verses comes in the Lamentation of the Kings of the Earth, such as committed fornication with her, that is to say, such as were of her Idolatrousprofession, but, seeing how things went, durst not assist her for fear, but let her burn till the end. Which again shews that Babylon‘s fall is not at once, but by degrees, as I have already noted. For though her judgment be come in one hour, yet the execution of it may take up a considerable time.
Ver. 11. And the Merchants of the Earth shall weep and mourn over her, for no man buieth her Merchandise any more.
12. The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all Thyine wood, and all manner of vessels of Ivory, and all manner of vessels of most precious stones, and of brass, and of iron, and of marble,
13. And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flower, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and the Souls of men.
The first sort of Mourners or Lamenters seem to be those of the Secular Power; but by these […] seem to be understood Ecclesiastick persons, that traffick in the Church, where all is supposed to pass or be disposed of for Mony or Earthly Interest: and therefore in reproch they are called the Merchants of the Earth, though otherwise their Titles and Professions point to nothing but to Christ, and God, and Heaven; Divine, Holy, Sacred or Religious being the external badge of them all.
The varieties of the Commodities they deal in are so numerous, that it were too great a […] to seek a Mystery in them all, when it may possibly be nothing else but an Hylasmus or dwelling upon Material Objects in a redundant manner for the adorning of the outward Cortex of the Prophecie. But the ground in general of the Lamentation of these Merchants is, […] that the Fair is violently broke up, or else quite unfrequented; that there is no buying and selling of such Commodities in Babylon as was wont, sith Babylon her self [Page 425]is unaccessible, as lying, burning and smoking in the wrath of God: no sale of gold, silver, precious stones, pearls, fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet, the rich attire of those higher parts of the Whore, (as you may see in the foregoing Chapter) fit for Popes, Cardinals, and other great Personages of that Babylonish Body, and their Officers: no Thyine wood for the roof of their Temples, or for carved Idols to whom sacrifice is done; (for I suspect some such allusion in […]) no Incense for burnt-offerings for their adored Images; no Images of Ivory, precious stone, brass, iron, or marble, nor any other sacred Utensils; for of this latitude of signification is […], as the use of the word occurres in the Byzantine History, where Images of silver and gold are called […]. And Achmetes, Chap. 12. […].
But to proceed; No trafficking any longer in Aromatick odours, oyls, or ointments for sacred Unctions. No man will participate any longer of her Panis benedictus, nor tast of her idolized Wafer made of the finest flour, nor sip of the wine of her Chalice, though they would offer it to the Laiety. The tithe Calf and Lamb also with his consecrated wool shall fail; nor shall there be any more Redemption of Souls out of Purgatory by Masses hired for money. The Merchandise also of Horses, Chariots and Slaves shall cease in that day.
The Greek has it, […] Which three words being in the Genitive Case alone amongst all the rest, nor yet in regimine, intimates that they must goe together, and make up one thing. Which I conceive to be the Equippage of some of those greater Dignities in this Mystical Babylon, and to be a Key to the meaning of the rest of these Commodities, that they are to be understood some such way as I have interpreted them, and would interpret these, not Horses, Chariots and Slaves, but Horses, Coaches, and Lacquays to run by them in querpo; which is uncouth to be set to sale thus joyntly, if it were literally meant. Wherefore the sense is, That the Merchandise of such Dignities in their Church, as whose Equippage is to goe with their Coach and Horses and Lacquays to run by them, that this Merchandise will fail also amongst the rest, in the ruine and desolation of Babylon.
Ver. 14. And the fruits that thy soul lusteth after are departed from thee; and all things that were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt finde them no more at all.
That is to say, Those great and opime Preferments and Dignities which thy ambitious and worldly minde so longingly hankers after. For these are the […], the Poma desiderii, as the Vulgar Latine has it, the […], those fat and fair Objects that make their mouths run a-water so in this full Babylonish Market, where every thing is to be had for Money, and nothing without it.
15. The Merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off, for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,
16. And saying, Alas, alas, that great City that was clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet, and decked with gold and precious stones and [Page 426]pearls! for in one hour so great riches are come to nought.
The sense is, As well the Buyers as Sellers of Spiritual Preferments, who had thriven on the trade, shall be very sorry to see the ruine of that Polity that sustained them, but not be able to help it; and shall magnify the great Pomp and Splendour of the Whore amidst their lamentations over their own losses. For it is observable, that this sixteenth verse is the very same in a manner with the fourth of the preceding Chapter, where the Raiment of the Whore is described. Which is understood of the Pope, the Cardinals, and other Grandees of that Idolatrous Church.
Ver. 17. And every Ship-master, and all the company in Ships, and Sailers, and as many as trade by Sea, stood afar off,
18. And cried, when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What City is like unto this great City?
19. And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great City, wherein were made rich all that had Ships in the Sea, by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.
If we consider what Sea signifies stylo prophetico, the multitudes of men upon Earth; Analogy will easily lead us to the understanding of what may be intimated by Ships,namely consecrated Houses disjoyned from the rest, as Ships are usually separate in the Sea. It seems therefore to give a glance at the Babylonish Churches abused to gainful Idolatries and Superstitions, where they sell the use, the sight or possession of several consecrated things, exchange Souls out of Purgatory for money, and do[…], turn the very Word of God into an adulterate piece of Ware or Merchandise.
It might haply seem something too phanciful to imagine that these […], these Naves Mercatoriae, have any allusion to that known term of Church-Architecture, the Naveof the Church; and yet Mr. Mede thought that in the Vision of the Goat, which stood for the Greek Empire, there is an Allusion to […], from whence the Aegeadae, which are the Macedonians, are named. Nor is there any Improbability (to anticipate the Objections of those who deservedly have a great respect and reverence for places consecrate to Divine worship) that Christ, who complained that the Jews had made the Temple at Jerusalem a Den of thieves, should in this Vision, being as highly provoked, rebuke as severely, in saying these men of Babylon have turned his Churches, which stand for better uses, into so many Ships of deceitful and cunning Merchants. See the Prophetick Alphabet.
And they cast dust on their heads, &c. These three verses do plainly allude to, and are in a manner a Transcript of, the Vision of the Destruction of Tyre in Ch. 27. 29, &c.Ezekiel. And all that handle the ear, the Mariners and all the Pilots of the Sea, shall come down from their Ships, they shall stand upon the land; And shall cause their voice to be heard against thee, and shall try bitterly, and shall cast up dust upon their heads, they shall wall […] themselves in the ashes: And they shall make themselves utterly bald for thee, and gir […]themselves with s […]ck-cloth, and they shall weep for thee with bitterness of heart and bitter wailing. And in their wailing they shall take up a lamentation[Page 427]for thee, and lament over thee, saying, What City is like Tyrus, like the destroyed in the midst of the Sea? Which is like this concerning Babylon, Alas, alas, the great City,&c. What City is like to this great City? And so like passages there are both in this Vision of Ezekiel and in Esay Ch. 23. that I must confess I suspect these also to be Prophecies of the same thing, especially considering that the Whoredome of Tyrus is so much upbraided to her in those Prophecies, as it is here to Babylon in this.
For in one hour is she made desolate; that is to say, Suddenly and unexpectedly is she a-making desolate. For she may be a long while a-burning, and not set on fire on all places at once, as I have intimated above. But that these Sea-men should set up so piteous a note and lamentation, the cause is plain, their trade and livelihood is gone. For they were made rich by reason of her costliness; so the EnglishTranslation, and accommodately enough to the literal sense. But […] may as well signifie out of that treasure of honours, dignities, preferments and offices, wherewith she was able to enrich these Merchants.
20. Rejoyce over her, thou Heaven, and ye holy Apostles and Prophets, for God hath avenged you on her.
That is to say, Rejoyce ye heavenly-minded over these Merchants of the Earth, and ye that are Teachers of the pure and Apostolick doctrine, and declare the naked truth of things unto the world, be ye glad that the Lord has avenged the bloud of your Predecessours upon her, the bloud of the Waldenses and Albigenses, and of those that suffered in Queen Mary‘s time, with the rest of the holy Martyrs of Jesus.
Ver. 21. And a mighty Angel took up a stone like a great Mil-stone, and cast it into the Sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great City Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.
The sense is, That at last there will be an utter ruine and dissipation of this Idolatrous City or Polity, namely, at the pouring out of the seventh Vial. But in the mean time I cannot omit to note how unlikely a thing it is that this great Triumph and rejoycing, and that so perfect and final destruction figured out by the plunging of a Mil-stone by a mighty Angel to the bottom of the Sea, should signify nothing else but Totilas his sacking of Rome, (which presently recovered again) and the spirits of the Apostles and Prophets their looking down through the windows of Heaven, and making merry at that Spectacle, which could not but be very sad and Tragical to many a good Christian.
22. And the voice of Harpers and Musicians, and of Pipers and Trumpeters shall be heard no […]re at all in thee; and no Crafts-man, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee, and the sound of a Mil-stone shall be heard no more at all in thee.
23. And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee, and the voice of the Bridegroom and the Bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: For thy Merchants were the great men of the Earth; for by thy Sorceries were all Nations deceived.
24. And in her was found the bloud of Prophets and of Saints, and of all that were slain upon the Earth.
The twenty second and part of the twenty third verse comprise the sad silence and desolation of this City; the rest the reason of her destruction. [Page 428]And the voice of Harpers and Musicians, &c. All this first part may be either nothing else but a Prophetick Hylasmus, setting out one single thing, the destruction, silence and vast solitude of this Idolatrous Hierarchy, by the privation or absence of such gross and palpable Objects as occur in a City inhabited, as the noise of Musicians, the hammering and knocking of Artificers, the grinding of Mills, the light of Candles in the night, and the singing and dancing at Weddings, and the like: Or else there may be a more particularly contrived Allegory in reference to this Mystical City here meant; As if we should understand rather the Musick at their Idolatrous worship, by these here specified, which were onely a Diorismus; & by these […], such as do technas consuere sophisticas & politicas in Theology and Church-Administration, for the Interest of their Hierarchy, these Artifices Imperii in Imperio, and those also that work curious work in the Scholastick Divinity; by the sound of the Mil-stones, their fraudulent Profit, for […], as you may see in Achmetes; by the light of a Candle,Honour and Prosperity, as you may reade in the same Author; and, lastly, by the Bridegroom and the Bride, not the spiritual Marriages betwixt Christ and a Nun, or the Virgin Mary and a Monk in the Monasteries, but the propagation of this Pseudo-Catholick Religion, that it shall be no longer propagated; for the end of Marriage is Propagation.
For thy Merchants were the great men, &c. Now follows the reason of this great Desolation, which is threefold. The first, The Riot and Lordliness of these Mystical Merchants; they were […], that is to say, Great men of the world, and greatly worldly, ambitious, covetous and sensual, which is the very essence of an Earthly minde. Which how much it has been amongst the Popes, Cardinals, Abbots, and other[…], Primates or Maximates, if you will, of the Roman Church, History and the mouths of all men are full of it.
The second is, The debauching the world with Idolatry, accompanied and countenanced with the pretence of a power plainly Magical of changing the Elements in such a sort as all the Magicians of Pharaoh could never do, nor had the face to attempt the like, it being so beyond all credibility; besides other Magical feats of an inseriour Rank, and Necromantick Stories of the Apparitions of dead Saints. Whence Idolatry is indigitated here by […], as also that Cup in the hand of the Whore is look’d upon as a Philtrum; and likewise their being said to be deceived by these Sorceries implies their being seduced to Idolatry, to which they tend, as appears plainly from what is written of the Miracles of the Two-horned Beast, ch. 13. 13, 14.
The third and last Reason is, The bloudy Cruelty of this Roman Hierarchy; In her was found the bloud of Prophets and of Saints, &c. namely, of such as out of conscience to the Law of God and Christ could not submit to their Idolatrous Profession and Practice, but witness against them. And not their bloud onely is laid to her charge, but the common bloudshed in Christendom by wars and tumults, which they, for the better rooting themselves in Countries and Kingdomes, ingage the world in, and abet and assist when begun by the Secular Powers; whenas if they were the true Successours of the Apostles, as they boast themselves to be, they would make it their business that Christians should not spill one anothers bloud, nor conscientious men lose their liberties or lives for being the faithful Professours of [Page 429]the pure Apostolick doctrine, nor suffer the Turk to over-run Christendome rather then they will forsake their Idols and Daemon-worship, or Apoc. 9. 20, 21.repent of their Prophet-murthering Fornications, Sorceries, and thievish Impostures.
1. This mystical sense of the burning of Babylon confirmed out of his Joint-Exposition, and from Alcazar‘s Interpretation, and that the same is prefigured in the destruction of Tyre. 2. How lively the Patriarch of Rome is typified in Ezekiel by the King of Tyre.3. Another Vision to the same purpose in the same Prophet. 4. A third Vision in Esay,concerning Tyre typifying Rome Pagan, Christian, and then Esay 23.Pagano-Christian. Ver. 18. That Tyre (that is, Rome) will be reformed from her Pagano-Christianism, and become purely Christian again and Apostolick, according to this Vision. 6. That these Visions of Tyre must needs have a further meaning then what literally concerns that City. 7. An Exposition of the eighteenth verse of the last Vision comprising the Prediction of the Reformation of Rome Pagano-Christian. 8. What is meant by […], with a general reflexion upon the appositeness of these four last Prophecies for the setting out the Merchandising of the Church of Rome in the management of her Ecclesiastick Affairs.
1. THat there must be some such Mystical sense as this in the general of the Burning of Babylon and of this Lamentation over her, my Joint-Exposition does make good, it being manifest there that the Whore of Babylon and the Two-horned Beast are all one, and that consequently not a City, but a Polity is understood thereby. And Alcazar himself interprets this desolation not in a literal sense, but mystical, understanding thereby the Conversion of Rome Pagan to Christianity, as I do of Rome Pagano-Christian to the pure and Apostolick Christianity again. Which seems to be intimated in the Vision of Tyre, which in the Mystery is the same with the burning of Babylon. And the Spirit of God seems of set purpose to point us thereto, by the transplanting so entirely the Phrases of the Visions of Tyre in Ezekiel and Esay into this Apocalyptick Vision of Babylon; as if he had a minde that we should take notice of a fourth Appellation of this Mystical City, that it is as well Tyre, as Sodom, Aegyptand Babylon. But whereas Alcazar would have Rome Pagan understood by Tyre, I conceive that in Ezekiel Rome Pagano-Christian, in Esay both Rome Pagan, Christianand Pagano-Christian is typified; as we shall briefly see, and it is not out of our way, these Mystical Merchandises being still concerned therein.
2. Behold then how lively that High Priest at Rome is set out first in Ezekiel, under the Type of the King of Tyre, Chap. 28.
Ver. 2. Son of man, say unto the Prince of Tyre, Thus saith the Lord[Page 430]God, Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the Seas; yet thou art man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God.
Is not this plainly he that sits betwixt the Seas in Italy, and exalts himself above every thing that is called God? But this belongs more properly to that part of Antichristianism that is opposite to the Divine Grace of Humility.
3. Behold, thou art wiser then Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee.
This is onely a Diorismus, but sets out the pretended Infallibility and unerring Inspiration of that grand Pseudo-prophet at Rome; as it may also glance at their exquisite cunning and sagacity, and general Intelligence for the management of their Affairs. And some interpret the Text of Political Wisedom, wherein Daniel was also eximious. And indeed the very pretence of Infallibility in Divine things is in this False Prophet onely a Trick of Policy, and the direction of their whole frame of Policy entirely carried to the getting of Power and Riches. In pursuance whereof they will not stick to alter, null or abrogate the Laws, Institutes and Decrees of God himself. Which some would phansy to be alluded to in the name of Daniel, which signifies the judgment of God, as if they could make Laws and Decrees more judiciously then He; whenas they are nothing but politick Contrivances for getting of Wealth, as I said, and is plainly intimated in the following verse.
4. With thy wisedom and with thy understanding thou hast gotten thee riches, and hast gotten gold and silver into thy treasures.
5. By thy great wisedom and by thy traffick hast thou encreased thy riches, and thy heart is lifted up because of thy riches.
This is that Mysticall trade which we have already taken notice of in the foregoing Vision of the Ruine of Babylon. The following verses to the tenth are a Commination of his destruction; at the end whereof it being added, Thou shalt die the death of the uncircumcised, &c. it implies, that this King of Tyre in the Prophetick style is a Jew,which in the Apocalyptick Visions sounds as much as Christian, whether in profession or in truth. Which is a farther Intimation of the Mystical meaning of this Prophecy.
3. But these things are still farther cleared in the following Vision, in the same Chapter.
Vers. 12. Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the King of Tyre, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God, Thou sealest up the full summe of wisedom and perfect in beauty.
That is to say, There is no policy nor splendour of Empire to be compared with that of the Bishop of Rome.
13. Thou hast been in Eden the Garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the Sardius, Topaz, and the Diamond, the Beryll, &c.
Adorned like the Whore of Babylon for precious Stones and Jewels, as well he may, the Whore and He being in signification one and the same thing. But in that he is said to be in the Garden of Eden, what can be [Page 431]more sutable to the pleasantness and deliciousness of Italy, which is accounted the Garden or Eden of Europe?
14. Thou art the anointed Cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy Mountain of God, thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
The sense is, Thou art look’d upon as the Infallible Oracle of Christendom, (for from the Cherubims did God speak) and thou art also that High Priest walking in his Sacerdotal Vestments, upon which were those glistering stones that shone like fire, and were an Emblem of the See the Appendix to the Defence of my Philosophick Cabbala, Chap.5. Sect. 3.Sun according to the ancient Cabbala.Which height of Dignity though thou mayest be forward to ascribe to thy self and thy own activity and policy, yet thou art to know that all power is from me, and that it is by my strength that thou standest.
15. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
That is to say, There was no evil nor defect in thee from thy being created Bishop of Rome, (for Episcopacy is of my Institution) untill thou didst degenerate into Superstition and Idolatry, and forsookest the first Apostolick laws of thy Creation, and broughtest that sad Apostasy upon Christendom.
16. By the multitude of thy Merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: Therefore will I cast thee as profane out of the Mountain of God, and I will destroy thee, O covering Cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
By the multiplying of thy merchandises (such as I have described in the foregoing Vision of Babylon) thou committest injustice, (these are thy Apocal. 9. 21.[…]) and hast laid violent hands on those that speak against these ungodly tradings, and hast slain the Witnesses of the Truth. Wherefore thou shalt sit no longer on Seven-hilled Rome, which is holy for the profession of the name of my Son Christ; but I will bring thee down, who pretendest to be universal Oracle and High Priest over Christendom, and strip thee out of thy Sacerdotal Raiments that glister with precious Stones like Fire, and thus I will destroy thee.
17. Thy heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisedom by reason of thy brightness; I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before Kings, that they may behold thee.
18. Thou hast defiled thy Sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the Earth in the sight of all them that beheld thee.
The summe hereof is this: The greatness and splendour of the See of Rome, the pursuit and affectation thereof in her and proportionally in the rest of the Grandees of that Clergy, made them corrupt their Policy with wicked Principles, so that they defiled their Sanctuaries, that is to say, the Christian Churches, with such Idolatrous and Superstitious worship as made most for their own gain; I mean with such like iniquity of their traffick as I have already intimated in the Vision of Babylon, Mass-money, Oblations to Saints and their Images, and the like. Wherefore this [Page 432]King of Tyre is (as the Whore of Babylon, which is a Type of the same thing) condemned to be burnt to ashes by a fire which shall break forth from the midst of him; as it is said of the Whore, that the ten Horns, which were Principalities of her own Jurisdiction, should hate her, and eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.
4. The Vision is so naturally applicable to the same that the Whore of Babylon is, and so hardly applicable in some passages to the King of Tyre, that it is no small assurance but that the chief Scope of the Prophecy respects rather the Bishop of Rome then the Tyrian Prince. Of which we may be farther assured by that other Prophecy to the same sense in Esay 23.Esay; where Forerius conceives not onely Rome Pagan to be spoken of, as Alcazar, but says expresly that John seems to understand Civitatem Antichristianorum by this City of Tyre in Apocal. 18. though he names not the City: ver. 19. Alas, alas, that great City, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the Sea! And with Forerius and Alcazarjoyn’d together, I conceive by Tyre to be understood Rome become Antichristian, the Antichristian Hierarchy thereof being pointed at as it is in Babylon. For S. John, as I have above intimated, has plainly directed us to this sense, by transplanting the very self-same phrases into the Vision of Babylon: As appears, besides what we have already noted, from the eighth verse of this Chapter; Who hath taken this counsel against Tyre, the Crowning City, whose Merchants are Princes, whose Traffickers are the Honourable of the Earth? I omit to take notice how patly the Crowning City fits that Polity that in ordine ad spiritualia pretends to a right of taking off and putting on the Crowns of Kings and Emperours, and have done it with the greatest insultation imaginable: I onely note that the rest answers exactly to Apocal. 18. 23. Thy Merchants are the great men of the Earth; as here, Princes and the Honourable of the Earth. How well these terms agree to the grandeur of the Pope and Cardinals, and such great persons of that Church, is obvious to every one to conceive. But there is something more pleasant that follows and of a good Omen. Verse
15. And it shall come to pass in that day, that Tyre shall be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one King; after the end of seventy years shall Tyre sing as an Harlot.
