Sir Isaac Newton FRS (25 December 1642 – 20 March 1726) was an English physicist and mathematician (described in his own day as a "natural philosopher") who is widely recognized as one of the most influential scientists of all time and a key figure in the scientific revolution.

His book Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica ("Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy"), first published in 1687, laid the foundations for classical mechanics.

Newton made seminal contributions to optics, and he shares credit with Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz for the development of calculus.

Newton's Principia formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation, which dominated scientists' view of the physical universe for the next three centuries.

By deriving Kepler's laws of planetary motion from his mathematical description of gravity, and then using the same principles to account for the trajectories of comets, the tides, the precession of the equinoxes, and other phenomena, Newton removed the last doubts about the validity of the heliocentric model of the Solar System.

This work also demonstrated that the motion of objects on Earth and of celestial bodies could be described by the same principles.

His prediction that Earth should be shaped as an oblate spheroid was later vindicated by the measurements of Maupertuis, La Condamine, and others, which helped convince most Continental European scientists of the superiority of Newtonian mechanics over the earlier system of Descartes.

Newton built the first practical reflecting telescope and developed a theory of color based on the observation that a prism decomposes white light into the many colors of the visible spectrum.

He formulated an empirical law of cooling, studied the speed of sound, and introduced the notion of a Newtonian fluid.

In addition to his work on calculus, as a mathematician Newton contributed to the study of power series, generalized the binomial theorem to non-integer exponents, developed a method for approximating the roots of a function, and classified most of the cubic plane curves.

Newton was a fellow of Trinity College and the second Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge.

He was a devout but unorthodox Christian, and, unusually for a member of the Cambridge faculty of the day, he refused to take holy orders in the Church of England, perhaps because he privately rejected the doctrine of the Trinity.

Beyond his work on the mathematical sciences, Newton dedicated much of his time to the study of biblical chronology and alchemy, but most of his work in those areas remained unpublished until long after his death.

In his later life, Newton became president of the Royal Society.

Newton served the British government as Warden and Master of the Royal Mint.



Although born into an Anglican family, by his thirties Newton held a Christian faith that, had it been made public, would not have been considered orthodox by mainstream Christianity; in recent times he has been described as a heretic.

By 1672 he had started to record his theological researches in notebooks which he showed to no one and which have only recently been examined.

They demonstrate an extensive knowledge of early church writings and show that in the conflict between Athanasius and Arius which defined the Creed, he took the side of Arius, the loser, who rejected the conventional view of the Trinity.

Newton "recognized Christ as a divine mediator between God and man, who was subordinate to the Father who created him."

He was especially interested in prophecy, but for him, "the great apostasy was trinitarianism."

Newton tried unsuccessfully to obtain one of the two fellowships that exempted the holder from the ordination requirement.

At the last moment in 1675 he received a dispensation from the government that excused him and all future holders of the Lucasian chair.

In Newton's eyes, worshipping Christ as God was idolatry, to him the fundamental sin.

Historian Stephen D. Snobelen says of Newton, "Isaac Newton was a heretic. But ... he never made a public declaration of his private faith—which the orthodox would have deemed extremely radical. He hid his faith so well that scholars are still unravelling his personal beliefs."

Snobelen concludes that Newton was at least a Socinian sympathizer (he owned and had thoroughly read at least eight Socinian books), possibly an Arian and almost certainly an anti-trinitarian.

In a minority view, T.C. Pfizenmaier argues that Newton held the Eastern Orthodox view on the Trinity.

However, this type of view 'has lost support of late with the availability of Newton's theological papers', and now most scholars identify Newton as an Antitrinitarian monotheist.

Although the laws of motion and universal gravitation became Newton's best-known discoveries, he warned against using them to view the Universe as a mere machine, as if akin to a great clock.

He said, "Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion. God governs all things and knows all that is or can be done."

Along with his scientific fame, Newton's studies of the Bible and of the early Church Fathers were also noteworthy.

Newton wrote works on textual criticism, most notably An Historical Account of Two Notable Corruptions of Scripture.

He placed the crucifixion of Jesus Christ at 3 April, AD 33, which agrees with one traditionally accepted date.

He believed in a rationally immanent world, but he rejected the hylozoism implicit in Leibniz and Baruch Spinoza.

The ordered and dynamically informed Universe could be understood, and must be understood, by an active reason.

In his correspondence, Newton claimed that in writing the Principia "I had an eye upon such Principles as might work with considering men for the belief of a Deity".

He saw evidence of design in the system of the world: "Such a wonderful uniformity in the planetary system must be allowed the effect of choice".

But Newton insisted that divine intervention would eventually be required to reform the system, due to the slow growth of instabilities.

For this, Leibniz lampooned him: "God Almighty wants to wind up his watch from time to time: otherwise it would cease to move. He had not, it seems, sufficient foresight to make it a perpetual motion."

Newton's position was vigorously defended by his follower Samuel Clarke in a famous correspondence.

A century later, Pierre-Simon Laplace's work "Celestial Mechanics" had a natural explanation for why the planet orbits don't require periodic divine intervention.

Newton and Robert Boyle's approach to the mechanical philosophy was promoted by rationalist pamphleteers as a viable alternative to the pantheists and enthusiasts, and was accepted hesitantly by orthodox preachers as well as dissident preachers like the latitudinarians.

The clarity and simplicity of science was seen as a way to combat the emotional and metaphysical superlatives of both superstitious enthusiasm and the threat of atheism,[132] and at the same time, the second wave of English deists used Newton's discoveries to demonstrate the possibility of a "Natural Religion".

The attacks made against pre-Enlightenment "magical thinking", and the mystical elements of Christianity, were given their foundation with Boyle's mechanical conception of the Universe.

Newton gave Boyle's ideas their completion through mathematical proofs and, perhaps more importantly, was very successful in popularizing them.

In a manuscript he wrote in 1704 in which he describes his attempts to extract scientific information from the Bible, he estimated that the world would end no earlier than 2060.

In predicting this he said, "This I mention not to assert when the time of the end shall be, but to put a stop to the rash conjectures of fanciful men who are frequently predicting the time of the end, and by doing so bring the sacred prophesies into discredit as often as their predictions fail."

In the 1690s, Newton wrote a number of religious tracts dealing with the literal and symbolic interpretation of the Bible.

A manuscript Newton sent to John Locke in which he disputed the fidelity of 1 John 5:7 and its fidelity to the original manuscripts of the New Testament, remained unpublished until 1785.

Later works—The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms Amended (1728) and Observations Upon the Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of St. John (1733)—were published after his death. He also devoted a great deal of time to alchemy (which ultimately led to the science of chemistry).

Newton was made President of the Royal Society in 1703 and an associate of the French Académie des Sciences.

In April 1705, Queen Anne knighted Newton during a royal visit to Trinity College, Cambridge.

The knighthood is likely to have been motivated by political considerations connected with the Parliamentary election in May 1705, rather than any recognition of Newton's scientific work or services as Master of the Mint.

Newton was the second scientist to be knighted, after Sir Francis Bacon.


A Concise Summary:

After much study, Isaac Newton determined for himself that the God of the Bible could only be One.

He believed that the Trinitarian Godhead that he was taught in church did not fit into the whole of Scripture.

From his study of a few of the Greek manuscripts, he concluded that the King James translation had a definite translator's slant to it, to support the Trinitarian doctrine.

That slant, he described as "corruptions" of the texts, two of which he found the most notable.


An Historical Account of Two Notable Corruptions of Scripture

An Historical Account of Two Notable Corruptions of Scripture is a dissertation by the English mathematician and scholar Sir Isaac Newton.

This was sent in a letter to John Locke on 14 November 1690 and built upon the textual work of Richard Simon and his own research.

The text was first published in English in 1754, 27 years after his death.

The account claimed to review all the textual evidence available from ancient sources on two disputed Bible passages: 1John 5:7 and 1Timothy 3:16.

Newton describes this letter as "an account of what the reading has been in all ages, and what steps it has been changed, as far as I can hitherto determine by records", and "a criticism concerning a text of Scripture".

He blames "the Roman church" for many abuses in the world and accuses it of "pious frauds".

He adds that "the more learned and quick-sighted men, as Luther, Erasmus, Bullinger, Grotius, and some others, would not dissemble their knowledge".

The First Corruption: 1 John 5:7

In the King James Version Bible, 1 John 5:7 reads:

"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one."

Using the writings of the early Church Fathers, the Greek and Latin manuscripts and the testimony of the first versions of the Bible, Newton claims to have demonstrated that the words "in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one," that support the Trinity doctrine, did not appear in the original Greek Scriptures.

He then attempts to demonstrate that the purportedly spurious reading crept into the Latin versions, first as a marginal note, and later into the text itself.

He noted that "the Æthiopic, Syriac, Arabic, Armenian, and Slavonic versions, still in use in the several Eastern nations, Ethiopia, Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia, Armenia, Muscovy, and some others, are strangers to this reading".

He argued that it was first taken into a Greek text in 1515 by Cardinal Ximenes on the strength of a late Greek manuscript 'corrected' from the Latin.

Finally, Newton considered the sense and context of the verse, concluding that removing the interpolation makes "the sense plain and natural, and the argument full and strong; but if you insert the testimony of 'the Three in Heaven' you interrupt and spoil it."

Today most versions of the Bible are from the Critical Text and omit this verse, or retain it as only a marginal reading.


The Second Corruption: 1 Timothy 3:16

The shorter portion of Newton's dissertation was concerned with 1 Timothy 3:16, which reads (in the King James Version):

"And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory."

Newton argued that, by a small alteration in the Greek text, the word "God" was substituted to make the phrase read "God was manifest in the flesh." instead of "which was manifested in the flesh.".

He attempted to demonstrate that early Church writers in referring to the verse knew nothing of such an alteration.


Summary Of Both Passages

Newton concludes: "If the ancient churches in debating and deciding the greatest mysteries of religion, knew nothing of these two texts, I understand not, why we should be so fond of them now the debates are over."

With minor exceptions, it was only in the nineteenth century that Bible translations appeared changing these passages.

Modern versions of the Bible from the Critical Text usually omit the addition to 1 John 5:7, but some place it in a footnote, with a comment indicating that "it is not found in the earliest manuscripts".

Modern translations of 1 Timothy 3:16 following the Critical Text now typically replace "God" with "He" or "He who", while the literal Emphasized has "who".

A number of papers in the years following responded to Newton, notably John Berriman in 1741, who had seen at least some of Newton's text prior to publication.

Later, Frederick Nolan in 1815, Ebenezer Henderson in 1830 and John William Burgon in the Revision Revised in 1883 all contributed substantially to the verse discussion.

The Dragon Responds

Newton did not publish these findings during his lifetime, likely due to the political climate.

Those who wrote against the doctrine of the Trinity were subject to persecution in England.

The Blasphemy Act 1697 made it an offence to deny one of the persons of the Trinity to be God, punishable with loss of office and employment on the first occasion, further legal ramifications on the second occasion, and imprisonment without hope for bail on the third occasion.

Newton's friend William Whiston (translator of the works of Josephus) lost his professorship at Cambridge for this reason in 1711.

In 1693 a pamphlet attacking the Trinity was burned by order of the House of Lords, and the next year its printer and author were prosecuted.

In 1697 Thomas Aikenhead, an eighteen-year-old student charged with denying the Trinity, was hanged at Edinburgh, Scotland.

The dissertation was published in 1754.


Newton's 12 Points On The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

  1. The word God is nowhere in the scriptures used to signify more than one of the three persons at once.
  2. The word God put absolutely without restriction to the Son or Holy Ghost doth always signify the Father from one end of the scriptures to the other.
  3. Whenever it is said in the scriptures that there is but one God, it is meant the Father.
  4. When, after some heretics had taken Christ for a mere man and others for the supreme God, St John in his Gospel endeavoured to state his nature so that men might have from thence a right apprehension of him and avoid those heresies and to that end calls him the word or logos: we must suppose that he intended that term in the sense that it was taken in the world before he used it when in like manner applied to an intelligent being.
  5. For if the Apostles had not used words as they found them how could they expect to have been rightly understood. Now the term logos before St John wrote, was generally used in the sense of the Platonists, when applied to an intelligent being and the Arians understood it in the same sense, and therefore theirs is the true sense of St John.
  6. The Son in several places confesseth his dependence on the will of the Father.
  7. The Son confesseth the Father greater, then calls him his God etc.
  8. The Son acknowledgeth the original prescience of all future things to be in the Father only.
  9. There is nowhere mention of a human soul in our Saviour besides the word, by the meditation of which the word should be incarnate. But the word itself was made flesh and took upon him the form of a servant.
    It was the son of God which He sent into the world and not a human soul that suffered for us. If there had been such a human soul in our Saviour, it would have been a thing of too great consequence to have been wholly omitted by the Apostles.
  10. It is a proper epithet of the Father to be called almighty. For by God almighty we always understand the Father. Yet this is not to limit the power of the Son. For he doth whatsoever he seeth the Father do; but to acknowledge that all power is originally in the Father and that the Son hath power in him but what he derives from the Father, for he professes that of himself he can do nothing.
  11. The Son in all things submits his will to the will of the Father, which could be unreasonable if he were equal to the Father.
  12. The union between him and the Father he interprets to be like that of the saints with one another. That is in agreement of will and counsel.


The Trinity Is The Mystery Of Iniquity

“Let them make good sense of it who are able; for my part, I can make none.”

“If you now compare all with the Apocalyptic Visions, and particularly with the flight of the woman into the wilderness and the reign of the whore of Babylon, they will very much illustrate one another: for these visions are as plain as if it had been expressly said, that the true Church shall disappear, and in her stead an idolatrous church reign in the world.”

"Now though the unity of the Church depended upon the unity of the faith and therefore the rule of faith was unalterable, yet before the end of the second century some of the Latin churches in opposition to heretics began to add new articles to it."

"And after they had, by adding some articles in the language of the scriptures, made precedents for creating to themselves a creed-making authority: they began to add articles in other language than that of the scripture till they lost the primitive Apostolic rule of faith, and by the loss of it brought all into confusion."

"The worship which is due to this God we are to give to no other nor to ascribe anything absurd or contradictious to his nature or actions lest we be found to blaspheme him or to deny him or to make a step towards atheism or irreligion. . . . For as often as mankind has swerved from them, God has made a reformation."

"And in all the reformations of religion hitherto made, the religion in respect of God and our neighbor is one and the same religion . . . so that this is the oldest religion in the world."

“So then the mystery of this restitution of all things is to be found in all the Prophets: which makes me wonder with great admiration that so few Christians of our age can find it there.”

The great apostasy was not Romanism, but trinitarianism, “the false infernal religion”, to quote Newton's own words.

Sir Isaac Newton discovered that the Mystery of the Trinity is the Mystery of Iniquity.


Having searched after knowledge in the prophetique scriptures, I have thought my self bound to communicate it for the benefit of others, remembring the judgment of him who hid his talent in a napkin.

For I am perswaded that this will prove of great benefit to those who think it not enough for a sincere Christian to sit down contented with the principles of the doctrin of Christ such as the Apostel accounts the doctrin of Baptisms & of laying on of hands & of the resurrection of the dead & of eternall judgment, but leaving these & the like principles desire to go on unto perfection until they become of full age & by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good & evil. Hebr 5.12

I would not have any discouraged by the difficulty & ill success that men have hitherto met with in these attempts.

This is nothing but what ought to have been.

For it was revealed to Daniel that the prophesies concerning the last times should be closed up & sealed untill the time of the end: but then the wise should understand, & knowledg should be increased. Dan 12.4, 9, 10.

And therefore the longer they have continued in obscurity, the more hopes there is that the time is at hand in which they are to be made manifest.

If they are never to be understood, to what end did God reveale them?

Certainly he did it for the edification of the church; & if so, then it is as certain that the church shall at length attain to the understanding thereof.

I mean not all that call themselves Christians, but a remnant, a few scattered persons which God hath chosen, such as without being led by interest, education, or humane authorities, can set themselves sincerely & earnestly to search after truth.

For as Daniel hath said that the wise shall understand, so he hath said also that none of the wicked shall understand.

Let me therefore beg of thee not to trust to the opinion of any man concerning these things, for so it is great odds but thou shalt be deceived.

Much less oughtest thou to rely upon the judgment of the multitude, for so thou shalt certainly be deceived.

But search the scriptures thy self & that by frequent reading & constant meditation upon what thou readest, & earnest prayer to God to enlighten thine understanding if thou desirest to find the truth.

Which if thou shalt at length attain thou wilt value above all other treasures in the world by reason of the assurance and vigour it will add to thy faith, and steddy satisfaction to thy mind which he onely can know how to estimate who shall experience it.

That the benefit which may accrew by understanding the sacred Prophesies & the danger by neglecting them is very great & that the obligation to study them is as great may appear by considering the like case of the Jews at the coming of Christ.

For the rules whereby they were to know their Messiah were the prophesies of the old Testament.
And these our Saviour recommended to their consideration in the very beginning of his preaching Luke 4.21: And afterward commanded the study of them for that end saying, Search the scriptures for in them ye think ye have eternall life, and these are they which testify of me: & at another time severely reproved their ignorance herein, saying to them when they required a sign, Ye Hypocrites ye can discern the face of the sky but can ye not discern the signes of the times And after his resurrection he reproved also this ignorance in his disciples, saying unto them, O fools & slow of heart to beleive all that the Prophets have spoken!

Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, & to enter into his glory?

And beginning at Moses & all the Prophets he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

Thus also the Apostles & those who in the first ages propagated the gospel urged chiefly these Prophesies and exhorted their hearers to search & see whether all things concerning our saviour ought not to have been as they fell out.

And in a word it was the ignorance of the Jews in these Prophesies which caused them to reject their Messiah & by consequence to be not onely captivated by the Romans but to incur eternall damnation. Luke 19.42, 44.

If then the Prophesies which concerned the Apostolique age were given for the conversion of the men of that age to the truth & for the establishment of their faith, & if it was their duty to search diligently into those Prophesies: why should we not think that the Prophesies which concern the latter times into which we are fallen were in like manner intended for our use that in the midst of Apostacies we might be able to discern the truth & be established in the faith thereof, & consequently that it is also our duty to search with all diligence into these Prophesies.

And If God was so angry with the Jews for not searching more diligently into the Prophesies which he had given them to know Christ by: why should we think he will excuse us for not searching into the Prophesies which he hath given us to know Antichrist by?

For certainly it must be as dangerous & as easy an error for Christians to adhere to Antichrist as it was for the Jews to reject Christ.

And therefore it is as much our duty to indeavour to be able to know him that we may avoyd him, as it was theirs to know Christ that they might follow him.

Thou seest therefore that this is no idle speculation, no matters of indifferency but a duty of the greatest moment.

Wherefore it concerns thee to look about thee narrowly least thou shouldest in so degenerate an age be dangerously seduced & not know it.

Antichrist was to seduce the whole Christian world and therefore he may easily seduce thee if thou beest not well prepared to discern him.

But if he should not be yet come into the world yet amidst so many religions of which there can be but one true & perhaps none of those that thou art acquainted with it is great odds but thou mayst be deceived & therefore it concerns thee to be very circumspect.

Consider how our Saviour taught the Jews in Parables that in hearing they might hear & not understand & in seeing they might see & not perceive.

And as these Parables were spoken to try the Jews so the mysticall scriptures were written to try us.

Therefore beware that thou be not found wanting in this tryall.

For if thou beest, the obscurity of these scriptures will as little excuse thee as the obscurity of our Saviours Parables excused the Jews.

Consider also the instructions of our Saviour concerning these latter times by the Parable of the Fig-tree.

Now learn a parable of the Figtree, saith he: When his branch is yet tender and putteth forth leaves, ye know that Summer is nigh. So likewise ye when ye see these things know that it is near even at the doors. Watch therefore for ye know not what hower your Lord doth come.

Wherefore it is thy duty to learn the signes of the times that thou mayst know how to watch, & be able to discern what times are coming on the earth by the things that are already past.

If thou doest watch thou mayst know when it is at the door as a man knows by the leaves of a figtree that Somer is nigh.

But if through ignorance of the signes thou shalt say in thine heart My Lord delayeth his coming; And shalt begin to smite thy fellow servants & to eat & drink with the drunken: Thy Lord will come in a day when thou lookest not for him & in an hower that thou art not aware of, and cut thee asunder and appoint thy portion with the Hypocrites, There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matt 24.

If thou doest not watch, how canst thou escape more then other men, For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell upon the face of the whole earth. Luke 21.

Consider that the same Prophets who foretold our saviours first coming foretold also his second coming; & if it was the main & indispensable duty of the Church before the first coming of Christ to have searched into & understood those prophesies aforehand, why should it not be as much the duty of the Church before his second coming to understand the same prophesies aforehand so far as they are yet to be fulfilled?

Or how knowest thou that the christian church if they continue to neglect, shall not be punished even in this world as severely as ever were the Jews?

Yea will not the Jews rise up in judgment against us?

For they had some regard to these prophesies insomuch as to be in generall expectation of our Saviour about that time when he came, onely they were not aware of the manner of his two comings; they understood the description of his second coming, & onely were mistaken in applying that to the time of his first coming.

Consider therefore, if the description of his second coming was so much more plain & perspicuous then that of the first, that the Jews who could not so much as perceive any thing of the first could yet understand the second, how shall we escape who understand nothing of the second but have turned the whole description of it into Allegories.

And if the Jews were so severely punished for not understanding the more difficult Prophesy, what can we plead who know nothing of the more perspicuous; & yet have this advantage above them that the first which is a key to the second & was hidden from them is made manifest to us, and that we have the second also much further explained in the new Testament.

Again consider how the Apostels instructed the Churches of the first age in the knowledg of these latter times 2 Thes 2.5.

And if it was the duty of those Christians to understand them which were not to live in them, shall we think that the knowledg thereof is of no concernment to us.

Consider also the designe of the Apocalyps.

Was it not given for the use of the Church to guide & direct her in the right way, And is not this the end of all prophetick Scripture?

If there was no need of it, or if it cannot be understood, then why did God give it?

Does he trifle?

But if it was necessary for the Church then why doest thou neglect it, or how knowest thou that thou art in the right way, and yet doest not understand it?

Lastly consider the Blessing which is promised to them that read & study & keep the things which are written in this Prophesy.

Blessed is he that readeth & they that hear the words of this Prophesy & keep the things which are written therein, for the time is at hand, Rev. 1.3.

And again to reinforce the invitation to take these things into consideration, the same Blessing is repeated in Ch 22.7

And does God ever annex his blessings to trifles or things of indifferency?

Wherefore be not overwise in thine own conceipt, but as thou desirest to inherit this blessing consider & search into these Scriptures which God hath given to be a guide in these latter times, & be not discouraged by the gainsaying which these things will meet with in the world.

They will call thee it may be a a Bigot, a Fanatique, a Heretique &c: And tell thee of the uncertainty of these interpretations, & vanity of attending to them: Not considering that the prophesies concerning our Saviour's first coming were of more difficult interpretation, and yet God rejected the Jews for not attending better to them.

And whither they will beleive it or not, there are greater judgments hang over the Christians for their remisness then ever the Jews yet felt.

But the world loves to be deceived, they will not understand, they never consider equally, but are wholly led by prejudice, interest, the prais of men, and authority of the Church they live in: as is plain becaus all parties keep close to the Religion they have been brought up in, & yet in all parties there are wise & learned as well as fools & ignorant.

There are but few that seek to understand the religion they profess, & those that study for understanding therein, do it rather for worldly ends, or that they may defend it, then to examin whither it be true with a resolution to chose & profess that religion which in their judgment appears the truest.

And as is their faith so is their practise. For where are the men that do never yeild to anger nor seek revenge, nor disobey governours, nor censure & speak evil of them, nor cheat, nor lye, nor swear, nor use God's name idly in their common talk, nor are proud nor ambitious nor covetous, nor unchast, nor drink immoderately?

Where are they that live like the primitive Christians, that love God with all their hearts & with all their soules & with all their might, and their neighbour as their selves; & that in what they do well are not rather led by fashions and principles of Gentility then religion, & where those disagree do not account it rudeness to depart from the former?

I feare there are but very few whose righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the Scribes & Pharisees.

This is the guise of the world, and therefore trust it not, nor value their censures & contempt.
But rather consider that it is the wisdom of God that his Church should appear despicable to the world to try the faithfull.

For this end he made it a curs under Law to hang upon a tree that the scandal of the Cross might be a tryall to the Jews; & for the like tryall of the Christians he hath suffered the Apostacy of the latter times, as is declared in calling it the hower of temptation which should come upon all the world to try them that dwell upon the earth Rev 3.10.

Be not therefore scandalised at the reproaches of the world but rather looke upon them as a mark of the true church.

And when thou art convinced be not ashamed to profess the truth.

For otherwise thou mayst become a stumbling block to others, & inherit the lot of those Rulers of the Jews who beleived in Christ but yet were afraid to confess him least they should be put out of the Synagogue.

Wherefore when thou art convinced be not ashamed of the truth but profess it openly & indeavour to convince thy Brother also that thou mayst inherit at the resurrection the promis made in Daniel 12.3, that they who turn many to righteousness shall shine as the starrs for ever & ever.
And rejoyce if thou art counted worthy to suffer in thy reputation or any other way for the sake of the Gospel, for then great is thy reward.

But yet I would not have thee too forward in becoming a teacher, like those men who catch at a few similitudes & scripture phrases, & for want of further knowledg make use of them to censure & reproach superiours & rail at all things that displeas them.

Be not heady like them, but first be throughly instructed thy self & that not onely in the prophetique Scriptures but more especially in the plain doctrines delivered therein so as to put them in practise & make them familiar & habituall to thy self.

And when thou hast thus pulled out the beam out of thine own eye then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote out of thy Brothers eye. Otherwise how wilt thou say to thy Brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye & behold a beam is in thine own eye.

Some I know will be offended that I propound these things so earnestly to all men as if they were fit onely for the contemplation of the learned.

But they should consider that God who best knows the capacities of men does hide his mysteries from the wise & prudent of this world and reveal them unto babes.

They were not the Scribes & Pharisees but the inferiour people who beleived on Christ & apprehended the true meaning of his Parables & of the Prophesies in the old Testament concerning him.

The wise men of the world are often too much prepossest with their own imaginations & too much intangled in designes for this life.