Here is both good news and bad news in this verse. For by Tyre is here meant, as has been already suggested, Idolatrous Rome, who must be forgotten seventy years according to the days of One King; which, say I, is one of the eight Kings in the Apocalyps, Chap. 17. And by the Cabbalistical sense of the number 70, it is easily discovered who he is; namely, the Seventh King, which is the Succession of the Christian Caesars, as I have there noted; the space of whose reign is not here intimated, but their property, by multiplying 10 into 7. Of which the Cabbalisticalmeaning is▪ That during the whole reign of those Caesars (for Ten is a Symbol of Totality) Tyre should be forgotten, that is, the Polity of Rome should not be professedly Idolatrous; but after this term, then Tyre shall again sing as an Harlot, as it follows, Verse
16. Take an harp, goe about the City, thou Harlot that hast been forgotten, make sweet melody, sing many songs, that thou mayest be remembred.
[Page 433]That is to say, That the Roman Hierarchy after that time of the abrogation of Idolatry expired, by fair pretences and bewitching speeches, accommodating their harangues and exhortations with much harmony and agreeableness to the corrupt inclinations of the people, shall, by these plausible persuasions and other meretricious Ceremonies and sense-striking Invitations, bring Idolatrous worship again into the Empire; the will of God, so far as I see, being that it should be so, as it follows Verse
17. And it shall come to pass after the end of seventy years, that the Lord will visitTyre, and she shall turn to her hire, and shall commit fornication with all the Kings of the Earth.
And it shall come to pass: The more determinate sense is, For it shall come to pass,otherwise it looks like a Tautologie. Her Apostasy into Idolatry is here described, like that of the Whore of Babylon with whom the Kings of the Earth are said to commit Fornication. And whereas it is said, For the Lord will visit Tyre, that is answerable to that Apocal. 17. 17. For God has put in their hearts to fulfill his will. Which Apostasy also begins, as here after seventy years, so there in the Apocalyps after the Seventh King. But that which follows is most welcome;
Ver. 18. And her Merchandise and her hire shall be Holiness to the Lord: it shall not be treasured nor laid up; for her Merchandise shall be for them that dwell before the Lord, to eat sufficiently, and for durable clothing.
Here the Scene of things is again changed, and that for the best. For Interpreters generally agree that here is a Conversion to Christ. But S. Jerom and some of the Hebrew Writers understand it of the Conversion of the City Tyrus herself; Alcazar of Rome Pagan. But I conceive this Conversion to be of Rome Pagano-Christian to the ancient, pure and Apostolick Christianity; which the fitness of things as well in this Vision of Esay as those of Ezekiel seems sufficiently to assure us of.
Nor can it well but be expected, when it is so evident that the People of the Jews was one great Sacrament or Type of the Church of Christ to come, as is inculcated over and over again in the Apocalyps abounding so every-where with that Figure we have ventured to term Israelismus, I say, it cannot but be expected, that those Nations that were Enemies to the Jews should also bear the Type of such as should be found the Enemies of the true Church of Christ; and that the Prophets predicting things of them in reference to the first Completion which is Literal, should in the exaltedness of their spirit be raised into such expressions as were more sutable to those whose Types they were, then to them themselves: in such sort as several Prophecies concerning Christ are framed, and noted accordingly by Interpreters; which are either purely Allegorical, or Mixt; of which I Book 7. Ch. 7. Sect. 2, 3, 4.have spoken in my Mystery of Godliness.
6. And truly I think these two Visions of Tyre so perfect Predictions of Antichrist and his Fall, that they deserve to be received into the number of the second kind, there being that in them which will not sute with the first Completion of them. Amongst which is Tyre‘s being called Whore, and her being said to commit fornication with all the Kings of the Earth. Which is no tolerable sense understood literally of Tyrus, but easily and naturally understood of Rome Antichristian. What à Lapide saies of […] [Page 434]that it signifies Caupona as well as Meretrix, is but a poor subterfuge; as if the Prophet for a verbal Jest’s sake would reproach a City so highly for usefull trades and negotiations. Besides, though […] signify as well Caupona as Meretrix, yet […] signifies onely scortari. And therefore […] must determine the sense of the other.Esay 23. 17.
Also the seventy years silence and ollivion is so unapplicable to Tyreliterally, as that Grotius (though I cannot approve of his boldness) is fain change the seventy years into seven, as if the Text were corrupt: which is an odd way of interpreting Scripture, something like the cure of the Head-ach by decollation. And when he has reduced these years to seven; neither the life nor the reign of Salmanassar was seven years, nor he King of that City: Which yet according to common sense seems necessary to be understood.
Again, The Prince of Tyre being threatened with the death of the Uncircumcised implies him a pretended member of the Church of God, and more especially his being called the anointed Cherub, and set out by the adornings of the High Priest, and menaced to be cast out of the Mountain of God as profane, and lastly reproved for defiling the Sanctuaries. All these are more then Intimations that the King of Tyre is a Type of some great person who is Priest in the Church of God, to whom this Vision chiefly does belong, and will hardly be sense in some things if not understood of him.
7. But I will not dwell any longer on this subject. Let me onely give a brief Account of the sense of this last verse. And her Merchandise, that is to say, Then, or After thisher Merchandise, (for of so lax a sense is […], as we noted upon Dan. 11. 36.) her Merchandise and Hire shall be Holiness to the Lord. The meaning is, Those Revenues and Preferments which Simony and other oblique and unjust administration of the affairs of the Church had made mere Merchandise, as also that which had been the Hire of an Whore, that is to say, that had accrued to the Church of Rome by her Idolatrous and Meretricious Artifices, shall be taken and made good use of, laid out in the true and substantial service of God, and be dedicated to him, that is, be appropriated to his real service. It shall not be treasured nor laid up, that is, It shall not be raked together into a few mens hands to make them and their Families a Fortune, they shall not seize upon it and possess it as their own, (for so […] may seem to intimate) to satisfy their own either Luxury or Covetousness. For her Merchandise shall be for them that dwell before the Lord, that is, They shall be for the Houshold of Faith, such as walk as ever being in the sight and eye of God, and have a reverential sense of his presence in all their Conversation; for such as be of the Christian Faith, not of the Antichristian Faction, be they Laiety or Clergy. To eat sufficiently; That men may have sufficient sustenance, that good Hospitality may be kept, and that the poor and hungry may be satisfied.
8. And for durable clothing, […]. It may signify either durable clothing, or comely grave clothing, such as becomes aged men. Ut vestiantur veste honestâ & decorâ, qualis decet senes & Presbyteros; It is à Lapide‘s own gloss upon Vatablus his Interpretation: Ad Operimentum [Page 435]senum. By which I conceive this Prophecy perstringes the Luciferian Pride and splendid Pomp of the Pope and Cardinals and other Grandees of that Church; predicting, that that Revenue which is mis-spent upon this Antichristian vanity, the times will come when it shall be better bestowed in Christian Hospitality, and a common care of the whole Body of Christ, that no man want due Food and honest Raiment, neither Clergy nor Laiety. But these are Excursions farther then I intended.
In the mean time, I think I have made it exceeding plain, as well out of the Apocalyps as out of these Visions of Ezekiel and Esay, that that leud Trafficking and Merchandising in the Church of Rome, as if she were a mere City of Trade, is very lively and graphically prefigured in Tyre and Babylon.
1. Their lying Legends perstringed in S. Paul‘s Prophecy of the Latter Times. 2. A more full Prefiguration of that Antichristian Opposition that is against Faith, in part of his Prophecy of the Man of Sin. 3. A clear Exposition of that part of the Prophecy. 4. Strictures in the Apocalyptick Visions to the same purpose. 5. The Pride of the Bishop of Rome prefigured in the King of Tyre, as also his Downfall, and how. 6. His gorgeous splendour set out both in the King of Tyre and in the Whore of Babylon. 7. The Pride and Downfall of this Patriarch typified in the King of Babylon. The meaning of the twelfth and thirteenth verses. Ver. 14. The meaning of the Prophecy from the fourteenth to the nineteenth verse. Ver. 20. An Explication of the twentieth verse. 10. Farther Prefigurations of the Papal Pride in the Whore and the little Horn. 11. An easy and genuine Exposition or Paraphrase of the thirty sixth and the thirty seventh verses of the eleventh Chapter of Daniel, wherein the Impious Self-elation of the Bishop of Rome is clearly foretold. 12. That the sense of the two following verses of this Prediction may be still the same with Mr. Mede‘s.
1. WE come now to the parts of the Divine life, the Root and the Branches. Upon the former whereof we shall not long insist, the Predictions being not so ample nor so frequent. But Prophecy is not altogether silent concerning those things which do so grosly oppose or undermine our Belief of Christian Religion. As, namely, concerning those Legendary Stories we have taken notice of; are they not plainly foretold in that Prophecy of the Apostasy of the Latter times, That Doctrines of Daemons should be brought in […], through the Hypocrisy of those that tell lies, who by their Hypocriticall show in their professed Abstinence from meats and marriage, as if they were such Saint-like and Angelical men themselves, gain by this disguize the opinion of Sanctity with the people, and therefore the more easily recommend to them the worshipping of Saints by feigning of lying Legends that contain their Miracles, which they are very ready to believe, by reason of the reverence they bear to these vizards of Holiness? What can be more plain then this?
[Page 436]2. Again, 2 Thess. 2. there is a more full Prefiguration of the state of the lapsed Church in this point. Verse
8. And then shall that wicked one be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming;
9. Even him whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and signes and lying wonders,
10. And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the Truth that they might be saved.
11. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12. That they all might be damned who believed not the Truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
3. The description seems to consist of those two parts that are briefly expressed in the Apocalyps by […] and […], He that makes, and he that loves a Lie. This wicked one, that is, the Pope with his Clergy, is the […] the Lie-maker, whose coming is after the working of Satan the Father of Lies; […]. Where […] belongs to them all[…] as if he should say, In all manner of false and counterfeit shows of power, signs and miracles. For he seems to adde by way of farther explanation, […], in all unjustor injurious deceivableness. The same accusation that seems to lie against them in the Apocalyps, […], that they repented them not of their thefts.Chap. 9. 21.
But now the […] follows, viz. the Description of the lovers of these Lies. They are those that perish for want of a sincere love of the Truth that they might be saved. For Hypocrisy is ordinarily at the bottom of those that can be gulled by these Impostours: They not seeking sincerely the Kingdom of God and his righteousness are made a prey to these deceitfull men. As is farther hinted, v. 12. where they are said to take pleasure in unrighteousness. For this cause God sends them strong delusion, that they may believe lies, that is, all the fabulous Impossibilities of Transsubstantiation, Legendary Miracles, and affrightfull stories of Purgatory. Thus one part of their Church becomes Sotts and Bigots; and the other that behold this Scene of things, though they profess themselves of their Church, become a company of profane Atheists and clancular Deriders of all Religion. So miserably does the Christian Faith go to rack by these Impostures. Nay it is a question whether those that do more superstitiously cleave to them, doe it not rather in a kind of confusion and obstupefaction of mind out of fear and suspicion, then any determinate assurance or firm belief of the things they outwardly profess.
Nor does this Interpretation at all clash with their supposition that admit that there are sometimes things that happen extraordinarily in that Church. For it is enough that they do so abound with and glory of their Miracles, and that so very few of those numerous stories of them are true at all, and that none of them are true Miracles, but prestigious Juggles of the Devil, that egregious […], as Theodoret calls him.
[Page 437]4. To these you may adde Apocal. 13. where the Two-horned Beast,(which is the same with the Pseudo-Prophet and this Man of Sin) is said to doe great miracles […], and […], In conspectu hominum, & In conspectu Bestiae; that is, saith Aretas, […], Oculos hominum praestringens, and accordingly Bellarmine also interprets those words. Which juggle notwithstanding concerns the eyes of the Minde as well as those of the Body. For Transsubstantiation does not make the Bread look to the outward eyes otherwise then usuall, but to the eyes of Faith and Reason; to which their being able to make a consecrated Wafer appear to be the very Body and Person of Christ is such a piece of Prestigiousness as has no parallel.
The apparent affectedness of accurate humane Policy, if not worse, in the frame of their Religion, is perstringed in the Vision of the little Horn with eyes: And their Atheism and Infidelity in the general, in those passages of the Revelation, Chap. 21. 8. But the fearfull and unbelieving, &c. and Chap. 22. 15. For without are dogs.Which places in what sense they make to the present Theme, I have already declared in my Idea of Antichristianism, and therefore hold it needless to repeat.
5. We come now to the Oppositions to the Branches of the Divine life, Humility, Purity, and Charity. And that against the first of them is plainly that unmatchable Loftiness and Haughtiness, which we have described in the afore-named Idea, and which History does every-where complain of in the Bishop of Rome. Which I conceive is very lively set out in that Vision of Ezekiel touching the King of Tyre. For that Tyreis a Type of Rome Antichristian, I have above, I think, made very rational. The words which I had occasion to recite before were these: Son of man, say unto the Prince of Tyre, Thus saith the Lord God, Because thine heart Ezekiel Chap. 28. 2.is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God in the midst of the Seas. Is not this the very language which the Pope accepts of, Dominus Deus noster Papa? And that the Seat and Tribunal of the Pope is the very Seat and Tribunal of God? Again, ver. 6. Therefore thus saith the Lord, Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God, behold I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the Nations, &c. To set his heart as the heart of God is to have his will in all things. Who has resisted his Will? And do they not make the Will of the Pope a Law? Supremum Numen in terris, at whose beck and nod all things are to be done, right or wrong; nay, they cannot be wrong if he will have them. Which is to make him have an heart like God indeed, not onely an irresistible, but infallible one. Thus high has he clombe in the confidence of his own subtilty and policy.
But the terrible of the Nations shall draw their swords against the beauty of his wisdom, and they shall defile his brightness, saith the Prophet. Which what it is in the literal sense, is easy to understand, and accordingly is applicable to the King of Tyre;and may ex accidenti be also applicable to the destruction of Rome. But it may also have a more Mystical sense; And then […], which they render robustos gentium,may signify nothing else but the zealous and resolute Assertours and Abettours of Truth, then which nothing is more robustious and strong. (Great is Truth and mighty above [Page 438]all things, Esdras 4.) These stout Champions therefore shall draw their swords against the beauty of his wisedom; that is to say, They shall use the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, even that Sword that comes out of his mouth that rides on the white Horse, which is unsophisticated Reason and Scripture, against the finely-wrought subtilties whether Scholastick or Politick, and all the plausible and goodly fair pretences of the Pontifician wisedom; and the Glory of the Gospel shall darken the Seat of the Beast, as the Sun-shine obscures or puts out the light of every artificial Fire. Thus shall the Pontifician Power perish from the midst of the Nations.
6. And then as for that more then Imperial Majesty and Splendour in the Pope’s Habiliments, it is said of this King of Tyre, Every precious stone was thy Covering, the Sardius, the Topaz and the Diamond: so as it is said of the Whore of Babylon, that she was decked with gold and precious stones and pearles.
Which Pontifician Power though it be prefigured by the image of a Woman in the Apocalyps, the better to set out the Meretricious Mysteries of that Church; yet the Haughtiness thereof, and more particularly that of the Pope, seems also to be typified in the King of Babylon. For is it possible that any one should doubt but that Babylonbeing such an acknowledged Type of the Antichristian Church, the Head of this Antichristian Church is likewise typified in the King of Babylon?
7. Let us hear therefore what Esay saith of this exalted Potentate in the fourteenth Chapter. Verse
12. How art thou fallen from Heaven, O Lucifer, son of the Morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the Nations!
13. For thou hast said in thy heart, I will ascend into Heaven, I will exalt my Throne above the Stars of God, I will sit also upon the Mount of the Congregation in the sides of the North.
How every Nation is weakened by the power of the Pope, we have adumbrated in our Idea of Antichristianism. His ascending into Heaven, stylo Prophetico, and his exalting himself above the Stars of God, which is, the Stars of the greatest magnitude in this Heaven, is as much as his clambering into Imperial Power, and his advancing himself above all the Kings and Princes of the Roman Empire. His sitting upon the Mount of the Congregation, is his sitting in the Temple of God. So that there seems to be a double Allusion, both to the Mount of the Temple of God at Jerusalem, and to the Mountains, or, if you will, some one peculiar Mountain, at Rome, which is the chief City of the Church of Christ. This sitting upon this Mount of the Congregation, or the Church of God, is marvellously coincident with that Prophecy of his sitting in the Temple of God. Nor is [In the sides of the North] put in for nothing, though a thing of little moment in the letter; for it seems to foretell that the Dominion of the Pope was to spread more notoriously Northward, and we know he could never make any great business of the Southern Churches, the African ever resisting him very stoutly. Besides other considerations, which for brevity I omit.
Ver. 14. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the most High.
[Page 439]That is to say, I will be above all Rule and Dominion, I will be absolute, uncontrollable, infallible, as God.
15. Yet thou shalt be brought down to Hell, to the sides of the pit.
16. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the Earth to tremble, that did shake the Kingdoms?
The meaning is, Is this the man that did terrifie the world with his dreadful Thunder-claps of Excommunication, and by the great Interest he had in the Princes of the Empire, and by the power of his Clergy, could unhindge and dissettle Principalities and Kingdoms, by reason of the blindness and Superstition of the People?
17. That made the world as a Wilderness, and destroyed the Cities thereof, that opened not the house of his Prisoners?
That is to say, That filled the Empire with intestine Warres by his wicked Incendiaries, and so brought great depopulations and destructions upon Cities, rather then he would let goe those that he held captive in this Babylonish or Aegyptian Slavery. Many of whom were most barbarously abused in the close Prisons of the Inquisition, and treated with such Cruelty as exceeds all the Tragick stories of the bloudy and persecutive Infidels.
18. All the Kings of the Nations, even all of them lie in glory, every one in his own house.
That is, The Dynasties or Polities of the Nations, the Secular Kingdomes and Powers have and shall expire with glory in comparison of thee, and have an honourable Burial and Memorial.
19. But thou art cast out of thy grave, like an abominable branch—as a carkass troden under foot.
The meaning is, That the Pontifician Power shall not expire with any honour at all, but the very Memorial thereof shall be abominable and execrable: it shall not have that Kingly Burial, whose dead Bodies were embalmed with Aromatick odours, and Sepulchres adorned with goodly and splendid Artifice; but shall be as a stinking Carkass cast into the high-way, that offends the eyes and nostrills of every one that passes by. So unsavoury a stench shall arise from the Records of this bloudy and Idolatrous Antichristian Polity, as is intimated in this last verse.
Ver. 20. Thou shalt not be joyned with them in Burial, because thou hast destroyed thy Land, and slain thy People.See Homily against Rebellion, part […]& 6.
That is to say, As thou art a Power distinct from that of the Secular Powers and Potentates of the Earth, so thy Fate shall be distinct and singular; for thy Memorial shall be accursed, and thy Name an hissing to Posterity. And the reason is also singular, Because thou hast destroyed thy Land, and slain thy People: that is, Because, whereas thou pretendest to be the Vicar of Christ, the Bridegroom of the Church, the Father of Christendome, Universal Pastour of the Flock; thou hast played the bloudy Butcher, the Thief and Robber, to forage in the Empire, to eat and grow fat, accordingly as it is written, The Thief cometh not but for to steal, and to kill and to destroy: which thou hast enormously done since thy usurpation in the House of God, filling the Empire with intestine Broils, Massacres, [Page 440]Martyrdomes with Fire and Faggot, with Racks and Tortures and all manner of Cruelties; and this upon thine own Land and People, that is to say, upon Christians, over whom thou pretendest to be Head, nay, the ghostly Father and tender Protectour of them. Wherefore, as thine Outrages have been singular, thy Destruction shall be proportionable, and thine End execrable, and the stench of thy Memory shall fume up into the nostrills of all Posterities for ever and ever.
The reason of this dreadful End of the King of Babylon is the very same with that of the burning of the Queen of Babylon or the Whore, (for they are Types of one and the same thing) And in her was found the bloud of Apoc. 18. 24.Prophets, and of Saints, and of all that were slain upon the Earth. And truly that last Clause of the Prophecy of the King of Babylon is so proper to the Papal Power, that it belongs to it onely, and not to the King of Babylon. Which is a special pledge and assurance of this higher and more concerning sense of this Prophecy.
10. The height of the Papal power above that of the Emperour is also prefigured in the Whore’s riding of the Beast: For certainly the Rider is superiour to the Beast that is ridden. And it is expresly said of the Two-horned Beast, the same with the Whore,That he exerciseth all the power of the first Beast before him.
To these you may adde that Prediction in Daniel, Ch. 7. 24. And another King shall arise after them; (which I have above shewed to be the Pope) and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three Kings: And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the Saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws. Which words plainly imply that extravagant Power that the Pope was to assume to himself, as is easily understood out of what we have already said upon this Text.
11. And lastly, It seems to me also to be very clear, that this enormous Pride of the Pope is prefigured again in Daniel, Ch. 11. 36, 37. Of which two verses I would make this brief Paraphrase.
36. ‘After the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes, that Type of Antichrist and notorious Enemy of the People of God in the Greek Empire, shall there arise a Rex Sacrorum, or rather a Regal Pontifex, if you will, who with his formed Body Politick, or Ecclesiastical Power, shall prove the very Antichrist indeed, answering in the RomanEmpire to that wicked Antiochus in the Greek that immediately preceded it. Which Ecclesiastick Prince or Pontifex, finding the stream of Affairs and good Fortune to carry him along, shall at last exalt himself above every God, that is, every Supreme Magistrate, the Emperour himself not excepted; nay, shall speak stupendious wordsagainst the Sovereignty of God himself, as if he had power to abrogate or dispense with the Laws of God and Christ, and were himself Supremum Numen in terris. Which Impieties he will prosperously carry on for such a time as Divine Providence will permit, that is to say, till the time and times and half a time be expired or at the last gasp.’