One has bought a piece of ground, another has bought five yoke of Oxen, a third has Married a wife, & therefore since they are for the most part otherwise ingaged it was fit that the poor and the maimed & the halt & the blind & those that are in the high ways & hedges should be also invited.

God who intended this Prophesy chiefly for their sakes is able to fit their understandings to it.

And it is the gift of God & not of human wisdom so to understand it as to beleive it.

Tis true that without a guide it would be very difficult not onely for them but even for the most learned to understand it right But if the interpretation be done to their hands, I know not why by the help of such a guide they may not by attentive & often reading be capable of understanding & judging of it as well as men of greater education.

And such a guide I hope this Book will prove: especially if the judgment of the Reader be prepared by considering well the following Rules for inabling him to know when an interpretation is genuine & of two interpretations which is the best.

It was the judiciously learned & conscientious Mr Mede who first made way into these interpretations, & him I have for the most part followed.

For what I found true in him it was not lawful for me to recede from, & I rather wonder that he erred so little then that he erred in some things.

His mistakes were chiefly in his Clavis, & had that been perfect, the rest would have fallen in naturally.

Whence may be guessed the great uncertainty of others who without any such previous methodising of the Apocalyps have immediately fallen upon giving interpretations.

For so by taking the liberty to twist the parts of the Prophesy out of their natural order according to their pleasure without having regard to the internall characters whereby they were first to be connected, it might be no very difficult matter amongst the great variety of things in the world to apply them more ways then one to such as should have some show of an interpretation.

And yet all that I have seen besides the labours of Mr. Mede have been so botched & framed without any due proportion, that I fear some of those Authors did not so much as beleive their own interpretations, which makes me wish that they had been moved to more caution by considering the curs that is annexed to the end of this Prophesy.

I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the Prophesy of this book; If any man shall add unto these things God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this Prophesy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, & out of the holy city & from the things which are written in this book.

For to frame fals interpretations is to prejudice men & divert them from the right understanding of this book And this is a corruption equipollent to the adding or taking from it, since it equally deprives men of the use & benefit thereof.

But yet I hope they did it neither out of the vanity of appearing somebody in the world, nor out of designe to promote the externall splendor & felicity of Churches rather then the internall purity which is of infinitely more value, nor out of any other temporal ends, but with an upright heart that God may not lay it to their charge.

Yet I could wish that those who make all to be long since past, even in the Apostels age, had considered that when according to them this Prophesy should have been usefull to the Church, their interpretations were not so much as thought upon.

All sacred Prophesies are given for the use of the Church, & therefore they are all to be understood by the Church in those ages for whose use God intended them.

But these prophesies were never understood by the Church in the former ages: They did not so much as pretend to understand them, nor thought that they concerned their times, but with one universall consent delivered down to posterity the famous Tradition of the Antichrist described therein to come in the latter ages.

And therefore since they were never yet understood, & God cannot be disappointed, we must acknowledg that they were written & shall prove for the benefit of the present & future ages, & so are not yet fulfilled.

Wherefore let men be carefull how they indeavour to divert or hinder the use of these scriptures, least they be found to fight against God.

Considering therefore the great concernment of these scriptures & danger of erring in their interpretation, it concerns us to proceed with all circumspection.

And for that end I shall make use of this Method.

First I shall lay down certain general Rules of Interpretation, the consideration of which may prepare the judgment of the Reader & inable him to know when an interpretation is genuine & of two interpretations which is the best.

Secondly, To prepare the Reader also for understanding the Prophetique language I shall lay down a short description thereof, showing how it is borrowed from comparing a kingdom either to the Vnivers or to a Beast: So that by the resemblance of their parts the signification of the figurative words & expressions in these Prophesies may be apprehended at one view & limited from the grownd thereof.

By which means the Language of the Prophets will become certain & the liberty of wresting it to private imaginations be cut of.

The heads to which I reduce these words I call Definitions.

Thirdly, These things being premised, I compare the parts of the Apocalyps one with another & digest them into order by those internal characters which the Holy-ghost hath for this end imprest upon them.

And this I do by drawing up the substance of the Prophesy into Propositions, & subjoyning the reasons for the truth of every Proposition.

And here I cannot but loudly proclaim the admirable & more then humane wisdom that shines in the contexture of this Prophesy & its accurate consent with all other prophesies of the old & new Testament.


The original of the figurative language of the Prophets is the Comparison of a Kingdom to the Frame of Heaven & Earth, & the parts of the one to the like parts of the other.

And accordingly the Sun signifies the supreme magistrate, the Moon the next in dignity, the greater stars the rest of the Princes or inferior Kings.

Heaven the Court or the honours & dignities wherein these terrestriall luminaries & stars are placed & Earth & Sea the condition of inferior people.

And when there are [two Kingdoms or] two sorts of people considered, they are some times distinguished by calling one the Earth & the other the Sea.

When the Earth is put to signify any people or aggregate of Nations, then a Mountain signifies a city & more especially the head City as Ierusalem or Babylon, & sometimes a Temple.

Dens & Rocks of Mountains the buildings of Cities or the ruins of them & chiefly of great stone buildings such as are Palaces & Temples Vegetables men [Hiding of men in dens & rocks of Mountains the shutting up of Idols in their Temples or burying them in the ruins thereof.

Trees & Herbs men.

The fall of Mountains & rocks upon men, the fall of Idol-temples upon their Idols.

Trees the great & rich men of divers rancks according to the nature & bignes of the tree, Oaks, men of strength & power, Cedars the honourable & rich, Vines the rich & delicat & sometimes the wicked.

Treading of the winepres the slaughter of the wicked, Shrubs men of middle degree, Herbs or Grass the inferior people.]

Swarms of insects (as of Locusts) numerous Armies.

Wild Beasts Armies.

Other Beasts (as Froggs) other societies or sects of men according to their qualities.

Wilderness a country wasted by these beasts whither it be in temporall or spirituall matters.

Flesh riches & money upon which they prey.

The Foules of the Air the things that are in it, as spirits or infectious diseases, & sometimes it may be troops of horsmen, or the commanders of an Army.

When the Sea or Waters are put to signify a people or aggregate of nations, then by Islands are meant Cities or Temples by Islands the Courts of Temples for the building of Temples or Altars.

By merchant Shipps Buildings, for commerce & profit such as are (trading towns to Nations,) Shops to Trades-men & Temples to Priests.

By a navy of war-ships an Army. By rivers ( trains, Armies of men running to & fro such as are Armies [or the afflux of forreigners].

By overflowing floods, Invasions.

By the drying up of waters the decay of military strength.

By Reeds & Flaggs men.

By fountains of water cities & towns & by fishes armies, or people (Sometimes waters signify riches & then the Sea & Rivers must be interpreted accordingly).

Hitherto I have considered the univers onely so far as its parts are compared to the parts of a kingdom in a due proportion to the whole which I chose to do becaus this was the original of the figurative Language of the Prophets & therefore must be the rule to understand it.

But it frequently happens that to make the parts of a kingdom hold the better Analogy with one another & for the more convenience of expressing their mutuall respects & actions, & sometimes of considering two or more kingdoms at once, the Prophets extend some part of the Vnivers to the whole kingdom: As the celestiall frame by putting the the lesser stars to signify the common people & the clouds great multitudes of them; or the terrestriall by putting the tallest Trees for Kings & Princes & lesser plants or herbs for the common people; or any single Beast as a Lyon, Beare, Dragon &c: by putting its Heads if more then one to signify so many parts of it whether collaterall or successive, the Horns upon any head its Kings or the subordinate Kingdoms belonging to that head.

The eyes politicall skill & foresight, the mouth power of commanding & making laws, the teeth Captains & other Commanders, The Feet Armies, the Tayl also Armies if it be of a serpentine form so that the Beast may fight with it, otherwise onely a train of attendants, & the Body the rest of the kingdom which is guarded & governed by these parts.

And thus much concerning the parts of a kingdom: to which may be added its passions as followeth

Ascending up to heaven signifies great exaltation, Ascending in a cloud exaltation by a multitude of people, riding on the clouds victory & dominion over much people [Rolling away of the Clouds, the defection or ceasing of a People] Covering the sun with a cloud or with smoke oppression of the King by the Armies of an enemy, Darkning smiting or setting of the Sun, Moon & Stars or oppression & desolation proportional to the darknes if it be not total Turning the moon into blood the kingdoms glory turned into bloodshed, the ceasing of a Kingdom.

Falling of the stars as a leaf falleth from a tree the throwing down of Idols, or rolling away  

Departing of the Heavens as a scroll when it is rolled together the throwing down of Idol Temples.

Hiding of men in Dens & Rocks of Mountains the shutting up of Idols in their Temples or burying them in the ruins thereof falling of Mountains & Rocks upon men the fall of Idol temples upon their Idols].

Turning water into blood great slaughter of the people.

The falling of any thing into water the ruin of that thing Burning any thing with fire the consuming of it by war.

Being scorched by the sun affliction through war to be caused by the King.

Earth-quakes Wars & commotions.

Shaking of Heaven & Earth commotions so great as to overthrow Kingdoms.

Winds long & continued series of war whirlwinds very violent & destructive wars.

The more sudden & violent Tempests of Hail & Thunder & the battels therein with loss to that side on which the Tempest falls, whereof the greatnes is aggravated if the Hail stones be described very great or mixed with fire (i.e. of lightning) or with blood. [Rain the refreshment of a kingdom whither it be by temporall or spirituall blessings.] & Rain the Blessing of God.

By Fishes men. By Rivers trains of men running to & fro such as are Armies, or the afflux of Forreigners, & By overflowing ffloods Invasions.

By the drying up of waters the decay of military strength.

By reeds & flags men & by ffountains of water Cities & towns Sometimes Waters signify riches & then the Sea & Rivers must be interpreted accordingly.

And thus far concerning the parts of a kingdom to which may be added the representations of its chief passions as followeth.

Earthquakes signify wars & commotions.

The shaking of heaven & Earth commotions so great as to overthrow Kingdoms.

Obscurity or duskines of the Sun Moon & stars the obscure & afflicted estate of the Kingdom.

Total darknes or smiting of the Luminaries, falling of the stars & rolling away of the clouds, the overthrow of the Kingdom & departure of its glory.

Being scorched by the Sun, affliction through wars to be caused by the supreme Magistrate.

So also the burning of vegetables or other things with fire, & turning water into blood signify war.

Also Meteors signify wars, & particularly the blowing of winds signify long & continued series of wars, Whirlwinds very violent & destructive wars, & the sudden & violent Tempests of Hail & Thunder the Battels therein with loss to that side on which the Tempest falls, the greatness of which is aggravated by describing the greatness of the hail stones & by mixing them with fire (i.e. of Lightning) & sometimes with blood.

But rain denotes the refreshment of a kingdom whither it be by temporal or by spirituall blessings.

Blacknes of the Sun & turning the Moon into blood the splendor of the Kingdom put out & its glory turned into bloodshed.

And hence waters are sometimes put for sound doctrin, but not for Hæresy.

Hitherto I have considered the Vnivers onely so far as its parts are compared to the parts of a Kingdom in a due proportion: which I chose to do becaus this was the originall of the figurative Language of the Prophets, & therefore must be the rule to understand it.

But it happens some times that for the more convenience of describing any subject, the proportions are changed & then the interpretation must be changed accordingly.

Thus although a Tree originally signify an inferior great man, yet if it be represented large beyond proportion so as to reach to the ends of the earth it must signify a King whose dominions are proportionally great Dan: 4.

So although a Mountain originally signify onely a City, yet if it be so great as to fill the whole earth, it must by Analogy signify the kingdoms of the Earth subject to that City. Dan 2.35.

And in like manner although wild Beasts originally signify armies yet if those armies by praying upon their neighbours at length grow into a Kingdom, that Kingdom may from its originall be called a Beast, especially if it continue to be supported by armies, & the Beast be described great & powerfull.

And when any Beast as a Lyon, Beare, Leopard, Dragon or nameles Monster is put for a Kingdom, then the Heads of the Beast if more then one signify so many parts of it whither collaterall or successive, the Horns upon any Head its Kings or the Subordinate Kingdoms belonging to that Head.

The eyes politicall skill & foresight, the mouth powr of commanding & making laws, the teeth Captains & other Commanders & the tail & feet Armies, & chiefly footmen.

Besides these there are many other figurative expressions taken for the most part from more obvious similitudes or affinities of things; as to represent a Warrior or Potentate by a Horsman.

Victoriousness by a Bow.

Justice by a Ballance or Measure.

Martyrs by an Altar the Church by a Temple or Woman, An adulterate Church by a Whore.

Idolatry of the Church by Whoredom or Blasphemy.

Idols by men.

The shutting up of Idols in their Temples or burying them in the ruins thereof by hiding men in Dens & Rocks of Mountains.

The fall of Idol temples upon their Idols by the falling of Mountains & Rocks upon men The throwing down of Idols by the 65 falling of stars as a fig falleth from a fig tree.

The throwing down of Idol temples by the departing of the Heavens as a scroll when it is rolled together.

Error or affliction by Drunkeness.

Desolation by nakedness.

Glory by clothing with the sun.

The end of the world by a harvest or Vintage & some others which are either so obvious as need no explaining, or may be more conveniently explained hereafter.

The springing up of heresies or fals religions by ascention out of the bottomles pit.

Slaughter of the wicked by treading a Winepres.

Ruin of a thing by its being thrown into water.

Idols by men.


Rule 1

To observe diligently the consent of Scriptures & analogy of the prophetique stile, and to reject those interpretations where this is not duely observed.

Thus if any man interpret a Beast to signify some great vice, this is to be rejected as his private imagination becaus according to the stile and tenour of the Apocalyps & of all other Prophetique scriptures a Beast signifies a body politique & sometimes a single person which heads that body, & there is no ground in scripture for any other interpretation,


Rule 2

To assigne but one meaning to one place of scripture; unles it be by way of conjecture unless it be perhaps by way of conjecture, or where the literal sense is designed to hide the more noble mystical sense as a shell the kernel from being tasted either by unworthy persons, or untill such time as God shall think fit.

In this case there may be for a blind, a true literal sense, even such as in its way may be beneficial to the church.

But when we have the principal meaning: If it be mystical we can insist on a true literal sense no farther then by history or arguments drawn from circumstances it appears to be true: if literal, though there may be also a by mystical sense yet we can scarce be sure there is one without some further arguments for it then a bare analogy.

Much more are we to be cautious in giving a double mystical sense.

There may be a double one, as where the heads of the Beast signify both mountains & Kings Apoc 17.9, 10.

But without divine authority or at least some further argument then the analogy and resemblance & similitude of things, we cannot be sure that the Prophesy looks more ways then one.

Too much liberty in this kind savours of a luxuriant ungovernable fansy and borders on enthusiasm.


Rule 3

To keep as close as may be to the same sense of words, especially in the same vision.

To keep as close as may be to the same sense of words especially in the same Vision and to prefer those interpretations where this is most observed unles any circumstance plainly require a different signification.

To prefer those interpretations where this is best observed.

Thus if a man interpret the Beast to signify a kingdom in one sentence & a vice in another when there is nothing in the text that does argue any change of, sense, this is to be rejected as no genuine interpretation.

So if a man in the same or contemporary visions where the earth & sea or the earth & waters stand related to one another shall interpret the earth to signify sometimes the dition of a Kingdom as in the first Trumpet in chap 12 where the Dragon came down to the inhabitants of the earth & sea, sometimes Councils as where the Earth helped the woman, & sometimes onely a low estate as where the Dragon was cast into the earth or the two hornd Beast rose out of the earth this wavering is not readily to be acquiesced in but such an interpretation to be indeavoured after as retains the same signification of Earth in all cases.

So in the vision of the whore chap 17 & 18, to take the Kings of the earth over which the woman or great city reigned chap 17.18 for any other then the kings of the earth which committed fornication with her ch 17.2 & 18.3, 9 and lamented her fall ch 18.9, 10 that is for any other then the 10 Kings or horns of the Beast she reigned over, is not congruous.

So in the vision of the whore chap. 17 & 18 to take Kings of the Earth in one sence chap 17.2 and ch 18.3, 9 & in another ch 17.18 is not harmonious.


Rule 4

To chose those interpretations which are most according to the litterall meaning of the scriptures unles where the tenour & circumstances of the place plainly require an Allegory.

Thus if the wound by a sword should be interpreted of a spirituall wound, or if the battel at the seventh Trumpet & vial exprest by the concours of Armies, & by a hail-storm with other meteors should be in interpreted of a spiritual Battel; since there is nothing in the text to countenance such an interpretation, it ought to be rejected as a phantasy, Where note that the usuall signification of a prophetic figure is in the application of this Rule to be accounted equipollent to the literall meaning of a word when ever it appears that the Prophets speak in their figurative language.

As if they describe the overthrow of nations by a tempest of Hail, thunder, lightning and shaking of the world, the usuall signification of this figure is to be esteemed the proper & direct sense of the place as much as if it had been the litterall meaning, this being a language as common amongst them as any national language is amongst the people of that nation.


Rule 5A

To acquiesce in that sense of any portion of Scripture as the true one which results most freely & naturally from the use & propriety of the Language & tenor of the context in that & all other places of Scripture to that sense.

For if this be not the true sense, then is the true sense uncertain, & no man can attain to any certainty in the knowledg of it. Which is to make the scriptures no certain rule of faith, & so to reflect upon the spirit of God who dictated it.

He that without better grounds then his private opinion or the opinion of any human authority whatsoever shall turn scripture from the plain meaning to an Allegory or to any other less naturall sense declares thereby that he reposes more trust in his own imaginations or in that human authority then in the Scripture.

And therefore the opinion of such men how numerous soever they be, is not to be regarded.

Hence it is & not from any reall uncertainty in the Scripture that Commentators have so distorted it; And this hath been the door through which all Heresies have crept in & turned out the ancient faith.

Rules for methodising/ construing the Apocalyps.

Rule 5B

To prefer those interpretations which, cæteris paribus, are of the most considerable things.

For it was Gods designe in these prophesies to typify & describe not trifles but the most considerable things in the world during the time of the Prophesies.

Thus were the question put whether the three froggs, the head or horn of any Beast, the whore of Babylon, the woman Iezabel, the fals Prophet, the Prophet Balaam, the King Balac, the martyr Antipas, the two witnesses, the woman cloathed with the Sun the Manchild her Son, the Eagle proclaiming Wo & the like were to be interpreted of single persons or of kingdoms Churches & other great bodies of men: I should by this Rule prefer the latter, unless perhaps in any case the single person propounded might be of more note & moment then the whole body of men he stands in competition with, or some other material circumstance might make more for a single person then a multitude.


Rule 6

To make the parts of a vision succeed one another according to the order of the narration without any breach or interfering unless when there are manifest indications of such a breach or interfering. For if the order of its parts might be varied or interrupted at pleasure, it would be of no certain interpretation, which is to elude it and make it no prophesie but an ambiguitie like those of the heathen Oracles.


Rule 7

In collaterall visions to adjust the most notable parts & periods to one another: And if they be not throughout collaterall, to make the beginning or end of one vision fall in with some notable period of the other.

For the visions are duely proportioned to the actions & changes of the times which they respect by the following Rule and therefore they are duely proportioned to one another.

(2) But yet this Rule is not over strictly to be adhered to when the visions respect divers kingdoms or one vision respects the Church & another the state.

(1) An instance of this you have in suiting the Dragon to all the seals the Beast to all the Trumpets and the Whore to the Wo Trumpets.


Rule 8

To choose those constructions which without straining reduce contemporary visions to the greatest harmony of their parts.

I mean not onely in their proportions as in the precedent rule, but also in their other qualities, principally so as to make them respect the same actions For the design of collaterall visions is to be a key to one another & therefore the way to unlock them without straining must be fitting one to the other with all diligence & curiosity.

This is true opening scripture by scripture.

An instance of this you have in the comparison of the Dragon's history with the seales & Trumpets in Prop, & of the Trumpets with the Vials, in Prop &c.


Rule 9

To choose those constructions which without straining reduce things to the greatest simplicity.

The reason of this is manifest by the precedent Rule.

Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, & not in the multiplicity & confusion of things.

As the world, which to the naked eye exhibits the greatest variety of objects, appears very simple in its internall constitution when surveyed by a philosophic understanding, & so much the simpler by how much the better it is understood, so it is in these visions.

It is the perfection of God's works that they are all done with the greatest simplicity.

He is the God of order & not of confusion.

And therefore as they that would understand the frame of the world must indeavour to reduce their knowledg to all possible simplicity, so it must be in seeking to understand these visions.
And they that shall do otherwise do not onely make sure never to understand them, but derogate from the perfection of the prophesy; & make it suspicious also that their designe is not to understand it but to shuffle it of & confound the understandings of men by making it intricate & confused.


Rule 10

In construing the Apocalyps to have little or no regard to arguments drawn from events of things; becaus there can scarce be any certainty in historicall interpretations unless the construction be first determined.


Rule 11

To acquiesce in that construction of the Apocalyps as the true one which results most naturally & freely from the characters imprinted by the holy ghost on the severall parts thereof for insinuating their connexion, & from the observation of the precedent rules.

The reason of this is the same with that of the fift rule.

Hence if any man shall contend that my Construction of the Apocalyps is uncertain, upon pretence that it may be possible to find out other ways, he is not to be regarded unless he shall show wherein what I have done may be mended.

If the ways which he contends for be less natural or grounded upon weaker reasons, that very thing is demonstration enough that they are fals, & that he seeks not truth but the interest of a party.

And if the way which I have followed be according to the nature & genius of the Prophesy there needs no other demonstration to convince it.

For as of an Engin made by an excellent Artificer a man readily beleives that the parts are right set together when he sees them joyn truly with one another notwithstanding that they may be strained into another posture; & as a man acquiesces in the meaning of an Author how intricate so ever when he sees the words construed or set in order according to the laws of Grammar, notwithstanding that there may be a possibility of forceing the words to some other harsher construction: so a man ought with equal reason to acquiesce in the construction of these Prophesies when he sees their parts set in order according to their suitableness & the characters imprinted in them for that purpose

Tis true that an Artificer may make an Engin capable of being with equal congruity set together more ways then one, & that a sentence may be ambiguous: but this Objection can have no place in the Apocalyps, becaus God who knew how to frame it without ambiguity intended it for a rule of faith.

But it is needless to urge with this general reasoning the Construction which I have composed, since the reasons wherewith I have there proved every particular are of that evidence that they cannot but move the assent of any humble and indifferent person that shall with sufficient attention peruse them & cordially beleives the scriptures.

Yet I would not have this so understood as to hinder the further search of other persons.

I suspect there are still more mysteries to be discovered.

And as Mr. Mede layed the foundation & I have built upon it: so I hope others will proceed higher untill the work be finished.


Rule 12

The Construction of the Apocalyps after it is once deter mined must be made the rule of interpretations; And all interpretations rejected which agree not with it.

That must not be strained to fit history but such things chosen out of history as are most suitable to that.


Rule 13

To interpret sacred Prophecies of the most considerable things & actions of those times to which they are applied.

For if it would be weakness in an Historian whilst he writes of obscurer actions to let slip the greater, much less ought this to be supposed in the holy Prophesies which are no other then histories of things to come.


Rule 14

To proportion the most notable parts of Prophesy to the most notable parts of history, & the breaches made in a continued series of Prophesy to the changes made in history And to reject those interpretations where the parts and breaches of Prophesy do not thus bear a due proportion to the parts & changes in History.

For if Historians divide their histories into Sections Chapters & Books at such periods of time where the less, greater & greatest revolutions begin or end; & to do otherwise would be improper: much more ought we to suppose that the holy Ghost observes this rule accurately in his prophetick dictates, since they are no other then histories of things to come.

Thus by the great breaches made between the sixt & seventh seal by interposing the vision of the sealed saints, & between the sixt & seventh Trumpet by interposing the vision of the little book, that prophesy is divided into three cardinal parts, & the middle part subdivided by the little breach between the fourth & fift Trumpet made by interposition of the Angel crying Wo, & all the other seals & trumpets are as it were less sections.

And therefore to these breaches & sections, according to the rule, must be adapted periods of time which intercede & disterminate proportional revolutions of history.

Again if a Historian should use no proportion in his descriptions but magnify a less thing above a greater or attribute the more courage to the softer of two persons &c.: we should count it an argument of his unskilfulness. And therefore since the dictates of the Holy-Ghost are histories of things to come, such disproportions are not to be allowed in them.

Thus in Daniel's vision of the four Beasts, it would be grosly absurd to interpret, as some Polititians of late have done, the fourth Beast of Antiochus Epiphanes & his successors; since that is described to be the most terrible, dreadfull, strong, & warlike Beast of all the four, & the Prophet dwels far longer upon the description of that then of all the others put together: whereas the kingdom of Antiochus Epiphanes & his successors was both less & weaker & less warlike then any of the three before him.


Rule 15

To chose those interpretations which without straining do most respect the church & argue the greatest wisdom & providence of God for preserving her in the truth.

As he that would interpret the letters or actions of a very wise states man, so as thence to know the council wherewith they are guided & the designes he is driving on, must consider the main end to which they are directed & suppose they are such as most conduce to that end & argue the greatest wisdom & providence of the States-man in ordering them: so it is in these Prophesies.

They are the counsels of God & so the most wise, & fittest for the end to which they are designed: And that end is the benefit of the Church to guide her & preserve her in the truth.

For to this end are all the sacred prophesies in both the old and new Testament directed, as they that will consider them may easily perceive.

Hence may appear the oversight of some interpreters whose interpretations if they were true would make the Apocalyps of little or no concernment to the Church.

Perhaps what follows may be better inserted in the preface.

Yet I meane not that these Prophesies were intended to convert the whole world to the truth.

For God is just as well as merciful, & punishes wickednes by hardening the wicked & visiting the sins of the fathers upon the children.

But the designe of them is to try men & convert the best, so that the church may be purer & less mixed with Hypocrites & luke-warm persons.

And for this end it is that they are wrapt up in obscurity, & so framed by the wisdom of God that the inconsiderate, the proud, the self-conceited, the presumptuous, the scholist, the sceptic, they whose judgments are ruled by their lusts, their interest, the fashions of the world, their esteem of men, the outward shew of thing or other prejudices, & all they who, of how pregnant natural parts soever they be, yet cannot discern the wisdom of God in the contrivance of the creation: that these men whose hearts are thus hardned in seeing should see & not perceive & in hearing should heare & not understand.