37. ‘But yet he shall not be a pure Pagan for all this, nor regard the Gods of his Ancestors or Predecessors, (that is, of the Supreme Magistrates of [Page 441]Romewho reigned there a long time before him) such Deities as Mars, Neptune, Jupiter, Venus, and the like. But this shall be notable in him, that he shall be outwardly a strict Processor of Coelibate himself, and it shall be against his Pontifical Office to marry, and likewife his Clergy shall be tied to the same Laws, that he might thereby the better promote the Designs of his rampant and insatiable Ambition; which spirit of Pride and Worldliness shall grow so rank in him, that he shall in time cast off the real and sincere sense of all Religion, and care for no God at all, but magnifie himself above all.’
12. In the two following verses there is no need of varying from Mr. Mede‘s Interpretation. For the sense as it respects these foregoing verses is onely this, That by reason of this great Impiety and Irrligiousness of him, or at least of his haughtiness and presumption against the known Laws of God, he will for his own advantage set up the religious worship of Demons, accordingly as we have above expounded it out of Mr. Mede.
1. That the truth of the fore-going Paraphrase may be assured out of Saint Paul‘s Prophecy of the Man of Sin. The three first verses thereof interpreted. Ver. 4. Wherein this Man of Sin exalteth himself above all that is called God, and what it is to shew himself to be God. Ver. 5. The meaning of [to be revealed in his time,] and what that is that withstandeth. Ver. 7. [The Mystery of Iniquity doth already work]how to be understood, and who th […] […]. Ver. 8. What is meant by […], and what the meaning and manner of his destruction; with an intimation of the exquisite Applicability of this Prophecy to the Papal Power and Imposture. 2. A short Parallel betwixt the little Horn in Daniel and this Son of Perdition.
1. THat this is one assured sense of these two verses of Daniel, that Prophecy in the second Epistle to the Thessalonians will more fully evidence: which has so great affinity with this, that I do not doubt but it points at the same enormous power of this Roman Patriarch and his Clergy with it, and is in a manner a Transcript from it.
1. Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 Thess 2.and by our gathering together to him, which I mentioned in my 1 Thess. 4. 17.former Epistle.
2. That you be not soon shaken in minde, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter, […], as from us, as if we had prophesied, spoke, or wrote any thing by letter, no not in that former to you, that could be rightly interpreted to any such sense, as that the Day of Christ is at hand.
3. Let no man deceive you by any means, either by pretence of Inspiration, or by Scripture, or by mis-interpreting any Letter of mine; For [Page 442]that day shall not come except there come a falling away first, […], before that eminent Apostasycome, (for so Alcazar interprets the Article […] in this place) that Lapse into Idolatrous worship which is Rebellion against God and Christ; and that Man of Sin be revealed, the Son of Perdition.
That this is to be understood of that signal Antichrist, is the current Opinion of Antiquity, yea of Alcazar, Ribera, and Bellarmine himself. But we say that this Antichrist will prove the Pope with his Clergy. For it is a ridiculous Defence to excuse it by saying that the Man of Sin must imply one single person; whenas a Man as well as a Woman in the Prophetick style does easily signify not onely a Succession of single men but of a Body Politick by an Henopoeia, and so does here the succession of lapsed Popes with their Clergy, who are called the Son of Perdition, because they are to be destroyed by the brightness of the coming of Christ, and the power and Light of the Gospel. Not by worldly power nor by might, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts.
Ver. 4. Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God or what is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the Temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
That the Bishop of Rome fulfilleth every tittle of this Prediction, any one will see that does but cast back his eyes upon what we have wrote in our Idea of Antichristianism,and what is generally known to all that have sipped but never so little of the History of the affairs of Christendom. For it is plain from thence that he opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, in some eminent way or other. For he opposeth and exalteth himself above Christ, who is very God, in all his Offices, Regal, Sacerdotal and Prophetical, as I have abundantly shewn, and therefore consequently above all the Saints. Nay particularly he is set above the Saints and Angels, as Bishop Dounham proves at large in his Treatise De Antichristo, lib. 4. c. 4. And as for the Emperours, he treads on their very necks and makes them his vassals, kicks off their Crowns with his feet, and with his feet sets them on again. So plain is it that this Prince of the Crowning City does exalt himself […], that is to say, above all Powers whatsoever, whether celestial or terrestrial, amongst the latter of which are the […]or Augusti, the Roman Emperours.
An Hint is sufficient; a more full Amplification of his enormous Pride is set down in the above-named Idea, which yet is no more then what is obviousIdea of Antichristianism, Book 2. Ch. 11.and notorious as well in common Fame as in History. This passage in this verse does so expresly answer to that in Daniel, ch. 11. 36. He shall exalt himself and magnifie himself above every God, that I doubt not but that the Apostle had a respect to that King of Pridethere described, and means here the same thing by the Man of Sin.
So that he as God sitteth in the Temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. […], that is to say, Doing and accepting such things as, if they did rightly belong to him, would demonstrate that he were God; but by so doing he does ostentare se Deum esse, makes a shew as if he were God. The Temple of God is here either materially to be understood; and then it is plain how well it fits with the [Page 443]Pope’s receiving honour sitting on the high Altar in S. Peter‘s Church at Rome after his Election, and his being there adored: or if it be understood Figuratively for the People that bear the Name of Christ and are dedicated to him, here he sits too and rules as God infallibly, uncontrollably, antiquating or dispensing even with the Laws of God himself.
Ver. 5. Remember ye not that, when I was with you, I told you these things?
6. And now you know what withholdeth, that he might be revealed in his time.
That is to say, what hindereth his revealing and shewing of himself to be in the world. For all things are in the confused Potentiality of the Universe, but hid, as a Rose in winter, but appear […], in their season. But that which hindered this appearing of Antichrist was, according to the general opinion of Antiquity, the Entireness of the Roman Empire. Till the breaking of the Empire into ten Kingdomes, Antichrist was not to be, and, it may be, not to appear, in another sense, till afterwards. That this […] is the Roman Empire, Alcazar brings in plenty of witnesses out of Malvenda, Tertullian, Chrysostome, Ambrose, Jer […]e, Austin, Theophylact, Oecumenius. To which he addes Anselmus, Hay […], Strabus, Thomas, Lyranus, Cajetan, Bellarmine, Suarez and Pamelius.
Ver. 7. For the Mystery of Iniquity does already work; onely he that now letteth, will lett, until he be taken away.
Tertullian and Chrysostome, and most of the Expofitors, as Alcazar does avouch, understand this working of Iniquity in the Apostles time to be onely as a Type and Figure of that which should be under Antichrist; That there was then something either actually in being or a-brewing, that was a previous Representation of the state of the Church under Antichrist. Alcazar would have it the Roman Paganism or worship of Idols. But that was no Mystery of Iniquity. But it may be he will say, it may be a Type of that which, when it came, would be a Mystery, and that a wonderful one, that is, the living Image of Paganism revived in Christianity; and that therefore the future Mystery did work in its Type as well as was in its Type. For the Empire revived into Idolatry is called the Beast that was, and is not, and yet is. The conceit is not altogether extravagant.
But I am more inclinable to think that the Apostle might speak of something in Christianity already (I mean in the Professours of it) that bore some similitude with that of the great Antichrist that was to appear in his season; that he might intend by this present working of the Mystery of Iniquity some miscarriage in some of the Christians, or some propensions thereto in them, as having got a great smack of the Antichristian Spirit, and particularly of the spirit of contention for Rule and Priority. Whether Simon Magus may not be here hinted at, I shall consider in its due place.
But this Antichristian heat of Ambition must play at lesser games till the […], till the Roman Emperour most properly so called, namely, he that has his Imperial Seat at Rome, be removed or destroyed; which Series of Casars ended in Augustulus. After which the Pope plai’d his pranks in these Western parts of the Empire, and gleaned much wealth and power [Page 444]to himself in the ruines thereof; and at last grew visibly to the full pitch and stature of this Man of Sin or Antichrist. Then he was big enough to be seen by them that were not blinde, as it follows in the next verse.
Ver. 8. And then shall that Wicked one be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of his mouth, and destroy with the brightness of bis coming.
That Wicked one, […], that Lawless one who exalts himself above the Laws of God and Christ, and can dispense with them as he pleases: whose destruction is by the preaching of the Gospel, and by the victorious evidence of Truth; by clear and convictive Reason divulged to the world by such as speak by the Spirit of God, and by a Principle of Life within them. For their mouth is the mouth of God, and their breath as a flaming Torrent to consume the ungodly Deceiver.
The remainder of this Prophecy we have expounded already, and therefore need not renew our Exposition in this place. No Prophecy can be more expresly applicable to any Event then this is to the Papal Power and Imposture. The Effect therefore being already in the world, who can doubt but that this is the Prediction of it, especially we having the common suffrage of Antiquity, that it is to be understood of one that is to appear after the breaking of the Roman Empire into pieces? If any one ask Tertullianwho this […], he that hindered the revealing of Antichrist, is, he shall have this round answer from him, Quis nisi Romanus Status? cujus in decem reges abscessio dispersa Antichristum superinducet, & tune revelabitur Iniquus: Accordingly as the faithful Servants of Christ have found to their great sorrow and affliction.
2. This Man of Sin therefore is that little Horn with the eyes of a man in it, (both expressions intimating the humane Policy of the Papal Power) that King diverse from the ten, as being an Ecclesiastick Prince, and rising up behinde them, to over-grow them and over-top them by his policy: Whom S. Paul calls […] the Lawless man, as Daniel makes him a changer of Times and Laws, as not being content to be kept in and bounded by those that were already, though they were the Sanctions of God and of his Christ. In that Horn also is a mouth speaking great things, and that against the most High, that is, treasonable words against the Sovereignty of God and Christ; as this Man of Sin does, this Papal Body, exalting their Head, the Pope, above every thing that is called God or is worshipped. And, lastly, as the little Horn in Daniel is to be burnt by the fiery stream issuing from before that dreadful Judge; so is this Man of Sin to be consumed by the Spirit of the mouth of the Lord, and by the fiery brightness of his coming. Which considerations may assure us, that one and the same Person is aimed at in the little Horn in the seventh of Daniel, and that prosperous King in the eleventh that exalts and magnifies himself above every God; they both agreeing in this present Prophecy of the Man of Sin and Son of Perdition.
So plain is it that this Prophecy is not to be understood of either Cains or Simon Magus, as Grotius groundlesly conceits; whose Opinion I will now examine, because the name of that Authour bears so much sway with some men, otherwise it were scarce worth the pains of perusing.
1. A summary Proposal of Grotius his Exposition of the foregoing Prophecy. 2. That the coming of Christ in this Prophecy cannot be understood of the Destruction of Jerusalem: 3. Nor Apostasy attributed to Caius, nor he said to sit in the Temple of God, nor […] to fit so well with Vitellius. 4. That Caius his purpose of placing his Scat[…]e in the Temple was no Mystery of Iniquity, but g […]oss Prophaneness. 5. Grotius his ridiculous luxation of the sense of the Prophecy in making Caius the Man of Sin and Son of Perdition, concealed by Vitellius his standing in the way, and yet upon Vitellius his removal, not Caius, but Simon Magus to be the man revealed and destroyed. 6. That in all likelihood the Story of Simon Magus is a Fiction, and from what Occasion. 7. That if it were true, it is not so applicable, this wicked man Simonbeing not consumed by the Spirit of Christis mouth, but onely his Coach and Horses. 8. That Grotius makes Paul prophesy of things past, his Epistle being written ten years after Caius his death, with a f […]ll Answer to Grotius his first Argument to the contrary. 9. An Answer to the second. 10. A Demonstration out of Scripture and Grotius his own Concessions that this Second Epistle was wrote ten years after Caiushis death, as also that the fall of Simon Magus from his fiery Chariot was eight years before this Prophecy.
1. THE summe of Grotius his Exposition of this Second Chapter of the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians is this: ‘First, He interprets the coming of Christ of the destruction of Jerusalem. Secondly, The Apostasy or Falling away and the Revealing of the Man of Sin he understands of Caius Caligula, who indeed was a very impious Emperour, and would have had his own Statue set in the Temple of Jerusalem.’
‘Thirdly, The […], or the […], he will have to be Lucius Vitellius President of Syria,and consequently of Judaea, who was a friend to the Jews, and therefore in his time not so seasonable for Caius to make the motion of setting his own Statue in the holy Temple.’
‘Fourthly, By the working of the Mystery of Iniquity he understands the persuasions of Helicon and other Aegyptian. Impostors who were great with Caius, and were preparing the way to this grand piece of Impiety.’
‘Fifthly, But when he that letteth is taken out of the way, that is, Lucius Vitellius, who as yet hindered Caius from this impious purpose of placing his Statue in the Temple at Jerusalem, then shall that Wicked one be revealed, (who has dealt under-board hitherto with his Conspirators Helicon and the rest) Caius, certainly you will say; no, Simon Magus, saith Grotius.’ Was there ever such a ridiculous […] in any serious interpretation of Authors, much less of Holy Scripture?
‘Sixthly and lastly, But this is because the rest of the Prophecy seems to speak of a Conjurer or Magician, such as Simon Magus was famed to be, whom at Rome, riding in the air with his fiery Chariot and Horses, Peter [Page 446]by his prayers to Christ made fall to the ground. And thus was Simon consumed by the Spirit of the Lord’s mouth, and by the brightness of his coming, as Grotius would have it.’
2. This is a brief account of his Exposition, in which there is scarce one sound Joynt. For as for the first, which understands the coming of Christ of the destruction of Jerusalem; Whosoever considers that this Epistle is really the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, (as I shall hereafter prove) and that in the Ch. 4. v. 15, 16, 17.foregoing Epistle he speaks of the final coming of Christ, which is joyn’d with the Resurrection of the dead and our being gathered together and meeting the Lord in the Air, he cannot, without great violence to the sense of things, but understand this coming of Christ and our gathering together unto him, in this Epistle, of the same time and thing with the other. And still the rather, because of that serious Obtestation of the Apostle by this coming of the Lord, and also, that they should not be shaken in minde nor troubled, […] words that signifie so high, as if they were at their wits ends at the apprehension of the matter, whenas the sacking of Jerusalem could not so much concern them that lived at Thessalonica.And, lastly, [nor by word, nor by letter, as from us] seems to referre to the foregoing Epistle, where the Apostle speaking by an ordinary […], as if he and the rest then alive should meet the Lord in the air, gave the Thessalonians occasion to apprehend that the day of Judgement would be very shortly: Which mistake therefore he rectifies in this present Epistle. Whence it is plain that the coming of Christ is not here understood of the destruction of Jerusalem, but of the last Judgement.
3. And for the second Joynt, it is but weak also, in that Caius could not properly be said to be an Apostate from the God of Israel, fith he was never in Covenant with him. Nor did he set his Statue in the Temple at Jerusalem, which is the chief thing that Grotius aims at; much less did he sit there himself, which the words do plainly import. Nor does […] signifie to place himself in the Temple of God, but to sit there. So strained is every thing in this Joynt of the Exposition.
The third were sense good enough, if the things were agreeable. And yet there seems some little flaw in this too. For if Vitellius were meant and nothing more, it would have been […] in both places, as being most fit to express a Person by.
4. And for the fourth, It is very improper to call that private and concealed purpose of caius his setting his Statue in the Temple of God at Jerusalem a Mystery of Iniquity.For mere Privacy and Concealment does not make a thing presently a Mystery;otherwise every clancular attempt of Theft, Murther or Adultery would be a Mystery of Iniquity. But that is a Mystery which, though it be spoke out in words, is still mysterious in its own nature, and has some depth with it, be it a bad Mystery or good. But this purpose of Caius his placing his Statue in the Temple at Jerusalem is no such thing, but onely a plain and conspicuous piece of Impiety, such as every one would understand at first sight. And therefore those places alledged by Grotius,namely, Rom. 11. 25. 1. Cor. 15. 51. [Page 447]are nothing to this purpose. For those are arduous and profound Mysteries there mentioned, even after they are divulged.
5. What an exorbitant luxation there is in the fifth Joint, I have already taken notice, and indeed I think it cannot be concealed from any. For who would expect, according to the common tenour of speech, but that when the Apostle had begun his Prophecy concerning the Man of Sin, whom he calls also the Son of Perdition, farther adding that he is to be revealed, and that there are under-hand Preparations making for it, and that onely Lucius Vitellius hinders the revealing of him in his time, which hinderance will be till the said Vitellius be taken away; I say, who would not but expect that the eighth verse, And then shall that wicked one be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of his mouth, and destroy with the brightness of his coming, (accordingly as he was said before to be as well the Son of Perdition as the Man of Sin) is to be understood of the same person the Apostle began withall? And yet the Man of Sin and Son of Perdition is Caius, and the wicked Man whom the Lord here destroys (and so is plainly the Son of Perdition in an eminent sense) is Simon Magus. Upon so violent a rack has Grotius set the Text to extort false answers from it, and to make it accuse Caius and Simon Magus, that the Pope may escape the suspicion of being taken for Antichrist. Wherein Grotius his either judgment or conscience does very hazardously lie at the stake.
6. And in the last place, now he has gotten to Simon; Though I confess the story is not impossible of his fiery Horses and Chariot, much less his fall to the ground by the prayer of Peter; yet long before I knew this use of it, the Narration ever seemed to me very incredible, though, I think, I believe the being of Spirits and Apparitions as firmly as most do. For it look’d alwaies to me so like a gambal trick, that I could not but place it among the earlier Legends or pious Fictions of the Church, invented by some idle Monastick to entertain the credulous and superstitious. So notorious a passage as this happening in the City of Rome could not have been kept out of the Lives of the Caesars, and particularly of Nero; in whose life Suetonius onely has this short indigitation amongst those Theatrick shows, Ch. 12. Icarus primo statim conatu juxta cubiculum Neronis decidit, ipsúmque cruore respersit. Out of which luckless Representation of a Poetical Fiction this Monastick Legend seems to be framed: in which Relators adde & alter what they please; which does derogate much to the credibility of the Story.
7. The most punctual and plausible Narrative Dr Hammond has chosen out of Arnobius. Viderant currum Simonis Magi & quadrigas igneas Petri ore difflatas, & nominato Christo evanuisse: viderant pondere praecipitatum su […], cruribus jacuisse praefractis: post deinde perlatum Brundam, cruciatibus & pudore defessum, ex altissimi culminis se rursum praecipitâsse fastigi […]. Now these words [Quadrigas igneas Petri ore difflatas evannisse] agree well with [Whom the Lord shall consume with the breath of his mouth,] (for, as Grotius excellently well & truly, Apostoli sunt os Christi; according to which analogy I have expounded the Vision of the Rider of the white Horse:) But when I see the Horses and Chariot dissipated and consumed, but Simon Magus fall entire, excepting the breaking of his[Page 448]shins, which, it seems, were afterwards at Brunda so well again, that he could stand on his legs to cast himself headlong from some precipice, nay, goe up to the higher Stories of an House, (for who would have carried him so high, when a lower room would better have fitted a lame man?) I do not understand how the Prophecy is fulfilled in the wicked man himself, which is the proper subject of this Prediction, but onely in his Horses. If this Accident had been aimed at in this Prophecy, doubtless Simon himself had been consumed, not his Coach and Horses onely.
8. Wherefore admitting Grotius his Chronology, who, for his advantage, pretends that this Second Epistle was wrote before the First, and in Caius his reign; you see how distorted, forced, and incompliable his Exposition is to the Text, the same falling out here that has in his other mistimings of Prophecy. But to sweep all away at once, I say that both these Epistles were wrote about the ninth or tenth year of the reign of Claudius, that is, so many years after Caius his death; and that therefore Grotiusmakes Paul prophesy of things past. That this is the constant tradition of the Church cannot be denied. But this is not the first time that Grotius has broke all the bounds of modesty, to reach at that which vanishes in his hand in the very grasping of it. I know he has some pretences to prove the Second Epistle written before the First, that he might phansy it written as early as he pleases: but the arguments he draws out do cut his own fingers.
The first is from the Conclusion of this Second Epistle, The Salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every Epistle: So I write, viz. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, Amen. This written with Paul‘s own hand is his Mark or Token in every Epistle. And yet Grotius would from hence infer, that this Epistle was wrote first, because there is no such mark in the fore-going Epistle, there being those alive amongst the Thessalonians that knew his hand already. But I answer,
First, That the fore-going Epistle has this Mark. For does not it end with The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, Amen? And this, he said before, is written with his own hand in every Epistle. Wherefore the Mark is equal in both these Epistles.
Secondly, Unless he had sent them some former Epistle with this Mark, they could not argue that this was his by it.
Thirdly, He did send an Epistle before this to them, as appears from Ch. 2. 15. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions you have been taught, whether by word or our Epistle. Wherefore this Mark can be no demonstration of priority, for so it had been before that other that really precedes it; which is a contradiction. And Grotius himself does not deny but the Epistle here mentioned was before this, but humoursomly and groundlesly pretends it to be lost, rather then to be the First Epistle according to Canon.
Fourthly, This first according to the Canon of the Church is this very Epistle mentioned ch. 2. 15. as appears from the subject of this second Chapter, which plainly is nothing else but a clearing up his meaning concerning the coming of Christ,of which he had wrote in the fore-going Epistle, ch. 4. 13. to the end; and ch. 5. 1, 2, 3. where there are such expressions as if the Resurrection and the last Judgment were near at hand, even hanging over their heads.
[Page 449]And therefore, fifthly and lastly, Paul does so solicitously give them notice that this Second Epistle is his, and that they may be sure of it from his known Mark written, as in every of his Epistles, with his own hand, that they might by his authority be quieted, by whose, through the mistake of his meaning, they were so perplexed and troubled. So plainly does this Allegation of Grotius make against himself.
9. His second argument for the priority of this Second Epistle is this: That the Christians at Thessalonica were so few when S. Paul wrote, that they did not make a Church or Presbytery, could not make a number sufficient to constitute an Authoritative Church. And his reason is, Quòd homines non ex regula viventes Apostolus hîc non excommunicari praecepit, quod justi coetûs fuerit; sed vitari, quod jus singulorum est. For answer to which I shall onely set down the words of the Apostle, ch. 3. 14, 15. And if any man obey not our word, by this Epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed: Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. The words in the Original are, […], and[…]. The former occurrs 1 Cor. 5. 11. But now I write unto you […], not to keep company, if any that is called a brother be a fornicator, &c. with such an one not to eat. Which is an explication of […]. Where Grotius his own Note is, Hebraeis mos erat cibum communem non sumere cum eo qui erat in […], with him that was excommunicated. So that […] implies Excommunication, and shews that the Christians in Thessalonica were a Church, as Paul also styled them, when he wrote this Second Epistle to them.
And for […], is there not in the first to the Thessalonians, ch. 5. 14. […]; and yet Grotius acknowledges that there was then a Church in Thessalonica properly so called. Whence it is plain that he has no reason at all to change the order of these Epistles; and that therefore constant Tradition and the Authority of the Church must take place, and that the Second must be the Second Epistle in the Churche’s sense, that is to say, written after the First: As appears also from those innate Arguments I produced in answer to the first Reason of Grotius.
10. But the First Epistle according to Grotius his own acknowledgement was written after Paul had been at Thessalonica; and Paul had not been at Thessalonica before that Synod which was held at Jerusalem by the Apostles, as appears from Acts, ch. 15 & 16. and the whole Series of the History of the Apostles. Nor was this Synod of the Apostles at Jerusalem held till fourteen years after the Conversion of S. Paul, as appears Galat. 2. 2. where Grotius himself acknowledges that Paul then went up to that meeting. Nihil credibilius reperio quàm notari hîc illud ipsum Pauli iter cujus mentio Act. 15. 2. But after this journey to Jerusalem, Paul chose Silas (that is, Sylvanus) and Timotheus; (as appears Act. 15. 40. & 16. 1.) to be his Companions; whose names are prefixed to the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians as well as to the First.
Wherefore both the Second and the First were written fourteen years […] Paul‘s Conversion, and consequently about the tenth year of Claudius his Reign, that is to say, about ten years after Caius his death, and [Page 450]about eight years after Peter had broke Simon Magus his leggs by making him fall from his fiery Chariot. For Grotius, out of Jerome and others, places that miraculous feat in the second year of Claudius. So that he makes Paul prophesy of things past, as well by the Application of Simon Magus his story as the story of Caius to this Prediction touching the Man of Sin and Son of Perdition.
1. The Preeminence of this latter Interpretation above that of Grotius. 2. A summary Proposal of the same. 3. The first part of this Exposition the same with Grotius his, and therefore confuted already; The second enervated. 4. The third confuted, from a further discovery of the improbability of Simon Magus his Story; from his being sufficiently revealed before, and from his not being found to sit in any Temple to receive Divine honours. 5. That […] is not so good Syntax in the present case, nor the wickedness of the Gnosticks a Mystery, but open Impiety and Hostility against the Church. 6. The harshness of interpreting whom, in [whom the Lord shall consume, &c.] of two several Subjects, the one to be destroyed by the breath of Christ’s mouth, the other by the brightness of his coming, and that in distinct places and times. 7. That if the History of Simon Magus had been true, and the Application fit to this Prophecy, the most ancient Fathers would not have failed to have hit upon it; And that it might then have been a preludious Type to the great Antichrist to come. 8. Brief Prophetick Strictures touching Antichristian Impurity. 9. The Antichristian Cruelty predicted in the Vision of the King of Babylon and of the little Horn. 10. Also in the slain Witnesses, and in the Two-horned Beast‘s causing the Ten-horned to kill as many as would not worship the Image of the Beast nor receive his Mark. 11. In the Vision of the Angel with the third Vial; and in the Declaration of the cause of the Whore’s Ruine. 12. And, lastly, in the Description of the Whore as drunk with the bloud of the Saints. 13. That all the Members of Antichristianism in our Ideaare prefigured in the Prophecies of the Holy Writ so expressly, that so clear an evidence cannot be withstood for ever. 14. That that ample Testimony of the Apocalyps cannot be evaded by the novel Exposition of […].
1. Wherefore a late Learned Interpreter has with far better judgement pitched upon the Reign of Nero for this exploit of Simon, I mean his riding in the air in a Chariot and horses of fire, that he might apply the story to this Prophecy. Wherein he, making Simon the sole party concerned, has much the advantage of Grotius, and does thereby avoid that violent luxation of the Text in the eighth verse, which we noted in Grotius his Interpretation. But this varying of the story of Simon, as concerning the time addes further incredibility to the fact: A […] though the[Page 451]Application be ingenious, yet it has so great difficulties as cannot but hinder belief in the cautious. But such as it is, I shall first briefly set down, and then examine, that it may more fully appear that there is no Interpretation that can stand in competition with that which the ordinary current of Protestants does agree in; which is usually toward that sense which I have declared.
2. ‘First then, he, as Grotius, interprets the coming of Christ of the destruction of Jerusalem.’
‘Secondly, The Apostasy or Falling away he understands of a Defection from the Faith to the Heresy of the Gnosticks; or else of the Apostles leaving of the Jews, and no longer complying with them.’
‘Thirdly, The revealing of the Man of Sin is Simon his appearing at Rome at what time he rode in his fiery Chariot, together with the Gnosticks persecution of the Christians.’
‘Fourthly, That which withholdeth is the Apostles not giving over to preach to the Jews, nor as yet leaving them as refractary and hopeless.’
‘Fifthly, The Mystery of Iniquity which doth already work is a smothered Opposition against Christ and Christians; and an express renouncing of Christianity, in this Sect of Gnosticks under Simon and Carpo […]rates, ready to break out so soon as the Apostles bad adieu to the Jews their Countrey-men.’
‘Sixthly and lastly, The Spirit of God’s mouth is the prayer of Peter whereby Simon Magus was cast to the ground; and the brightness of his coming is the destruction of Jerusalem, whereby the persecuting Jews and Gnosticks were overthrown.’
3. This is the summe of his Interpretation, which we will briefly run over. Against the first part whereof the same is to be said which was against Grotius his, nor need I repeat it. It alone is enough quite to overthrow both their Interpretations, in the judgment of any unprejudiced Reader.
Touching the second, Grotius averring so confidently that Simon Magus his unhappy Pomp was in the beginning of Claudius his time, which yet this Apostasy must precede, and this latter Interpretation nameing no time when this Apostasyhappened, makes the Application altogether uncertain, but if Grotius prove in the truth, impossible. And as for that other sense of Apostasy, I suspect it is unwarrantable. […] indeed will signifie as well a Departure simply as a Defection, but[…] a Defection onely.
4. The third is the grand Basis of the whole Exposition; but I have already intimated the Incredibility of the Story. Which will be farther suspected by any one that is not over-credulous, if he consider what, in Baronius, is adjoyned thereto, namely, that Peter, by that extraordinary Miracle he did, in bringing down Simon Magus headlong out of the aire by his prayers, was so far from gaining any respect from Nero the Spectatour of the Combat, that he was imprisoned for so stupendious an Atchievment. Certainly if the people, for that Magicall power which Simon Magus vaunted of, honoured him as a God, they would have given much more [Page 452]honour to him whom they found more powerfull then Simon, who yet called himself the great power of God.
But besides this, Simon Magus could not properly be said to be the Man of Sin that was to be revealed, when this Epistle was wrote; he having even in the beginning of Claudius his time shewed himself an impious Blasphemer by pretending to be a God, and receiving Divine honours at Rome. And there is nothing appears to the contrary but that he continued so wicked from that time to the end of his days.
And then for his sitting in the Temple of God; What Seat or See had he any where? Or what Temple was ever built to him? A Statue indeed is said to have been erected to him, but this is in the beginning of Claudius his reign, and therefore before this Prophecy was written. But this Statue is no Temple, and it may be but a fictitious Statue, if Petrus Ciaconius his conjecture be true, that the rise of that story came from an old Pagan Inscription upon a Marble dug up Anno 1574. in the place where this Statue of Simon was said to be, which was Semoni Sango Deo Fidio sacrum, as you may see in Baronius.
5. And for the fourth point; It is not so good Syntax to say […], when not a person but a thing is understood. Not to omit, that it seems incredible that, if the Apostles breaking off their compliance with the Jews would bring so vast a mischief, (which they could not but foresee by a Prophetick Spirit, or S. Paul declare it to them) they would ever be drawn to be accessary thereto, by breaking off this compliance, which was so strong a bank against the inundation of Gnosticism and Persecution of the Church.
And touching the fifth; There is somewhat the like exception that was against Grotiushis Exposition, that seems to make any thing concealed a Mystery, which is a false notion of the word. For an open and plain Opposition or Renunciation of Christianity intended, but concealed, (which is the supposed case here) is no more a Mysterythen hidden Murther and Adultery, as I said before.
6. And as for the sixth and last; It seems somewhat harsh and strained to understand that execution that is done by the Spirit of the mouth of the Lord to appertain to Simon Magus at Rome, and that destruction wrought by the brightness of his coming to belong to the Gnosticks involved in the destruction at Jerusalem,especially if we consider that there was no Coalition of Simon Magus and the Gnosticks into one Body Politick, but that they seemed rather to descend from the Nicolaitans, as Baronius intimates, and so have no reference one to another. Besides that the Text says continuedly, Whem the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming. Which is nothing else but the bright flame and fiery Spirit issuing out of his mouth, according to that description in Esdras, and upon one and the same Object, which is this Man of Sin,the same with the little Horn in Daniel, which is after this manner to be destroyed.
7. To all which you may adde, That if the History of what is here applied be true, and that the coming of the Lord be to be understood of the destruction of Jerusalem, and not of the last Judgment; it is a wonderfull [Page 453]thing that the first Fathers of the Church, who had a nearer prospect into those […]ansactions of the world, could not discern the Completion of the Prophecy in Simon Magus and the Gnosticks, but that we that stand at the farthest distance from the events should be the quickest-sighted in discerning their Applicability to the Prophecy. But I have already intimated enough to shew the improbability that this should be the main meaning of this Prediction of S. Paul. But if I could believe that the condition of Simon and the Gnosticks was in some sense here perstringed, (as I must confess this pious and judicious Interpreter has bid very fair towards the Credibility of it) I should look upon them as a preludious Type to the great Antichrist, and should think that passage [For the Mystery of Iniquity does already work] to be understood of them, as it may, though the rest of the Prophecy be in many things unapplicable to Simon, and belong onely to the great Antichrist indeed, of whom this Magician may be onely a Type or Figure, and truly not an unsignificant one.
For as he is a Magician, so is that great Antichrist an egregious Sorcerer, and the Head of a numerous Society of Sorcerers and Enchanters.
Again, As Simon gave the name and first example of that wicked fin of Simonie; so these pretended Successours of Peter, both they and their Body Ecclesiastick, have notoriously imitated that example of Simon in buying and selling Spiritualities.
Thirdly, Part of Simon‘s and the Gnosticks Apostasy was Judaizing while they made a show of Christianity: And how much Antichrist with his Adherents do Judaize in Ceremonies and in boasting of Works and dead Formalities, is conspicuous to all the world.
Fourthly, Simon and the Gnosticks were notorious for filthiness and uncleanness: And so has been the great Antichristian Synagogue, Head and Members.
Fifthly, Though Simon and the Gnosticks were thus grosly obnoxious in life and conversation, yet they were […], extraordinary pretenders to and boasters of the certainty of their Knowledge in the Divinest matters, and great esteemers thereof. And is not this the special Character of the Pope and his Church, that they pretend to be even infallibly wise and accurately orthodox in knowledge and opinion, but are as foully negligent and as scandalonsly conniving at all debaucheries of life?
Sixthly, Simon and the Gnosticks were opposers and persecuters of the true Church: So is the Papal Hierarchy with the Instruments thereof.
Seventhly, The Followers of Simon polluted themselves with Idols: And so doe the Adherers to the Headship of Rome.
Eighthly and lastly, Simon exalted himself above every thing that is called God, and received Divine Honours in his own Person upon Earth: Which is also notorious in the Roman Bishop.
So that while such things as these were acting in the world, and by such as made some show of Christianity, S. Paul might well say of that great Mystery of Iniquity.That it is already on foot, that it is in some sense acting already, namely in Simonand his Followers, as a Type and Prelude to the [Page 454]strange pranks of the great Antichrist, and that there wants nothing but the removing of that great Obstacle at Rome, the Western Caesareate, and then that […] himself, that great Antichrist indeed, will shew himself, of whom Simon is but the Figure. See Ch. 18. Ver. 7. This Exposition is something more plausible then that there of Alcazar, (who understands the Mystery of Iniquity already working of pure Paganism) but whether it may be the chiefest of all, I leave to the judicious to consider.
In the mean time I think I have sufficiently cleared the truth of those main Prophecies in Scripture that concern the enormous Haughtiness and Pride of Antichrist, which is so apparently opposite to the first branch of the Divine life, Humility and Lowliness of Spirit.
8. The next is Purity, whose Opposite is Uncleanness. The Predictions of the Causes that carry to that Vice I have touched already. But as for the Vice it self, it being so inseparable a Concomitant of Idolatry, which is Spiritual Adultery or Fornication, I conceive the Spirit of Prophecy for that very reason was the more sparing in particular Prefigurations or Predictions thereof. But I do not doubt but that it is concerned in that description of the great City, Apocal. 11. And their bodies shall lie in the street of the great City which is spiritually called Sodom, &c. And how unclean a City Sodom was, no man can be ignorant of.
Again, those that are excluded out of the Holy City, which is so perfectly opposite to this City called Sodom, they are called Dogs, and […], Abominable, by which, as I have above noted out of Grotius, are understood […], abusers of themselves with Man-kind. Whoremongers also are named in the same Catalogue. But of these Texts I have spoke sufficiently in my Idea of Antichristianism. In that the Church is said to become a Apocal. 12.Wilderness, it may be also an Intimation of the excess of those Actions of the Animal life that proceed from Cruelty and Lust. But these Intimations shall suffice concerning this second Opposition to the Divine Life in the branches thereof.
9. The third and last is that which is so conspicuously opposite to that last and best of the three Christian Graces, Divine Love or Charity; and that is the bloudy Antichristian Cruelty against the sincere Servants of Christ. Which is noted in several of those Visions we have already explained, and therefore we need onely produce them. As first, that concerning the King of Babylon, who was a Type of the Pope. The reason of his Ruine in that Vision is declared to be his barbarous and Antichristian Cruelty. Esay 14. Because thou hast destroyed thy Land, and slain thy People, that is to say, the people of Christendom, the Land over which thou challengest an Ecclesiastick Sovereignty, as being the Vicar of Christ, and yet dost most bloudily murther and martyr his truest and most faithfull Servants.
Again, Dan. 7. The little Horn there, which is a Figure of the same Pontifician Power, is said to make war with and to wear out the Saints of the most High, that is, to consume them and destroy them with perpetual persecutions.
[Page 455]10. A third Presignification is Apocal. 11. concerning the Witnesses. The Beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless p […] shall make war against them, and shall evercome them and kill them. And their dead bodies […] lie in the street of the great City which is spiritually called Sodom and Aegypt, where also our Lord was crucified. Which is a description of perpetuall Opposition and Persecution, taking away from the true Servants of God either their Honours, Offices, Goods, or Lives. So that the real and sincere Church of Christ, which is his Body, lieth (during the treading under foot the Outward Court) like a dead corps without Political life or power, and also dreadfully wounded, all over gore bloud, by the cruel Murthers, Martyrdoms and Massacres of the faithfull Members thereof.
Fourthly, Apocal. 13. the Two-horned Beast is said to animate the Ten-horned, (when he had revived into the ancient Idolatrous form of Paganism) to destroy as many as would not yield obedience to him even in his Idolatrous Commands. And he had power to give life to the Image of the Beast, that the Image of the Beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the Image of the Beast should be killed; And that no man might buy nor sell, save he that had the Mark or the Name of the Beast or the Number of his Name: that is, As many as would not profess themselves Roman Catholicks, and thereby Paganize in Christianity, should be famished and starved, and not suffered to live. So great is the Charity of this Tyramical and Antichristian Power towards the true members of Christ. But blessed are the dead that die in the Lord, as it is said in the following Chapter concerning the Martyrdom of those that are murthered by this Pontifician Power.
11. Fifthly, That also is a Record of the Antichristian Roman Cruelty, (for the Vials are poured upon the Beast, the Aegyptian Plagues upon the Antichristian Aegypt) Revel.16. where the Angel of the third Vial which turns the Rivers into bloud speaks thus; Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. For they have shed the bloud of Saints and Prophets, and thou hast given them bloud to drink; for they are worthy.
Sixthly, As the Ruine of the King of Babylon in Esay, so the Ruine of the Whore of Babylon in S. John is imputed to this salvage and barbarous Antichristian Cruelty, the murthering of the Saints of God. The voice of Harpers and Musicians is heard no more in her, no Crafts-man of any Craft is found any more in h […], the light of a Candle shines no more in her, but she is left to utter darkness and desolation; because in her was found the bloud of Prophets and of Saints, and of all that were slain upon the Earth. Murtherers also are particularly noted in both those Catalogues of them that are without the Holy City.
12. Seventhly and lastly, In the description of the Whore of Babylon, which I have above plainly shew’d to signify the Church (the Roman especially) apostatized into Idolatry, there is express and significant mention made of this odious branch of Antichristianism, this bloudy Persecution of the true members of Christ. And the woman was ar […]ied in purple and scarlet, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cap in her hand, full of abominations and filthiness of her [Page 456]For […] ▪ And upon her forehead was a Name written▪Mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of Harlots and abominations of the Earth. And I saw the […] drun […]n with the bloud of the Saints and with the bloud of the[…] of […] and when I saw her, I wondred with great […].
[…] upon the gorgeous Pomp of the Pope and his Ecclesiastick […] ▪ the Cardinalsand other great men, as also on the co […]ly and […] of their […] Altars and Temples, how this Where […] with Ornaments, Carpets, and Laces of Aegypt, how[…] perfum […]d her bed with Myrrh, Aloes and Cinnamon, with Incense […]odours; if he have any skill in the Prophetick style, he cannot say but this Prefiguration of the state of the Roman Church is […] the […] and richness of it. For thus is Idolatry begun to the world in this golden Cup and costly outside of things.
But this is not the only miscarrlage of this Church, she is also drunk with the bloud of the […] and with the bloud of the Martyrs of Jesus. Grotius his gloss upon this part of the Text is very expressive and significant: […] […]am […] despum a […]te & evomente sanguinem, ut ebrii […] saw the […] or enraged Woman foming at mouth with stained froth, and vomiting bloud as drunk dr […]s do wine. Which must needs be a wonder to all her Spectatours, that a woman so richly and so gloriously […] be o[…] […] […]erine and salvage a nature. Which admiration certainly […]ust be[…]doubled upon them, while they consider how this illustrious. Queen professes herself to be the Catholick Church of Christ and Mother of Christendom, and yet thus to froth at the mouth, nay, to foul her raiment by impotently easing of her stomack over-charged with the bloud of her own children. But by being thus lavish of the life of her Infants she demonstrates herself not to be that Catholick Mother, but a bloudy and treacherous Harlot, accordingly as the Holy Ghost has inscribed upon her Forehead, The Mother of Harlots and of the Abominations of the Earth.
13. Thus have we seen every member of Antichristianism comprised in our Idea, as they are easily found in the Church of Rome, so likewise expresly prefigured in the Writings of the holy Prophets, as appertaining to her, and that there is no eludng o[…] evacuating so clear and perspicuous Testimonies by any fetches of wit whatsoever; her abominable Enormities comprehended under those main Heads of Imposture, Idolatry and Bloud-shed being as determinately and legibly set down in these Prophecies, as the transaction of things past in any History. And therefore the truth can be hid from none but such as either have not the leisure to understand the Prophetick style, or are blinded with Prejudice and Interest: Which I believe is so powerfull with some, that it would make them hesitant and Sceptical even in Mathematical Demonstration. But so manifest Eviction in so concerning a Truth as we have here cleared up, I dare confidently pronounce, will not be rooled off for ever.