For God has declared his intention in these prophesies to be as well that none of the wicked should understand as that the wise should understand, Dan: 12.

And hence I cannot but on this occasion reprove the blindness of a sort of men who although they have neither better nor other grounds for their faith then the Scribes & Pharisees had for their Traditions, yet are so pervers as to call upon other men for such a demonstration of the certainty of faith in the scriptures that a meer naturall man, how wicked soever, who will but read it, may judg of it & perceive the strength of it with as much perspicuity & certainty as he can a demonstration in Euclide.

Are not these men like the Scribes & Pharisees who would not attend to the law & the Prophets but required a signe of Christ? Wherefore if Christ thought it just to deny a signe to that wicked & adulterate generation notwithstanding that they were God's own people, & the Catholique Church; much more may God think it just that this generation should be permitted to dy in their sins, who do not onely like the Scribes neglect but trample upon the law and the Prophets, & endeavour by all possible means to destroy the faith which men have in them, & to make them disregarded.

I could wish they would consider how contrary it is to God's purpose that the truth of his religion should be as obvious & perspicuous to all men as a mathematical demonstration.

Tis enough that it is able to move the assent of those which he hath chosen; & for the rest who are so incredulous, it is just that they should be permitted to dy in their sins.

Here then is the wisdom of God, that he hath so framed the Scriptures as to discern between the good and the bad, that they should be demonstration to the one & foolishness to the other.

And from this consideration may also appear the vanity of those men who regard the splendor of churches & measure them by the external form & constitution.

Whereas it is more agreable to God's designe that his church appear contemptible & scandalous to the world to try men.

For this end doubtles he suffered the many revoltings of the Jewish Church under the Law, & for the same end was the grand Apostacy to happen under the gospel.

If thou relyest upon the externall form of churches, the Learning of Scholars, the wisdom of statemen or of other men of Education; consider with thy self whither thou wouldest not have adhered to the scribes & Pharisees hadst thou lived in their days, & if this be thy case, then is it no better then theirs, & God may judg thee accordingly, unless thou chance to be on the right side, which as tis great odds may prove otherwise so if it should happen yet it would scarce excuse thy folly although it might something mitigate it.


The original of the figurative Language of the Prophets was the Comparison of a Kingdom to the World & the parts of the one to the like parts of the other.

And accordingly the Sun signifies the King and Kingly power.

The Moon the next in dignity that is the priestly power with the person or persons it resides in.

The greater stars the rest of the Princes or inferior Kings.

Heaven the Throne court honours & dignities wherein these terrestrial Luminaries & stars are placed, & the 4 Earth.

The sea a gathering together of many people into one large dition or body politick, a great kingdom.

Rivers & fountains of water, peoples under several heads, many small kingdoms principalities or provinces & their head cities.

And when there are two sorts of people considered, they are sometimes distinguished by calling one the earth & the other the Sea, waters or rivers.

Moreover a Mountain signifies a city & more especially the head City as Ierusalem or Babylon, & sometimes a 8 Temple & so 9 x Islands signify Temples in a Country represented by the sea.

Dens & Rocks of Mountains the buildings of Cities or the ruins of them, & chiefly of great stone buildings such as are Forts, Pallaces & Temples.

Trees & Herbs men.

Swarms of Insects (as of Locusts) numerous Armies.

Wild Beasts forreign Kingdoms.

Other Beasts, as Froggs, other societies or sects of men according to their qualities.

Wildernes a country wasted by these Beasts whither it be in temporal or spirituall matters.

Flesh riches upon which they prey.

The Foules of the Air the things that are in it, as spirits, or infectious diseases, & sometimes Armies & kingdoms.

By ships buildings.

By Merchant ships &c.

By Merchant ships buildings for commerce & profit such as are shops to tradesmen & temples to Priests.

By a Navy of war-ships an Army.

By Rivers the Provinces or people of a Kingdom.

By overflowing floods Invasions.

By drying up of waters the decay of military strength

By Reeds & Flaggs men.

By Fountains of water Cities & towns.

And by Fishes Armies or people.

Hitherto I have considered the World onely so far as its parts are compared to the parts of a Kingdom in a due proportion to the whole: which I chose to do becaus this was the original of the figurative language of the Prophets & therefore must be the rule to understand it.

But it frequently happens that to make the parts of a Kingdom hold the better correspondence with one another, & for the more convenience of expressing their mutuall respects & actions & sometimes of considering two or more Kingdoms at once the Prophets extend some part of the world to the whole Kingdom: As the celestial frame by putting the lesser stars, to signify the common people, & the clouds great multitudes of them.

The Moon a feminine body changeable superstitious illuminated by the sun, a body of people combined in any religion made splendid by the sun that is in any national religion.; or the terrestrial by putting the tallest Trees for Kings & Princes & lesser Plants or Herbs for the common people; or any single Animal as a Lyon, Beare, Dragon Eagle, Lamb, Woman, Man, or even an Angel. &c, by putting their parts & qualities to signify the parts & qualities of the Kingdom.

As its heads if more then one to signify distinction of the Kingdom into soe many capital parts whether collaterall or successive, the horns upon any head the number of Kingdoms belonging to that head, the eyes a politician & more emphatically a prophet the mouth a, speaker of laws the teeth squadrons of armies under their several Commanders, the Wings & leggs or feet Armies, the tayl also Armies if it be of a serpentine form so that the Beast may fight with it, otherwise onely a train of attendants, & the body the rest of the Kingdom which is guarded & governed by these parts.

And thus much concerning the parts of a Kingdom.

The chief passions are represented as followeth.

Ascending up to heaven signifies great exaltation

Ascending in a cloud exaltation by a multitude of people; & Riding on the clouds victory &dominion over much people.

Covering the Sun with a cloud or with smoke oppression of the King by the armies of an enemy.

Passing away of heaven & earth the passing away of a kingdom Isa. 34.4.

Darkning smiting or setting of the Sun Moon & Stars, the ceasing of a Kingdom, or desolation of it proportional to the darknes if it be not totall.

Blacknes of the Sun & turning the Moon into blood, the splendor of the kingdom put out & the religious body thereof politically slain

Turning water into blood great slaughter of the people or at least the political death of a kingdom.

Embittering of Waters by wormwood vehement affliction of a people & that chiefly by warr.

The falling of any thing into water the ruin of that thing.

Burning any thing with fire the consuming of it by war.

Being scorched with the Sun, affliction through war to be caused by the King.

Appearing like a fiery substance as the Sun Apoc. 1.16 burning brass Apoc. 1.15 flames of fire Apoc. 1.14 or cloathed with a fiery substance as with the Sun Apoc. 12.1 & 19.17 signifies being in great affliction by war or persecution.

Earthquakes wars & commotions.

Shaking of heaven & Earth commotions so great as to overthrow Kingdoms.

Winds long & continued series of war.

Whirlwinds very violent & destructive wars.

The more sudden & violent tempests of hail & thunder, the battels therein with loss to that side on which the tempest falls, whereof the greatnes is aggravated if the hail stones be described very great or mixed with fire (i.e. of Lightning) or with blood.

But rain signifies the blessing of God unless it come with a flood. And living water or water of life is the gift of the spirit John 7.38, 39.

That is, saith the Chalde Paraphrast I have put the words of my prophesy in thy mouth & protected thee in the shaddow of my power that I might raise up the people of whom tis said they shall be multiplied as the stars of heaven & that I may found the congregation of whom tis said that it shall be multiplied as the dust of the earth, & say to the inhabitants of Sion, Ye are my people.

And so in Isa 65.17 Behold I create new heavens & a new earth; & the former shall not be remembred – For behold I create Jerusalem a rejoycing & her people a joy.

So in Haggai Yet {once} more I will shake the heaven & the earth & the sea & the dry land & I will shake all nations Hagg. 2.6 Which is afterward by the Prophets interpreted of Kingdoms I will shake saith he the heavens & the earth & I will overthrow the throne of Kingdoms.

And so also by the Apostle Paul , This yet once more saith he signifieth the removing of those things which are shaken – that those things which cannot be shaken may remain: wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved. Heb. 26

Besides these there are many other figurative expressions, taken for the most part from more obvious similitudes or affinities of things; as to represent a Warrior or Potentate by a horsman.

Victoriousnes by a Bow.

Justice by a Ballance or Measure.

Martyrs by an Altar.

The Church by a Temple or Woman Persecution of the Church by the pains of a woman in travail.

An adulterate Church by a Whore. Idolatry of the Church by Whoredom or Blasphemy.

Idols by Men.

The shutting up of Idols in their Temples or burying them in the ruins thereof by hiding men in Dens & Rocks of Mountains.

The fall of Idol-temples upon their Idols by the falling of Rocks & Mountains1 upon men.

The throwing down of Idols by the falling of stars unto the earth as figgs fall from a Fig-tree.

The throwing down of Idol Temples by the departing of the heavens as a scroll when it is rolled together.

The springing up of new heresies or fals religions by ascention out of the bottomles pit.

Error & affliction by drunkenness or a potion.

Overthrow in warr by a wound.

A durable plague of war by a Sore

Desolation by nakedness.

Slaughter of the Wicked

Punishing in hell by treading a Winepress.

And the end of the World by a harvest or Vinetage. Slaying in hell by treading a winepress. And some others there are which are either so obvious as need no explaining, or may be more conveniently explained hereafter.


Now although these interpretations by their analogy with one another & resemblance to the things signified, may seem plain enough, yet that nothing be wanting to establish them, I shall further show their consent with the scriptures, & also with the interpretations of the Chalde Paraphrast, & with the ancient doctrin of the Eastern Interpreters as it is recorded by an Achmet an Arabian out of the ancient monuments of Egypt Persia & India.

For since these nations anciently bordering upon the Hebrews, had great affinity with them both in language & manners, & therefore we scruple not to learn from them the use of words & phrases in translating the scriptures, so wee need not scruple to have from them the use of figurative expressions wherein they were perhaps better agreed then in their popular languages.

For the Prophets without doubt spake in a dialect then commonly known to the more understanding sort of men, & many of their types & figures which are unusual & difficult to us, appear by these records of Achmet to have been very familiar to those eastern nations; at least among their interpreters.

Wherefore next after the authority of the scriptures I choose with modern interpreters to rely rather upon the traditions of those ancient Sages then upon the suggestions of private fancy I proceed on these grounds to the proof of the interpretations.

The comparison of a Kingdom to the world may appear out of Isa 51:16, where the new founding of the political world or kingdom of the Jews is exprest by planting the heavens & laying the foundations of the earth.

I have put my words in thy mouth & have covered thee in the shaddow of mine hand that I may plant the heavens & lay the foundations of the earth, & say unto Zion, Thou art my people. See the Chalde Paraphrast.

And in the same sence is heaven & earth to be taken in Isa:1.2. Hagg:2.21. &c. And so in the Apocalyps, Rejoyce the heavens & ye that dwell in them. Wo to the inhabiters of the earth & sea.

The signification of the Sun moon & stars is manifested by these instances.

When Joseph dreamed that the Sun moon & eleven stars should do obeisance to him, Jacob interprets it of himself his wife & sons, comparing his family to the Univers as if it were a little kingdom Gen.

Sextus Empirius saith that the Egyptians assimilate the Sun to the King & to the right eye & the moon to the Queen & to the left eye & the five Planets to Lictors or staff-bearers & the fixt stars to the rest of the people. Sex. Empir. adv. mathem. l. 5. p 114. e.

The horn cast down of the host of heaven & of the stars to the grownd.

Yea he magnified himself even to the Prince of the host. Dan 8.10.

The stars are put for the saints, the chief men of the church so in the Apocalyps the seven stars are the Angels of the Church that is their Bishops.

In which sense the Moon also may respect the Church as the Sun doth the Kingdom.

For in the Kingdom of Christ, the Church is the Queen, being the wife of the Lamb Apoc 19.

And therefore the new moons were celebrated by the Jews as a type of the future renovation of the Church.

And when the church is in a Christian Kingdom, the Priests of any religion may be in the Kingdom.

For so in Apoc. 12 where the Woman in heaven (who is the church) tramples upon the Moon it seems to be with respect to religion.

The Eastern nations taught that the Sun is the morning star.

The Sun immutably represents the king, the Moon the next in power to the king [suppose the Pontifex maximus with his mystical body of Priests the Planet Venus the Queen, the rest of the greater stars the great men of the kingdom. Achmet. Chap. 16, ex Ind. Pers. & Ægypt.

Yet Lucifer which is the same with Venus does sometimes signify a king, as in Isa 14.12, where the king of Babylon is called by this name: suppose in respect of God or Christ the King of kings, or perhaps in respect of the king of the Medes whom some describe a greater king then that of Babylon.

And so Christ is called the morning star.

Here Christ being the Prince or Sun of righteousness (as he is called in Mal. 4.2) the stars are put for the Saints.

Thou hast said in thine 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. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, &c.

This is spoken of the king of Babylon exalting himself above all Kings & earthly dominions. Isa 14.13.

Thy greatnes [O Nebuchadnezzar is grown & reacheth unto the heaven Dan. 4.22.

And thou Capernaum which art exalted unto heaven Mat. 11.23.

How hath the Lord – cast down from heaven to earth the beawty of Israel. Lam. 2.1.

If a King see himself, as it were, above the heaven where the stars are, he shal find exaltation & a name above other kings. Achm. c. 162, ex Ind. Pers. Æg.

By all which it may appear that heaven signifies any high & exalted estate, & earth a low one.

There is nothing more usuall then to put the Earth for the nations of the earth, or for the common people of any great Kingdom: as in these expressions. Let all the earth prais the Lord.

He causeth the earth & them that dwell therein to worship the first Beast Rev 13.12. Hear o heavens & give ear o earth Isa 1.2.

To avoyd as much as may be those interpretations which make the scriptures tautologise.

Thus to interpret the inhabitants of the Earth & of the Sea of two sorts of people in Rev 12.12.

Or to interpret the victory over the Beast & over his Image & over his mark & over the number of his name of four distinct kinds of victories in Rev 15.2 must be accounted more legitimate then to (confound their significations) superfluous repetitions.

Thus – when there is nothing in the text that may argue any such change of signification.

Dust. Who can count the dust of Iacob & the number of the fourth part of Israel Num 23.10. Dust thou art Gen 3.19. He remembreth we are dust: as for man his days are as grass as a flower of the field so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it & it is gone. Psal 103.14, 15. He gave them as the dust to his sword & as the driven stubble to his bow. Isa 41.2. I exalted thee out of the dust 1 King. 10.2. Psal 113.7

Wo to the multitude of many people which make a noise like the noise of the seas & to the rushing of nations that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters. The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters Isa 17.12, 13.

The waters of Nimrim shal be desolate. Isa 15.6. Ier 48.34.

The waters where the whore sitteth are peoples & multitudes & nations & tongues Rev. 17.15.

I saw a Beast rise out of the sea. i.e. out of the aggregate of the waters where the whore sitteth Rev. 13.1.

How is Babylon become an astonishment among the nations! the Sea (i.e. the Kingdom of the Medes) is come upon Babylon, she is covered with the multitude of the waves thereof, her cities are a desolation &c Ier 51.42.

If any man dream he is lord of the sea he will be successor in the whole kingdom. Ind. Pers. Ægypt. in Achmet, chap 178.

So the Chalde Paraphrast for waters substitutes people in Jer. 47.2 & Ezek 26.19 &c.

Hurt not the earth nor the sea, Rev 7.3. that is the two sorts of people signified by the earth & the sea as is expounded in chap. 12.12.

Wo be to the inhabitants of the earth & of the Sea.

For these are two sorts of people becaus the earth was hurt in the first Trumpet & the sea in the second.

Much after the same manner in the old Testament the Egyptians are distinguished from other nations; they being usually represented by the watry element because of the overflow of Nilus.

Thus in Jer 46.8 Egypts invading forreign territories is compared to a flood covering the Earth.

The like representation is also made of Syrias invading Iudah Isa. 8.7 & of a Northern nation's invading Philistia Ier 47.2 So in Ier. 51.42 the Kingdom of the Medes is compared to a Sea & that of Babylon to a land which that Sea breaks in upon.

And so I conceive the universal dition of the 4 Empires is represented in Dan 7 by a great Sea to distinguish it from the rest of the earth: which similitude I take to be retained also in the Apocalyps, considering the analogy of these two Prophesies.

And so I conceive in Dan. 7, the universal dition of the four Empires is represented by a great sea to distinguish it from the rest of the earth.

Of Ierusalem's being called a Mountain there are many instances, as in Zech. 8.3. Ierusalem shall be called a city of truth & the mountain of the Lord of hosts the holy mountain. So in Dan. 9.16. Let thy fury be turned away from thy city Ierusalem thy holy Mountain. The like in Dan 9.20. Ier 17.3 Isa. 27.13, & 66.10, &c.

So of Babylon. I will render unto Babylon – all the evil that they have done in Zion – Behold I am against thee O destroying mountain saith the Lord which destroyest all the earth – thou shalt be desolate for ever. Ier. 51.24, 25, 26.

Who art thou O great Mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain. Zech. 4.7.

The burden of Babylon which Isaias the son of Amos did see: lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain. Chal. Par. upon the city which dwells securely Isa. 13.2.

So of Cities in general. I will lay the land most desolate & the pomp of her strength shall cease & the mountains of Israel shall be desolate. Ezek. 33.28. Thou hast said, by the multitude of my Chariots am I come up to the height of the mountains. Chal. Par. to the strong holds of the Cities. Isa. 37.24.

Sometimes a mountain is extended to signify the whole dition of a City as in Dan 2.35, & Isa. 11.9, much after the same manner that a king is sometimes put for his kingdom.

And sometimes it signifies only a Temple. Ierusalem shall become heaps, & the mountain of the house as the high places of the forrest: but in the last days it shall come to pass that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains & it shall be exalted above the hills, &c. i.e. above all other temples. Mica, 3.12.

A voice was heard upon the high-places. – Return ye backsliding children – in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills & from the multitude of the mountains: truly in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel. Jer. 3.21, 22.
The reason of this signification of a Mountain I suppose is that Idol temples were usually placed upon the tops of mountains as may appear out of Deutr. 12.2.

Ye shall utterly destroy all the places wherein the nations which ye shall posses served their Gods upon the high mountains & upon the hills: & also becaus of the greatnes & height of the buildings, whence they are frequently called high places in scripture notwithstanding that they are sometimes in valleys; as in Ier. 7.31.

They have built the high places of Tophet which is in the valley of the Son of Hinnon.

And as Mountains signify Temples in a countrey represented by the Earth so Islands signify Temples in a countrey represented by the Sea.

That Dens & Rocks signify buildings is obvious from the resemblance which Dens have to their Rooms or to the cavities of their ruins, & Rocks to their outside.

And moreover that this is their meaning in scripture may appear by the following instances.

The multitude of the city shall be left, the forts & towers shall be Dens for ever Isa 32.14.

I will make Ierusalem heaps & a Den of Dragons Jer. 9.11.

The pride of thine heart, (O Edom,) hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clifts of the Rock whose habitation is high, that saith in his heart, who shall bring me down to the grownd. Obad. 3.

This is an allusion to the high country of the Edomites, but yet I take it to be meant rather of their sumptuous buildings & pallaces then natural rocks, because it is made a character of their pride, & it is no argument of pride merely to dwell in a high & rocky country.

In the same sense I understand also the following places.

Let the wildernes & the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the Rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains (i.e. of the Cities.) Isa. 42.11.

Behold I am against thee (the house of David) O inhabitant of the Valley & rock of the plain, saith the Lord; which say: who shall come down against us or who shall enter into our habitations? Jer. 21.13.

Behold I am against thee o destroying mountain (i.e. Babylon) saith the Lord – I will roll thee down from the rocks & make thee a burnt mountain. Jer. 51.25.

They shall destroy the walls of Tyrus & break down her towers, & I will also scrape her dust from her & make her like the top of a rock. Ezek 26.4, 14.

To these instances of common buildings may be added those two that follow of Temples.

Is this house which is called by my name become a Den of Robbers? i.e. an Idol Temple. Jer. 7.11.

Are ye not the children of transgression a seed of falshood, inflaming your selves with Idols under every green tree, slaying the children in the valleys under the Clifts of the rocks? Isa. 57.5. that is, under the Idol temples, or high places of Tophet which they built for that purpose in the Valley of the Son of Hinnon Ier 7.31, & 19.5, & 32.35.

The Lord hath annointed me – – to give them the garment of prais for the spirit of heavines that they might be called the Trees of righteousnes the planting of the Lord. Isa. 61.3.

The vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, & the men of Iudah his pleasant plant. Isa. 5.7.

They shal march with an army & come against Egypt with Axes as hewers of wood, they shall cut down her Forest. Jer. 46.22.

Wickednes burneth as the fier, it shall devour the briars & thorns & shall kindle in the thickets of the forest – the people shall be as the fewel of the fire. which last words explain the rest Isa. 9.19.

Howl fir tree for the Cedar is fallen becaus all the mighty are spoiled: Howl O ye oaks of Bashan, for the defensed forest Zech. 11.2.

How long shall the land mourn & the herbs of every field wither for the wickednes of them that dwell therein. Jer 12.4.

The good seed (whose blade is a plant) are the children of the kingdom but the tares are the children of the wicked one. Mat. 13.38.

Every plant which my father hath not planted shal be rooted up.

I have planted Apollos watered &c.

The Chalde Paraphrast for woods sometimes substitutes armies Isa 10.18, 34, & sometimes cities or people Jer. 21.14 & 9.18.

And the Indians Persians & Egyptians teach: If one dream that he waters & dresses trees he shall be a very great man & a nourisher of the people. And if a king dream that he plants trees he shall institute new Magistrates.

And if a Plebeian dream that he gathers into his house the leaves of trees, he shall obtein riches from great men proportional to the leaves, &c. Achmet. chap. 151.

And if one dream that hail hurt the stalks of corn there shal be slaughter of men in that place proportional to the breaking of the stalks. c. 191.

Becaus Herbs & other Vegetables signify men, therefore such insects as destroy them signify armies of men which in like manner prey upon countries.

That which the Palmer worm hath left hath the Locust eaten, & that which the Canker worm hath left hath the Caterpiller eaten – – For a nation is come up upon my land strong & without number – he hath laid my vine wast & barked my figtree, he hath made it clean bare & cast it away, the branches thereof are made white Ioel 1.4, 6. See also Joel 2.2, 25.

Locusts are generally referred to a multitude of enemies – If any king or Potentate see Locusts come upon a place, let him expect a powerfull multitude of enemies there: & look what hurt the Locusts do the enemy will do mischief proportionally. Ind. Pers. Ægypt. in Achmet. c. 300.

Wild beasts also by reason of their feeding upon vegetables, & preying upon one another signify Kingdoms of the Earth with their armies.

A particular Beast, as in Daniels prophesies, signifies a particular kingdom, & Beasts in general kingdoms in general.

Come ye, assemble all the Beasts of the feild, come to devour. Chal. Paraphr.

Those that slay with the sword shall be assembled from all sides: Kings of nations & their armies shall come to spoile. Jer 12.9.

The burden of the Beasts of the South i.e. the bands of Egypt. Isa. 30.6.

I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon my servant, & the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him, & all nations shal serve him. Jer. 27.6. & 28.14.

I will also send wild beasts among you which shall rob you of your children & destroy your cattel & make you few in number, & your high ways shall be desolate. Levit. 26.22.

In Jer. 15.2, 3. Ezek. 5.12, 17, & 14.13, 15, 17, 19, 21; there are described four distinct kinds of plagues to befall the Jews, Famin, Captivity, Sword, & Pestilence, whereof their captivity is represented by beasts passing through the Land & spoiling it & making it desolate: so that wild beasts strictly signify forreign kingdoms which destroy not by the sword only as in civil wars, but by spoiling a country & carrying away the prey.

The famin also is represented in Jer. 15.3 by doggs to tear, becaus of the greediness of this hungry Beast who usually leaves nothing behind him for others to feed upon; & perhaps also becaus his tearing may represent the gnawing of a hungry stomach.

And in the same place the Pestilence is represented by Fowls of the heaven to destroy because the infection of the Pestilence is in the air & seizes a man from thence.

Artemidorus another writer about the interpretation of prophetic dreames, saith that Froggs signify Impostors & scoffers. lib. 2. chap 3.

Ranæ & impuræ sunt et in cæno versantur et coaxant nullo cum fructu. Ignaros Legis ranis comparat etiam Schemos Rabba. Grot in Apoc 16.13. Ranæ immunda animalia et loquacia pseudoprophetas significant, sicut scriptum est, Et vidi de ore Draconis et de ore Bestiæ et de ore Pseudoprophetæ spiritus tres immundos in modum ranarum. Arias Montanus De arcano serm.

The land is as the garden of Eden before them & behind them a desolate wildernes Joel 2.3.

The fruitful place was a wildernes & all the cities thereof were broken down Ier. 4.26. &c

The woman [i.e. the Church] fled into the wilderness, Rev. 12.6.

He carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness, & I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured Beast full of names of blasphemy, Rev. 17.3.

Authors usually interpret the wilderness here of gentilism spreading over the Christian world: in which opinion is Clemens Alexandrinus, Origen, Hilary, Ierom, Ambrose &c as may be seen in Alcazar.

First the King of Assyria hath devoured Israel, & last this Nebechadnezzar king of Babylon hath broken his bones. Jer. 50.17.

The Princes of the house of Israel – eat the flesh of my people & flay their skins from of them, & they break their bones & chop them in pieces, &c. i.e. by exaction & oppression Micah 3.3.

So to signify the great wealth which the Kings of the Medes & Persians should heap up, it is said to the second Beast: Arise, devour much flesh. Dan. 7.5.

And the spoiling of the Egyptians by the Israelites is expressed by giving the Leviathan to be meat for them in the wilderness, Psal. 74.13 See also Ezek 29.5.

To the same purpose Achmet saith If any one seem to find or eat the flesh of Dragons he shall receive riches proportionally from some great king. c 283, ex Ind. Pers. Æg.

And if he eat the flesh of a scorpion he shall receive the wealth of an enemy c 285.

The like of the flesh of other Beasts in c. 269, 272, 274 &c.

And if his own flesh seem to grow plump he shall grow rich proportionally c 87 ex Ind.

And in general he saies the Indians teach that flesh does universally signify riches & gold.

So the Chalde Paraphrast for: They shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm, Isa. 9.20, translates: They shall prey every man upon the substance of his neighbour. And so for: The fatness of his flesh shall wax lean Isa. 17.4, he translates The wealth wherein his glory consisted shall pass away.

Wheresoever the body is thither will the eagles be gathered together Luke 17.37.

That is where the bodies of the saints are at the coming of our Lord, thither will the angels go to carry them up into the air to meet the Lord at his coming Mat. 24.31, & 1 Thes. 4.17.

How fowls of the Air are somtimes also put for infectious diseases see the comment upon Fig 13: And sometimes for armies.

Ships are Sea-houses, or if you please sea towns & merchant-ships trading houses, or towns & consequently must signify Temples & their parishes where Priests are the merchants.

If one dream he builds ships he shall grow rich proportionally to the number of them. This Achmet c.180 relates as the doctrine of the Egyptians & Persians & in the same chapter adds this for the Doctrine of the Indians. If one dream that he builds a merchant ship he shall gather an assembly of men to celebrate religious mysteries.

So war-ships must signify tents, the habitations of an army. If a king dream that he sees his ships sending out fire to burn other ships or countries he shal obtein victories over his enemies proportional to the strength & efficacy of the fire: If he see his own ships burnt it portends ruin to his forces: And if he seem to build a new navy of many ships, according to their number he shal again rais forces more or less powerful against his enemies. Achm. c. 181. ex Pers. & Ægypt.

His breath as an overflowing stream shall reach to the midst of the neck to sift the nations with the sive of vanity – for through the voice of the Lord [which is as the sound of many waters Ezek 43.2 Apoc. 1.15. or of a multitude Dan 10.6] shal the Assyrian be beaten down – & in battels of shaking will he fight against them Isa 30.28, 31, 32.

The hail [that is war] shal sweep away the refuge of lies, & the waters shal overflow the hiding place – when the overflowing scourge shal pass through then shal ye be troden down by it. Isa 28.17, 18.

Egypt riseth up like a flood & his waters are moved like the rivers, & he saith, I will go up & will cover the earth, I will destroy the city & the inhabitants thereof Jer 46.8.

Behold the Lord bringeth upon them the waters of the river strong & many, even the King of Assyria & all his glory: & he shal come up over all his channels & go over all his banks, & he shall pass through Iudah, he shall overflow & go over, he shall reach even to the neck Isa 8.7.

Behold waters [Chal. Par. Peoples] rise up out of the north & shall be an overflowing flood – & the inhabitants of the land shall howl at the noise of the hoofs of his strong horses &c. Ier. 47.2.

Whence it appears that people within their own country are like rivers within their banks, but when they invade other countries they are overflowing floods.

And as overflowing signifies excess of power & people so the drying up of waters must on the contrary signify the decay & weakening of it : of which signification take these instances. They shall draw their swords against Egypt – & I will make the rivers dry & sell the land into the hand of the wicked. Ezek. 30.12.

The Egyptians will I give over into the hand of a cruel lord – & the waters shall fail from the sea & the river shal be wasted & dryed up – & the brooks of defence shal be emptied & dried up, & the reeds & flaggs shall wither Isa 19.5, 6.

A sword is upon the treasures of Babylon & they shall be robbed a drought is upon her waters & they shal be dried up. Jer 50.38 I will dry up her Sea & make her springs dry & she shall become heaps, an astonishment without an inhabitant. Jer 51.36, 37.

Where note that as trees & hearbs in Fig. 11, so here reeds & flaggs signify men.

In Ezek 32.3, The Chalde Paraphrast for Rivers substitutes Provinces: & the Records of Achmet compare Rivers sometimes to men & sometimes to riches which flow to the King as riches to the sea.

And in what sence soever rivers are taken, fountains will most naturally signify Cities, the permanent heads of these flowing waters.

Behold I am against thee Pharaoh King of Egypt the great Dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers – I will put my hooks in thy chaws & I will cause the fish of thy rivers to stick unto thy scales – & I will leave thee thrown into the wildernes, thee & all the fish of thy rivers. Ezek. 29.4.

The great stars relate to the nobles & the rest of the stars to the whole world. Achm. c. 167, ex Ind. Pers. Ægypt.

Thou shalt ascend & come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the Land thou & all thy bands & many people with thee, Ezek. 38.9.

A day of darknes & gloomines, a day of clouds a great people & a strong, &c. Joel 2.2.

A cloud shal cover Egypt & her daughters shal go into captivity. i.e. a cloud of enemies, or as the Chalde Paraphrast interprets, a King with his army like a cloud, Ezek. 30.18.

In these instances a cloud signifies only numerous armies, but it's signification equally extends to any great multitude, as may appear out of Heb 12.1: Wherefore seeing we are also compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses &c: which expression now grown proverbial was doubtles derived from the language of the ancient Prophets & wise men, or at least from the same grounds from which they derived it: which I take to be chiefly the resemblance which a numerous swarm of insects, as also the dust raised by a great multitude of people, hath to a cloud.

Sometimes clouds are put to signify adversity, & by Interpreters they are applied also to wisdom in regard of their sublimity.

Nebuchadnezzar is represented by a tree Dan. 4.

And the King of Assyria by a Cedar Ezek. 31: In which Chapter also the Kings & Princes of Israel & Judah are represented by Cedars, Fir trees, & Chesnut trees, & the holy land by the garden of God. So in Isa. 37.24 Thou (Sennacherib King of Assyria) hast said, by the multitude of my chariots am I come up — to the sides of Lebanon & I wil cut down the tall Cedars thereof, & the choise fir-trees thereof. See also Zech. 11.2. Isa. 2.13, & 10.19, 33, 34. Ier. 22.7. Ezek. 20.47 &c.

The Chalde Paraphrast for Cedars & Firs substitutes Kings Princes & great men in Isa. 14.8, & 37.24 & Ezek. 31.5,8.
For Oaks of Basan Princes of Provinces Isa 2.13, Zech. 11.2.

For the Fir & Mirtle just & good men Isa. 55.13 & for Briars & Thorns wicked men Isa 55.13 & 9.18.

And so Achmet in c. 151, 165 & 200 is very particular in sorting several kinds of trees to several sorts of men.

It is usually supposed that the vices of nations were the reason why in Daniel & the Revelations they are represented by Beasts, & this may be sometimes allowed for a secondary reason especially in the revelations, but I cannot think it the authentic reason becaus a beast may as well be taken in a good sense as in a bad one.

For Christ is represented by a Lyon as wel as Nebuchadnezzar, & some of the 12 tribes are characterized by beasts in Jacob's blessing as well as the 4 Monarchies in Daniel's visions: And therefore I must rather derive this type from armies whereby kingdoms are usually founded & upheld.

For since armies are wild Beasts by Fig: 13, it is thence very natural to put a Beast for any kingdom which was originated from armies & frequently imploys them like a ravenous Beast to prey upon its neighbours.

And this the prophetique doctrine of Iacob may teach us who called Judah a Lyon from his getting the prey & being Prince of the Tribes; Issachar an Ass from his being in slavery, Dan a serpent from his laying stratagems & Benjamin a wolf from ravening & devouring the prey.

And so descriptions of the beasts in Daniel almost wholly respect their politic constitution & pugnaciousnes excepting what is said of the little horn.

And in the Revelation although the two-hornd Beast be not represented pugnatious, yet its merchants (chap 18) supply the place of armies since they prey upon the Kings of the earth by their sophistical merchandise no less then the other by force.

Among the Beasts that represent Kingdoms I reccon the Dragon one.

A Dragon signifies the person of a hostile King & serpents according to their bigness the persons of other greater or lesser enemies.

If a Dragon appeare to a King in a dream, he shall be troubled with the rumor of another King.

If any one happen upon a very great golden Dragon adorned on his back with scales as it were of Jewels, & make him his own: he shal obtein a Kingdom & dominion over the people. Achm. c. 288 ex Ind. Pers. Ægypt.

According to this Doctrine the Apocalyptic Dragon is a very proper emblem as well of the Roman Emperors & Empire which was so great an enemy to the church as of the Devil that arch-enemy to mankind.

But there seems to be in this emblem a further mystery; namely to insinuate a comparison of the oppression of the church under the Roman Empire to the Egyptian Bondage as if that were a type of this.

For it is observable that although the Jews had many enemies yet none but Pharaoh is represented by a Dragon in the old Prophets.

And he is so represented as may be seen in Ezek 29.3. Isa 51.9. Psal 74.13, & 27.1, in which last places Pharaoh in respect of the overflowing Nilus is also called Leviathan as if he were a water Dragon like that in the Apocalyps who cast out of his mouth water as a flood.

And so in Psalm 74 he is represented with many heads like the same Apocalyptic Dragon. But for the fuller analogy of these two Dragons I refer you to the comment on Rev. 11.8

Heads are sometimes collateral parts of a Kingdom as the four heads of the Leopard in Dan. 7.6.

But if the Kingdom be divided into both collateral & successive parts, then may the successive parts be represented by heads as in the Apocalyptic Beast whose seven heads appear to be successive by the saying that five are fallen & one is & the other is not yet come Rev. 17.10

A horn is used to signify strength & power & that sometimes of a single person as in 1 Sam. 2.10. 2 Sam. 22.3. Psal. 18.2, & 89.24; sometimes of a body politic or kingdom as in Psal. 148.14. Ier. 48.25. Lament. 2.3, 17.

And hence it is sometimes put for the kingdom it self as in Zech. 1.19, 21. & so in Daniel & the Apocalyps the horns of Beasts are put to signify the number of Dynasties, Dominions, or Kingdoms of which the universal kingdom represented by the beast is constituted.

Some interpreters have applied these horns to signify the persons of Kings but without ground, for although they are called kings in Daniel & the Apocalyps yet it's plain that by a king we are not there to understand a single person but the whole race of kings in each kingdom according to the saying, Rex non moritur: & not only the whole race of kings but the dominion or Kingdom it self.

For in Dan 8.20 the Ram with two horns is called the kings of Media & Persia, & yet the Ram neither signifies single persons nor were the kingdoms of Media & Persia subject to any more then one king when the Goat brake his two horns: So in vers 22 the Goats four horns are expresly interpreted four Kingdoms.

And in vers 21 where the Goat is called the King of Grece by the King is to be understood the Kingdom.

For this King conteins five other Kings at least: the great horn between his eyes called the first King & the other four horns which as you heard are Kingdoms besides the little horn which rose up after them.

By the first King indeed is usually understood not the Kingdom but the person of Alexander only: but this through inadvertency.

For the first horn is called the first King not in respect of personal successors no where spoken of in this prophesy, but in respect of the four which in the next words are said to stand up for it. The great horn says the Angel, is the first King.

Now that being broken wheras four stood up for it &c.

The last four Kings therefore being Kingdoms, the first must be so too, els it could not be the first of them.

Besides in that it is said, the great horn was broken & for it came up four notable ones, its evident that they were all of a kind.

For the four kingdoms came up not for or in liew of Alexander's person but in liew of his kingdom.

This great horn, this first Kingdom of the Greeks was upon Alexanders death broken & for it came up four others.

The breaking off the Horn imports the same for as by the breaking the Rams two horns is signified, not the death of Darius but the dissolution of his Kingdomes of Media & Persia at his death: so unless we will depart from the Analogy of the prophesy, by breaking the Goats horn we must not understand Alexander's death but the breaking & dividing of his Kingdom thereupon.

Yea the spirit himself in another place alluding to this, expresses thus much. When he (the King of Greece) shall stand up, his kingdom shal be broken & shall be divided towards the four winds And again, His Kingdom shal be pluckt up for others besides those. Dan. 11.34

Eyes denote a Seer, that is, according to the Jewish language, a Prophet.

For beforetime in Israel when a man went to enquire of God, thus he spake: Come & let us go to the Seer.

For he that was afterward called a Prophet was beforetime called a Seer, 1 Sam. 9.9.

And hence the name of a Vision so frequent in scripture for a Prophesy.

A seer may be more generally expounded of any understanding & politick person according to that Ægyptian hieroglyphick of a Scepter with an eye on the top to signify the understanding foresight & policy requisite in a king.

But I suppose in sacred prophesies we are to regard chiefly the Jewish way of speaking.

Yet with this difference that when there is only an occasional mention of eyes as common & natural to animals (as for instance of the Goats Eyes Dan. 8.5, 21) they signify only that policy & counsel which is naturally to be met with in all kingdoms.

But when their description is emphatical & not according to the course of natur they signify a Seer in the extraordinary & supernatural sense.

Thus the Lambs seven eyes are called the seven spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. Apoc. 5.6.

Which spirits in the beginning of the Apocalyps are in liew of the holy Ghost joyned with the father & the Son; & Grace wished from them together with the father & Son to signify that the Holy Ghost or prophetick Spirit is denoted by them.

Whence some ancients have called the holy spirit, spiritum septemplicem. According to which way of speaking the seven eyes will signify the sevenfold prophetick spirit of the Lamb, by which as it were with a prophetick energy & lights he beholds & overlooks all the earth.

As is again in Zech. 4.10 where these spirits are called the eyes of the Lord which run to & fro through the whole earth: an expression alluding to a mans eyes rolling to & fro.

Again where the four Beasts are said to be full of eyes before & behind & their wings to be full of eyes within, this denotes them to signify prophetic multitudes.

For as Beasts they signify multitudes & this the rather because of their many eyes.

Now their eyes in their wings because not without but only within denote an internal faculty of seing that is, their intellect & this illuminated not barely by the light of nature but by the Spirit because they are not mere men but servants & worshippers of the living God Apoc 4.8, 9.

And their eyes before & behind signify not a faculty of seing only things present round about. (for then why had they not eyes on both sides & all over as well as before & behind) but a faculty of seing things future & past, and this is the perfect character of a Prophet And accordingly Apoc 5.9,10 you have them with the Elders thus prophesying Thou hast slain & hast redeemed us to God by thy blood &c, & we shall reign on the earth: So the eyes of the little horn in Daniel cap 7 I conceive signifies that horn to be a Seer of an extraordinary supernatural kind: One whose eyes are not spirits of truth like the Lambs eyes but lying spirits: A fals prophet for did those eyes signify only policy & cunning the other horns would have eyes as well as this though it may be not so good ones: under these eyes it is to be conceived that the Beast hath other eyes suitable to nature to signify the policy of the kingdoms denoted by all the horns, that of the little horn as well as the rest.

And therefore the eyes which the little horn has besides these, such as none of the other horns have, must signify a further faculty of seeing such as no horn has but this. It is not therefore a Politician only but a seer of a higher kind or to speak in the Jewish language, a prophet, though a fals one.

So then in all these instances where eyes are described in an extraordinary way they signify a Seer of a Prophetick kind & so by their analogy & consent confirm the interpretation.

And as eyes signify the chief kind of seing which the body represented by the animal is capable of, so a mouth for speaking & speaking with it where the words spoken are not set down, signifies the highest kind of speaking, that is dictating of laws & those by civil authority if the thing speaking be a body politick, or by divine authority if a body prophetick or Theological.

Thus besides the mouth of the 4th beast Dan 7th common to all the kingdom signified by the horns (Dan 7) the little horn has another mouth proper to himself to signify his having a legislative power of such a kind as none of the other horns have.

And what that power was, is there described plainly. He had a mouth speaking very great things vers 20, even great words against the most high & [thereby] wore out the saints of the most high, & thought to change times & laws & they were given into his hand for a time vers 25.

This he did by the power of his mouth, which must be a legislative one & that in matters of religion because times & laws were given into his hand to change them in opposition to God & the saints.

So where the Image of the Beast Apoc 13 is said to speak & cause that as many as would not worship the Image should be killed; it must be by some law that they were killed, & the Image is not the officer that killed them but the author of their being killed, that is the lawmaker.

It spake & caused them to be killed that would not worship it; that is, It spake with authority so as to cause them to be killed that would not obey its voice.

Speaking & causing here are ἕν διὰ δυοιν.

So again where the two horned Beast spake as the Dragon & the ten horned Beast had a mouth like the Lyon (the first of Daniels four Beasts signifying the kingdom of Babylon) & spake great things & blasphemies against God: we are to understand that these beasts (each according to his authority) made Idolatrous laws & constitutions such as the diabolical Dragon & Babylonian Lyon made before.

And so by the prophesying of the two witnesses we are to understand their promulging & spreading the laws & word of God according to the utmost power they are able to speak with.

For this their prophesying is opposed to the speaking or prophesying of the fals prophet, & so signifies here not foretelling future things by immediate revelation, but the preaching to the world the word of God according to the right interpretation & meaning of it & propagating it in Gods name with all the authority they are able; as on the other hand the fals Prophet propagates fals interpretations & other lies in the name of his God, pretending the authority of his God, as the true prophets do that of theirs; to make his sentences pass for law & gain to himself a law making power in matters of religion.

Teeth signify bands or squadrons of soldiers under the several commanders because with these the Beast fights & devours the flesh of other beasts that is conquers & swallows up neighbouring kingdoms. Hence to express &c.

In Dan. 7 the little horn had a mouth speaking great things against the most high & thought to change times & laws.

Teeth must signify great men because they are in the head, & those soldiers because they are the chief instruments wherewith a Beast fights.

Hence to expres the fortitude of the fourth Beast, it is described with great iron teeth.

And so the Locusts Ioel 1.6 & Rev. 9.8 are represented with teeth of Lyons.

And probably the Author of the fable of Cadmus had respect to this signification of teeth when he made the Dragons teeth to be the seed of armed soldiers.

The feet very fitly represent armies.

For as they are the most active members, & the lowest parts of the Beast, & serve to support him, & to move upon, & to fight with: so Armies are much in motion, & the lowest of the people, & by them kingdoms are supported & carried to & fro, & they are the members wherewith kingdoms fight.

This interpretation is also evident by the visions of Daniel: for the ten hornd Beast, to signify the use & power of his feet in fighting is represented with nails of brass & said to stamp with his feet what he devoured not with his teeth: which is as much as to say, that those neighbouring nations which were not devoured by perfect conquest & incorporated into the dition of this Empire, were yet, awed & bruised with its armies.

And so the he-Goat stamped upon the Ram & therefore fought with his feet.

And that of Ezekiel 32.2, Thou troubledst the waters with thy feet; the Chalde Paraphrast renders thus: Thou disquietedst the peoples with thy armies.

The nailes or claws serve to represent the division of the armys into squadrons each under its commander.

Of Wings see Isa. 8.8.

The tayl also, at least where feet are not considered, may properly represent armies as being the train & hinder end as it were of a kingdom.

Achmet saith: If one dream he rides on Pharas (i.e. a generous Steed) having a thick set & long tayl, he shal have a train of attendants or followers answerable to the fulness & length of the tayl, c. 152.

And by analogy the tail of a pugnacious Beast must be a train of Soldiers.

And this is confirmed in that the Euphratean horsmen were said to do hurt with their tails, that is to fight with them, & therefore least that should seem improper their tails are described to be like serpents to represent them capable of fighting with them.

And for the same end the Locusts are described with stings in their tails. See Deut 28.8, 43, 44.

The several members of a Beast being appropriated to signify as is described above, there remains only the body to signify the people.

In Dan. 7.15 the body being put for the carcas signifies the whole beast.

Besides these there may be other ways of representing a kingdom, as if a great fish be put for a King & lesser fishes for his subjects Ezek. 29.4. Or the sea for a King & rivers for his subjects, &c.

That ascending up to heaven in a cloud signifies great exaltation may appear by the notes on Fig 3.

And because clouds signify multitudes of people by Fig: 28 therefore ascending in a cloud will signify exaltation in or by a multitude & riding on the clouds the subduing & reigning over much people.

If a King dream that he sits upon the clouds carried whither he will, he shal rule over his enemies & obtein victories & unexpected joy. Pers: & Ægypt: in Achmet. c 164.

And so covering the sun with a cloud or smoke will signify oppression of a King by advers enemies.

Thus God threatning the overthrow of Pharaoh by Nebuchadnezzar saith: And when I shall put the out – I will cover the Sun with a cloud – & set darknes upon thy land: which the Chalde Paraphrast renders thus: A King with his army shall cover thee as a cloud which ascends & covers the Sun. Ezek. 32.7.

The same is to be understood of obscuring a kingdom by smoke as in Isa. 14.31. Thou whole Palestine art dissolved, for there shall come from the north a smoke, &c.

I will cause your Sun [O Israel] to go down at noon day, & I will darken the earth in the clear day & I will turn your feasts into mourning Amos 8.9.

She [Jerusalem] hath given up the ghost, her sun is gone down while it was yet day. Chal: Par: Her glory is passed away in her life time Jer. 15.9.

Thy sun shall no more go down neither shall thy moon withdraw it self for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light & the days of thy mourning shall be ended. Chal: Par: Thy Kingdom shal no more cease neither shall thy glory be taken away, &c. Isa. 60.20.

The day of the Lord cometh cruel both with wrath & fierce anger to lay the land (i.e. the Kingdom of Babylon) desolate, & he shall destroy the sinners out of it: for the stars of heaven & the constellations thereof shall not give their light, & the sun shal be darkned in his going forth & the Moon shal not cause her light to shine – Behold I will stir up the Medes against him Isa. 13.10.

When I shal extinguish thee [O Pharaoh King of Egypt] I will cover the heaven & make the stars thereof dark & will cover the sun with a cloud & the moon shall not give her light.

All the bright stars of heaven will I make dark over thee & set darknes upon thy land. – For thus saith the Lord God, the sword of the King of Babylon shal come upon thee. Chal: Par: When I shall extinguish the splendor of the glory of thy kingdom out of heaven tribulation shall cover thee, &c. Ezek. 32.7.

Get thee into darkness O daughter of the Chaldeans, for thou shalt no more be called the Lady of Kingdoms Isa. 47.5.

Darknes & sorrow Isa 5.30. See also Joel. 2.10. Jer. 13.16 &c.

If one dream that he sees the Sun in heaven without rays & light, it betokens calamity & dishonour to the King – If he dream that it is eclipsed, it betokens affliction & war to the King.

If in his dream he see the sun moon & stars gathered together without light, if he be one of the nobles that darknes betokens his own destruction, but if the king he shall be invaded on all sides by war & fall into affliction. Ind. Pers. & Ægypt. in Achmet. c. 167.

And if one dream that the stars are very dimm, cast down, scattered & cloudy, it betokens the calamity of Princes Nobles & rich men. Pers. & Ægypt. in Achm. c 168.

Yet the celestial bodies are not to be interpreted so strictly of the persons of Kings & Princes but that the Sun & Moon may sometimes be used to signify in general the splendor & glory of a kingdom in as much as the Sun is the glory of the world by day & the moon by night: for thus the Chalde Paraphrast interprets them in Ier. 15.9, & Isa. 60.20. And so where the woman is said to be clothed with the sun & the moon under her feet, Rev. 12, the Sun & moon signify the glory of the righteousnes of Christ wherewith <43r> the Church is to be clothed, & of her own righteousnes which she is to put off but yet be supported by it as it borrows splendor from that sun & shines as it were by reflexion.

And so where the Sun is turned into blackness & the moon into blood Ioel 2.31, & Rev. 6.12, I had rather understand it in general of the splendor of the Kingdom put out & the glory turned into bloodshed then interpret it only of the King & the next in dignity: for the perishing of those two persons infers not the overthrow of the Kingdom; whereas in Joel the turning of the Sun into darknes & the moon into blood is made the description of that universal overthrow of the gentile Kingdoms & mighty slaughter of all their armies which is to happen at the great day of God Almighty, as is at large described in the next chapter.

As for the Moons being turned into blood, the expression seems borrowed from the dusky reddish colour of the moon in a partial Eclips which is here rather alluded unto then the darknes of a total eclips that the great slaughter of the nations may be exprest by calling the colour blood.

For that this word was intended for an expression of their bloodshed is plain by the precedent sentence.

I will shew wonders in the heavens & in the earth, blood & fire & pillars of smoke (i.e. slaughter & war.) To which is subjoyned by way of explication: The sun shall be turned into darkness & the moon into blood before the great & terrible day of the Lord come.

Since waters signify people, the turning them to blood must signify slaughter of the people.

Thus the desolation of Moab is exprest by saying: The waters of Dimon shall be full of blood Isa: 15.9.

Compare this with Fig:

To expres the ruin of old Babylon Ieremiah commanded Serajah saying: When thou hast made an end of reading this book, thou shalt bind a stone to it & cast it into the midst of Euphrates, & thou shalt say, Thus shal Babylon sink &c Jer 51.63.

So to expres the ruin of new Babylon a mighty Angel took up a stone like a great Milstone & cast it into the sea saying: Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down &c. Rev: 18.21.

And to these two places the casting the great mountain into the sea Rev. 8.8 seems to allude: especially since that Mountain signifies also a city by Fig: 7, not to mention here that it is the very same with new Babylon.

And so by analogy, the falling of the great star upon the rivers Rev 8-10 must signify the ruin of some great Prince.

To which purpose the Indian Interpreters teach us: If one dream he sees the stars fall into the sea, let him understand thereby a slaughter of men to be caused by the king & if the king have this dream, he shal see a very great slaughter or mortality of his people. Achm: c: 170.

Fire is put to signify war because men are represented by things combustible as trees, ships, Beasts, & as these things wast in the fire so men are destroyed in war.

Then this figure there is scarce any more frequently used in scripture.

Say to the Forrest of the South, – Behold I will kindle a fire in thee & it shall devour every green tree in thee & every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched & all faces from the south to the north shall be burnt therein Ezek. 20.47.

The house of Iacob shal be a fire & the house of Ioseph a flame & the house of Esau for stubble, & they shall kindle in them & devour them Obad. 18.

In that day will I make the governours of Iudah like a hearth of fire among the wood & like a torch of fire in a sheaf, & they shall devour all the people round about Zech. 12.6.

The strength of the battel – hath set him on fire round about, yet he knew not, it burned him yet he laid it not to heart, Isa. 42.25.