14. Sure I am, that main Subterfuge that some so usually fortify themselves in, wall fail them, I mean, those words in the very beginning of the Apocalyps, […]. From which they would infer that no Events but such as were to come to pass within a short time after the Communication of these Prophecies are to be applied to them.[Page 457]But this Scruple I have, I think, sufficiently answered in my Mystery of Godliness, by intimating that the Inference is as unreasonable as if one upon the report that such a Comedie or Tragedie was to be acted within less then this half-quarter of an hour, should conclude that all the Acts and Scenes thereof would not reach beyond that time: whenas the sense is onely, that the Comedie or Tragedie will begin to be acted within that time. And therefore Cornelius à Lapide, upon these words [Quae oportet fierei citò,] apertly and judiciously glosses thus, Hoc est, quae citò incipient fieri, licèt non citò finientur. And Alcazar upon the same words, Quasi diceret, In hac Revelatione continentur quaedam quae citò oportet fieri, & alia quae non adeò citò implebuntur. And it is Grotius his own note upon them, Alia citiùs, alia seriús. But forasmuch as some of these Series of Visions which reach even unto the end of all things were suddenly to be fulfilled, it is said at large touching the Subject of them, […]. As I suppose one would say of an Army that reached a quarter of a mile in length, that this Army is at the very gates of the City, whenas onely they that march first in rank are there.
Again, Unless […] signify, which will be shortly a-doing, not finished, it is a perfect contradiction to the nature of some of the things that are foretold; as the Reign of the Saints, and the Ligation Apocal. 20.of Satan. For the Continuance of these Events is predicted to be a thousand years. Wherefore unless a thousand years be but a short space of time, the Events foretold contradict the very Title of this Prophetick Volume, were that the sense of […] which is contended for. Whence it is manifest that […] does not, touching every Event, signify, which shall be finish’d, but which shall be a-doing, […].
Thirdly, For the signification of this Phrase, […], how sudden, how short a time must it denote? who will define it? For the Prophet Haggai, when he saies, Yet a little while and I will shake the Heaven Ch. 2. ver. 6.and the Earth, &c. his Prediction pitches on a time about five hundred years distant from the time of the Prophecy. Whence there is no necessity of seeking the completion of the Seals and Trumpets in the Destruction of Jerusalem. It is therefore to be understood comparatively, a little time, as Grotius also interprets that of Haggai. In which sense I would likewise understand that so-often-repeated saying in the Apocalyps, […], Behold, I come quickly: Which I believe has an especial eye to the Sixth Seal; which is described like Apoc. 6 1 […], 13, 14, 15, 16, 17.the Day of Judgment, but is indeed the Overthrow of the Dragon by Christ, and his taking the Roman Empire into his own hands, upon the Conversion of Constantine to the Christian Religion; which was in a good deal less time then five hundred years, and but a very little time indeed in comparison of the great atchievement which was compassed in it.
Fourthly, The first Six Seals, the Fight of Michael and the Dragon, the Inward Court of the Temple; all these Visions, their Events I mean, are finished within a less while then what Haggai calls little.
[Page 458]Fifthly, The Outward Court of the Temple, the Whore of Babylon, the Two-horned Beast, the Ten-horned Beast, the two Witnesses, the Virgin-Company, the Woman in the Wilderness; the Events also of all these Visions are in fieri within less then that time which the Prophet Haggai calls little. The Trumpets also had begun to sound within that time. But the Affairs of the Seven Churches might be of a far earlier Accomplishment, and it may be accomplishable over and over again, they being flying Prophecies, and not so affixed to time and place as they seem, and as the rest of the Visions are. Which Grotius also has observed. And this I think is sufficient to make good the Title of the Subject of these Prophecies, […]. And no more then this is supposed or rather demonstrated in Mr. Mede‘s way of interpreting the Apocalyps.
Sixthly, They themselves are fain to interpret some Prophecies of Events that fell out or are to fall out above twice five hundred years from the Prediction. As the Apocal. 20.loosing of Satan, the Army of Gog and Magog, the Siege of the beloved City,the falling of fire from Heaven upon the Besiegers, the General Judgment, and the like. Which are the more contradictious to their own Hypothesis, because they make no such order or concatenation of Visions as Mr. Mede does. And therefore it will be the harder to make them compliable with […]. But for the way that I am for, where one thing so handsomely or necessarily hooks in another, the first Thunder the seven Vials, the last Trumpet the seven Thunders, the last Seal the seven Trumpets, and the first Six of these Trumpets their Synchronalls, as the first Six of the Seals theirs; the whole Volume of Visions in a manner is so of one piece, and one thing follows another so continuedly, that when the first Events begin to appear, the whole Series may well be said to begin or to be a-doing, and if quickly, quickly. So little Repugnancy has Mr. Mede‘s way with […].
And lastly, Forasmuch as I have so plainly demonstrated that the Apocalyps was not communicated to S. John before Domitian‘s time, and See Chap. 2.that therefore this Application of the Seals and Trumpets to the Destruction of Jerusalem is not onely harsh (as any one may see in examining them) but also impossible, the Visions being since that Event; and that therefore those Affairs cannot be of the number of those things […], since they were then past, not future; and that this straining of this phrase is merely for this Exposition’s sake, which, if it were seriously stuck to, would make the Apocalyps utterly unintelligible, and consequently unprofitable to the Church, nay, bring an unspeakable detriment thereto, by depriving us of so illustrious a pledge of Divine Providence: I think these things put together are of infinitely more moment to us for to adhere to that ordinary and ancient Interpretation of […] which I nominated at first, then to this novell one, that has been but newly started merely for the countenancing such Expositions of the Apocalyps as are not onely extremely harsh and forced, but utterly impossible.
[Page 459]This I hope is even more then enough to remove all prejudice to Truth, that may lie upon any ones mind by reason of the mistaken sense of these words, and inable him without any farther hesitancy to acknowledge the unexceptionable Perspicuity of those Expositions of the Apocalyps I have exhibited to his view.
1. The marvellous Completeness of the Reformation of the Church of England in her Doctrines and Institutes. 2. That she plainly condemns the Invocation of Saints for Idolatry. 3. As also the Adoration of the Host; where our Kneeling at the Communion is vindicated. 4. Her condemning the Worshipping of Images. 5. Her concluding the manner of the Papists worshipping Saints and Images to be plainly the same with that of Pagans. 6. Her free and just censure touching the decking of their Images,and making them Lay-mens Books. 7. How perfectly she has freed us from that Aegyptian yoke we lay under in the time of Popery. 8. The Celebration of Holy-days,the keeping of Lent, and the use of the Surplice in the sense of the Church of England, fully vindicated from all imputation of Superstition or Antichristianism. 9. That the use of the Surplice is not from any grounds at all of Policy in the Church, but pure Charity: with a vindication of the use of the Cross in Baptism.
1. The diametrical Opposition of our Church to that part of Antichristianism which would subvert the Regal and Prophetick Offices of Christ. 2. As also to that which strikes at his Sacerdotal Office. 3. That she holds nothing against those other sacred Titles of Christ, the Truth, Life, Light, &c. 4. A demonstrative Vindication of Episcopacy from the Imputation of Antichristianism, out of the Apocalyps. 5. What an Establishment that Book is, if rightly understood, to the Crown and Church of England. 6. That no Papal nor Presbyterian Power is of right above the King, no not in causes Ecclesiastical. 7. The judgement of our Church thereupon. 8. The peculiar glory of our Church that she is so perfectly free from all Frauds and Impostures. 9. Her freeness from Pride; 10. From Antichristian Impurity, 11. And from Cruelty. 12. Her Reformation an eminent Speciminal Completion of the Prophecy of the Resurrection of the Two Witnesses. 13. The usefulness of this Vindication of her for the suppressing of Popery and Schism.
THE CONTENTS Of the First Part OF The Enquiry into the Mystery of Iniquity.
- CHAP. I. 1. THAT the Mystery of Iniquity or Antichristianism implies the secret undermining of the ends of Christianity by such a Power as pretends to be Christian. 2. The inconvenience of describing Antichrist from Circumstantial characters, and leaving out the Essential parts of the Description. 3. The two general Principles of which Antichristianism does consist 4. The right Artifice of drawing the true Idea of Antichristianism, with a distribution of the Draught into the two most general strokes thereof. Fol. 1
- CHAP. II. 1. The rooting out of Idolatry by the Messias prophesied of by Jeremy, That all the Gods that made not Heaven and Earth, should perish. 2. An explication of that Prophecy, and an assertion of our Saviour’s right of being worshipped for ever as the Eternal Logos who made Heaven and Earth. 3. Proofs out of the Psalms, that the Messias was to root out Idolatry. 4. Several places in the New Testament witnessing against Idolatry and Image-worship. 5. That the Spirituality of Christian Religion indigitated by our Saviour does abundantly evidence the unlawfulness of Image-worship or of what Idolatry else soever. 3
- CHAP. III. 1. What is meant by Grace and Truth coming by Christ. 2. Farther testimonies of Scripture to evince that Christ came to ease men of the Judaïcalburthen of Ceremonies. The meaning of […], and of […]. 3. That the Death of Christ upon the Cross was the solution of the Ceremonial Law of Moses. 4. Farther proofs to the same purpose. 6
- CHAP. IV. 1. The Positive End of the Gospel summarily proposed. 2. The several grounds of honour due to Christ, and particularly of his Paternal Title. 3. Both God the Father and Christ the Authors of our Regeneration; and how the First Hypostasis being called Father does not exclude the Second from that Title in respect of his Church. 4. The other Titles of Christ plain of themselves. 5. The Divine life with its Root and Branches, the Second part of the Positive scope of the Gospel. 6. That such a Mystery as upon Religious pretences does really supplant all the grand Ends of the Gospel, whether Privative or Positive, is Mathematically manifest to be that notorious Mystery of Iniquity. 7. The method of pursuing the particulars of this Mystery more largely. 8. The Falsness, Fraudand Mischief of every member of Antichristianism [Page]to be inquired into. 9. The Author’s serious desire that the Truth of the Description may be perused without Prejudice, and acknowledged without Tergiversation by them that are convinced. 8
- CHAP. V. 1. Instances of several specious pieces of Idolatry introducible into Christian Religion. 2. The over-much streightning, or widening the Notion of Idolatry, taxed. 3. The usefulness of giving a true Notion thereof. 4, 5. That it is not restrained to the worshipping of Idols properly so called. 6. That any thing worshipped that is not God, becomes ipso facto an Idol; and of the Seventy’s rendring […] and […] as well as […], and […]. 7. That they likewise render […]sometimes […], as they do also Baalim, and […]; which farther argues that more general sense of Idol. 8. That an Idol and […], i. e. Non-Deus, is all one in the estimate of God. 11
- CHAP. VI. 1. That the Israelites worshipped Jehovah in the Golden Calf, proved out of Exodus. 2. That Elohim, though joyned with a verb of the plural number, is understood of the true God; with farther testimony out of the 106 Psalm, that God was worshipped in that Calf, and what […] there signifies. 3. That the Golden Calf was no figure of the Aegyptian Apis, but a Cherub. 4. Aaron‘s case of making the Golden Calf compendiously opened, as also the ground of Tacitushis ridiculous errour discovered. 5. That the Golden Calves in Dan and Bethelwere two Cherubim set up for the worship of the God of Israel, proved from Jeroboam‘s Politicks. 6. Also from Jehu, and Elias his zeal, and the instruction of the Assyrian Colonies by an Israelitish Priest. 7. That Micah‘s Ephod and Teraphim were also meant to the true God. 8. And yet both he and the Israelites in the Wilderness Idolaters, in their use of the Teraphim and Cherub in Divine worship. 9. That Jeroboam was also an Idolater in setting up the Calves in Danand Bethel, proved out of Scripture. 10. Other Testimonies to the same purpose; and of the Idolatry committed in the Brasen Serpent. 15
- CHAP. VII. 1. The worshipping that which is not God by an Image, a third mode of Idolatry. 2. Of the worshipping of an Image as such. 3. How the vulgar sort of the Heathen came to take the very Idols themselves for Gods. 4. What arguments used for the begetting an opinion of the residence of the Daemons near their Statues. 5. What indications of their presence there, and how awful the Images themselves became from thence. 6. The conceit of the Daemon and dedicated Image’s coalition into one person. 7. And that the worshipping of this Complicate was a fourth Mode of Idolatry. 20
- CHAP. VIII. 1. That the Heathen held one Supreme God the Maker of all things. 2. Proclus his conceit of so uniting the Supreme Deity with a Magical Statue, as that the Complicate becomes one visible and Supreme Godhead. 3. Whether the worshipping of this Magical Complicate by him that is persuaded it is the visible Deity, were Idolatry. 4. Wherein the sinfulness of Idolatry does consist, and that the worship of this Magical Statue was a Fifth Mode thereof. 5. The reduction of other cases to these Five Modes of Idolatry. 6. That the worshipping any thing but God, is Idolatry; and of Numa‘s casting away Imageworship, and of the affinity of his Religion with Pythagorism. 7. The first pollution of that Philosophy, and that the Object of Divine worship is as well One as Invisible. 23
- CHAP. IX. 1. The necessity of knowing what Religious worship is, for the discovering of Idolatry. 2. The faultiness of the distribution of Worship into Latria, Dulia, and Cultus civilis. 3. That Christ onely, who is […], has such a middle Excellency as may admit Religious worship. 4. That the excess of Excellency in God above that in Saints and Angels is so infinitely more then the excess of[Page]excellency in Saints and Angels above that in Men, that it is extremely forced and irrational to allot worship of one denomination to the first and second, and not rather to the second and last, which, they being fellow-citizens, might rightly be called. Civil. 5. That no kind of Religious worship is due to Saints and Angels, proved by the Angel’s refusing to be worshipped by S. John.6. And also from the near affinity of our natures with theirs. 7. To whom Origenpronounces Good men equal, nor allows the glorious Stars, though they were intellectual, to be worshipped. 8. That the Religious worship of Saints and Angels is no duty of ours, as being reducible to the Precepts of neither Table. 9. That Religious worship is but One, and due to God onely, proved from our Saviour’s answer to the Devil. 10. As also from the Author to the Hebrews, arguing the Divinity of Christ from Religious worship due to him, with several other testimonies. 11. An Answer to an Objection. 26
- CHAP. X. 1. A right distribution of Worship into its kinds. 2. The Definition of Religious worship. 3. That the exhibiting of honour to any undue Object, though forcedly or feignedly, by Signs appropriate to the acknowledgment of the Divine Excellencies, is palpable Idolatry. 4. And that therefore there are no stints, or specifick degrees of Religious worship; no Dulia, nor Hyperdulia, but all Latria. 5. That Religious worship is not applied to a thing by directing it towards it as a Circumstance, but as an Object; and therefore the misapplication thereof as to an Object is requisite to Idolatry. 6. But not that this application should be made as to God himself. 7. That the Heathens themselves never committed such a piece of Idolatry, as to give Religious worship to that which they knew not to be the Supreme God, as to the Supreme. 8. That Religious worship being but One,makes every application thereof to what is not God, Idolatry. 9. That the inculcation of the Divinity of Christ proves every Creature uncapable of Religious worship. 31
- CHAP. XI. 1. Sacrifices, Drink-offerings and Burning of Incense appropriate Signes of Religious worship, according to Grotius, as also what ever else consent of Nations has made so. 2. Also Vows, Oaths, Asking supernatural Gifts, Invocating Saints or Angels while they are invisible. 3. Or to ask of them, though visible, any natural boon at an Altar, or in a Temple consecrate to them. 4. Images erected, and dedicated in Temples, or on Altars, a Mode of Divine worship; with a prevention of an Objection. 5. Songs also and Incurvations may be so framed and circumstantiated as to become such Signes. 6. That every Idolatry is Blasphemy; as also to give the Name of God to any Creature, both. 7. A general Distribution of the appropriate Signes of Religious worship. 8. A prevention of a subterfuge, from the pretence of a larger signification of Religious worship then we have given, all our future convictions depending onely upon the truth of our Definition of Religious worship in that sense we have declared. 34
- CHAP. XII. 1. A brief enumeration of the parts of that full instruction we have to discern what is Idolatry. 2. That the Adoration of the Cross is Idolatry. 3. As also the worshipping any person of the holy Trinity by an Image or Picture. 4. That Religious worship given to Saints or Angels, though without the use of any Image or Picture, is Idolatry. 5. That the mere Invocation of any particular invisible power is also Idolatrous. 6. Certain Evasions touching the praying to Saints answered. 7. Another subterfuge answered. 8. Worshipping Saints by Images a double Idolatry. 9. That it is Idolatry to worship an Image, taking it for the Saint himself. 10. As also the Adoration of any man alive upon Earth. 11. That the worshipping of the Eucharistick Bread, taken for the real Body of Christ, is Idolatry. 12. That all the above-said acts are Idolatrous, let men pretend what they will to cover the guilt. 13. And that […] in S. Peter [Page]does not imply a lawfulness in any kind of Idolatry. 38
- CHAP. XIII. 1. That the professing one onely true God does not necessarily quit a People from the guilt or capacity of being Idolaters. 2. That to exhibit such Modes of worship as are proper to the true God to a Creature, though we take it for a Creature, is Idolatry. 3. That the Jews were Idolaters, though they professed the onely true God. 4. That the belief of the Eucharistick Bread being the real Body of Christ does not excuse the adorer thereof from Idolatry. 5. The case of the Heathen that worshipped the Sun, and this of the Bread-worshippers, compared. 6. A solution of a Sophism the Author once put upon himself in excuse of this Bread-worship. 7. That their not thinking the Bread to be in the Eucharist does not excuse the worshippers of the Host from Idolatry. 42
- CHAP. XIV. 1. The fondness of distinguishing betwixt an Idol and an Image,when they are both made Objects of Religious worship. 2. That nothing but what is essentially and infinitely Excellent is a due Object thereof. 3. That the absence of the Saints from their Images does not excuse the Idolatry. 4. The unlikeliness that there is any true Image of Christ, if it were lawful to worship it. 5. But that it is unlawful to worship it, though there were. 6. That the whole Decalogue is moral. 7. That the use of Images for Memory and Devotion was also the Plea of the Heathen. 8. That external Objects in Divine worship hinder the perfection thereof. 9, 10. Other material allegations against the pretended use of Images in Churches. 11. That there are many other ways of exciting Devotion in the people, infinittly surpassing this of Images. 46
- CHAP. XV. 1. That the general End of this impious and useless Idolatry and Image-worship is the Profit of the Priest. 2. Several artifices of making these Images gainful to them. 3. The gainfulness of Transsubstantiation the cause of the admitting it to the making up the full Stature of Antichristianism. 4. What a wonderful and powerful intercessour the Priest seems upon this pretension. 5. Various ways of the improving this gainful persuasion. 6. The unspeakable honour that seems to accrue to the Priest from this stupendious miracle. 7. That it seems to give him a just claim to exemption from Civil jurisdiction, and saves him the labour of endeavouring after Truth and Sanctity. 8. That their Pretences for Idolatry though they be weak, yet their Self-ends therein are palpable. 51
- CHAP. XVI. 1. That Idolatry is the highest and most peculiar injury that can be committed against God. 2. That giving Religious honour to Saints or Angels, is really a reproaching them and blaspheming them. 3. The exceeding great Mischief done to the Soul of man by Idolatry. 4. That Idolatry turns men into bloudy Wolves and Bears: 5. And is the Mother and Nurse of the foulest impurities. 6. That it is the source of all manner of wickedness, and eternal death to the Idolater. 7. The great Mischiefs it doth to the Church of Christ. 8. How the Church is lessened by Idolatry at home; 9. And the spreading thereof hindred abroad: 10. And consequently the whole World injured thereby. 55