The Lord called thy name a green Olive tree — with the noise of a great tumult he hath kindled a fire upon it Jer 11.16. See also Isa: 56.15, 16. Ier: 21.14, & 48.45. & Ezek. 19.12 & 30.8 &c

The Chalde Paraphrast for burning substitutes slaying Isa. 42.25, & for fire & flame armies of enemies strong & powerful as fire Ier. 11.16. & 48.45. &c.

If one dream that he is burnt by a flame he shal perish in war Achm. c. 159. ex mente Ind.

If a king seem to see the pillars of his palace on fire, it signifies the dominion of another & the destruction of the great ones which he hath constituted.

And if he see his hair on fire he shall loos his people in war. c. 160 ex mente Pers. & Ægypt.

Sometimes fire signifies trial & purgation by consuming what is evil, as in Mal. 3.2.

If one dream that the sun hath scorched him much he will be punished by the king proportionally to that scorching Ind. Pers. & Ægypt, in Achm. c 167.

This respects a single person, & hence it is easy to collect that if a nation be much scorched by the sun, the affliction which it portends must be through wars raised by the king, as well because burning or scorching denotes war by the precedent figure as because there is no meanes whereby a king may afflict a whole nation so easily & so much as by war.

If a king dream that there is an earthquake in his City or Land it portends war of nations & conspiracy against him Ind. Pers & Ægypt. in Achm c 144.

But the shaking of heaven & earth imports more then this, namely the subverting Kingdoms & turning things as it were upside down.

For of Haggai 2.6 where it is said: Yet once more & I will shake the heavens & the earth, &c Saint Paul gives this interpretation, that this Yet once more &c signifies the removing of those things that are shaken Heb. 12:27.

And Haggai himself a little after makes the same interpretation vers. 22; where repeating the prophesy he saith: I will shake the heavens & the earth & will overthrow the throne of kingdoms & I will destroy the strength of the Kingdoms of the heathen &c.

To the same purpose see also Isa. 13.13, & 14.16, & Ioel 3.16.

The four winds of heaven strove upon the great sea i.e. the wars of nations whereby the beasts arose. Dan 9.1. The wind shall eat up all thy pastures & thy lovers shal go into captivity Jer 22.22.

I will rais up against Babylon a destroying wind Jer. 51.1.

Upon Elam will I bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven & will scatter them towards all those winds, & there shal be no nation whether the outcasts of Elam shal not come. For I will cause Elam to be dismayed before their enemies. Jer 49.36.

The wind shal carry them away & the whirlwind – shall scatter them Isa. 41.16.

I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations Zech. 7.14.

The king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots &c Dan 11.40.

A great whirlwind shal be raised up from the coasts of the earth, & the slain of the Lord &c Chalde Par: Many people shal come openly from the ends of the earth Jer 25.32.

So in Ezek 19 12 for: The east wind dried up her fruit, the Chalde Paraphrast substitutes: A king strong as a parching wind slew her people.

In like manner in the Apocalyps the four winds which hurt the earth & sea are the wars of the four first Trumpets.

If a king see the sea much troubled by wind from a known quarter he will be molested by some nation from that quarter, but if he see the sea calm he will peaceably injoy his kingdom Ind. Pers. & Ægypt. apud Achm. c 178.

If he seem to be taken up & carried from place to place by a wind, he shal undertake a long expedition with success proportional to the strength & quickness of the wind. Ind. c 165.

If a king in a journey seem to be hindred by a wind he shall receive a messenger from a remote kingdom by which he shall be troubled. Pers & Ægypt. c 166.

The Lord thundred in the heavens & the highest gave his voice: Hailstones & coales of fire. Yea he sent out his arrows & scattered them & he shot out lightnings & discomfitted them Psal. 18.13.

With hailstones of mighty power he made the battel to fall violently upon the nations. Eccles 46.

The Lord shal cause his glorious voice to be heard he shal shew the lighting down of his arm with the indignation of his anger & with the flame of a devouring fire with lightning & tempest & hailstones.

For through the voice of the Lord shall the Assyrian be beaten down Isa. 30.30.

I will camp against thee round about & will lay – seige against thee —– & the multitude of the terrible ones shall be as chaff that passeth away, yea it shal be suddenly.

Thou shalt be visited of the Lord of hosts with thunder & with earthquake & with great noise, with storm & tempest & the flame of devouring fire. Isa. 29.1, 6.

The Philistines drew neare to battel against Israel, but the Lord thundred with a great thunder that day upon the Philistines & smote them until they came to Beth-car. 1 Sam: 7.10. See also 1 Sam. 2.10 & Isa. 28.2 & 60.15.

So Joel describing the battel of the great day saith, The lord shal roar out of Zion, i.e. Thunder with a roaring thunder. ch. 3.16. And in the same sense are thunder lightning & hail constantly used in the Apocalyps ch 8.6 & 11.19 & 16.18, 21.

If one dream that hail falls on a place he may expect a violent incursion of the enemy; & if he dream that the hail hurt the stalks of corn there shal be slaughter of men in that place proportional to the breaking of the stalks. Achm. c 191. ex Ind. Pers & Ægypt.

If one dream he sees a Dragon struck with lightning, it portends war & ruin to some other king which is an enemy to that country c 283 ex Ind. Pers. & Ægypt.

As for the mixing fire with hail Apoc. 8.6 that figure may seem borrowed from the Ægyptian plague of thunder & hail with fire mingled Exod. 9.23.

But I suppose it alludes also to the frequent mixture of hail with lightning which happens in hot countries although in our northern regions it is unusuall.

My doctrin shal drop as the rain my speech shall distill as the dew, as the smal rain upon the tender herb, & as the showers upon the grass Deutr. 32.2.

He shal come down like rain upon the mown grass, as showers water the earth. In his days, shal the righteous flourish & abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth Psal. 72.6.

Break up your fallow grownd, for it is time to seek the Lord till he come & rain righteousness upon you Hosea 10.12. See also Isa: 55.10. Hos: 6.3. &c.

So the Indians teach: Rain is to be interpreted of God's mercy & granting our prayers. Achm. c. 171.

The same is to be understood of watering any place to make it fruitful, or of giving water to drink. Whence water is often put for true doctrin & grace, & springs of water for eternal life. Iohn 4.14. Isa 12.3, & 44.3, & 58.11. &c.

Gird thy sword upon thy thigh o most mighty with thy glory & thy majesty, & in thy majesty ride on prosperously Psal. 45.4.

The Hebrew is prosper & ride, which the seventy translate Go on prosperously & reign; & the Chalde Paraphrast, That thou mayst ride upon the throne of the kingdom.

In like manner riding is put for reigning in Deutr: 32.13. Isa: 58.14. Psal 66.12.

And so the woman's riding upon her beast is interpreted her reigning over the kings of the earth. Apoc. 17.

And Achmet delivers it for the doctrin of the Indians Persians & Egyptians, That a generous steed denotes eminence & dignity, & vulgar horses inferior nobility & glory – – – And if one dream he rides on a nimble & mettlesome hors, he shal acquire amongst the people fame & great renown & eminence & honour. – And if he seem to ride armed on a generous steed he shal obtein power & renown according to his armour c. 233.

If one seem to hold a bow & arrows he shall with joy triumph over his enemies. Achm: c. 249. ex Pers. & Ægypt.

Some have supposed that the Ballance in the third seale (Rev. 6.) might be an emblem of famin, but without ground, there being no authority either in scripture or other authentic writings, that I have met with, for such an interpretation.

There are other ways of expressing famin, as by the tearing of doggs Ier: 15.3: & where the Ballance is mentioned in scripture it is either with respect to judgment as in Iob. 31.6. Psal: 62.9. Dan: 5.27, or to Justice as in Hosea 12.7. Micah 6.11. Prov: 16.11. &c.

And to the same purpose is the doctrine of the Indian interpreters; which runs thus.

If in a dream one see a ballance poised in any place let him understand it of a Iudg: And if he have a cause & see the Ballance equally poised he shall obtein his right. – And if he see the Ballance exact & cleane let him know that the judg of that place is just, but if it be broken & out of order he is unjust. Achm: c. 15.

The Author also further relates how they compare the scales to the ears of the Iudg & the weights to the matter pleaded on both sides &c.

And adds that measures have the like interpretation, but are to be understood of inferiour Iudges.

Martyrdom is a kind of sacrifice: for the sacrifices under the law were but a type of our Saviour's death.

And hence Saint Paul when his Martyrdome approached <49r> said: I am now ready to be offered (gr. sacrificed) & the time of my departure is at hand. 2 Tim: 4.6.

And to the same sense is that to the Philippians: Yea & if I be offered upon the sacrifice & service of your faith, & joy.

The Temple of God is holy which Temple ye are 1 Cor. 3.17.

What agreement hath the Temple of God with Idols? for ye are the temple of the living God 2 Cor. 6.16.

The man of sin as God sitteth in the temple of God 2 Thes. 2.4.

Nothing is more obvious then the Churche's being represented in scripture by a woman, the spouse of Christ: as in the Canticles. Rev 12 & 19.

To assimilate sharp affliction to the pains of a woman is also a plain figure: whence if that woman be the Church, her pains in travel must be an emblem of her persecution.

Thus our Saviour in Mat. 24.8, 9, & Mark 13.9 describing the persecution of the Church calls them ὠδινας so Isaiah ch. 66.7, speaking of the Jewish Church saith, Before she travailed she brought forth before her pain came she was delivered of a man child, which the Chalde Paraphrast thus interprets Antequam veniat ei tribulatio redempta erit, antequam veniat ei tremor sicut dolores parturientis revelabitur rex ejus. Ieremiah also in ch 30.6, 7 interprets this figure plainly: Ask ye now, saith he, & see whether a man doth travail with child: wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins as a woman in travail, & all faces are turned into palenes? Alas for that day is great so that none is like it, it is even the time of Jacob's trouble but he shal be saved out of it.

The Idolatry of the Jews is almost every where in scripture called going a whoring after other Gods. See Isa. 3. & Ezek. 16, & 25 &c.

And though all their neighbours were Idolaters more then they yet none but they are reproved for it under the character of committing whoredom. And the reason is plain.

For as they were considered as married to the true God (Ier. 3.1, 8, 14. Hosea 2.1, 7 &c so the other nations had as it were contracted wedloc with fals Gods, insomuch that they are called the Gods of those nations as the true God was the God of the Jews. Yet Nineveh is once called a Harlot (Nahum 3.4) but not for bare Idolatry.

That Idolatry is sometimes termed blasphemy may be seen in these instances.

In this your fathers have blasphemed me in that they have committed a trespas against me. For when I had brought them into the land – then they saw every high hill & all the thick trees, & they ofered their sacrifice Ezek. 20.28.

Your fathers — have burnt incense upon the mountains & blasphemed me upon the hills. i.e. by invoking other Gods Isa. 65.7.

And so in the Apocalyps, although blasphemy need not there be wholly limited to Idolatry, yet the names of blasphemy upon the whore's Beast are well interpreted by Grotius to be the names of Idol-Gods by which the true God is blasphemed whilst men attribute that to them which is due only to him.

That Idols may be called men is according to the common way of speaking: for they are images of men, & as we are wont to call the image of a Beast a Beast & the image of a bird a bird so we call the image of a man a man.

And as this is the common way of speaking so it is the language of the scriptures.

Thou hast played the harlot with many lovers yet return to me saith the Lord – she defiled the Land & committed adultery with stones & with stocks. Ier: 3.1, 9.

I will destroy her vines & her figtrees whereof she said, These are my rewards that my lovers have given me — & I will visit upon her the days of Baalim wherein she – went after her lovers & forgot me saith the Lord. Hos: 2.12.
Thou pouredst out thy fornications on every one that passed by — thou madest thy self Images of men & didst commit whoredom with them — thou hast committed fornication with the Egyptians great of flesh — thy filthines was poured out & thy nakedness discovered through thy whoredoms with thy lovers even with all the Idols of thy abominations Ezek. 16.15, 17, 26, 37.

Aholah – doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians her neighbours which were clothed with blew, Capitains & Rulers all of them desirable young men, horsmen riding upon horses. Thus she committed her whoredoms with them, with all them that were chosen men of Assyria & with all on whome she doted, [even] with all their Idols Ezek: 23.5.

And when her sister Aholibah saw this — she doted upon the Assyrians her neighbours Capitains & rulers clothed most gorgeously, horsmen riding upon horses, all of them desirable young men — & she increased her whoredoms, for when she saw men pourtrayed upon the wall, the Images of the Chaldeans pourtrayed with Vermilion girded with girdles upon their loins, exceeding in died attire upon their heads, all of them Princes to look to, after the manner of the Babylonians, she doted upon them & sent messengers unto them into Chaldea, & the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, i.e. when she saw their Idols she doted upon them & sent for others to be made in their likeness & set up in her own land. vers 11.

By these instances it may appear that it is according to the use of the Prophets to represent Idols as men wherewith the Church commits adultery & not only so but to call them by the names of those men whose Gods they are, or whose likeness they bear, as Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Princes, Capitains, Rulers, Horsmen, Youngmen, &c: not much unlike their being called in the sixt seal, Kings, & great men, & rich men, & Capitains, & mighty men, & bond & free.

In Fig. 10 & 63 we have shewed that the Prophets put men for Idols, & Dens & Rocks of Mountains for their temples: & the reason of the thing requires that they should be thus interpreted where men are said to hide themselves in Dens & rocks of mountains & say to the mountains & rocks, fall on us & hide us.

For rocks & mountains must here signify buildings because of their falling, & men must signify Idols because to hide in Dens or holes of Rocks or to cover with falling mountains, that is to shut up in buildings or bury in the ruins of them is the proper way of destroying Idols but not a proper way of destroying men.

But the use of these expressions will best appear out of scripture where they are appropriated to the demolishing of Idolatry.

The high places [or temples] of [the Idols called] an Aven, the sin of Israel, shal be destroyed, the thorn & thistle shal come upon their Altars & they [the Idols] shal say to the mountains, cover us, & to the hills fall on us that is to the tops of the mountains & hills, or the rocks & coverings of the dens of the Idols. Hosea 10.8.

The Lord alone shall be exalted in that day & the Idols shall he utterly abolish, & they shal go into the holes of the rocks & into the caves of the earth for fear of the Lord. Isa: 2.19.

In that day shal a man cast his Idols — to the Moles & to the Bats to go into the clefts of the Rock, & into the tops of the ragged rocks for fear of the Lord. vers. 21.

Here the Idols which are to be hid in the rocks are called by the name of Idols but a little before they were spoken unto as men.

Enter into the rock & hide thee in the dust vers 10. And therefore since the men here spoken unto are Idols, by men hiding themselves in rocks must be understood Idols shut up in their temples or buried in the ruins thereof.

The falling of the stars & departure of the heavens according to the precedent interpretations of stars & heaven will signify the fall of great men & the departure of the glory of a Kingdom.

And because Idols are sometimes considered as men by Fig 63 therefore this embleme may be applyed either to a Kingdom of Idols or to a kingdom of men as the circumstances shal require.

Thus Saint Stephen calls the Idol of Rempham a star, saying: Ye took up the Tabernacle of Moloch & the star of your God Rempham, figures which ye made to worship them. Acts 7.43. It is indeed less usual to represent Idols by the stars, but it is more proper because they were the Images of supposed celestial Gods : & the analogy between the univers & a kingdom will be more perfect when things which relate to heaven are represented by the heavenly bodies, & the parts of a kingdom which respect the earth by things on the earth, then when they are confounded together.

And besides the stars were a part of the heathen Idols, & its an ordinary figure to attribute the names of things of a kind to one another We need not therefore doubt to interpret stars of Idols & heaven of their honour & dignity or rather of the orbicular roofs of their Temples, when ever that interpretation will best agree with the circumstances; as it does in this figure.

For here the allusions to the falling of figgs from a figtree & to the rolling of a scroll together do by striking the imagination with an Idea of local motion make it a more lively representation of the ruining of a kingdom of Idol-Gods then of a kingdom of men.

For the stars falling to the earth as figgs fall from a figtree do most lively represent falling Idols & heaven departing as a scrol when it is rolled together the roof of a temple (the Idol's heaven) gradually taken off or cleaveing asunder at its being thrown down.

As for the use of this Figure, there are but two places where it occurs, Isa:34.4. & Rev: 6.13, 14.

The first of these seems to respect that universal overthrow of the Gentiles so often prophesied of in Scripture: at which time Idolatry is to be universally & for ever demolished as may hereafter appear by comparing Rev: 9.20 & 11.15. with Isa: 2.17, 18, 19 & Zech 13.2 &c.

The other place is at the sixt seale when Idols were to be universally abolished but not for ever: of which more hereafter.

What is meant by ascending out of the bottomles pit may be seen in Rev: 20 where the putting an end to delusions & fals religions is exprest by shutting up the Dragon in the bottomles pit that he shoud deceive the nations no more till the thousand yeares should be fulfilled; & the springing up of new delusions at the end of that time, by his being let out again to deceive the nations.

A Potion or Drunkenness sometimes signifies great affliction & misery as in Ier 25.15. Ezek. 23.33. Rev: 14.10. & sometimes error as in Isa: 29.10: They are drunken but not with wine, they stagger, but not with strong drink, for the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep & hath closed your eyes. And accordingly in Rev: 17 by the inhabitants of the earth being made drunk with the wine of the whore's fornication must be understood their being infatuated & seduced to Idolatry by her delusions.

For it is said in chap: 18.23 that by her deadly poison (ἐκ του φαρμακου were all nations deceived; that is, by the wine of the poison of her fornication ἐκ του ὄινου του θυμου as it is called in vers 3 & 8. for θυμὸς signifies as well poison as wrath, & her cup is to be supposed as it were a Philtre or love potion, such as whores were said of old to administer for inciting love, & for that end to compose it of such poisonous medicaments as might work by stupefying & infatuating those to whome they gave it.

Where the Jewish nation is represented by a whore, her threatned distress & desolation is often exprest by making her naked, as in Jer: 13.22, 26. Ezek: 16.37. Hosea 2.3. & the like of the virgin daughter of Babylon in Isa: 47.3.

Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel & thy garments like him that treadeth the winefat? I have troden the wine-press alone — for I will tread them in mine anger — & their blood shal be sprinkled upon my garments Isa: 63.2, 3.

Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles, Prepare war &c Put ye in the siccle for the harvest is ripe; come get ye down for the press is full the fats overflow, for their wickednes is great.

Multitudes, multitudes &c Joel 3.13.

The Lord shall give a shout as they that tread the grapes against all the inhabitants of the earth — he will plead with all flesh, he will give them that are wicked to the sword Ier 25.30. See also Lament. 1.15. Ezek. 15.2. & Deutr. 32.32.

The reason of this figure is the resemblance between effusion of blood & expressing the juice of grapes.

The signification of a harvest our Saviour has given us Mat. 13.39




IRENÆUS introduced an opinion that the APOCALYPSE was written in the time of DOMITIAN; but then he also postponed the writing of some others of the sacred books, and was to place the APOCALYPSE after them: he might perhaps have heard from his master POLYCARP that he had received this book from JOHN about the time of DOMITTAN'S death; or indeed JOHN might himself at that time have made a new publication of it, from whence IRENÆUS might imagine it was then but newly written.

EUSEBIUS in his Chronicle and Ecclesiastical History follows IRENÆUS; but afterwards (Dem. Evang. 1. 3.) in his Evangelical Demonstrations, he conjoins the banishment of JOHN into PATMOS, with the deaths of PETER and PAUL: and so do TERTULLIAN and Pseudo-Prochorus, [1] as well as the first author, whoever he was, of that very antient fable, that JOHN was put by NERO into a vessel of hot oil, and coming out unhurt, was banished by him into PATMOS.

[1] Vid. PAMEUUM in notis ad TEBTULL. de Prcetcriptionibua, n. 215. & HIBRON. contra JOVI.NIANUM, 1. 1. c. 14. Edit. ERASMI.

Tho' this story be no more than a fiction, yet it was founded on a tradition of the first Churches, that JOHN was banished into PATMOS in the days of NERO.

EPIPHANIUS represents the GOSPEL OF JOHN as written in the time of DOMITIAN, and the APOCALYPSE even before that of NERO.

ARETHAS in the beginning of his Commentary quotes the opinion of IRÆNAUS from EUSEBIUS, but follows it not: for he afterwards affirms the APOCALYPSE was written before the destruction of JERUSALEM, and that former commentators had expounded the sixth seal of that destruction (ARETH. c. 18, 19.).

With the opinion of the first Commentators agrees the tradition of the Churches of SYRIA, preserved to this day in the title of the SYRIAC Version of the APOCALYPSE, which title is this: The Revelation which was made to John the Evangelist by God in the Island Patmos, into which he was banished by Nero the Caesar.

The same is confirmed by a story told by EUSEBIUS out of CLEMENS ALEXANDRINUS (Hist. Eccl. 1. 3. c. 23.), and other antient authors, concerning a youth, whom JOHN some time after his return from PATMOS committed to the care of the Bishop of a certain city.

The Bishop educated, instructed, and at length baptized him; but then remitting of his care, the young man thereupon got into ill company, and began by degrees first to revel and grow vitious, then to abuse and spoil those he met in the night; and at last grew so desperate, that his companions turning a band of highway men, made him their Captain: and, saith CHRYSOSTOM, he continued their Captain a long time (CHRYSOST. ad Theodorum lapsum).

At length JOHN returning to that city, and hearing what was done, rode to the thief; and when he out of reverence to his old master fled, JOHN rode after him, recalled him, and restored him to the Church.

This is a story of many years, and requires that JOHN should have returned from PATMOS rather at the death of NERO than at that of DOMITIAN; because between the death of DOMITIAN and that of JOHN there were but two years and an half; and JOHN in his old age was (HIERON. in Epist. ad Gal. 1. 3. c. 6.) so infirm as to be carried to Church, dying above 90 years old, and therefore could not be then suppos'd able to ride after the thief.

This opinion is further supported by the allusions in the APOCALYPSE to the Temple and Altar, and holy City, as then standing; and to the GENTILES, who were soon after to tread under foot the holy City and outward Court.

'Tis confirmed also by the style of the APOCALYPSE itself, which is fuller of HEBRAISMS than his Gospel.

For thence it may be gathered, that it was written when JOHN was newly come out of JUDEA, where he had been used to the SYEIAC tongue; and that he did not write his Gospel, till by long converse with the ASIATICK Greeks he had left off most of the HEBRAISMS.

It is confirmed also by the many false APOCALYPSES, as those of PETER, PAUL, THOMAS, STEPHEN, ELIAS and CERINTHUS, written in imitation of the true one.

For as the many false Gospels, false Acts, and false Epistles were occasioned by true ones; and the writing many false APOCALYPSES, and ascribing them to Apostles and Prophets, argues that there was a true Apostolic one in great request with the first CHRISTIANS: so this true one may well be suppos'd to have been written early, that there may be room in the Apostolic age for the writing of so many false ones afterwards, and fathering them upon PETER, PAUL, THOMAS, and others, who were dead before JOHN.

CAIUS, who was contemporary with TERTULLIAN (Apud EUSEB. Eccl. Hist. 1. 8. c. 28. Edit. VALESII), tells us that CERINTHUS wrote his Revelations as a great Apostle, and pretended the visions were shewn him by Angels, asserting a millennium of carnal pleasures at JERUSALEM after the resurrection; so that his APOCALYPSE was plainly written in imitation of JOHN'S: and yet he lived so early, that (EPIPHAN. Hæres. 28.) he resisted the Apostles at JERUSALEM in or before the first year of CLAUDIUS, that is, 26 years before the death of NERO, and died before JOHN (HIERON. adv. Lucif.).

These reasons may suffice for determining the time; and yet there is one more, which to considering men may seem a good reason, to others not.

I'll propound it, and leave it to every man's judgment.

The APOCALYPSE seems to be alluded to in the Epistles of PETER and that to the HEBREWS, and therefore to have been written before them.

Such allusion in the Epistle to the HEBREWS, I take to be the discourses concerning the High Priest in the heavenly Tabernacle, who is both Priest and King, as was MELCHISEDEC; and those concerning the word of God, with the sharp two edged sword, the σαξβατισμος, or millennial rest, the earth whose end is to be burned, suppose by the lake of fire, the judgment and fiery indignation which shall devour the adversaries, the heavenly City which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God, the cloud of witnesses, mount Sion, heavenly Jerusalem, general assembly, spirits of just men made perfect, viz. by the resurrection, and the shaking of heaven and earth, and removing them, that the new heaven, new earth and new kingdom which cannot be shaken, may remain.

In the first of PETER occur these [1]: THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST, twice or thrice repeated [2]; the blood of Christ as of a Lamb fore-ordained before the foundation of the world [3]; the spiritual building in heaven, 1 PET. ii. 5. an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for us, who are kept unto the salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time, 1 PET. i. 4, 5. [4] the royal Priesthood, [5] the holy Priesthood, [6] the judgment beginning at the house of God, and the Church at Babylon. [7]

These are indeed obscurer allusions; but the second Epistle, from the 19th verse of the first chapter to the end, seems to be a continued Commentary upon the APOCALYPSE.

[1] 1 Pet. 1. 7, 13. iv. 13. and v. 1.
[2] Apoc. xiii. 8.
[3] Apoc. xxi.
[4] Apoc. i. 6. and v. 10.
[5] Apoc. xx. 6.
[6] Apoc. xx. 4, 12.
[7] Apoc. xvii.

There, in writing to the Churches in Asia, to whom JOHN was commanded to send this Prophecy, he tells them, they have a more sure word of Prophecy, to be heeded by them, as a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in their hearts, that is, until they begin to understand it: for no Prophecy, saith he, of the scripture is of any private interpretation; the Prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spake, as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

DANIEL himself professes that he understood not his own PROPHECIES (DAN. viii. 15, 16, 27, & xii. 8. 9.); and therefore the Churches were not to expect the interpretation from their Prophet JOHN, but to study the Prophecies themselves.