- CHAP. XVII. 1. That a multitude of slight Observances may amount to an intolerable burthen. 2. That no Religious observance can be slight while it has an obligation upon the Conscience. 3. Though this general estimate of the burthen of Superstition from obligation of Conscience and multitude of Observances might suffice, yet he will adde a more particular Draught of this Limme of Antichristianism. 4. Of Anointings, and of the Multiplicity of Sacerdotal Ornaments.5. The pretence and Self-endedness in these Ornaments and Anointings. 6. The Mischief arising from these kind of Ceremonies to Priest and People. 7. A more full description [Page]of their publick Service. 8. That respect to the Priest is better sought and more certainly found in the Power of Life and Doctrine, then in any Histrionical Pomp: 9. Which is so unsatisfactory to the serious, that it may hazard their departure. 10. The Opinion of a miraculous power in Religious Vestments. 11. The Falseness and Fraud of this Opinion. 12. The ill consequence thereof. 59
- CHAP. XVIII. 1. Of the Enchanting or Exorcizing of Water, Oil, Salt, Wax-candles,&c. with a general intimation of the Mischief thereof. 2. Of the Exorcizing of a Golden Rose and Lamb of Wax. 3. That the using of the Name of the true God in these Exorcisms does not hinder but that they may be properly termed Enchantments. 4. Other Instances of their being Charmers and Magicians; With an Anticipation of an Objection. 5. The Falshood, Fraud and Mischief of these Exorcisms. 6. The derivation or distribution of these Exorcized Elements into several Superstitious uses. 7. Of the supposal of the Infant’s being possess’d, and of Baptismal Spittle. 8. Of Extreme Unction, and other Superstitious practices upon the dying man: 9. As also upon his Corps laid out. 10. The Fraudand Mischief of these practices.. 65
- CHAP. XIX. 1. The burthen of Spiritual Cognation, and excessive Numerosity of Holy-days. 2. Perpetual abstinence from Flesh in some Religious Orders. The Fraud and Mischief thereof. 3. The burthen of vowed Coelibate. 4. The more dangerous purposes thereof. 5. The ordinary services done by the Monasticks to this Antichristian power we describe. 6. That its establishment is much corroborated by the Interest of Monasteries; 7. And enriched by being Heir to all professours of Coelibate. 8. The great Mischiefs of Coelibate. 9. Of Flagellation.10. The ineffectualness thereof, Hypocrisie of the Penitent, salvage Pride of his Church, and the Mischiefs resulting therefrom. 11. Of Pilgrimages and Jubilees.12. An enumeration of several other Antichristian Austerities. 70
- CHAP. XX. 1. The Burthen of afflictive Opinions. 2. The distracting puzzles of a Soul intangled with multifarious Superstitions and Conceits. 3. The illaqueations of Religious Vows. 4. Intanglements arising from a Superstitious trust in certain surmised virtues in the Mass. 5. Vexatious Scrupulosities concerning the Intention of the Priest in administring the Sacraments. 75
- CHAP. XXI. 1. Of the necessity of Anniversary Confession. 2. Of Sacerdotal Absolution. 3. What is meant by Binding and Loosing, and to what manner of persons Remission of sins is committed. 4. Erasmus his gloss upon that Text of S. John. 5. As also Hugo Grotius his, whence Auricular Confession and Absolution prove groundless. 6. A voluntary Confession and in general useful in the Church in some circumstances, and in order to particular Absolution from the Priest. 7. As also a more particular Confession, if voluntary. 8. The Self-ends of this Church in exacting so punctual a Confession from men. 9, 10. The slavery and Mischief of such kind of Confessions. 11. The infinite vexation to the consciencious and ingenuous from the obtruding upon them incredible and impossible Opinions. 78
- CHAP. XXII. 1. The dreadful Figment of Purgatory. 2. That by this affrightful Fable the whole Moles of Superstition hitherto described is made infinitely more weighty and burthensome. 3. The Antichristian Doctrine of Christ his Satisfaction reaching onely to the freeing us from the Guilt of sin, not the Punishment. 4. The multifarious drudgery and slavery this Doctrine and that Figment of Purgatory casts men into. 5. A confutation of the said Doctrine and Figment. 6. That it is impossible that the sincerely-minded in this life should find either Hellor Purgatory in the other. 7. That there is no ground for this Antichristian Purgatory in either Scripture or Fathers. 8 The gross [Page]Fraud and grand Mischief of this Fiction. 9. The conclusion of the description of this second Limme of Antichristianism. 82
- CHAP. I. 1. The Positive Ends of the Gospel which the rest of the Limms of Antichristianism do oppose. 2. That to lay claim to a Right of Infallible Interpretation of the Laws of Christ is a supplanting of his Kingly Office. 3. An instance of that danger in the Glosses of the Pharisees. 4. Several places of Scripture alledged to prove the Church Infallible. 5. The first general Answer to these Allegations, by demanding whether the Promise of Infallibility be to the Whole Church, or to Part. 6. The second, by demanding whether the Promise be Absolute, or Conditional. 7. A third, That the Promise cannot be Universal touching all Objects that may be considered. 8. A particular Answer to the first place of Scripture. 9. An Answer to the second and third. 10. Infallibility a Promise onely to the first Founders of the Christian Church. 11. What the meaning of The pillar and ground of truth. 12. A farther exposition of that passage of Paul to Timothy. 13. That if understood of the Universal Church, it may be meant onely of it in the Apostles times. 14. And that the like may be said of the last Allegation. 87
- CHAP. II. 1. That the safe conveyance of the Apostolick Writings down to us by the Church does not infer her Infallibility. 2. That the Plainness of Scripture in points necessary to Salvation takes away the want of an Infallible Judge. 3. That the Scripture not pointing to any Infallible Judge nor any faithful Keeper of Traditions, does ipso facto declare her self the onely sufficient Guide. 4. That there is not onely no want of an Infallible Judge, but better there should be none. 5. That the want of Infallibility does not take away the Authority of the Church, it being the duty of every person in things really disputable to compromize with her. 6. That though a Visible Judge be necessary in Civil causes, yet it is nothing so in Points of Religion. 7. That every private man has not onely a liberty, but a command, to judge for himself in matters of Faith. 8. The said Right or Priviledge demonstrated also by Reason. 9 That the Reason or Judgment of every private man is not a private Spirit in that reproachful sense that some speak it. 10. That the claim to a right of judging for ones self in points of Faith does not make a man superiour to his Church, 11. Nor yet equal; 12. Nor implies that he thinks himself wiser then his Church, but rather more careful of his own eternal Concerns. 13. That it is not his private Wisedom he sticks to, but the Wisedom of God known to all that are not wilfully blind. 14. That the Church is not Infallible, proved from the Example of the Jewish Church. 15. That there is the same reason of the Christian. 16. That the want of an Infallible Interpreter is no such loss to the common people. 17. That their assurance of the truth of the Scriptures by the Spirit, is a Tenet not so superciliously to be exploded as some make shew of. 18. That this Spirit is properly the Spirit of Faith,distinguishable from that of Knowledge and Wisedom. 19. The notorious Fraudand excessive Mischief of this pretence of Infallibility. 92
- CHAP. III. 1. That the keeping the Law of Christ in an unknown Tongue is an undermining or opposing of his Sovereignty. 2. As also the reproching and vilifying his Law. 3. Their fraudulent pretence of hiding the Scriptures, with a vindication of their Usefulness and Excellency. 4. The vilifying of the Laws of Christ, by setting far less penalties upon the transgression of them then of the inconsiderable Institutes of the Church. 5. That their rigid Impositions are against the Kingdom of Christ; as also the reading of Legends instead of his Law, in Churches. 6. The dispensing also with the Divine Laws: The Fraud and Mischief thereof. 7. The treasonable pretence of this Power’s being absolute by right of succession in Christ’s seat. 8. The evil effect of this [Page]pretence discoverable in several Institutes contrary to the written Laws of Christ: 9. As also in nulling those Laws he has given, as he is the Eternal Word. 10. The bloudy opposing the Sovereignty and Kingdom of Christ in murthering his faithful Subjects. 102
- CHAP. IV. 1. Sundry particular Oppositions against the Prophetick Office of Christ, which may be the Characters of that grand Pseudo-prophet that was to come into the world. 2. That the Spirit of Prophecy is not to be monopolized by any one person, but is free. 3. An Excerpt out of Caelius Secundus Curio to that purpose. 4. The silencing the Dictates of those common Notions implanted in humane Souls, the highest affront to the Prophetick Office of Christ that can be. 5. Several Absurdities propounded as Instances of that Tyranny over the immutable Principles of humane Understanding, with the detection of that eminent False-prophet thereby. 6. That it is infinitely more likely that this pretended Prophet should be fallible, then the foregoing Absurdities true. 7. That the slaying of the Prophets, 8. Together with the abovementioned Oppositions against the Prophetical Office of Christ, make up a conspicuous Limme of Antichristianism. 106
- CHAP. V. 1. That the pretence of repeating the Oblation of the real Body of Christ is a derogation to the Excellency of Christ’s Priesthood. 2. Fuller Aggravations of this wicked affront. 3. A prevention of a subterfuge. 4. Another more dangerous assault against the Priesthood of Christ, and the main end of his Suffering. 5, 6. The making the Bloud of Christ available to take away the Guilt of sin onely, and not the Punishment, how salvagely Antichristian. 7. Farther Aggravations of this despightful piece of Antichristianism. 8. That there can be nothing more fundamentally Antichristian then it. 9. That the crime, considering the circumstances, seems worse then that of Judas; with the Fraudof this wickedness. 10. As also the great Mischief thereof. 11. Injuries against the Mediatourship of Christ. 12. An Answer to some slight pretences. 13. A farther confutation of such Antichristian errors and mispractices. 14. The Fraudand Mischief of multiplying Mediators. 15. A special Mischief done thereby to our growth in grace and holiness. 110
- CHAP. VI. 1. The opposing of Christ in his three noted Offices how hainously Antichristian. 2. An enumeration of other Titles of Christ. Opposition against him as he is the Truth; 3. As he is the Light; 4. As he is the Life. 5, 6. Opposition to his Divinity by equallizing Saints and Angels to him: 7. Yea by preferring what is but a Creature before him. 8, 9, 10. Opposition against his Paternal Title by injuries and cruelties to his children. 11. Opposition to him as he is Prince of Peace, 12. By needless Definitions in points of Opinion; 13. By taking away the obligation of Oaths; 14. By making war with the Saints. 118
- CHAP. VII. 1. That any Constitution of things that naturally opposes and suppresses the Divine Life is Antichristian in the highest measure. 2. Such as Idolatry, Superstition, and all the above-mentioned Oppositions to Christ’s Offices and Titles. 3. The opinion of a virtue in the Sacraments ex opere operato, and of the needlessness of our attention to our Devotions. 4. Dumb shows, and the resting in the mere doing of a Religious duty, be it from what principle it will. 5. Easie Absolution, and slight Penances. 6. Plenary Indulgences purchased by money from Ecclesiastick Authority. 7. A general note prefixed touching the Mischiefs of the several Oppositions against the Divine Life. 8. The plausibility of the Supposition of an Ecclesiastick Power and Pomp more then Imperial. 9. The weakness of the grounds for the said Supposition. 10. The consequential Mischief thereof, in driving the minds of Church-men from the study of Truth and Holiness: 11. Yea in making them oppose every thing that is true and holy, if it oppose their designs of Ambition and Avarice. [Page]12. That such a Luciferian Power as this were the very ruine of the Kingdom of Christ upon Earth; 13. And the turning of his Church into a mere Mart or Fair. 124
- CHAP. VIII. 1. That such a Frame of things as naturally tends to the extinguishing of Faith is highly Antichristian. 2. That A trade of Worldliness in the Spiritual Guides is one part of this Frame. 3. And a Self-ended policy in all the Doctrines and Practices of this Church, another. 4. Thirdly, The profession of uncertainty and obscurity in the Christian Faith. 5. Fourthly, The necessity of being in a Church where there is no Interruption by misordination. 6. Fifthly, The bearing men down that Dissent in any thing takes away certainty in all things. 7,—12. Sixthly, Lying Miracles. 13,—16. Seventhly, A rabble of incredible Reliques.17. Eighthly, Transsubstantiation. 18. How naturally it super-induces Atheism. 19. What a bundle of Impossibilities it is. 20. That the pretended Infallibility of the Church is infinitely too light to weigh against it: 21. Nor can it be made credible by the countenance of feigned Miracles. 22. Several Characters of them that are excluded the Holy City, comprised in this present Limb of Antichristianism. 130
- CHAP. IX. 1. Humility the proper Characteristick of the Person and Spirit of Christ. 2. The Affectation of an Ecclesiastick Sovereignty contrary to this Divine Grace. 3. The pretence for this Ambition, That the visible Church being One, requires one visible Head; with the Answer thereto. 4. Farther Reasons to prove the Church wants no visible Head besides Christ. 5. That this one Head Christ Jesus, and one Apostolick Law, does make the Church sufficiently One. 6. That there is no just pretence for any such claim of being this Universal-Head in any Bishop. 7. But that Ambition may purchase such a Title by wicked practices. 8. The method of this Universal Bishop’s enslaving the Clergie to himself, and undermining the Secular Powers. 9. His Frauds against the Emperour and other Princes. 10. A farther description of the Frauds, Rapine and Pride of this Universal Pastour, and of his Usurpation in a manner of the whole Power of the Empire. 139
- CHAP. X. 1. The wicked method of raising the Power of this Supreme Pastour to this height, a demonstration of the excess of Ambition. 2. His blasphemous usurpation or acceptation of the Divine Titles. 3. His barbarous insultation over Excommunicated Kings and Emperours. 4. The excess of Homage done to him by the greatest Personages. 5. His exalting himself above God in point of Jurisdiction. 6. His elation of himself above him in point of Honour or Precedency. 7. Other Instances of that kind of Pride. 8. His exaltation of himself above God even in the very House of God literally so called. 144
- CHAP. XI. 1. That the Pride of this Superlative Head will diffuse it self also into its Members 2. Farther general Incentives to this Vice in this usurping Priesthood. 3. Peculiar Incentives thereto in some great Dignities. 4. The singularity of Habits, and way of living in some Religious Orders, an occasion of Pride. 5. The pretence of meriting in these Orders an high and hateful Instance of this Vice. 6. That such an elated Pseudo-Clergie as this might well go for that Man of sin that exalts himself above every thing that is worshipped; 7. And be emblematized in the description of the Leviathan, who is called the King of the children of Pride. 147
- CHAP. XII. 1. An Antichristian Frame opposite to the Divine Grace of Puritydescribed in general. 2. That the Numerousness of Festivals joyn’d [Page]with a dead and Spiritless exercise of Worship leads to Impurity: 3. As also the Vow of Coelibate in unmortified Monks and Priests. 4. The opportunities of their Order and Function. 5. The opinion of Fornication being no sin, and Adultery a less one then the breach of the Vow of Single life. 6. Easy Rates for Pardons and Indulgences in these Vices. 7. Slight Penances. 8. The dedicating a considerable part of the year to wild extravagancies under Masks and Vizards. 9, 10. Concubines allowed to Priests. 11. The pompous Equippage of Courtesans, and the Supreme Pastour’s receiving Tribute from their trading. 12. The example of this High-priest and his Clergie. 13. The rifeness of Sodomie near his Palace: 14. And its spreading thence into the remotest parte of his Dominion. 15. That an Ecclesiastick Polity in this condition were the Mystical City of Sodom, and characterized in those Apocalyptick Catalogues under the titles of […], and […]. 151
- CHAP. XIII. 1. The excellency of Charity, and that it is the very Life and Soul of the Polity of Christ. 2. A Description of the nature of Christ’s Kingdom, out of Scripture. 3. A Collection of the Properties of his Government, out of the fore-cited Predictions; and that they are all the Effects of Charity. 4. To which the Kingdom of Antichrist is opposite. 5. The Oppression of the poor and needy by this Antichristian Polity. 6. The defrauding men of their Estates, upon a false pretence of Heresie. 7. The imposition of barbarous Penances. 8. Their unparallel’d Pride. 9. Their raising of vile Calumnies against the professors of the Truth, as the Pagans did against the Primitive Christians. 10. Several Instances of these Antichristian Calumnies. 157
- CHAP. XIV. 1. The nick-naming of the true Christians by the odious Title of Hereticks, with their barbarous injuries thereupon. 2. That Heresie and Schismare sins against the truly-Catholick and Apostolick Church. 3. What is meant by One Catholick and Apostolick Church. 4. What is that hainous sin of Heresie. 5. What Schism. 6. That while men are sincere members of the Apostolick Body, they can be neither Hereticks nor Schismaticks. 7. The Hypocritical and Schismatical Niceness of this Antichristian Church in forbearing to joyn in any Religious Duty with any member of the truly-Apostolick Body. 8. Their fraudulent purpose in fostering this Schismatical Niceness and Unsociableness. 161
- CHAP. XV. 1. What Incendiaries to War and Plotters of abhorred Murthers these falsely-pretended Successours of Christ are. 2. Their Butcherly Cruelty to the Sheep of Christ’s Fold. 3. Instances of prodigious Barbarities upon them for their very faithfulness to their Saviour and Redeemer. 4. The numerousness of them that thus suffer, with some particular kinds of Cruelty. 5. More Instances of this Diabolical Barbarity. 6. All the Elements made Instruments of the wrath and fury of this Antichristian Power. 7. Most beastly and unnatural Examples of this Antichristian Salvageness. 166
- CHAP. XVI. 1. A new Scene of Diabolical outrages done to the innocent Flock of Christ. 2. That they are all to be imputed to this Antichristian Synagogue, though not particularly appointed by them. 3. A description of an Infernal Tribunal coloured over with the specious Title of The Holy Inquisition. 4. The Demeanour of these Infernal Judges to the accused. 5. The salvage usage of the sentenced party by the grim Executioner. 6. A new addition to the former Torture. 7. The Torment of the hollow Trough, 8. And pan of Charcoal. 9. That this exemplary [Page]Cruelty in these Spiritual Judges influencing all the Instruments and Adherents to their Church makes her guilty of all the Military outrages also. 169
- CHAP. XVII. 1. That this Opposition against the Divine Grace of Charity is a most substantial Limme of Antichristianism, and the Character of them without the Holy City. 2. That that repeated Catalogue of abhorred Titles in the Apocalyps is plainly a Synopsis of the main Characters of the Antichristian Polity we describe. 3. The confirmation of the truth of our Idea of Antichristianism therefrom. 4. A summary Representation of this Idea in the Oppositions and Defeatments of the Privative Ends of the Gospel, as also of those noted Offices of Christ. 5. Of his Divinity and other holy Titles. 6. Of the Divine Life in Root and Branches. 7. A Parable to set out the salvage Injustice and Cruelty of this Antichristian Synagogue. 8. The Apodosis of the Parable. 9. That we have set out the Idea of the most real and essential Antichristianism that can be; with an Answer to what may be objected to the contrary. 10. That it is that very Antichristianism that is foretold in the Prophets, the clearing whereof necessitates us to an inspection into them before we make any punctual Application of our Idea to the Apostasy of the Church. 173
- CHAP. I. 1. THat the Antichristianism we have so punctually described in our Idea, and is for the general so notoriously known to have everrun the Church, is in truth a kind of Pagano-Christianism. 2. That it is incredible that there should be no Divine Predictions of so considerable a Change. 3. The ill-spent pains of those Interpreters who endeavour to obscure such Predictions by distorting them to other useless meanings. 4. Whether this Great Antichrist be prophesied of in the Epistle of S. John, under that very Name. 5. That Barchocab, if applicable at all to the Text, may be a Type of this famous Antichrist. 6. That the mention of those many Antichrists in S. John was occasioned from the fame of that Great Antichrist predicted in Daniel. 7. That there is much-what the same reason of the slowness of Christians in discovering the true Antichrist, as of the Jews in discovering the true Christ. 8. That a fraudulent and Hypocritical Opposer of Christ may be as real and considerable an Antichrist as an open Enemie; as also S. John‘s description as easily applicable to him. 9. The inept Niceness of declining the Name of Antichrist; and that the Title was put upon this great Enemy of the Church by the ancient Fathers occasionally from this Epistle of S. John. 10. Certain Considerations proposed touching the Obscurity of the Prophetick style. 205
- CHAP. II. 1. Why Prophecies are wrapt up in some considerable Obscurity. 2. An indispensable necessity of these kinds of involutions in regard of mans Free will: 3. As also in regard of the Enemies of the Church, both Men and Devils. 4. A recital of such Schemes and Figures wherein this Obscurity does most-what consist. 5. What Diorismus is, with several examples of Numeral Diorisms. 6. That it seems most safe to expound the
Rev. 9. 5, & 10.
five months of the Locusts according to this Figure. 7. The reason of the use of Numeral Diorisms. 8. From whence also some light is offered toward the understanding the reason of the uncertain designation ofVers. 15.
[…]. 9. Examples of Proportional Diorisms; 10. As also of Specifical. 211
- [Page]CHAP. III. 1. Hylasmus what it is, with the kinds thereof. 2. Eximious Examples of each kind. 3. What the first and chiefest kind of Henopoeia. 4. That one single Beast signifies a Body Politick, demonstrated out of Daniel. 5. That a Succession of Individuals is represented by one Individual. 6. That one individual Beast represents a Kingdom or Body Politick from its rise to its fall. 7. That one single Man or Woman does also represent a Body Politick in the Prophetick style. 8. The second kind of Henopoeia, what it is. 9. What Zoopoeia, with Examples thereof. 10. A second kind of Zoopoeia proved and illustrated from Examples. 217
- CHAP. IV. 1. Israelismus what it is. 2. That the reason of the frequent use thereof is the Sacramentalness of the Jewish Church in reference to the Christian, as appears in their Tabernacle and […]; 3. In the brasen Serpent, Manna, strucken Rock, and fiery Law; 4. In the High-priest’s Robes, in his entring alone once a year into the most Holy, and in the Jews worshipping towards the Mercy-seat; 5. In their bondage in Aegypt, and in their escape through the Red Sea. 6. What is properly a Prophetick Ellipsis. 7. What the meaning of the Apocalyptick Book being written within and without. 8. The difference of a Prophetick Ellipsisillustrated by example. 9. Homonymia what it is, and in what it differs from an Henopoeia of the second kind. 10. What Metalepsis, with the proof and examples thereof. 11. Antichronismus what it is, together with the rise thereof. 12. That the three days and an half of the unburied Witnesses put for three times and an half is apparently resolvible into this Figure. 13. What Icasmus is, and that the frequency of the Figure does not so obscure Prophecies but that they are as intelligible as ordinary Heraldry. 221
- CHAP. V. 1. The great Usefulness of an Alphabet of Prophetick Iconisms. 2. What the best way of attaining to the right sense of them. 3. What weight the Onirocriticks of the Ancients may cast in toward the determining their meaning. 4. That there is the same reason of the Signification and Interpretation of Dreams as there is of Visions, provided they be merely Typical, and not Complexional. 5. Angels; Their Ministery in all affairs of Providence a noted Supposition in the ancient Cabbala and in the Apocalyps. 6. Ascension into Heaven. 7. Air the special Region of Devils. 8. Balances. 9. Beast; […]Idolatrous Kingdoms. 10. The reason of the Lamb‘s signifying one single Person, and of wild Beasts noting Idolatry as well as Cruelty. 11. Blasphemy, That it signifies Idolatry made out both upon the account of Reason, use of Scripture and Authority of Interpreters. 12. Bloud. 13. Bow and Arrows; Buildings; Burial.226
- CHAP. VI. 1. Candle. 2. Character. 3. Clouds of Heaven. 4. Crown of precious Stones. 5. Darkness; Day; Death. 6. Desart. 7. Dragon, a figure of the Devil according to the ancient Cabbala, and then of the chief Polities that oppose the Church. 8. Drunkenness. 9. Eagle; Earth-quake. 10. Eclipses. 11. Eye, an Hieroglyphick of Counsel and Prudence. 12. Fishing; Fish dead in the Sea. 13. Fire, the different significations thereof. 14. Fire from Heaven, its exact significancy of Excommunication. 15, 16. Flesh, two notable significations thereof. 17. Floud; Fornication; Frogs. 18. Gemms and precious Stones; God.232
- CHAP. VII. 1. Hail; the signification thereof according to Scripture, 2. And the ancient Onirocriticks. 3. Harvest, the evil and auspicious sense thereof. 4. Head,how clearly significative of Sovereign Power, whether in Many or One. 5. Heavenand Earth. 6. Horn. 7. Horse; Islands. 8. King, and Kingdom. 9. That Kinds or Sorts of things are sometimes expressed as if Individualls of the same Kind. 10. Leopard; Locusts. 11. Malechilde; Mark; Measure; Mill; Month; Moon. 12. Mountain, the several significations thereof. 240
- CHAP. VIII. 1. Nakedness; Paradise. 2. Philtre. That […] is Virus[Page]amatorium. 3. That Magical words were used in the mixing of Philtres. 4. Pillars; Rain; Red. The seventh Head of the red Dragon what it intimates. 5. Resurrection. That to be cut off and stain signifies also Politically. 6. Rivers, what they signifie in reference to the Sea. 7. What in respect of their limpidity and irrigation. 8. Saints; Scorpion; Scorched by the Sun. 9. Sea; Serpent; Slain; Slaughter. 10. Sun, Moon and Stars. The spiritual signification of Sun and Moon.11. A secular signification of them in general. 12. A more particular signification of them in that sense. 13. In what sense the King of Babylon is called […] or Lucifer; and the Western Caesar a Star in the Apocalyps. 14. A more mystical signification of Stars, and what […] signifies. 245
- CHAP. IX. 1. Tail; Temple. 2. Throes; Throne of God. 3. Thunder an Iconism of Divine assistence for the discomfiting of the Enemies. 4. Other more mystical meanings thereof. 5. Time; Hours; Days. That Day signifying a Year is an Icasmus. 6. The appropriation of Months and Days to the story of the Wicked and Righteous, with an inference from the latter of a latitude of compute in the 1260 days in the Apocalyps. 7. Trees; Vintage; Water. 8. White-clothing; Wilderness; Winds. 9. Whore and Whoredom. 10. The exquisite Analogie Idolatry bears thereunto. 11. Winepress. 12. That it signifies also spiritual Destruction and slaughter. 13. Woman and Women. 14. Worship; World. 15. That the Prophetick style is so determinately intelligible, that the endeavour of understanding Prophecies is most unjustly reproached for any insuperable difficulties therein. 16. Certain Rules to try Interpretations of Prophecies by, which are more warrantable and genuine, which less. 253
- CHAP. X. 1. The order and entrance of his Search into the Prophecies, beginning at the Seventeenth Chapter of the Apocalyps. 2. That the Seventeenth Chapter and the Thirteenth treat adequately of the same Subject, proved by Two Parallelisms of Agreements. 3. The Parallelism of Agreements betwixt the Two-horned Beast and the Whore of Babylon. 4. The Parallelism of Agreements betwixt the Seven-headed Beast with ten Horns in the thirteenth Chapter, and the Seven-headed Beast with ten Horns in the seventeenth. 5. That the Parallelism of the Seven-headed Beasts in those Chapters is perfectly adequate and exact: And also of the Two-horned Beast and the Whore, saving that her Original is omitted and her Destruction mentioned in the Seventeenth Chapter; of both which a sufficient account is rendred. 6. The Adequateness of these Parallelisms demonstrated by comparing the Seventeenth and Thirteenth Chapters, so as it may appear that the one does wholly imbibe the other, saving in what is above excepted. 7. That the naturalness and unforcedness of this Imbibition shall be made good by a joint. Exposition of the two Chapters. 261
- CHAP. XI. 1. The great importance of proving the Seven Heads of the Beast to be Seven Sorts of Governours. 2. That the proving of the Seven-headed Beast to signify the Idolatrous Roman Kingdom or Empire quatenus Idolatrous, will go far toward the proof of the former Position. 3. That the Seven-headed Beast is a Kingdom or Empire; 4. And particularly the Roman. 5. That it is the Idolatrous Roman Kingdom or Empire. 6. That it is this Idolatrous Empire or Kingdom through all those Ages it is Idolatrous. 7. That it represents the Roman Kingdom or Empire in those Ages onely in which it is Idolatrous. Whence the true meaning of the slaying of the Beast, and a farther confirmation of the foregoing Assertion, is to be understood. 8. That this adequate Representation of the Idolatrous duration of the Empire implies that no Seven single Persons can be the Seven Heads thereof. 9. The same conclusion inferred from the Stigmatizing these Seven Heads with the note of Idolatry, whenas more then Seven, nay all, of the Pagan Emperours were Idolaters. 10. Also from the ordinary form of speech in distinguishing Animals by the number of their parts. 11. And[Page]finally from the certainty of the Seventh Head’s being not one single Person but a Succession. 12. That what-ever Interpretation supposes these Seven Heads Seven single persons is not onely false, but impossible. 13. That it follows from what has been evinced, That the Beast in the 17 chap. of the Apocalyps is the Roman Empire degenerated again into a kind of Paganism. 14. As also that the Whore of Babylon is not Rome Pagan, but Pagano-christian. 15. And that the coming of Antichrist at the very last end of the Worldis a Chimericall Fiction. 16. The true Subject of the Visions of the 17 and 13 Chapters of the Revelation. 269
- CHAP. XII. 1. The Scope and Order of his Joint-Exposition. Ver. I. What is meant by Whore. 2. What by her Greatness. 3. That she is not Rome Heathen, but Rome Pseudo-Christian. Ver. II. Who the Kings of the Earth, and what their Drunkenness. 2. The first Agreement of the first Parallelism made good. Ver. III. That the Two-horned Beast and the Whore’s being in the wilderness might have made one of the Agreements of the first Parallelism. 2. The second Agreement of the first Parallelism. 3. What meant by the scarlet colour of the Beast. 4. The second Agreement of the second Parallelism. Ver. IV. The Woman’s purple and scarlet and precious stones and pearls, what they signify. 2. And how plainly the third Agreement of the first Parallelism is evinced. 3. What is meant by the Cup of abominations in the hand of the Whore. 4. That it is a Philtrous Cup, with an inference therefrom of the truth of the fourth Agreement of the first Parallelism. 5. The chief charm used in the mingling of this Philtre. 6. Fire from HeavenExcommunication. 7. Other Miracles for the promoting Idolatry. 8. What the golden Cup signifies in respect of the Metall. Ver. V. The names of Whores inscribed on their foreheads. 2. That the whole sentence is the Whore’s Name; and how ridiculous it is to understand by [Mystery] a mere Synecdoche. 3. The Interpretation of these parts of her name, Mystery, and Babylon. 4. As also of, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Fornications. 5. A demonstration of the fifth Agreement of the first Parallelism. 6. The different Rise of the Two-horned Beast from Others. 276
- CHAP. XIII. Ver. VI. What is meant by the Martyrs of Jesus. 2. The sixth Agreement of the first Parallelism. Ver. VII. That the Woman is not Rome Heathen, demonstrable from the Beast that carries her. 2. That she rides the whole Empire. 3. That the Two horns of the Beast are the Two Imperial Patriarchates, but by an Henopoeia may glance also at the Power of Binding and Loosing, and at the Horns of the Episcopal Mitre. 4. The seventh Agreement of the first Parallelism. 5. The first Agreement of the second. Ver. VIII. What is meant by […] 2. That the end of the Vision of the Beast in this Chapter is to represent the Empire in that Succession wherein it is Pagano-Christian. 3. That the prolixity of the Title hinders not but that it may be called the Name of the Beast. 4. The meaning of the Name. 5. That the Angel having considered the whole Successions of the Roman Kingdom or Empire, fixed his mind on that time the Empire was purely Christian, and why. And that it thence appears what succession of the Beast’s time is understood. 6. As likewise from his name a little varied into, Was, is not, and yet is. Whence the fifth Agreement of the second Parallelism is also evinced. 7, 8. How the Angel came to give the Beast these Names: And that there is an Ellipsis in the Angel’s saying, The Beast which thou sawest, was, and is not, &c. 9. That the Name Was, and is not, and shall ascend, &c. signifies the successive Order in being, not the actual being or not being of the Beast; with a confirmation thereof out of Alcazar. 10. A plain Eviction from the Name [Was, is not, and yet is] that [Was, and is, and is not]do not signifie actual Existence or Non-existence, but order of Existence and Similitude. 11. That [Is not, and yet is] would neither be good sense nor any elegancy, unless the Laws of a right Contradiction were [Page]closely touched on in this mysterious Assertion. 12. And yet that an absolute Sameness, in either Essence or Qualification, could not be under this affirmation and negation without falsity. Whence Similitude is necessarily intimated thereby. 13. That the certainty of the meaning of this Title [Was, is not, and yet is] confirms the sense of the former, and demonstrates a latitant Ellipsis in the Application of these Names of the Beast; which is farther argued from other considerations. 14. Why he interprets the Re-existence or Image of the Beast, of the Empire’s becoming Idolatrous again, rather then of the Revival of its ancient Polity in the Pontifical Power. 15. The third Agreement of the second Parallelism. 16. The sixth Agreement. 17. The seventh. 18. The eighth Agreement. 19. The third Agreement again noted, with a Confirmation, therefrom, of the above-mentioned Ellipsis. 20. That near Resemblance stands for Identity in common elegancy of speech: Whence, The Beast that was, is not, and yet is, and the Image of the Beast is again evinced to be all one, and the fifth Agreement of our second Parallelism thereby farther confirmed. 286
- CHAP. XIV. Ver. IX. What is the meaning of […], and that Siracides seems to allude to the Hebrew […] in his description thereof. 2. That Constantinople is also allowed to have Seven Hills, and that it makes for the proof of the eighth Agreement of the first Parallelism. Ver. X. That the making the seven Heads seven sorts of Governours is no […], but a natural and necessary truth. 2. How naturally the different successions of the Supreme Powers of the Roman Empire fall into eight parts. 3. The onely true reason why there are numbred Eight Kings, though but Seven Heads of the Beast. 4. That the dividing of the Emperours into Pagan Christian and Pagano-Christian, is aimed at or supposed in the enumeration of the Eight Kings, is an unexceptionable Truth. 5. That it is most credible that after the Sixth King no other account of distinction of the Supreme Power of the Empire was look’d upon by the Angel but what respected Religion. 6. A demonstrative Inference from [One is] that there is an Ellipsis in, The Beast that thou sawest, was, and is not, &c. 7. Why
Apocal. 17. 10.
[…], rather then […]. Whence the last subdivision is confirmed, and the tenth Agreement of the second Parallelism made good. 8. The fourth Agreement of the second Parallelism. Ver. XI. That the description of the Beast is his Name, and part thereof used for the whole, as in the Name of God; which farther confirms the above-mentioned Ellipsis. 2. The easie and genuine meaning of […]. 3. That the meaning of [Verse 11.
The Beast that was, and is not, he is the eighth] is, that his Head is the eighth. 4. That the Eighth King by an Henopoeia may admit of more Caesars then one reigning at a time, and why. 5. The ninth Agreement of the second Parallelism. 6. The seventh Agreement. Ver. XII. The eleventh Agreement of the second Parallelism. 2. The twelfth Agreement. 3. The meaning ofVerse 12.
[…]. Ver. XIII. The thirteenth Agreement, together with the meaning ofVerse 13.
being of one minde, and of giving their strength and power to the Beast. 2. That the Pope once emerged above the Emperour even in Secular Power may continue the succession of the seventh Head, there being nothing else intended thereby but the secular Pagano-christian Sovereignty of the Empire. Ver. XIV. The fourteenth Agreement of the second Parallelism. 2. The fifteenth Agreement. 3. The sixteenth Agreement of the second Parallelism. 296
- CHAP. XV. Ver. XV. The seventh Agreement of the first Parallelism. Ver. XVI. The folly of those Interpreters that understand the Burning of the Whore of the burning of the Houses of Rome by fire. Ver. XVII. The Ten Kings giving their Power and Kingdom to the Beast according to the will and purpose of God, how stupendious an Arcanum. 2. In what sense God may be said to put it into their hearts. 3. That it is rather Fate then Policy that has carried on the[Page]affairs of the Whore so prosperously hitherto, with an Admonition thereupon. 4. The meaning of Until the words of God be fulfilled; with a farther Admonition to the Apostatized Church. 5. The eviction of the truth of the seventeenth Agreement of the second Parallelism. Ver. XVIII. Why the Seat of the Whore is so determinately affixed at last to Old Rome in this Prophecie. 2, 3. A clear and confessed evidence that Old Rome is here pointed at as the Seat of the Whore,with a short Paraphrase upon the sense of the Verse. 4. That the Seat of the Two-horned Beast is also fixed to Old Rome; and of the Cabbalisticalness of the Apocalyps. 5. That the Numeral Name of the Beast is […], and that it is so to be written, and not […], proved from the ancient Orthography of both the Greekand Latin Tongue. 6. That the ancient Latines, who usually sounded long i as a Diphthong, pronounced their Vowels nearest to the Greeks. 7. How exquisitely this name […] answers to Events. 8. That the finding the number 666 in other names does not at all weaken the determinate applicability of this. 9. In what sense 666 is called the number of the Beast. 10. The application of the Root thereof illustrated from the Cabbalistical application of the Root of the Tetractys.11. The last Agreement of the first Parallelism. 12. The last Agreement of the second. 13. That the Vision of the Whore is more appropriate and peculiar to the Church of Rome. 14. Of the Inscription Mysterium on the Pope’s Crown, and of a Woman-Pope. 305
- CHAP. XVI. 1. What remains for the making up the fullest assurance that can be desired of the truth of our Joint-Exposition. 2. That the Roman State, from the beginning to the end, is to be look’d upon as One Kingdom or Empire, appears out of Florus. 3. That there had been Five sorts of Supreme Magistrates in S. John‘s time in the Roman State, Reges, Consules, Tribuni Consulares, Decemviri, Dictatores: and that the Tribuni Plebis were no Supreme Power. 4. Nor the Tribuni Militum simply so styled. 5. But that the Decemviri and Tribuni Consulares were. 6. As also the Dictators. 7. That there had been no more then Fivesorts of Supreme Governours in S. John‘s time; and that the Interreges were not, nor were at all reckoned by Historians, a Supreme Government distinct from that of Kings. 8. That the Triumviri Reipublicae constituendae was either a Scuffle and Confusion in the Roman State; 9. Or else a formal Caesareate exercised by Augustus, Lepidus and Antonius. 10. That there is full and sufficient ground from Reason and History not to reckon the Triumvirate of constituting the Commonwealth a Sixth Form of Government distinct from Emperours and the Five fore-going Forms. 11. That though there had been some other Forms truly distinct, but yet of a near affinity with some of the other, it had not been so harsh to have accounted them one with those they had that nearness with. 12. But that there is a greater Exactness then this in the Application of this Vision, and such as Scepticism it self can hardly doubt of. 13. The Conclusion of the whole drift of the Chapter; with a fuller enforcement of the truth thereof. 317
- CHAP. XVII. 1. That a Relapse of the Empire into Idolatry in general were sufficient to make it the Image of the old Pagan Empire, and yet that the Resemblance is more exquisite and particular. 2. That there was an intended imitation of the Pagan Rites in the Church degenerating. 3. The Pope compared with the Pagan Caesars, and his Cardinals with the Roman Senate. 4. The Tutelar Saints compared with their Tutelar Deities; as also of adoring of what they eat. 5. The minute multiplication of the Pagan Deities compared with and found to be outgone by this Pagano-Christian Church in the Presidents of Physick and Rural Affairs; 6. As also in the Presidents of Trades or Courses of Living. 7. The Saints and Heathen Deities compared in their Offices, and how punctually they have surrogated the Blessed Virgin into the place of Venus and the Moon. 8. Most lively Lineaments of Restored Paganism in dedicating the Pantheon to the Virgin and all the Saints; as also the Seven Hills to seven several Saints: in erecting Altars and Images thereon; in adorning these Images; in appointing Festivals; in Adoration and Prayers; in Oblations of Wax-candles and Incense; in carrying their Images in Procession, and hiding them in Lent. 9. In Vows, Oathes, Deifying dead men, Pilgrimages, Miraculous Cures, with the Monuments of them hung up in the Temples. 10. In Aspersions and Purifications by Holy Water. 11. In the driving away the Devil by the jangling of baptized Bells. 12. In their Jubilees & general manner of celebrating their Festivals. [Page]13. In fetching in May; in running about the fields with light Torches in their hands; in sprinkling their Beasts with Holy Water by the Friars of S. Antony; in leaping over S. John‘s Fires; in Baptismal Spittle; in their Master of Misrule at Christmas; in their Carnavals and other Festivals. 14. That the Image of the Beast is also in some sort revived in their Funerals. 15. But more considerably in their Religious Fraternities under this or that Saint: 16. As also in their shorn Crowns, in their Vows of Virginity, and in their Ninevites or Flagellants. 17. In their pretence of bringing down Christ bodily and personally at the Mass: 18, 19. As also in their more pompous Processions. 20. The great Usefulness of the Observation of the punctual correspondency of the Events hitherto to the Predictions touching the state of the Church. 21. His amazement and astonishment at Grotius, that he should decline so clear and easie a meaning of the Image of the Beast, and take up with one so impossible and so unprofitable. 323
- CHAP. I. 1. The great Usefulness of shewing the folly of Ribera‘s and Grotius his Expositions of these two Chapters of the Apocalyps. 2. That, according to Ribera,the Beast is the Devil. 3. The seven Kings the wicked Kings of the seven Ages of the world. 4. That five of these Ages were gone over in S. John‘s time, and that the Reign of Antichrist is the seventh, and Rome Heathen the Whore. 5. The general Usefulness of our Joint-Exposition. 6. That the Beast is not the Devil, proved there-from by several circumstances: Nor the seven Heads seven such Ages, by the deadly wound in the sixth Head 7. Nor the Whore Rome Heathen more then the Two-horned Beast. 8. That the Devil cannot be the Beast that was, and is not, &c. proved by arguments not leaning on our Joint Exposition. 9. Farther proof from that part of his Name [and yet is,] with a Vindication of that reading. 10. A confutation of Ribera‘s Exposition of the seven Heads from the groundlesness and exceptionableness of his division of the duration of the world into seven Ages. 11. From the Ununitableness of the Kings of the Age into one Head. 12. From the Devil’s eminency and superiority over these Heads. 13. From the leaving neither room nor time for an eighth King. 14. From the disproportionableness of the seventh Age of the world to the rest, and especially to the strange Feats they say Antichrist is then to atchieve. 15. And lastly, from the seven Hills necessarily appropriating those seven Heads to the Roman Empire. 16. That these Expositions of Ribera, as also of the rest of the Roman Interpreters, were very weak even in Grotius his own judgment, which set him upon minting new ones. 336
- CHAP. II. 1. What the meaning of the Scarlet Beast with seven Heads and ten Horns, and of the Woman riding him, is according to Grotius. 2. A Confutation of Grotius his Interpretation, out of our Joint-Exposition. 3. Two main Grounds or necessary Supporters of Grotius his Interpretation: The one, That S. Johnreckons the Seven Heads beginning at Claudius; with the Confutation thereof. 4. The other, That this Vision was wrote in Vespasian‘s time; with a Discovery of the weakness and falseness of that Opinion. 5. That Claudius his banishing the Jews from Rome falls many degrees short of a proof, that John was then exiled into Patmos: And that Impulsore Christo in Suetonius does not so much as evince that any Christians were then expelled the City. 6. And if the Decree reached Christians, it does not strait follow that S. John was concerned therein. 7. An Answer to a Passage in Epiphanius alledged for S. John‘s Exile then. 8. An Answer to another alledged to the same purpose. 9. That Epiphanius his Testimony makes against Grotius his main Project. 10. That Epiphanius is but one single Father against the rest, and that the Testimony of Irenaeus alone is far to be preferred before his. 11. An unexceptionable clearing of the sense of Irenaeus his Testimony; and that the very detorsion of it will not serve Grotiushis turn. 12. That there is not the least shadow of Probability that the Apocalypswas wrote before toward the end of Domitian‘s reign. 13. Proofs out of the Apocalyps it self, that it was not wrote before the Persecution under Domitian.14. The great consequence of the clearing this Truth, it wholly subverting all Grotius his Interpretations of the Seals and Trumpets and all their Synchronals.342
- [Page]CHAP. III. 1. That as Grotius has mistimed these Visions, so his Interpretations are accordingly absurd and incongruous. 2. The groundlesness of his beginning the Compute of the Seven Heads at Claudius, and ending it in Domitian. 3. The dimsightedness of the ancient Fathers that could not discern Domitian to be the Beast that was, and is not, though they stood so exceeding much nearer him then Grotius. 4. The trivialness and falsity of this Conceit of his. 5. The second, third and fourth Absurdities of Grotius his Exposition of this Seventeenth Chapter. 6. The fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth Absurdities. 7. The ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth. 8. The thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth Absurdities of his Exposition. 350
- CHAP. IV. 1. That this Mis-timing of Visions must needs cast Grotius into the like Absurdities in interpreting the Thirteenth Chapter, and that his Exposition of the first verse thereof is guilty of at least nine or ten. 2. Four gross Contradictions in the second. 3. As many Incongruities or Weaknesses in the third. 4. As also in the fourth and fifth. 5. Two Absurdities in the sixth and seventh. 6. As many in the eighth. 7. Three Difficulties in the exposition of the tenth verse. 8. Five Incongruities in the eleventh. 9. His gross Interpretation of the twelfth verse. 10. Four Absurdities in the thirteenth. 11. Eight Incongruities or Weaknesses in his expositions on the fourteenth verse. 12. Three in the fifteenth. 13. Three or four more in the sixteenth and seventeenth. 14. And nine more in the eighteenth verse. 15. The astonishing consideration of the Absurdness of Grotiushis Expositions compared with his Parts and Learning. 16. An useful Illation from this weak performance of his, That all the Expositions of the Romanists upon these two Chapters are superlatively frivolous and incredible. 355
- CHAP. V. 1. The first Consectary from our Joint-Exposition, with a Demonstration of the truth thereof. 2. The great usefulness of the second Consectary for the peace and security of the Church. 3. The setled Notion of Long and Short. 4. A Demonstration of the truth of this Consectary. 5. The third, fourth, fifth and sixth Consectaries, together with their Proofs. 6. The Demonstration of the seventh Consectary, with an intimation of the special usefulness thereof for the Peace of Christendom. 7. The eighth Consectary, with the Proof thereof. 8. The ninth Consectary, with a copious Demonstration of the truth thereof. 9. The truth of the tenth Consectary, clearing the Protestants from Schism, plainly demonstrated. 10. The eleventh Consectary, with its Proof. 11. The Proof and notable Usefulness of the twelfth Consectary. 12. How clearly and plainly that part of Antichristianism which consists in Idolatry is prefigured and foretold in these Visions we have explained in our Joint-Exposition. 363
- CHAP. VI. 1. The Synchronism of the Whore, the Two-horned Beast, the restored Beast, or the Beast that was, and is not, and yet is; demonstrated out of our Joint-Exposition. 2. To which the False-Prophet is also proved Synchronal; the Virgin-Company, the Two Witnesses, the Woman in the Wilderness and the Outward Court, as being either the same, Antistoechal, or necessarily connected all along with them. 3. Again, in a more abstract way, That the restored Beast, the Woman in the Wilderness, the Outward Court, the Two Witnesses are of equal time. 4. That the Woman in the Wilderness and the restored Beast begin together, and therefore are Synchronal. 5. That the restored Beast and Two Witnesses are Synchronal, as ending together. 6. That the Two Witnesses and Outward Court are Synchronal, as both beginning and ending together; And all these four Synchronal to the Whore and Two-horned Beast, because the Two-horned Beast and the Whore are Synchronal to the restored Beast, to which the other three are Synchronal. 7. That the Virgin-Company and the Sealed out of the twelve Tribes are all one Company, and therefore both Synchronal to the Whore by an […], and consequently with the rest of the six with whom She is Synchronal. 8. That the said Sealed Virgin-Company is Synchronal to the Seriesof the first six Trumpets, as being sealed immediately before the blast of the first Trumpet, and as being Synchronal to the Mourning of the Witnesses, which ceases at the end of the sixth Trumpet. 9. The six first Seals, the Fight of Michael [Page]and the Dragon, and the Inward Court, proved Synchronal. 10. That the Vision of
measuring the Temple begins from the first Epocha, indicated from the quality of the Person that holds in his hand the opened Book. 11. From his supplying the place of the seventh Angel, and the space of the seventh Trumpet with seven Thunders. 12. From the suspending of the sound of the seventh Trumpet to make a Regression. 13. From the newness or new condition of the Book in the Angel’s hand. 14. From the voice communing or talking with John from Heaven, as in the beginning of the Prophecies of the Seals. 15. From the bitterness of the Book in his belly; From his being bid again to prophesie, and that before many Kings, and Peoples, and Nations. 16. From the Epocha of the Vision of theApoc. 12.