This is the substance of what PETER says in the first chapter; and then in the second he proceeds to describe, out of this sure word of Prophecy, how there should arise in the Church false Prophets, or false teachers, expressed collectively in the APOCALYPSE by the name of the false Prophet; who should bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, which is the character of ANTI-CHRIST: And many, saith he, shall follow their lusts [1]; they that dwell on the earth [2] shall be deceived by the false Prophet, and be made drunk with the wine of the Whore's fornication, by reason of whom the way of truth shall be blasphemed; for [3] the Beast is full of blasphemy: and thro' covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandize of you; for these are the Merchants of the Earth, who trade with the great Whore, and their merchandize [4] is all things of price, with the bodies and souls of men: whose judgment -- lingreth not, and their damnation [5] slumbreth not, but shall surely come upon them at the last day suddenly, as the flood upon the old world, and fire and brimstone upon SODOM and GOMORRHA, when the just shall be delivered [6] like LOT; for the Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished, in the lake of fire; but chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness [7], being made drunk with the wine of the Whore's fornication; who despise dominion, and are not afraid to blaspheme glories; for the beast opened his mouth against God [8] to blaspheme his name and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

[1] ασελγεξαs, in many of the best MSS.
[2] Apoc. xiii. 7, 12.
[3] Apoc. xiii. 1, 5, 6.
[4] Apoc. xviii. 12, 13.
[5] Apoc. xix. 20.
[6] Apoc. xxi. 3, 4.
[7] Apoc. ix. 21. and xvii. 2.
[8] Apoc. xiii. 6.

These, as natural brute beasts, the ten-horned beast and two-horned beast, or false Prophet, made to be taken and destroyed, in the lake of fire, blaspheme the things they understand not: -- they count it pleasure to riot in the day-time -- sporting themselves with their own deceivings, while they feast [1] with you, having eyes full of an [2] Adulteress: for the kingdoms of the beast live deliciously with the great Whore, and the nations are made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

[1] Apoc. xviii. 3, 7, 9.
[2] μοιχαλδοs

They are gone astray, following the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness, the false Prophet [1] who taught BALAK to cast a stumbling block before the children of ISRAEL.

[1] Apoc. ii. 14.

These are, not fountains of living water, but wells without water; not such clouds of Saints as the two witnesses ascend in, but clouds that are carried with a tempest, &c.

Thus does the author of this Epistle spend all the second Chapter in describing the qualities of the APOCALYPTIC Beasts and false Prophet: and then in the third he goes on to describe their destruction more fully, and the future kingdom.

He saith, that because the coming of CHRIST should be long deferred, they should scoff, saying where is the promise of his coming?

Then he describes the sudden coming of the day of the Lord upon them, as a thief in the night, which is the APOCALYPTIC phrase; and the millennium, or thousand years, which are with God but as a day; the passing away of the old heavens and earth, by a conflagration in the lake of fire, and our looking for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Seeing therefore PETER and JOHN were Apostles of the circumcision, it seems to me that they staid with their Churches in JUDEA and SYRIA till the ROMANS made war upon their nation, that is, till the twelfth year of NERO; that they then followed the main body of their flying Churches into ASIA, and that PETER went thence by CORINTH to ROME; that the ROMAN Empire looked upon those Churches as enemies, because JEWS by birth; and therefore to prevent insurrections, secured their leaders, and banished JOHN into PATMOS.

It seems also probable to me that the APOCALYPSE was there composed, and that soon after the Epistle to the HEBREWS and those of PETER were written to these Churches, with reference to this Prophecy as what they were particularly concerned in.

For it appears by these Epistles, that they were written in times of general affliction and tribulation under the heathens, and by consequence when the Empire made war upon the JEWS; for till then the heathens were at peace with the CHRISTIAN JEWS, as well as with the rest.

The Epistle to the HEBREWS, since it mentions TIMOTHY as related to those HEBREWS, must be written to them after their flight into ASIA, where TIMOTHY was Bishop; and by consequence after the war began, the HEBREWS in JUDEA being strangers to TIMOTHY.

PETER seems also to call ROME BABYLON, as well with respect to the war made upon JUDEA, and the approaching captivity, like that under old BABYLON, as with respect to that name in the APOCALYPSE: and in writing to the strangers scattered thro'out Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, he seems to intimate that they were the strangers newly scattered by the ROMAN wars; for those were the only strangers there belonging to his care.

This account of things agrees best with history when duly rectified.

For [1] JUSTIN and [2] IRENÆUS say, that SIMON MAGUS came to ROME in the reign of CLAUDIUS, and exercised juggling tricks there.

PSEUDO-CLEMENS adds, that he endeavoured there to fly, but broke his neck thro' the prayers of PETER.

Whence [3] EUSEBIUS, or rather his interpolator JEROM, has recorded, that PETER came to ROME in the second year of CLAUDIUS: but [4] CYRIL Bishop of JERUSALEM, PHILASTRIUS, SULPITIUS, PROSPER, MAXIMUS TAURINENSIS, and HEGESIPPUS JUNIOR, place this victory of PETER in the time of NERO.

Indeed the antienter tradition was, that PETER came to ROME in the days of this Emperor, as may be seen in [5] LANCTANTIUS.

[1] Apol. ad Antonin. Pium.
[2] Hæres. 1. 1. c. 20. Vide etiam TERTULIANUM, Apol. c. 13.
[3] Euseb. Chron.
[4] CYRIL, Catech. 6. PHILASTR. de hæres. cap. 30. SULP. Hist. 1. 2. PROSPER de promise, dimid. tempt, cap. 13. MAXIMUS serm. 5. in Natal. Apost. HEGESIP. 1. 2. c. 2.
[5] LACTANT. de mortib. Perfec. c. 2 Horn. 70 in Matt. c. 22.

CHRYSOSTOM [1] tells us, that the Apostles continued long in JUDEA, and that then being driven out by the JEWS they went to the GENTILES.

[1] Hom. 70 in Matt. c.22.

This dispersion was in the first year of the JEWISH war, when the JEWS, as JOSEPHUS tells us, began to be tumultuous and violent in all places.

For all agree that the Apostles were dispersed into several regions at once; and ORIQEN has set down the time [1], telling us that in the beginning of the JUDAIC war, the Apostles and disciples of our Lord were scattered into all nations; THOMAS into PARTHIA, ANDREW into SCYTHIA, JOHN into ASIA, and PETER first into ASIA, where he preacht to the dispersion, and thence into ITALY.

[1] Apud EUSEB. Eccl. Hist. 1. 2. c. 25.

Dionysius CORINTHIUS saith (Euseb. Hist. 1. 2. c. 25.), that PETER went from ASIA by CORINTH to ROME, and all antiquity agrees that PETER and PAUL were martyred there in the end of NERO'S reign.

MARK went with TIMOTHY to ROME, 2 TIM. iv. 11. COLOS. iv. 10. SYLVANUS was PAUL'S assistant; and by the companions of PETER, mentioned in his first Epistle, we may know that he wrote from ROME; and the Antients generally agree, that in this Epistle he understood ROME by BABYLON.

His second Epistle was writ to the same dispersed strangers with the first, 2 PET. iii. 1. and therein he saith, that PAUL had writ of the same things to them, and also in his other Epistles, ver. 15, 16.

Now as there is no Epistle of PAUL to these strangers besides that to the HEBREWS, so in this Epistle, chap. x. 11, 12. we find at large all those things which PETER had been speaking of, and here refers to; particularly the passing away of the old heavens and earth, and establishing an inheritance immoveable, with an exhortation to grace, because GOD, to the wicked, is a consuming fire, Heb. xii. 25, 26, 28, 29.

Having determined the time of writing the APOCALYPSE, I need not say much about the truth of it, since it was in such request with the first ages, that many endeavoured to imitate it, by feigning APOCALYPSES under the Apostles names; and the Apostles themselves, as I have just now shewed, studied it, and used its phrases; by which means the style of the Epistle to the HEBREWS became more mystical than that of PAUL'S other Epistles, and the style of JOHN'S Gospel more figurative and majestical than that of the other Gospels.

I do not apprehend that CHRIST was called the word of God in any book of the New Testament written before the APOCALYPSE; and therefore am of opinion, the language was taken from this Prophecy, as were also many other phrases in this Gospel, such as those of CHRIST'S being the light which enlightens the world, the lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world, the bridegroom, he that testifieth, he that came down from heaven, the Son of God, &c.

JUSTIN MARTYR, who within thirty years after JOHN'S death became a CHRISTIAN, writes expressly that a certain man among the Christians whose name was John, one of the twelve Apostles of Christ, in the Revelation which was shewed him, prophesied that those who believed in Christ should live a thousand years at Jerusalem.

And a few lines before he saith: But I, and as many as are Christians, in all things right in their opinions, believe both that there shall be a resurrection of the flesh, and a thousand years life at Jerusalem built, adorned and enlarged.

Which is as much as to say, that all true CHRISTIANS in that early age received this Prophecy: for in all ages, as many as believed the thousand years, received the APOCALYPSE as the foundation of their opinion: and I do not know one instance to the contrary.

PAPIAS Bishop of HIERAPOLIS, a man of the Apostolic age, and one of JOHN'S own disciples, did not only teach the doctrine of the thousand years, but also [1] asserted the APOCALYPSE as written by divine inspiration.

[1] ARETHAS in Procem. comment, in Apoc.

MELITO who flourished next after JUSTIN [1], wrote a commentary upon this Prophecy; and he, being Bishop of SARDIS one of the seven Churches, could neither be ignorant of their tradition about it, nor impose upon them.

[1] EUSEB. Hist. 1. 4. cap. 26. HIERON.

IRENÆUS, who was contemporary with MELITO, wrote much upon it, and said, that the number 666 was in all the antient and approved copies; and that he had it also confirmed to him by those who had seen John face to face, meaning no doubt his master POLYCARP for one.

At the same time [1] THEOPHILUS Bishop of ANTIOCH asserted it, and so did TERTULLIAN, CLEMENS ALEXANDRINUS, and ORIGEN soon after; and their contemporary HIPPOLYTUS the Martyr, Metropolitan of the ARABIANS (HIERON.), wrote a commentary upon it.

[1] EUSEB. Hist. 1. 4. c. 24.

All these were antient men, flourishing within a hundred and twenty years after JOHN'S death, and of greatest note in the Churches of those times.

Soon after did VICTORINUS PICTAVIENSIS write another commentary upon it; and he lived in the time of DIOCLESIAN.

This may surely suffice to shew how the APOCALYPSE was received and studied in the first ages: and I do not indeed find any other book of the New Testament so strongly attested, or commented upon so early as this.

The Prophecy said: Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this Prophecy, and keep the things which are written therein.

This animated the first CHRISTIANS to study it so much, till the difficulty made them remit, and comment more upon the other books of the New Testament.

This was the state of the APOCALYPSE, till the thousand years being misunderstood, brought a prejudice against it: and DIONYSIUS of ALEXANDRIA, noting how it abounded with barbarisms, that is with HEBRAISMS, promoted that prejudice so far, as to cause many GREEKS in the fourth century to doubt of the book.

But whilst the LATINS, and a great part of the GREEKS, always retained the APOCALYPSE, and the rest doubted only out of prejudice, it makes nothing against its authority.

This Prophecy is called the Revelation, with respect to the scripture of truth, which DANIEL was commanded to shut up and seal, till the time of the end (DAN. x. 21. xii. 4, 9.).

DANIEL sealed it until the time of the end; and until that time comes, the Lamb is opening the seals: and afterwards the two Witnesses prophesy out of it a long time in sackcloth, before they ascend up to heaven in a cloud.

All which is as much as to say, that these Prophecies of DANIEL and JOHN should not be understood till the time of the end: but then some should prophesy out of them in an afflicted and mournful state for a long time, and that but darkly, so as to convert but few.

But in the very end, the Prophecy should be so far interpreted as to convince many.

Then, saith DANIEL, many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be encreased.

For the Gospel must be preached in all the nations before the great tribulation, and end of the world.

The palm-bearing multitude, which come out of this great tribulation, cannot be innumerable out of all nations, unless they be made so by the preaching of the Gospel before it comes.

There must be a stone cut out of a mountain without hands, before it can fall upon the toes of the Image, and become a great mountain and fill the earth.

An Angel must fly thro' the midst of heaven with the everlasting Gospel to preach to all nations, before BABYLON falls, and the Son of man reaps his harvest.

The two Prophets must ascend up to heaven in a cloud, before the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of CHRIST.

'Tis therefore a part of this Prophecy, that it should not be understood before the last age of the world; and therefore it makes for the credit of the Prophecy, that it is not yet understood.

But if the last age, the age of opening these things, be now approaching, as by the great successes of late Interpreters it seems to be, we have more encouragement than ever to look into these things.

If the general preaching of the Gospel be approaching, it is to us and our posterity that those words mainly belong: In the time of the end the wise shall understand, but none of the wicked shall understand (DAN. xii. 4. 10.).

Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this Prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein (Apoc. i. 3.).

The folly of Interpreters has been, to foretel times and things by this Prophecy, as if God designed to make them Prophets.

By this rashness they have not only exposed themselves, but brought the Prophecy also into contempt.

The design of God was much otherwise.

He gave this and the Prophecies of the Old Testament, not to gratify men's curiosities by enabling them to foreknow things, but that after they were fulfilled they might be interpreted by the event, and his own Providence, not the Interpreters, be then manifested thereby to the world.

For the event of things predicted many ages before, will then be a convincing argument that the world is governed by providence.

For as the few and obscure Prophecies concerning CHRIST'S first coming were for setting up the CHRISTIAN religion, which all nations have since corrupted; so the many and clear Prophecies concerning the things to be done at CHRIST'S second coming, are not only for predicting but also for effecting a recovery and re-establishment of the long-lost truth, and setting up a kingdom wherein dwells righteousness.

The event will prove the APOCALYPSE; and this Prophecy, thus proved and understood, will open the old Prophets, and all together will make known the true religion, and establish it.

For he that will understand the old Prophets, must begin with this; but the time is not yet come for understanding them perfectly, because the main revolution predicted in them is not yet come to pass.

In the days of the voice of the seventh Angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God shall be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the Prophets: and then the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ, and he shall reign for ever, Apoc. x. 7. xi. 15.

There is already so much of the Prophecy fulfilled, that as many as will take pains in this study, may see sufficient instances of God's providence: but then the signal revolutions predicted by all the holy Prophets, will at once both turn men's eyes upon considering the predictions, and plainly interpret them.

Till then we must content ourselves with interpreting what hath been already fulfilled.

Amongst the Interpreters of the last age there is scarce one of note who hath not made some discovery worth knowing; and thence I seem to gather that God is about opening these mysteries.

The success of others put me upon considering it; and if I have done any thing which may be useful to following writers, I have my design.



THE APOCALYPSE of JOHN is written in the same style and language with the Prophecies of DANIEL, and hath the same relation to them which they have to one another, so that all of them together make but one complete Prophecy; and in like manner it consists of two parts, an introductory Prophecy, and an Interpretation thereof.

The Prophecy is distinguish' d into seven successive parts, by the opening of the seven seals of the book which DANIEL was commanded to seal up: and hence it is called the APOCALYPSE or REVELATION of JESUS CHRIST.

The time of the seventh seal is sub-divided into eight successive parts by the silence in heaven for half an hour, and the sounding of seven trumpets successively: and the seventh trumpet sounds to the battle of the great day of God Almighty, whereby the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of the Lord and his Christ, and those are destroyed that destroyed the earth.

The Interpretation begins with the words, And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the Ark of his Testament: and it continues to the end of the Prophecy.

The Temple is the scene of the visions, and the visions in the Temple relate to the feast of the seventh month, for the feasts of the JEWS were typical of things to come.

The Passover related to the first coming of CHRIST, and the feasts of the seventh month to his second coming: his first coming being therefore over before this Prophecy was given, the feasts of the seventh month are here only alluded unto.

On the first day of that month, in the morning, the High-Priest dressed the lamps: and in allusion hereunto, this Prophecy begins with a vision of one like the Son of man in the High-Priest's habit, appearing as it were in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, or over against the midst of them, dressing the lamps, which appeared like a rod of seven stars in his right hand: and this dressing was performed by the sending seven Epistles to the Angels or Bishops of the seven Churches of ASIA, which in the primitive times illuminated the Temple or Church Catholick.

These Epistles contain admonitions against the approaching Apostacy, and therefore relate to the times when the Apostacy began to work strongly, and before it prevailed.

It began to work in the Apostles days, and was to continue working till the man of sin should be revealed.

It began to work in the disciples of SIMON, MENANDER, CAEPOCRATES, CERINTHUS, and such sorts of men as had imbibed the metaphysical philosophy of the GENTILES and CABALISTICAL JEWS and were thence called GNOSTICKS.

JOHN calls them ANTICHRISTS, saying that in his days there were many ANTICHRISTS.

But these being condemned by the Apostles, and their immediate disciples, put the Churches in no danger during the opening of the first four seals.

The visions at the opening of these seals relate only to the civil affairs of the heathen ROMAN Empire.

So long the Apostolic traditions prevailed, and preserved the Church in its purity: and therefore the affairs of the Church do not begin to be considered in this Prophecy before the opening of the fifth seal.

She began then to decline, and to want admonitions; and therefore is admonished by these Epistles, till the Apostacy prevailed and took place, which was at the opening of the seventh seal.

The admonitions therefore in these seven Epistles relate to the state of the Church in the times of the fifth and sixth seals.

At the opening of the fifth seal, the Church is purged from hypocrites by a great persecution.

At the opening of the sixth, that which letted is taken out of the way, namely the heathen ROMAN Empire.

At the opening of the seventh, the man of sin is revealed.

And to these times the seven Epistles relate.

The seven Angels, to whom these Epistles were written, answer to the seven AMARCHOLIM, who were Priests and chief Officers of the Temple, and had jointly the keys of the gates of the Temple, with those of the Treasuries, and the direction, appointment and oversight of all things in the Temple.

After the lamps were dressed, JOHN saw the door of the Temple opened; and by the voice as it were of a trumpet, was called up to the eastern gate of the great court, to see the visions: and behold a throne was set, viz. the mercy-seat upon the Ark of the Testament, which the JEWS respected as the throne of God between the Cherubims, Exod. xxv. 2. PSAL. xcix. 1.

And he that sat on it was to look upon like Jasper and Sardine stone, that is, of an olive colour, the people of JUDEA being of that colour.

And, the Sun being then in the EAST, a rainbow was about the throne, the emblem of glory.

And, round about the throne were four and twenty seats; answering to the chambers of the four and twenty Princes of the Priests, twelve on the south side, and twelve on the north side of the Priests Court.

And upon the seats were four and twenty Elders sitting, clothed in white rayment, with crowns on their heads; representing the Princes of the four and twenty courses of the Priests clothed in linen.

And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings, and voices, viz. the flashes of the fire upon the Altar at the morning-sacrifice, and the thundering voices of those that sounded the trumpets, and sung at the Eastern gate of the Priests Court; for these being between JOHN and the throne appeared to him as proceeding from the throne.

And there were seven lamps of fire burning, in the Temple, before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God, or Angels of the seven Churches, represented in the beginning of this Prophecy by seven stars.

And before the throne was a sea of glass clear as chrystal; the brazen sea between the porch of the Temple and the Altar, filled with clear water.

And in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four Beasts full of eyes before and behind: that is, one Beast before the throne and one behind it, appeared to JOHN as in the midst of the throne, and one on either side in the circle about it, to represent by the multitude of their eyes the people standing in the four sides of the peoples court.

And the first Beast was like a lion, and the second was like a calf, and the third had the face of a man, and the fourth was like a flying eagle.

The people of ISRAEL in the wilderness encamped round about the tabernacle, and on the east side were three tribes under the standard of JUDAH, on the west were three tribes under the standard of EPHRAIM, on the south were three tribes under the standard of REUBEN, and on the north were three tribes under the standard of DAN. NUMB. ii.

And the standard of JUDAH was a Lion, that of EPHRAIM an Ox, that of REUBEN a Man, and that of DAN an Eagle, as the JEWS affirm.

Whence were framed the hieroglyphicks, of CHERUBIMS and SERAPHIMS, to represent the people of ISRAEL.

A CHERUBIM had one body with four faces, the faces of a Lion, an Ox, a Man, and an Eagle, looking to the four winds of heaven, without turning about, as in EZEKIEL'S vision, chap. i.

And four SERAPHIMS had the same four faces with four bodies, one face to every body.

The four Beasts are therefore four SERAPHIMS standing in the four sides of the peoples court; the first in the eastern side with the head of a Lion, the second in the western side with the head of an Ox, the third in the southern side with the head of a Man, the fourth in the northern side with the head of an Eagle: and all four signify together the twelve tribes of ISRAEL, out of whom the hundred forty and four thousand were sealed, APOC. vii. 4.

And the four Beasts had each of them six wings, two to a tribe, in all twenty and four wings, answering to the twenty and four stations of the people.

And they were full of eyes within, or under their wings. And they rest not day and night, or at the morning and evening-sacrifices, saying, holy, holy, holy Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

These animals are therefore the Seraphims, which appeared to ISAIAH in a vision like this of the APOCALYPSE (ISA. vi.).

For there also the Lord sat upon a throne in the temple; and the Seraphims each with six wings cried, Holy, holy, holy Lord God of hosts.

And when those animals give glory and honour and thanks to him that sitteth upon the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, the four and twenty Elders go into the Temple, and there fall down before him that sitteth on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

At the morning and evening-sacrifice, so soon as the sacrifice was laid upon the Altar, and the drink-offering began to be poured out, the trumpets sounded, and the LEVITES sang by course three times; and every time when the trumpets sounded, the people fell down and worshipped.

Three times therefore did the people worship: to express which number, the Beasts cry Holy, holy, holy; and the song being ended, the people prayed standing, till the solemnity was finished.

In the mean time the Priests went into the Temple, and there fell down before him that sat upon the throne, and worshipped.

And JOHN saw, in the right hand of him that sat upon the throne, a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals, viz. the book which DANIEL was commanded to seal up, and which is here represented by the prophetic book of the Law laid up on the right side of the Ark, as it were in the right hand of him that sat on the throne: for the festivals and ceremonies of the Law prescribed to the people in this book, adumbrated those things which were predicted in the book of DANIEL; and the writing within and on the backside of this book, relates to the synchronal Prophecies.

And none was found worthy to open the book but the Lamb of God (Apoc. v.).

And lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four Beasts, and in the midst of the Elders, that is, at the foot of the Altar, stood a lamb as it had been slain, the morning sacrifice; having seven horns, which are the seven Churches and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

And he came, and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four Beasts and four and twenty Elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us, unto our God, Kings and Priests, and we shall reign on the earth.

The Beasts and Elders therefore represent the primitive CHRISTIANS of all nations; and the worship of these CHRISTIANS in their Churches is here represented under the form of worshipping God and the Lamb in the Temple: God for his benefaction in creating all Things, and the Lamb for his benefaction in redeeming us with his blood: God as sitting upon the throne and living for ever, and the Lamb as exalted above all by the merits of his death.

And I heard, saith JOHN, the voice of many Angels round about the throne, and the Beasts and the Elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I, saying, Blessing, honour, glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

And the four Beasts said, Amen.

And the four and twenty Elders fell down and worshipped him that livethfor ever and ever.

This was the worship of the primitive CHRISTIANS.

It was the custom for the High-Priest, seven days before the fast of the seventh month, to continue constantly in the Temple, and study the book of the Law, that he might be perfect in it against the day of expiation; wherein the service, which was various and intricate, was wholly to be performed by himself; part of which service was reading the Law to the people: and to promote his studying it, there were certain Priests appointed by the SANHEDRIM to be with him those seven days in one of his chambers in the Temple, and there to discourse with him about the Law, and read it to him and put him in mind of reading and studying it himself.

This his opening and reading the Law those seven days, is alluded unto in the Lamb's opening the seals.

We are to conceive that those seven days begin in the evening before each day; for the JEWS began their day in the evening, and that the solemnity of the fast begins in the morning of the seventh day.

The seventh seal was therefore opened on the day of expiation, and then there was silence in heaven for half an hour.

And an Angel, the High-Priest, stood at the Altar, having a golden Censer; and there was given him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all Saints, upon the golden Altar which was before the throne.

The custom was on other days, for one of the Priests to take fire from the great Altar in a silver Censer; but on this day, for the High-Priest to take fire from the great Altar in a golden Censer; and when he was come down from the great Altar, he took incense from one of the Priests who brought it to him, and went with it to the golden Altar: and while he offered the incense, the people prayed without in silence, which is the silence in heaven for half an hour.

When the High-Priest had laid the incense on the Altar, he carried a Censer of it burning in his hand, into the most holy place before the Ark.

And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the Saints, ascended up before God out of the Angel's hand.

On other days there was a certain measure of incense for the golden Altar: on this day there was a greater quantity for both the Altar and the most holy Place, and therefore it is called much incense.

After this the Angel took the Censer, and filled it with fire from the great Altar, and cast it into the earth; that is, by the hands of the Priests who belong to his mystical body, he cast it to the earth without the Temple for burning the Goat which was the Lord's lot.

And at this and other concomitant sacrifices, until the evening-sacrifice was ended, there were voices, and thundrings, and lightnings, and an earthquake; that is, the voice of the High-Priest reading the Law to the people, and other voices and thundrings from the trumpets and temple-musick at the sacrifices, and lightnings from the fire of the Altar.

The solemnity of the day of expiation being finished, the seven Angels sound their trumpets at the great sacrifices of the seven days of the feast of tabernacles; and at the same sacrifices, the seven thunders utter their voices which are the musick of the Temple, and singing of the Levites, intermixed with the soundings of the trumpets: and the seven Angels pour out their vials of wrath, which are the drink-offerings of those sacrifices.

When six of the seals were opened, JOHN said (Apoc. vii.): And after these things, that is, after the visions of the sixth seal, I saw four Angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.

And I saw another Angel ascending from the East, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four Angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying, Hurt not the earth, nor the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

This sealing alludes to a tradition of the JEWS, that upon the day of expiation all the people of ISRAEL are sealed up in the books of life and death (BUXTORF, in Synagoga Judaica, c. 18, 21.).

For the JEWS in their Talmud tell us, that in the beginning of every new year, or first day of the month, TISRI, the seventh month of the sacred year, three books are opened in judgment; the book of life, in which the names of those are written who are perfectly just; the book of death, in which the names of those are written who are Atheists or very wicked; and a third book, of those whose judgment is suspended till the day of expiation, and whose names are not written in the book of life or death before that day.