ensuing Chapter. 17. The Synchronism of the first six Seals with the Inward Court, of weighty concernment. 18. The Millennial Empire of Christ, the Palm-bearing Company, the New Jerusalem and the Ligation of Satan, that they are all in some sense Synchronal to the Seventh Trumpet. 370
- CHAP. VII. 1. Mr. Mede‘s Account of placing the first six Vials within the sixth Trumpet. 2. That the truth of this Account depends upon an unlikely sense of the Expiration of the Reign of the Beast, as if immediately after 42 months it should entirely and universally expire. 3. A caution touching the Interpreting of the Prophetick style. 4. That the Expiration of the Reign of the Beast upon the Exit of the sixth Trumpet is but partial or speciminal, argued from the seventh Trumpet’s being also called a Woe-Trumpet. 5. As likewise from the seven Thunders. 6. Two more Arguments to the same purpose. 7. Lastly, from the fixed Epocha’s of the Middle Synchronals compared with the affairs of Europe. 8. That it follows hence that all the seven Vials are naturally to take their places in the seventh Trumpet, as being the seven last Plagues. 9. The same farther proved from the Song of the Harpers upon their victory over the Beast. 10. And from the order of the Vision of the Vials; as also from the appearing of the Temple (out of which the Angels come) after the sixth Trumpet, and before any of the Vials be poured out. 11. In what sense the Middle Synchronals are to be fulfilled at the Exit of the sixth Trumpet. 12 A larger Declaration how all the Middle Synchronals expire together, in what sense or degree soever they do expire. 13. Of the commencing of the last Synchronals, and what the time of the Millennium more eminently so styled. 14. The serviceableness of the premising these orderly Synchronisms for his farther search into the Prophecies that foretel the Lapse of the Church into Antichristianism. 377
- CHAP. VIII. 1. That there are Three more Middle Synchronals that foretel the Churche’s Lapse into Idolatry: As the Vision of the Outward Court troden down by the Gentiles. 2. The Woman in the Wilderness: What meant by Wilderness. 3. A brief account of the sense of the whole Vision. 4. That there is an Hypallage in her being said to flie into the Desart, like that of Hades being cast into the Fire,and of the Kingdom being given to the Saints, in Daniel. 5. That our Interpretation of the Woman in the Wilderness does not clash with Mr. Mede‘s, though different from it. 6. The third Synchronal, the Virgin-Company: The meaning of the Number of their Regiments, and of the new Song which none could learn besides them. 7. How the Vision of these Virgin-souldiers implies the Lapse of the Church into Idolatry. 383
- CHAP. IX. 1. Three more Prophecies predicting the Churche’s Lapse into Idolatry. As the Vision of the sixth Trumpet, which is proved to respect the Roman Empire long after it became Christian. 2. That in this Vision the Greekand Latin Church are both apparently taxed of Idolatry, and with Aggravations common to Pagans and them. 3. That it appears from the same Vision of what great consequence it would be for Christendom to reform from this gross sin, and that they are their best friends that plainly and freely rebuke them for it, and for those other crimes reflected upon in this Vision. 4. The Prophecy of Paulto Timothy proposed, and the first part thereof expounded out of Epiphaniustouching the Inspirers of this predicted Errour. 5. As also that part that contains the Errour it self, namely the worship of Daemons: From [Page]whence it is plain the Prophecie concerns this notorious Lapse of the Church into Idolatry. 6. As also from the Instruments of the Broaching this Errour. 7. And from the mentioning of the Mystery of Godliness immediately before, to which this Mystery of Iniquity is opposed. 8. And lastly from the Times of the Lapse, which are termed […]. 9. Which is proved to be a proper Term of the Prophetick style denoting that Time and Times and half a Time which is the latter section of the continuance of the Fourth Monarchy. 10. That the course of these […] and of the Reign of Antichrist is indigitated by th […]se Numbers of Days in the last of Daniel. 387
- CHAP. X. 1. Epiphanius his Exposition of the Prophecie of Paul to Timothy confirmed from the reference it has to that in Daniel. 2. Grotius his miss-timing this Prophecie of Daniel, and applying it to Antiochus, how rash and groundless. 3. A Confutation of his Application. 4. The right timing this Prophecie by Calvin and Mr. Mede, who both interpret it of the Roman State and Empire. 5. A more particular account of the two first verses of the Prophecie Mr. Mede‘s way; 6. As also of the third, 7. And fourth. 8. That the sense of this Prophecie so clearly accords with that of S. Paul, that it is manifest he refers to it in […]. 9. That though this Interpretation of Mr. Mede be unexceptionable throughout, yet the two first verses of the Prophecie may be otherwise expounded, and more suitably to S. Paul‘s Prophecie in his Epistle to the Thessalonians. 393
- CHAP. XI. 1. The Reasons of his Prolixity hitherto in the Predictions of the Idolatry of the Church, and of his future Brevity in the rest of the parts of Antichristianism. 2. The Second member of Antichristianism prefigured in the
Apoc. 11. 8.
Witnesses lying slain in the Streets of the great City called Aegypt. 3. A short Paraphrase and Exposition upon that verse of the Apocalyps. 4. That the same thing seems to be prefigured in the Whore of Babylon her riding of the Beast. 5. What Predictions concern the Opposition to the Priestly Office of Christ. 6. That the Two-horned Beast and the False-prophet are all one, and that both prefigure the Antichristian Opposition against his Prophetick Office. 7. That the Affliction of the true Prophets of Christ is prefigured in the Vision of the Two Witnesses, as also the Antichristian Opposition against the Kingly Office. 398
- CHAP. XII. 1. An Explication of the Vision of the Witnesses. Ver. III. The reason why they are Two. Ver. IV, V. Why Two Olive-Trees and Candlesticks, and what meant by their killing men by the fire that proceeds out of their mouths. Ver. VI. That their power of shutting up Heaven from raining may be attributed to them onely by a Metalepsis. 2. Or rather by a Zoopoeia of the second sort. 3. According to which Figure they are said to smite the Earth with every plague of Aegypt; And what the meaning of these Plagues may be. Ver. VII. […], The War and Death of the Witnesses, what they mean. Ver. VIII. Aegypt and the foregoing Plagues fitly mentioned together. Ver. IX. The meaning of Three days and an half, and of the Bodies of the Witnesses lying unburied. Ver. X. What meant by the Dwellers upon Earth. Ver. XI. What by the Spirit of God coming into the Witnesses. Ver. XII. That the true Witnesses do not invade Heaven, but ascend thither when they are called. Ver. XIII. The Earth-quake, City, Fall of the City, and the Slaughter of 7000 Names of men, what they mean. 2. That the Antichristian Opposition to the Regal and Prophetical Office of Christ is clearly prefigured in this Vision of the Two Witnesses. 403
- CHAP. XIII. 1. That the little Horn in Daniel is a Type of that Power which should oppose the Regal Office of Christ. 2. That the Fourth Kingdom in Daniel is not that of the Lagidae and Seleucidae, but the Roman, proved from the universal Consent of Ecclesiastick Writers. 3. From the eminency and greatness of the Fourth Kingdom. 4. From the distance of time betwixt the Kingdom of the Lagidae and Seleucidae and the Kingdom of the Stone cut out without hands, or the Kingdom of the Son of man, which is also the Kingdom of Heaven or of God. 5 Grotius his fond and profane Interpretation of the Son of man, [Page]as if thereby were meant the People of Rome. 6 The like extravagancy in his interpreting the Stone cut out without hands, of the same People. 7. The unsoundness of that conceit more particularly discovered. 8. The Kingdom of the Lagidae and Seleucidae farther proved not to be the Fourth Kingdom, from the Coexistence of the Ten Kings according to Type. 9. From their vastly-differing Periods, the one ending, according to Daniel, presently after Antiochus, the other not before the Day of Judgment. 10. From Daniel‘s making the great Horn the first King in the Third Kingdom, and four lesser to grow up after him on the same Goat’s Head. 11. From the four Heads of the Leopard, which are the four Successors of Alexander in this Third Beast or Kingdom, and from Daniel‘s reckoning Antiochus in the latter end of this Succession. 12. That the little Horndoes of necessity appertain to the Roman Kingdom, become Ten-horned and Pagano-Christian at once. 13. That it is of equal duration with the Whore and Two-horned Beast, and at least coincident in time with them and the Beast restored. 14. From which Equality and Coincidence be is discovered to be the Whore or Two-horned Beast. 15. That the Patriarch of Rome is more especially concerned in this Type. 16. The exquisite Applicability of the Characters of this Horn to the said Patriarch. 17. The Application of those Characters that more particularly concern his opposing the Regal Office of Christ. 410
- CHAP. XIV. 1. The Vision of the Rider of the white Horse Apocal. 19. proposed. 2. A general account of that Vision. 3. What meant by the white Horse, what by the flammeous eyes of his Rider. 4. What by his Name known onely to himself.5. What by his garment dipp’d in bloud, and that this as also the precedent Characters are applicable to Christ’s Body the Church. 6. The meaning of the Sword coming out of his mouth: 7. And of the treading the Wine-press of God’s wrath. 8. The meaning of the Inscription upon his thigh, in reference to himself; 9. As also in respect of his Church to which it is applicable: As also the treading of the Wine-press, and the Sword coming out of his mouth. 419
- CHAP. XV. 1. That the rest of the Sacred Titles of Christ are referrible to the Prophecies we have already treated of. 2. As likewise all the Oppositions to the Divine life in general, saving that of turning the Church into a City of Merchandises. 3. Which seems predicted in the Lamentation over the Ruines of Babylon, Apoc. 18. Ver. 11. The meaning of the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth verses. Ver. 14. Of the fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth. Ver. 17. Of the seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth. Ver. 21. The Exposition continued from the twentieth to the end of the Chapter. 423
- CHAP. XVI. 1. This mystical sense of the burning of Babylon confirmed out of his Joint-Exposition, and from Alcazar‘s Interpretation, and that the same is prefigured in the destruction of Tyre. 2. How lively the Patriarch of Rome is typified in Ezekiel by the King of Tyre. 3. Another Vision to the same purpose in the same Prophet. 4. A third Vision in Esay, concerning
Tyre typifying Rome Pagan, Christian, and then Pagano-Christian. Ver. 18. That Tyre (that is, Rome) will be reformed from her Pagano-Christianism, and become purely Christian again and Apostolick, according to this Vision. 6. That these Visions of Tyre must needs have a farther meaning then what literally concerns that City. 7. An Exposition of the eighteenth verse of the last Vision comprising the Prediction of the Reformation of Rome Pagano-Christian. 8. What is meant by […], with a general reflexion upon the appositeness of these four last Prophecies for the setting out the Merchandising of the Church of Rome in the management of her Ecclesiastick Affairs. 429
- CHAP. XVII. 1. Their lying Legends perstringed in S. Paul‘s Prophecie of the Latter times. 2. A more full Prefiguration of that Antichristian Opposition that is against Faith, in part of his Prophecy of the Man of Sin. 3. A clear Exposition of that part of the Prophecy. 4. Strictures in the Apocalyptick Visions to the same purpose. 5. The Pride of the Bishop of Rome prefigured in the King of Tyre, as also his Downfall, and how. 6. His gorgecus splendour set out both in the King of Tyre and in the Whore [Page]of Babylon. 7. The Pride and Downfall of this Patriarch typified in the King of Babylon. The meaning of the twelfth and thirteenth verses. Ver. 14. The meaning of the Prophecy from the fourteenth to the nineteenth verse. Ver. 20. An Explication of the twentieth verse. 10. Farther Prefigurations of the Papal Pride in the Whore and the little Horn. 11. An easy and genuine Exposition or Paraphrase of the thirty sixth and the thirty seventh verses of the eleventh Chapter of Daniel, wherein the Impious Self-elation of the Bishop of Rome is clearly foretold. 12. That the sense of the two following verses of this Prediction may be still the same with Mr. Mede‘s. 435
- CHAP. XVIII. 1. That the truth of the foregoing Paraphrase may be assured out of Saint Paul‘s Prophecy of the Man of Sin. The three first verses thereof interpreted. Ver. 4. Wherein this Man of Sin exalteth himself above all that is called God, and what it is to snew himself to be God. Ver. 5. The meaning of [to be revealed in his time,] and what that is that withstandeth. Ver. 7. [The Mystery of Iniquity doth already work] how to be understood, and who the […]. Ver. 8. What is meant by […], and what the meaning and manner of his destruction; with an intimation of the exquisite Applicability of this Prophesy to the Papal Power and Imposture. 2. A short Parallel betwixt the little Horn in Daniel and this Son of Perdition. 441
- CHAP. XIX. 1. A summary Proposal of Grotius his Exposition of the foregoing Prophecy. 2. That the coming of Christ in this Prophecy cannot be understood of the Destruction of Jerusalem: 3. Nor Apostasy attributed to Caius, nor he said to sit in the Temple of God, nor […] to fit so well with Vitellius. 4. That Caius his purpose of placing his Statue in the Temple was no Mystery of Iniquity, but gross Prophanevess. 5. Grotius his ridiculous luxation of the sense of the Prophecy in making Caius the Man of Sin and Son of Perdition, concealed by Vitellius his standing in the way; and yet upon Vitellius his removal, not Caius,but Simon Magus to be the man revealed and destroyed. 6. That in all likelihood the Story of Simon Magus is a Fiction, and from what Occasion. 7. That if it were true, it is not so applicable, this wicked man Simon being not consumed by the Spirit of Christ’s mouth, but onely his Coach and Horses. 8. That Grotius makes Paul prophesy of things past, his Epistle being written ten years after Caius his death, with a full Answer to Grotius his first Argument to the contrary. 9. An Answer to the second. 10. A Demonstration out of Scripture and Grotius his own Concessions that this Second Epistle was wrote ten years after Caius his death; as also that the fall of Simon Magus from his fiery Chariot was eight years before this Prophecy. 445
- CHAP. XX. 1. The Preeminence of this latter Interpretation above that of Grotius.2. A summary Proposal of the same. 3. The first part of this Exposition the same with Grotius his, and therefore confuted already; The second enervated. 4. The third confuted, from a farther discovery of the improbability of Simon Magus his Story; from his being sufficiently revealed before, and from his not being found to sit in any Temple to receive Divine honours. 5. That […] is not so good Syntax in the present case, nor the wickedness of the Gnosticks a Mystery, but open Impiety and Hostility against the Church. 6. The harshness of interpreting whom, in [whom the Lord shall consume, &c.] of two several Subjects, the one to be destroyed by the breath of Christ’s mouth, the other by the brightness of his coming, and that in distinct places and times. 7. That if the History of Simon Magus had been true, and the Application fit to this Prophecy, the most ancient Fathers would not have failed to have hit upon it; And that it might then have been a preludious Type to the great Antichrist to come. 8. Brief Prophetick Strictures touching Antichristian Impurity. 9. The Antichristian Cruelty predicted in the Vision of the King of Babyion and of the little Horn. 10. Also in the slain Witnesses, and in the Two-horned Beast‘s causing the Ten-horned to kill as many as would not worship the Image of the Beast nor receive his Mark. 11. In the Vision of the Angel with the third Vial; and in the Declaration of the cause of the Whore’s Ruine. 12. And, lastly, in the Description of the Whore as drunk with the bloud of the Saints. 13. That all the Members of Antichristianism in our Ideaare prefigured in the Prophecies of the Holy Writ so expressly, that so clear an evidence cannot be withstood for ever. 14. That that [Page]ample Testimony of the Apocalyps cannot be evaded by the novel Exposition of […]. 450
- CHAP. XXI. 1. The marvellous Completeness of the Reformation of the Church of England in her Doctrines and Institutes. 2. That she plainly condemns the Invocation of Saints for Idolatry. 3. As also the Adoration of the Host; where our Kneeling at the Communion is vindicated. 4. Her condemning the Worshipping of Images. 5. Her concluding the manner of the Papists worshipping Saints and Images to be plainly the same with that of Pagans. 6. Her free and just censure touching the decking of their Images, and making them Lay-mens Books. 7. How perfectly she has freed us from that Aegyptian yoke we lay under in the time of Popery. 8. The Celebration of Holy-days, the keeping of Lent, and the use of the Surplice in the sense of the Church of England, fully vindicated from all imputation of Superstition or Antichristianism. 9. That the use of the Surpliceis not from any grounds at all of Policy in the Church, but pure Charity: with a vindication of the use of the Cross in Baptism. 459
- CHAP. XXII. 1. The diametrical Opposition of our Church to that part of Antichristianism which would subvert the Regal and Prophetick Offices of Christ. 2. As also to that which strikes at his Sacerdotal Office. 3. That she holds nothing against those other sacred Titles of Christ, the Truth, Life, Light, &c. 4. A demonstrative Vindication of Episcopacy from the Imputation of Antichristianism, out of the Apocalyps. 5. What an Establishment that Book is, if rightly understood, to the Crown and Church of England. 6. That no Papal nor Presbyterian Power is of right above the King, no not in Causes Ecclesiastical. 7. The judgement of our Church thereupon. 8. The peculiar glory of our Church that she is so perfectly free from all Frauds and Impostures. 9. Her freeness from Pride; 10. From Antichristian Impurity, 11. And from Cruelty. 12. Her Reformation an eminent Speciminal Completion of the Prophecy of the Resurrection of the Two Witnesses. 13. The usefulness of this Vindication of her for the suppressing of Popery and Schism. 469