The first ten days of this month they call the penitential days; and all these days they fast and pray very much, and are very devout, that on the tenth day their sins may be remitted, and their names may be written in the book of life; which day is therefore called the day of expiation.

And upon this tenth day, in returning home from the Synagogues, they say to one another, God the creator seal you to a good year.

For they conceive that the books are now sealed up, and that the sentence of God remains unchanged henceforward to the end of the year.

The same thing is signified by the two Goats, upon whose foreheads the High-Priest yearly, on the day of expiation, lays the two lots inscribed, For God and For Azazel; God's lot signifying the people who are sealed with the name of God in their foreheads; and the lot AZAZEL, which was sent into the wilderness, representing those who receive the mark and name of the Beast, and go into the wilderness with the great Whore.

The servants of God being therefore sealed in the day of expiation, we may conceive that this sealing is synchronal to the visions which appear upon opening the seventh seal; and that when the Lamb had opened six of the seals and seen the visions relating to the inside of the sixth, he looked on the backside of the seventh leaf, and then saw the four Angels holding the four winds of heaven, and another Angel ascending from the East with the seal of God.

Conceive also, that the Angels which held the four winds were the first four of the seven Angels, who upon opening the seventh seal were seen standing before God; and that upon their holding the winds, there was silence in heaven for half an hour; and that while the servants of God were sealing, the Angel with the golden Censer offered their prayers with incense upon the golden Altar, and read the Law: and that so soon as they were sealed, the winds hurt the earth at the sounding of the first trumpet, and the sea at the sounding of the second; these winds signifying the wars, to which the first four trumpets sounded.

For as the first four seals are distinguished from the three last by the appearance of four horsemen towards the four winds of heaven; so the wars of the first four trumpets are distinguished from those of the three last, by representing these by four winds, and the others by three great woes.

In one of EZEKIEL'S visions (chap, ix.) when the BABYLONIAN captivity was at hand, six men appeared with slaughter-weapons; and a seventh, who appeared among them clothed in white linen and a writer's ink-horn by his side, is commanded to go thro' the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and cry for all the abominations done in the midst thereof: and then the six men, like the Angels of the first six trumpets, are commanded to slay those men who are not marked.

Conceive therefore that the hundred forty and four thousand are sealed, to preserve them from the plagues of the first six trumpets; and that at length by the preaching of the everlasting gospel, they grow into a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people and tongues: and at the sounding of the seventh trumpet come out of the great tribulation with Palms in their hands: the kingdoms of this world, by the war to which that trumpet sounds, becoming the kingdoms of God and his Christ.

For the solemnity of the great HOSANNAH was kept by the JEWS upon the seventh or last day of the feast of tabernacles; the JEWS upon that day carrying Palms in their hands, and crying HOSANNAH.

After six of the Angels, answering to the six men with slaughter-weapons, had sounded their trumpets, the Lamb in the form of a mighty Angel came down from heaven clothed with a cloud, and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the Sun, and his feet as pillars of fire, the shape in which CHRIST appeared in the beginning of this Prophecy; and he had in his hand a little book open, the book which he had newly opened; for he received but one book from him that sitteth upon the throne, and he alone was worthy to open and look on this book.

And he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth, and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth.

It was the custom for the High-Priest on the day of expiation, to stand in an elevated place in the peoples court, at the Eastern gate of the Priests court, and read the Law to the people, while the Heifer and the Goat which was the Lord's lot, were burning without the Temple.

We may therefore suppose him standing in such a manner that his right foot might appear to JOHN as it were standing on the sea of glass, and his left foot on the ground of the house; and that he cried with a loud voice, in reading the Law on the day of expiation.

And when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.

Thunders are the voice of a cloud, and a cloud signifies a multitude, and this multitude may be the LEVITES, who sang with thundering voices, and played with musical instruments at the great sacrifices, on the seven days of the feast of Tabernacles: at which times the trumpets also sounded.

For the trumpets sounded, and the LEVITES sang alternately, three times at every sacrifice.

The Prophecy therefore of the seven thunders is nothing else than a repetition of the Prophecy of the seven trumpets in another form.

And the Angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth, lifted up his hand to heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, that after the seven thunders there should be time no longer; but in the days of the voice of the seventh Angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the Prophets.

The voices of the thunders therefore last to the end of this world, and so do those of the trumpets.

And the voice which I heard from heaven, saith JOHN, spake unto me again and said, Go and take the little book, &c.

And I took the little book out of the Angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey, and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.

And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.

This is an introduction to a new Prophecy, to a repetition of the Prophecy of the whole book; and alludes to EZEKIEL'S eating a roll or book spread open before him, and written within and without, full of lamentations and mourning and woe, but sweet in his mouth.

Eating and drinking signify acquiring and possessing; and eating the book is becoming inspired with the Prophecy contained in it.

It implies being inspired in a vigorous and extraordinary manner with the Prophecy of the whole book, and therefore signifies a lively repetition of the whole Prophecy by way of interpretation, and begins not till the first Prophecy, that of the seals and trumpets, is ended.

It was sweet in JOHN'S mouth, and therefore begins not with the bitter Prophecy of the BABYLONIAN captivity, and the GENTILES being in the outward court of the Temple, and treading the holy city under foot; and the prophesying of the TWO WITNESSES in sackcloth, and their smiting the earth with all plagues, and being killed by the Beast: but so soon as the Prophecy of the trumpets is ended, it begins with the sweet Prophecy of the glorious WOMAN IN HEAVEN, and the victory of MICHAEL over the Dragon; and after that, it is bitter in JOHN'S belly, by a large description of the times of the great Apostacy.

And the Angel stood, upon the earth and sea, saying, Rise and measure the Temple of God and the Altar, and them that worship therein, that is, their courts with the buildings thereon, viz. the square court of the Temple called the separate place, and the square court of the Altar called the Priests court, and the court of them that worship in the Temple called the new court: but the great court which is without the Temple, leave out, and measure it not, for it is given to the Gentiles, and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

This measuring hath reference to EZEKIEL'S measuring the Temple of SOLOMON: there the whole Temple, including the outward court, was measured, to signify that it should be rebuilt in the latter days.

Here the courts of the Temple and Altar, and they who worship therein, are only measured, to signify the building of a second Temple, for those that are sealed out of all the twelve tribes of ISRAEL, and worship in the inward court of sincerity and truth: but JOHN is commanded to leave out the outward court, or outward form of religion and Church-government, because it is given to the BABYLONIAN GENTILES.

For the glorious woman in heaven, the remnant of whose seed kept the commandments of God, and had the testimony of JESUS, continued the same woman in outward form after her flight into the wilderness, whereby she quitted her former sincerity and piety, and became the great Whore.

She lost her chastity, but kept her outward form and shape.

And while the GENTILES tread the holy city underfoot, and worship in the outward court, the two witnesses, represented perhaps by the two feet of the Angel standing on the sea and earth, prophesied against them, and had power, like ELIJAH and MOSES, to consume their enemies with fire proceeding out of their mouth, and to shut heaven that it rain not in the days of their Prophecy, and to turn the waters into blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues as often as they will, that is, with the plagues of the trumpets and vials of wrath; and at length they are slain, rise again from the dead, and ascend up to heaven in a cloud; and then the seventh trumpet sounds to the day of judgment.

The Prophecy being finished, JOHN is inspired anew by the eaten book, and begins the Interpretation thereof with these words, And the Temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his Temple the Ark of the Testament.

By the Ark, we may know that this was the first Temple; for the second Temple had no Ark.

And there were lightnings, and voices, and thundrings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

These answer to the wars in the ROMAN Empire, during the reign of the four horsemen, who appeared upon opening the first four seals.

And there appeared a great wonder in heaven, a woman clothed with the Sun.

In the Prophecy, the affairs of the Church begin to be considered at the opening of the fifth seal; and in the Interpretation, they begin at the same time with the vision of the Church in the form of a woman in heaven: there she Is persecuted, and here she is pained in travail.

The Interpretation proceeds down first to the sealing of the servants of God, and marking the rest with the mark of the Beast; and then to the day of judgment, represented by a harvest and vintage.

Then it returns back to the times of opening the seventh seal, and interprets the Prophecy of the seven trumpets by the pouring out of seven vials of wrath.

The Angels who pour them out, come out of the TEMPLE OF THE TABERNACLE; that is, out of the second Temple, for the Tabernacle had no outward court.

Then it returns back again to the times of measuring the Temple and Altar, and of the GENTILES worshipping in the outward court, and of the Beast killing the witnesses in the streets of the great city; and interprets these things by the vision of a woman sitting on the Beast, drunken with the blood of the Saints; and proceeds in the Interpretation downwards to the fall of the great city and the day of judgment.

The whole Prophecy of the book, represented by the book of the Law, is therefore repeated, and interpreted in the visions which follow those of sounding the seventh trumpet, and begin with that of the Temple of God opened in heaven.

Only the things, which the seven thunders uttered, were not written down, and therefore not interpreted.



THE whole scene of sacred Prophecy is composed of three principal parts: the regions beyond EUPHRATES, represented by the two first Beasts of DANIEL; the Empire of the GREEKS on this side of EUPHRATES, represented by the Leopard and by the He-Goat; and the Empire of the LATINS on this side of GREECE, represented by the Beast with ten horns.

And to these three parts, the phrases of the third part of the earth, sea, rivers, trees, ships, stars, sun, and moon, relate.

I place the body of the fourth Beast on this side of GREECE, because the three first of the four Beasts had their lives prolonged after their dominion was taken away, and therefore belong not to the body of the fourth.

He only stamped them with his feet.

By the earth, the JEWS understood the great continent of all ASIA and AFRICA, to which they had access by land: and by the Isles of the sea, they understood the places to which they sailed by sea, particularly all EUROPE: and hence in this Prophecy, the earth and sea are put for the nations of the GREEK and LATIN Empires.

The third and fourth Beasts of DANIEL are the same with the Dragon and ten-horned Beast of JOHN, but with this difference: JOHN puts the Dragon for the whole ROMAN Empire while it continued entire, because it was entire when that Prophecy was given; and the Beast he considers not till the Empire became divided: and then he puts the Dragon for the Empire of the GREEKS, and the Beast for the Empire of the LATINS.

Hence it is that the Dragon and Beast have common heads and common horns: but the Dragon hath crowns only upon his heads, and the Beast only upon his horns; because the Beast and his horns reigned not before they were divided from the Dragon: and when the Dragon gave the Beast his throne, the ten horns received power as Kings, the same hour with the Beast.

The heads are seven successive Kings.

Four of them were the four horsemen which appeared at the opening of the first four seals.

In the latter end of the sixth head, or seal, considered as present in the visions, it is said five of the seven Kings are fallen, and one is, and another is not yet come; and the Beast that was and is not, being wounded to death with a sword, he is the eighth, and of the seven: he was therefore a collateral part of the seventh.

The horns are the same with those of DANIEL'S fourth Beast, described above.

The four horsemen which appear at the opening of the first four seals, have been well explained by Mr. MEDE; excepting that I had rather continue the third to the end of the reign of the three GORDIANS and PHILIP the ARABIAN, those being Kings from the SOUTH, and begin the fourth with the reign of DECIUS, and continue it till the reign of DIOCLESIAN.

For the fourth horseman sat upon a pale horse, and his name was Death; and hell followed with him; and power was given them to kill unto the fourth part of the earth, with the sword, and with famine, and with the plague, and with the Beasts of the earth, or armies of invaders and rebels: and as such were the times during all this interval.

Hitherto the ROMAN Empire continued in an undivided monarchical form, except rebellions; and such it is represented by the four horsemen.

But DIOCLESIAN divided it between himself and MAXIMIANUS, A. C. 285; and it continued in that divided state, till the victory of CONSTANTINE the great over LICINIUS, A. C. 823, which put an end to the heathen persecutions set on foot by DIOCLESIAN and MAXIMIANUS, and described at the opening of the fifth seal.

But this division of the Empire was imperfect, the whole being still under one and the same Senate.

The same victory of CONSTANTINE over LICINIUS a heathen persecutor, began the fall of the heathen Empire, described at the opening of the sixth seal: and the visions of this seal continue till after the reign of JULIAN the Apostate, he being a heathen Emperor, and reigning over the whole ROMAN Empire.

The affairs of the Church begin to be considered at the opening of the fifth seal, as was said above.

Then she is represented by a woman in the Temple of heaven, clothed with the sun of righteousness, and the moon of JEWISH ceremonies under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars relating to the twelve Apostles and to the twelve tribes of ISRAEL.

When she fled from the Temple into the wilderness, she left in the Temple a remnant of her seed, who kept the commandments of God, and had the testimony of Jesus Christ; and therefore before her flight she represented the true primitive Church of God, tho' afterwards she degenerated like AHOLAH and AHOLIBAH.

In DIOCLESIAN'S persecution she cried, travelling in birth, and pained to be delivered.

And in the end of that persecution, by the victory of CONSTANTINE over MAXENTIUS, A. C. 812, she brought forth a man-child, such a child as was to rule all nations with a rod of iron, a CHRISTIAN Empire.

And her child, by the victory of CONSTANTINE over LICINIUS, A. C. 323, was caught up unto God and to his throne.

And the woman, by the division of the ROMAN Empire into the GREEK and LATIN Empires, fled from the first Temple into the wilderness, or spiritually barren Empire of the LATINS, where she is found afterwards sitting upon the Beast and upon the seven mountains; and is called the great city which reigneth over the Kings of the earth, that is, over the ten Kings who give their kingdom to her Beast.

But before her flight there was war in heaven between MICHAEL and the Dragon, the CHRISTIAN and the heathen religions; and the Dragon, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, who deceiveth the whole world, was cast out to the earth, and his Angels were cast out with him.

And JOHN heard a voice in heaven, saying, Now is come salvation and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down.

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony. And they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them.

Woe be to the inhabiters of the earth and sea, or people of the GREEK and LATIN Empires, for the devil is come down amongst you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

And when the Dragon saw that he was cast down from the ROMAN throne, and the man-child caught up thither, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man-child; and to her, by the division of the ROMAN Empire between the cities of ROME and CONSTANTINOPLE, A. C. 330, were given two wings of a great eagle, the symbol of the ROMAN Empire, that she might flee from the first Temple into the wilderness of ARABIA, to her place at BABYLON mystically so called.

And the serpent, by the division of the same Empire between the sons of CONSTANTINE the great, A. C. 837, cast out of his mouth water as a flood, the WESTERN Empire, after the woman; that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood.

And the earth, or GREEK Empire, helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood, by the victory of CONSTANTIUS over MAGNENTIUS, A. C. 353, and thus the Beast was wounded to death with a sword.

And the Dragon was wroth with the woman, in the reign of JULIAN the Apostate, A. C. 361, and, by a new division of the Empire between VALENTINIAN and VALENS, A. C. 864, went from her into the EASTERN Empire to make war with the remnant of her seed, which she left behind her when she fled; and thus the Beast revived.

By the next division of the Empire, which was between GRATIAN and THEODOSIUS, A. C. 879, the Beast with ten horns rose out of the sea, and the Beast with two horns out of the earth: and by the last division thereof, which was between the sons of THEODOSIUS, A. C. 895, the Dragon gave the Beast his power and throne, and great authority.

And the ten horns received power as Kings, the same hour with the Beast.

At length the woman arrived at her place of temporal as well as spiritual dominion upon the back of the Beast, where she is nourished a time, and times and half a time, from the face of the serpent; not in his kingdom, but at a distance from him.

She is nourished by the merchants of the earth, three times or years and an half, or 42 months, or 1260 days: and in these Prophecies days are put for years.

During all this time the Beast acted, and she sat upon him, that is, reigned over him, and over the ten Kings who gave their power and strength, that is, their kingdom to the Beast; and she was drunken with the blood of the Saints.

By all these circumstances she is the eleventh horn of DANIEL'S fourth Beast, who reigned with a look more stout than his fellows, and was of a different kind from the rest, and had eyes and a mouth like the woman; and made war with the saints, and prevailed against them, and wore them out, and thought to change times and laws, and had them given into his hand, until a time, and times, and half a time.

These characters of the woman, and little horn of the Beast, agree perfectly: in respect of her temporal dominion, she was a horn of the Beast; in respect of her spiritual dominion, she rode upon him in the form of a woman, and was his Church, and committed fornication with the ten Kings.

The second Beast, which rose up out of the earth, was the Church of the GREEK Empire: for it had two horns like those of the Lamb, and therefore was a Church; and it spake as the Dragon, and therefore was of his religion; and it came up out of the earth, and by consequence in his kingdom.

It is called also the false Prophet who wrought miracles before the first Beast, by which he deceived them that received his mark, and worshipped his image.

When the Dragon went from the woman to make war with the remnant of her seed, this Beast arising out of the earth assisted in that war, and caused the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the authority of the first Beast, whose mortal wound was healed, and to make an Image to him, that is, to assemble a body of men like him in point of religion.

He had also power to give life and authority to the Image, so that it could both speak, and by dictating cause that all religious bodies of men, who would not worship the authority of the Image, should be mystically killed.

And he causeth all men to receive a mark in their right hand or in their forehead, and that no man might buy or sell save he that had the mark, or the name of the Beast, or the number of his name; all the rest being excommunicated by the Beast with two horns.

His mark is † † † and his name [1] ΛΑΤΕΙΝΟΣ, and the number of his name 666.


Thus the Beast, after he was wounded to death with a sword and revived, was deified, as the heathens used to deify their Kings after death, and had an Image erected to him; and his worshippers were initiated in this new religion, by receiving the mark or name of this new God, or the number of his name.

By killing all that will not worship him and his Image, the first Temple, illuminated by the lamps of the seven Churches, is demolished, and a new Temple built for them who will not worship him; and the outward court of this new Temple, or outward form of a Church, is given to the GENTILES, who worship the Beast and his Image: while they who will not worship him, are sealed with the name of God in their foreheads, and retire into the inward court of this new Temple.

These are the 144,000 sealed out of all the twelve tribes of ISRAEL, and called the Two Witnesses, as being derived from the two wings of the woman while she was flying into the wilderness, and represented by two of the seven candlesticks.

These appear to JOHN in the inward court of the second Temple, standing on mount SIGN with the Lamb, and as it were on the sea of glass.

These are the Saints of the most High, and the host of heaven, and the holy people spoken of by DANIEL, as worn out and trampled under foot, and destroyed in the latter times by the little horns of his fourth Beast and He-Goat.

While the GENTILES tread the holy city under foot, God gives power to his two Witnesses, and they prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days clothed in sackcloth.

They are called the two Olive-trees, with relation to the two Olive-trees, which in ZECHARY'S vision, chap. iv. stand on either side of the golden candlestick to supply the lamps with oil: and Olive-trees, according to the Apostle PAUL, represent Churches, ROM. xi.

They supply the lamps with oil, by maintaining teachers.

They are also called the two candle-sticks; which in this Prophecy signify Churches, the seven Churches of ASIA being represented by seven candlesticks.

Five of these Churches were found faulty, and threatned if they did not repent; the other two were without fault, and so their candlesticks were fit to be placed in the second Temple.

These were the Churches in SMYRNA and PHILADELPHIA.

They were in a state of tribulation and persecution, and the only two of the seven in such a state; and so their candlesticks were fit to represent the Churches in affliction in the times of the second Temple, and the only two of the seven that were fit.

The Two Witnesses are not new Churches: they are the posterity of the primitive Church, the posterity of the two wings of the woman, and so are fitly represented by two of the primitive candlesticks.

We may conceive therefore, that when the first Temple was destroyed, and a new one built for them who worship in the inward court, two of the seven candlesticks were placed in this new Temple.

The Affairs of the Church are not considered during the opening of the first four seals.

They begin to be consider'd at the opening of the fifth seal, as was said above; and are further considered at the opening of the sixth seal; and the seventh seal contains the times of the great Apostacy.

And therefore I refer the Epistles to the seven Churches unto the times of the fifth and sixth seals: for they relate to the Church when she began to decline, and contain admonitions against the great Apostacy then approaching.

When EUSEBIUS had brought down his Ecclesiastical History to the reign of DIOCLESIAN, he thus describes the state of the Church: "Truly we could never adequately describe the nature and extent of the glory and liberty, which the doctrine of true piety towards the God of Heaven (a doctrine first proclaimed to all by CHRIST) secured for itself everywhere, both among GREEKS and BARBARIANS, prior to the persecution which began within my own recollection.

But we might point to the kindness of the Emperors towards our brethren: they even entrusted to them the government of whole provinces and freed them from all fear of having to sacrifice to idols, such was the remarkable good-will displayed by them towards our religion."

And a little after he says: " But further who could ever give a detailed account of the innumerable hosts of men who daily found refuge in belief on CHRIST, of the number of Churches in every city, or the distinguished congregations that gathered in the sacred edifices.

The result of this enthusiasm was that, becoming dissatisfied with the ancient buildings, in every city theyreared churches on a grandiose scale from the very foundations.

In the process of time these buildings were enlarged and every day grew to something greater and better: nor could they be harmed by envy, nor bewitched by the spite of the Evil One, nor hindered in their progress by the unbelief of men, so long as the right arm of God Almighty shielded and guarded His people, and while His people merited such protection.

But in time our absolute freedom led us into negligence and sloth: men began to envy and abuse their neighbours: we used to wage amongst ourselves a kind of civil war wounding each other, blow for blow, with words instead of arms and spears; priests against priests, peoples against peoples, stirred up feuds and tumults; in short deceit and hypocrisy reached the highest pitch of wickedness.

Then at last divine vengeance, gradually and gently began to stir against us at first with light stroke as is its wont: the status of the Church still remained unimpaired: the masses of the faithful were still at liberty to assemble; and the persecution first began against the militant party.

But in our folly we gave not a thought to appeasing the Majesty of God, but rather imagining like infidels that Providence controls not the affairs of men, day by day we added fresh sin to that of the past: our Pastors spurning the ordinances of religion, strove and quarreled the one with the other; setting themselves to nothing else than to widen the disputes, to increase their threats and to intensify the rivalry, passions and enmity they bore to one another; and with the utmost vehemence claiming for themselves the Primacy as though it were by a kind of tyranny.

Then it was that in the words of JEREMIAH, 'The Lord covered the daughter of ZION with a cloud in His anger and cast down from heaven unto the earth the beauty of ISRAEL,' that is by the overthrow of the Churches."

This was the state of the Church just before the subversion of the Churches in the beginning of DIOCLESIAN'S persecution: and to this state of the Church agrees the first of the seven Epistles to the Angel of the seven Churches, that to the Church in EPHESUS (Apoc. ii. 4. &c.): I have something against thee, saith CHRIST to the Angel of that Church, because thou hast left thy first love.

Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of its place, except thou repent.

But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

The NICOLAITANS are the CONTINENTES above described, who placed religion in abstinence from marriage, abandoning their wives if they had any.

They are here called NICOLAITANS, from NICOLAS one of the seven deacons of the primitive Church of JERUSALEM; who having a beautiful wife, and being taxed with uxoriousness, abandoned her, and permitted her to marry whom she pleased, saying that we must disuse the flesh; and thenceforward lived a single life in continency, as his children also.

The CONTINENTES afterwards embraced the doctrine of Æons and Ghosts male and female, and were avoided by the Churches till the fourth century; and the Church of EPHESUS is here commended for hating their deeds.

The persecution of DIOCLESIAN began in the year of CHRIST 302, and lasted ten years in the EASTERN Empire and two years in the WESTERN.

To this state of the Church the second Epistle, to the Church of SMYRNA, agrees.

I know, saith CHRIST, thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, but thou art rich; and I know the blasphemy of them, which say they are Jews and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

Fear none of these things which thou shalt suffer: Behold, the Devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried and ye shall have tribulation ten days.

Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

The tribulation of ten days can agree to no other persecution than that of DIOCLESIAN, it being the only persecution which lasted ten years.

By the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan, I understand the Idolatry of the NICOLAITANS, who falsly said they were CHRISTIANS.

The NICOLAITANS are complained of also in the third Epistle (ver. 14.), as men that held the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling-block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to Idols, and to commit spiritual fornication (Numb. xxv. 1, 2, 18. & xxxi. 16.).

For BALAAM taught the MOABITES and MIDIANITES to tempt and invite ISRAEL by their women to commit fornication, and to feast with them at the sacrifices of their Gods.

The Dragon therefore began now to come down among the inhabitants of the earth and sea.

The NICOLAITANS are also complained of in the fourth Epistle, under the name of the woman Jezabel, who calleth herself a Prophetess, to teach and to seduce the servants of Christ to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to Idols.

The woman therefore began now to fly into the wilderness.

The reign of CONSTANTINE the great from the time of his conquering LICINIUS, was monarchical over the whole ROMAN Empire.

Then the Empire became divided between the sons of CONSTANTINE: and afterwards it was again united under CONSTANTIUS, by his victory over MAGNENTIUS.

To the affairs of the Church in these three successive periods of time, the third, fourth, and fifth Epistles, that is, those to the Angels of the Churches in PERGAMUS, THYATIRA, and SARDIS, seem to relate.

The next Emperor was JULIAN the Apostate.

In the sixth Epistle, to the Angel of the Church in PHILADELPHIA (Apoc. iii. 10, 12.) CHRIST saith: Because in the reign of the heathen Emperor JULIAN, thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which by the woman's flying into the wilderness, and the Dragon's making war with the remnant of her seed, and the killing of all who will not worship the Image of the Beast, shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth, and to distinguish them by sealing the one with the name of God in their foreheads, and marking the other with the mark of the Beast.

Him that overcometh, I will make a pillar in the Temple of my God; and he shall go no more out of it.

And I will write upon him the name of my God in his forehead.

So the CHRISTIANS of the Church of PHILADELPHIA, as many of them as overcome, are sealed with the seal of God, and placed in the second Temple, and go no more out.

The same is to be understood of the Church in SMYRNA, which also kept the word of God's patience, and was without fault.

These two Churches, with their posterity, are therefore the two Pillars, and the two candlesticks, and the two Witnesses in the second Temple.

After the reign of the Emperor JULIAN, and his successor JOVIAN, who reigned but five months, the Empire became again divided between VALENTINIAN and VALENS.

Then the Church Catholick, in the Epistle to the Angel of the Church of LAODICEA, is reprehended as lukewarm (Apoc. iii. 16, 17.) and threatned to be spewed out of CHRIST'S mouth.

She said, that she was rich and increased with goods, and had need of nothing, being in outward prosperity; and knew not that she was inwardly wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.

She is therefore spewed out of CHRIST'S mouth at the opening of the seventh seal: and this puts an end to the times of the first Temple.

About one half of the ROMAN Empire turned CHRISTIANS in the time of CONSTANTINE the great and his sons.

After JULIAN had opened the Temples, and restored the worship of the heathens, the Emperors VALENTINIAN and VALENS tolerated it all their reign; and therefore the Prophecy of the sixth seal was not fully accomplished before the reign of their successor GRATIAN.

It was the custom of the heathen Priests, in the beginnning of the reign of every sovereign Emperor, to offer him the dignity and habit of the PONTIFEX MAXIMUS.

This dignity all Emperors had hitherto accepted: but GRATIAN rejected it, threw down the idols, interdicted the sacrifices, and took away their revenues with the salaries and authority of the Priests.

THEODOSIUS the great followed his example; and heathenism afterwards recovered itself no more, but decreased so fast, that PRUDENTIUS, about ten years after the death of THEODOSIUS, called the heathens " merely a few intellectuals and a minute fraction of mankind."

Whence the affairs of the sixth seal ended with the reign of VALENS, or rather with the beginning of the reign of THEODOSIUS when he, like his predecessor GRATIAN, rejected the dignity of PONTIFEX MAXIMUS.

For the ROMANS were very much infested by the invasions of foreign nations in the reign of VALENTINIAN and VALENS: "

At this time," saith AMMIANUS, "you might have thought that through the whole ROMAN world, trumpets were blowing for war; and that, excited by the sound, the fiercest tribes were leaping across the frontiers that lay nearest to them.

The GALLIC and RHÆTIAN Provinces were simultaneously ravaged by the ALEMANNI; the Provinces of PANNONIA by the SARMATÆ and the QUADI: while the BRITONS were being constantly harassed and raided by the PICTS, SAXONS, SCOTS, and ATTACOTTI.

The AUSTORIANS and the other MOORISH tribes made deeper incursions than usual into the Province of AFRICA.

The THRACIAN Provinces were plundered by marauding bands of GOTHS: and the King of PERSIA was always sending his forces against the ARMENIANS."

And whilst the Emperors were busy in repelling these enemies, the HUNNS and ALANS and GOTHS came over the DANUBE in two bodies, overcame and slew VALENS, and made so great a slaughter of the ROMAN army, that AMMIANUS saith: " No action in history, with the exception of CANNÆ, was ever carried to a bloodier termination than this."

These wars were not fully stopt on all sides till the beginning of the reign of THEODOSIUS, A. C. 379 & 380: but thence-forward the Empire remained quiet from foreign armies, till his death, A. C. 395.

So long the four winds were held: and so long there was silence in heaven.

And the seventh seal was opened when this silence began.

Mr. MEDE hath explained the Prophecy of the first six trumpets not much amiss: but if he had observed, that the Prophecy of pouring out the vials of wrath is synchronal to that of sounling the trumpets, his explanation would have been yet more complete.

The name of WOES is given to the wars to which the three last trumpets sound, to distinguish them from the wars of the four first.

The sacrifices on the first four days of the feast of Tabernacles, at which the first four trumpets sound, and the first four vials of wrath are poured out, are slaughters in four great wars; and these wars are represented by four winds from the four corners of the earth.

The first was an east wind, the second a west wind, the third a south wind, and the fourth a north wind, with respect to the city of ROME, the metropolis of the old ROMAN Empire.

These four plagues fell upon the third part of the Earth, Sea, Rivers, Sun, Moon, and Stars; that is, upon the Earth, Sea, Rivers, Sun, Moon and Stars of the third part of the whole scene of these Prophecies of DANIEL and JOHN.

The plague of the eastern wind at the sounding of the first trumpet, was to fall upon the EARTH, that is, upon the nations of the GREEK Empire.

Accordingly, after the death of THEODOSIUS the great, the GOTHS, SARMATIANS, HUNNS, ISAURIANS and AUSTORIAN Moors invaded and miserably wasted GREECE, THRACE, ASIA MINOR, ARMENIA, SYRIA, EGYPT, LYBIA, and ILLYRICUM, for ten or twelve years together.

The plague of the western wind at the sounding of the second trumpet, was to fall upon the SEA, or WESTERN Empire, by means of a great mountain burning with fire cast into it, and turning it to blood.

Accordingly in the year 407, that Empire began to be invaded by the VISIGOTHS, VANDALS, ALANS, SUEVES, BURGUNDIANS, OSTROGOTHS, HERULI, QUADI, GEPIDES; and by these wars it was broken into ten kingdoms, and miserably wasted: and ROME itself, the burning mountain, was besieged and taken by the OSTROGOTHS, in the beginning of these miseries.

The plague of the southern wind at the sounding of the third trumpet, was to cause a great star, burning as it were a lamp, to fall from heaven upon the rivers and fountains of waters, the WESTERN Empire, now divided into many kingdoms, and to turn them to wormwood and blood, and make them bitter.

Accordingly GENSERIC, the King of the VANDALS and ALANS in SPAIN, A. C. 427, enter'd AFRICA with an army of eighty thousand men; where he invaded the MOORS, and made war upon the ROMANS, both there and on the sea-coasts of EUROPE, for fifty years together, almost without intermission, taking HIPPO A. C. 431, and CARTHAGE, the capital of AFRICA A. C. 439.

In A. C. 455, with a numerous fleet and an Army of three hundred thousand VANDALS and MOORS, he invaded ITALY, took and plundered ROME, NAPLES, CAPUA, and many other cities; carrying thence their wealth with the flower of the people into AFRICA: and the next year, A. C. 456, he rent all AFRICA from the Empire, totally expelling the ROMANS.

Then the VANDALS invaded and took the Islands of the MEDITERRANEAN, SICILY, SARDINIA, CORSICA, EBUSUS, MAJORCA, MINORCA, &c. and RICIMER besieged the Emperor ANTHEMIUS in ROME, took the city, and gave his soldiers the plunder, A. C. 472.

The VISIGOTHS about the same time drove the ROMANS out of SPAIN: and now the WESTERN Emperor, the great star which fell from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, having by all these wars gradually lost almost all his dominions, was invaded, and conquered in one year by ODOACER King of the HERULI, A. C. 476.

After this the MOORS revolted A. C. 477, and weakned the VANDALS by several wars, and took MAURITANIA from them.

These wars continued till the VANDALS were conquered by BELISARIUS, A. C. 534, and by all these wars AFRICA was almost depopulated, according to PROCOPIUS, who reckons that above five millions of men perished in them.

When the VANDALS first invaded AFRICA, that country was very populous, consisting of about 700 bishopricks, more than were in all France, SPAIN and ITALY together: but by the wars between the VANDALS, ROMANS and MOORS, it was depopulated to that degree, that PROCOPIUS tells us, it was next to a miracle for a traveller to see a man.

In pouring out the third vial it is said (Apoc. xvi. 5, 6.): Thou art righteous, Lord, because thou hast judged thus: for they have shed the blood of thy Saints and Prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink, for they are worthy.

How they shed the blood of Saints, may be understood by the following Edict of the Emperor HONORIUS, procured by four Bishops sent to him by a Council of AFRICAN Bishops, who met at CARTHAGE 14 JUNE, A. C. 410.


" Now that the shrine, whither they stole to practise their Tites of heretical superstition, has been utterly demolished let all enemies of the Holy Law take notice that they will suffer the punishment both of outlawry and of blood, if henceforth in their accursed and criminal insolence they attempt to assemble in public. Given on the 25th August, in the Consulship of VERANUS, A. C. 410."

Which Edict was five years after fortified by the following:


"Let all enemies of the Holy Law, who in heretical superstition, have crept to the performance of their rites, take notice that they must suffer the punishment both of outlawry and of blood; if henceforth they essay to assemble in public impudently to practise this abomination. This we command lest anywhere reverence for the true God should by contagion with them be defiled. Given on the 25th AUGUST, in the Consulship of HONORIUS and THEODOSIUS, A. C. 415."

These Edicts being directed to the governor of AFRICA, extended only to the AFRICANS.

Before these there were many severe ones against the DONATISTS, but they did not extend to blood.

These two were the first which made their meetings, and the meetings of all dissenters, capital: for by hereticks in these Edicts are meant all dissenters, as is manifest by the following against EURESIUS a LUCIFERAN Bishop.

The Emperors ARCADIUS and HONORIUS to AURELIANUS, Procurator of AFRICA.

"All who have even on trivial evidence been found to dissent from the judgment of the Catholic Church and to deviate from its course, are within the meaning of the word ' heretic ' and must come under the laws enacted against them."


The GREEK Emperor ZENO adopted THEODERIC King of the OSTROGOTHS to be his son, made him Master of the horse and PATRICIUS, and Consul of CONSTANTINOPLE; and recommending to him the ROMAN people and Senate, gave him the WESTERN Empire, and sent him into ITALY against ODOACER King of the HERULI.

THEODERIC thereupon led his nation into ITALY, conquered ODOACER, and reigned over ITALY, SICILY, RILETIA, NORICUM, DALMATIA, LIBURNIA, ISTRIA, and part of SUEVIA, PANNONIA and GALLIA.

Whence ENNODIUS said, in a Panegyric to THEODERIC: that " he had restored the ROMAN EMPIRE to its ancient frontiers."

THEODERIC reigned with great prudence, moderation and felicity; treated the ROMANS with singular benevolence, governed them by their own laws, and restored their government under their Senate and Consuls he himself supplying the place of Emperor, without assuming the title.

" So far did he excel his predecessors," saith PROCOPIUS, " that in truth he lacked no glory meet for an Emperor.

He had a great love of Justice and was constant in the protection he afforded to the law.

He preserved his territory intact from the neighbouring barbarians," &c.

Whence I do not reckon the reign of this King, amongst the plagues of the four winds.

The plague of the northern wind, at the sounding of the fourth trumpet, was to cause the Sun, Moon and Stars, that is, the King, kingdom and Princes of the WESTERN Empire, to be darkned, and to continue some time in darkness.

Accordingly BELISARIUS, having conquered the VANDALS, invaded ITALY A. C. 535, and made war upon the OSTROGOTHS inDALMATiA, LIBURNIA, VENETIA, LOMBARDY, TUSCANY, and other regions northward from ROME, twenty years together.

In this war many cities were taken and retaken.

In retaking MILLAIN from the ROMANS, the OSTROGOTHS slew all the males young and old, amounting, as PROCOPIUS reckons, to three hundred thousand, and sent the women captives to their allies the BURGUNDIANS.

ROME itself was taken and retaken several times, and there by the people were thinned; the old government by a Senate ceased, the nobles were ruined, and all the glory of the city was extinguish'd: and A. C. 552, after a war of seventeen years, the kingdom of the OSTROGOTHS fell; yet the remainder of the OSTROGOTHS, and an army of GERMANS called in to their assistance, continued the war three or four years longer.

Then ensued the war of the HERULI, who, as ANASTASIUS tells us, perimebant cunctam Italiam, slew all ITALY.

This was followed by the war of the LOMBARDS, the fiercest of all the BARBARIANS, which began A. C. 568, and lasted for thirty-eight years together; "with slaughter," saith ANASTASIUS, " such as cannot be recalled in the past "; ending at the last in the Papacy of SABINIAN, A. C. 605, by a peace then made with the LOMBARDS.

Three years before this war ended, GREGORY the great, then Bishop of ROME, thus speaks of it: "In no words of description can we fully tell how for a period now of 35 years, we have been harassed with daily fighting and numerous incursions of the LONGOBARDI ": and in one of his Sermons to the people, he thus expresses the great consumption of the ROMANS by these wars: " Your own eyes behold how few of you remain out of a once countless people, and even yet, day after day, one scourge and another harries us; sudden misfortunes overwhelm us; new and unforeseen disasters crush us."

In another Sermon he thus describes the desolations: " Our cities are destroyed: our armaments overthrown: our fields laid waste: our land made a wilderness.

None now lives in the country, and there is hardly a single dweller left in the cities.

And yet these small remnants of the human race, endlessly, day by day, are still under the lash, and the scourging of wrath divine knows no end.

And ROME that once was thought the mistress of the world, our eyes see all this that is left of her, wasted in countless ways by countless sorrows, by the desolations of her citizens, the violence of the foe, and the recurrence of disasters.

Lo, all the powerful men of this generation have been swept away from her.

See, the peoples are in revolt.

Where is the Senate?

Where the people?

Their bones have wasted away and their flesh has smouldered.

For the whole order of lay dignitaries is extinct.

And yet we few who survive, ever day by day we are threatened by the sword and by countless tribulations.

A tenantless ROME is in her agony.

But why speak such words of men only, when we see the very houses tumbling down as disasters multiply?

Even the walls fall when men forsake them.

See now!

ROME is desolated!

See, she is broken; See ! she is overwhelmned with sorrow," &c.

All this was spoken by GREGORY to the people of ROME, who were witnesses of the truth of it.

Thus by the plagues of the four winds, the Empire of the GREEKS was shaken, and the Empire of the LATINS fell; and ROME remained nothing more than the capital of a poor dukedom, subordinate to RAVENNA, the seat of the Exarchs.

The fifth trumpet sounded to the wars, which the King of the South, as he is called by DANIEL, made in the time of the end, in pushing at the King who did according to his will.

This plague began with the opening of the bottomless pit, which denotes the letting out of a false religion: the smoke which came out of the pit, signifying the multitude which embraced that religion; and the locusts which came out of the smoke, the armies which came out of that multitude.

This pit was opened, to let out smoke and locusts into the regions of the four monarchies, or some of them.

The King of these locusts was the Angel of the bottomless pit, being chief governor as well in religious as civil affairs, such as was the Caliph of the SARACENS.

Swarms of locusts often arise in ARABIA FÆLIX, and from thence infest the neighbouring nations: and so are a very fit type of the numerous armies of ARABIANS invading the ROMANS.

They began to invade them A. C. 634, and to reign at DAMASCUS, A. C. 637. They built BAGDAD A. C. 766, and reigned over PERSIA, SYRIA, ARABIA, EGYPT, AFRICA and SPAIN.

They afterwards lost AFRICA to MAHADES, A. C. 910; MEDIA, HIRCANIA, CHORASAN, and all PERSIA, to the DAILAMITES, between the years 927 and 935; MESOPOTAMIA and MIAFAREKIN to NASIRUDDAULAS, A. C. 930; SYRIA and EGYPT to ACHSJID, A. C. 935, and now being in great distress, the Caliph of BAGDAD, A. C. 936, surrendred all the rest of his temporal power to MAHOMET the son of RAJICI, King of WASIT in CHALDEA, and made him Emperor of Emperors.

But MAHOMET within two years lost BAGDAD to the TURKS; and thenceforward BAGDAD was sometimes in the hands of the TURKS, and sometimes in the hands of the SARACENS, till TOGRULBEIG, called also TOGRA, DOGRISSA, TANGROLIPIX, and SADOC, conquered CHORASAN and PERSIA; and A. C. 1055, added BAGDAD to his Empire, making it the seat thereof.

His successors OLUB-ARSLAN and MELECHSCHAH, conquered the regions upon EUPHRATES; and these conquests, after the death of MELECHSCHAH, brake into the kingdoms of ARMENIA, MESOPOTAMIA, SYRIA, and CAPPADOCIA.

The whole time that the Caliphs of the SARACENS reigned with a temporal dominion at DAMASCUS and BAGDAD together, was 300 years, viz. from the year 637 to the year 936 inclusive.

Now locusts live but five months; and therefore, for the decorum of the type, these locusts are said to hurt men five months and five months, as if they had lived about five months at DAMASCUS, and again about five months at BAGDAD; in all ten months, or 300 prophetic days, which are years.

The sixth trumpet sounded to the wars, which DANIEL'S King of the NORTH made against the King above-mentioned who did according to his will.

In these wars the King of the NORTH, according to DANIEL, conquered the Empire of the GREEKS, and also JUDEA, EGYPT, LYBiA,and ETHIOPIA: and by these conquests the Empire of the TURKS was set up, as may be known by the extent thereof.

These wars commenced A. C. 1258, when the four kingdoms of the TURKS seated upon EUPHRATES, that of ARMENIA MAJOR seated at MIYAPHAREKIN, MEGARKIN or MARTYROPOLIS, that of MESOPOTAMIA seated at MOSUL, that of all SYRIA seated at ALEPPO, and that of CAPPADOCIA seated at ICONIUM, were invaded by the TARTARS under HULACU, and driven into the western parts of ASIA MINOR, where they made war upon the GREEKS, and began to erect the present Empire of the TURKS.

Upon the sounding of the sixth trumpet (Apoc. ix. 13, &c.) John heard a voice from the four horns of the golden Altar which is before God, saying to the sixth Angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four Angels which are bound at the great river Euphrates.

And the four Angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour and a day, and a month and a year, for to slay the third part of men.

By the four horns of the golden Altar, is signified the situation of the head cities of the said four kingdoms.

MIYAPHAREKIN, MOSUL, ALEPPO, and ICONIUM, which were in a quadrangle.

They slew the third part of men, when they conquered the GREEK Empire, and took CONSTANTINOPLE, A. C. 1453, and they began to be prepared for this purpose, when OLUB-ARSLAN began to conquer the nations upon EUPHRATES, A. C. 1063.

The interval is called an hour and a day, and a month and a year, or 391 prophetic days, which are years.

In the first thirty years, OLUB-ARSLAN and MELECHSCHAH conquered the nations upon EUPHRATES, and reigned over the whole.

MELECHSCHAH died A. C. 1092, and was succeeded by a little child; and then this kingdom broke into the four kingdoms above-mentioned.


In the prophesies of Daniel that which is usually translated the daily sacrifice is in the Hebrew only called the daily & may be as properly translated the daily worship.

This worship is opposite to the abomination of desolation that is to the worship of fals Gods & Idols & in that respect signifies the worship of the true God without an image, such a worship as is prescribed in the first & second commandment.

Thou shall have no other Gods before me: And thou shalt not make to thy self any graven image.

Thou shalt have in thy worship no other Gods in my sight, thou shalt worship me alone the God who in six days made the heaven & earth & all that in them is & rested the seventh day, & thou shalt not add to me any other Gods in thy worship, neither shalt thou make to thee in thy worship any graven image or the likeness of any thing.

For these commandments are practical & respect the worship of the Jews.

We are not forbidden to give the name of Gods to Angels & kings but we are forbidden to worship them as Gods.

We are forbidden to worship them not only as supreme infinite & eternal Gods but even as inferior & subordinate Gods.

We are forbidden to worship them in such a sense as the heathens worshipped their Gods who took them for nothing more then the souls of dead men mediators between God & man Lords who reigned over us under the supreme God.

For to us in our worship there is but one God the father almighty & one mediator between God & man, the man Christ Jesus; one God & one Lord; one God to whom we are to give honour & glory & praise & thanks & worship for creating all things & preserving us & giving us our daily bread & to whom we are to direct our prayers for what we want; & one Lord & Mediator to whom we are to give honour & glory & thanks for redeeming us with his blood & in whose name we are to direct all our prayers to God.

And this worship of one God untill the coming of the Messiah & of one God & one Lord ever since his his resurrection from the dead is the principall part of the daily worship.

For there was also a less principal part which consisted in offering sacrifices to God.

The first part is moral & the second is only ceremonial. The first was performed in all the synagogues, the second was performed only in the Temple.

Now the worship of this God was partly ceremonial & transient, partly moral & eternal.

The ceremonial part consisted principally in sacrifices, the moral in prayers praises & thanksgivings.

The gentiles sacrificed in all their cities, & To take away these sacrifices might have been difficult & therefore Moses did not totally take them away but only restrained them to the Tabernacle, & to render them the more significant & pious he made them typical.

The moral worship which consisted in prayers praises & thanksgiving was performed daily in all in all the synagogues.

For this purpose there was a synagogue in the Temple, there was a synagogue in every city of the Jews & there might be a synagogue of either Jews or Christians in any city of the Romans & in like manner the Christian synagogues called Cathedral Churches were set up in the cities of the Christians & had a daily worship in them.

And this daily worship in the synagogues being more excellent & universal then that of sacrificing in the Temple deserves in this prophesy much more to be represented & called the daily is chiefly opposed to the abomination of desolation & lasted till that abomination was set up in its room not only in the Temple but more especially in the synagogues of both Jews & Christian Gentiles.

The Temple, where the daily worship was performed there was the sanctuary of strength, in which the ceremonial daily worship was performed & the synagogues were the sanctuaries of strength & collectively the sanctuary in which the moral daily worship was performed.

For as many fals prophets are collectively called the fals prophet Apoc 19.20 & many churched are called the Church Eph. 5.25 & many Temples are called the Temple 2 Thess. 2.4, & many synagogues are called the synagogue Apoc. 2.9. so many sanctuaries are by Daniel collectively called the sanctuary.

The Prince of the host being Christ, the host must be the Church of Christ & the sanctuary the place of the Christian worship, which place is the synagogues, or Churches of the Christian Jews & Gentiles, taken collectively

Now this daily worship was taken away from the synagogues of the Jews & the abomination of desolation set up in their land in the reign of the Emperor Adrian when the Jews were banished their land upon pain of dearth & the worship of the Gentiles was set up in all their cities.

But in the synagogues or Cathedral Churches of the Christians the daily worship remained untill the king arose who did according to his will & in his seat together with a strange God set up the worship of Mahuzzims, that is, untill a new Greek Empire arose.

For the whole prophesy of the scripture of truth concerns the Greek Empire The Greeks continued in subjection to the Latines till the building of Constantinople & then separated & became a new Empire seated at that city, & accordingly is represented in this prophesy by a new king the king who doth according to his will & sets up the worship of Mahuzzims with a strange God whom his fathers knew not & prospers in these practices till the indignation be accomplished.

The daily worship was to be taken away by the last horn of the He Goat, & the He Goat is by Daniel interpreted to signify the King of Greece, & his last horn is said to wax exceeding great even to the host of heaven & to cast down of the stars to the grownd & is called a king of fierce countenance whose power should be mighty but not by his own power, which (as we said) is to be understood of the Greeks growing mighty under the dominion & by their power of the Romans.

In this state he was to grow exceeding great even to the host of heaven & to cast down of the starrs to the grownd: which is to be understood of his making desolate the Jews & persecuting the Christians.

And after this he is said to magnify himself even to the Prince of the host & to take away the daily worship & cast down the place of his sanctury.

The Prince of the host is Iesus Christ & therefore the daily worship here taken away is the worship of the Christians & the place of his sanctuary is the place of the worship of the Christians, that is their synagogues or Cathedral Churches taken collectively.

For these are the Temple of God in which the man of sin was to sit as a God after he had taken away the dayly worship.

And to this double exaltation of this horn, (first up to heaven to cast down of the stars to the grownd & then up to the Prince of the host to take away the daily worship) answers the double state of the daily worship which was to be taken away, first the Jewish & then the Christian & the double state of the Arms which in the prophesy of the scripture of truth stand up after Antiochus Ephiphanes.

First those arms stand up & pollute the Jewish sanctuary of strength & take away their daily worship & place the abomination which maketh their land desolate, & causeth those that understand amongst the people & instruct many (that is the Christians) to fall by the sword & by flame & by captivity & by spoile many days.

And when they should fall they were to be holpen with a little help, & by prosperity to grow numerous through flatterers cleaving to them, but they were to fall again even to the time of the end.

For the king who should then reign, was to do according to his will & to exalt & magnify himself above every God & speak marvellous things against the God of Gods, & which a strange God whom his fathers knew not he was to worship Mahuzzims.

And this is his second exaltation & answers to the second exaltation of the last horn of the Goat his exaltation up to the Prince of the host that he might be able to take away the daily worship.

And therefore the transgression of desolation which now succeeded this daily worship is the worship of the Mahuzzims: This transgression is called the abomination to signify that it is idolatry & the Abomination of desolation to signify that the idolaters are great persecutors & make desolate the people of God.

And from this transgression of the horn & his magnifying himself & standing up against the Prince of Princes the Apostle Paul calls the man of sin or transgression who opposeth & exalteth himself above every thing that is called God or that is worshipped.

And from this opposition & standing up against the Prince of Princes John calls him Antichrist.

The Apostle wrote these things to them of the Greek Churches & therefore the man of sin & the Antichrist was to reign in those churches, & there to place their abomination & make desolate the people of God.

And this was to be done in the latter times.

And the king which doth according to his will set up the worship of Mahuzzims in the times next preceeding the time which Daniel calls the time of the end & continued to reign in this time of the end because the king of the south then pusht at him.

The Jews regarded principally their worshipping in the Temple by sacrifices & therefore took the daily to signify the daily sacrifice And this interpretation was favoured by calling the place of this worship the sanctuary.

But while it said of the little horn of the He Goat that he magnified himself against the Prince of the host & by him the daily was taken away & the place of his sanctuary was cast down, this sanctuary must be the sanctuary of the Prince of the host that is the sanctuary of Jesus Christ, & by consequence includes the synagogues of the Christians taken collectively as the Church is taken collectively for all the Churches.

And while this horn by means of an host which was given him overcame the host of heaven & cast down not only the sanctuary but also the truth to the grownd & practiced & prospered: its acting against the sanctuary even to the time of the end & last end of the desolation: & taking away the daily [worship] must be of the same extent which the host of heaven & the truth, that is which the Church of God & the truth of his religion & by consequence extend to the synagogues of the host where this truth was preached, & to be of long duration.

It was to be in the time of the end, & to last till the end of the indignation.

In the latter time of the kingdom of the four horns, when the transgressors were come to the full this horn was to stand up & grow mighty but not in his own power, & the vision concerning the the daily & the transgression (from the time that the transgressors were come to the full, was to last 2300 prophetick days (which are not yet expired) & then the sanctuary was to be cleansed: & therefore unless you will say that the Temple of Ierusalem alone is to be cleansed for restoring the sacrifices, you must allow that the sanctuary of the synagogues & the daily worship therein is comprehended in the words of this prophesy.

And now having explained what is the daily [worship,] which was to be taken away & what is the sanctuary wherein it was performed, it will be more easy to understand what is the transgression of desolation which was to be set up in this sanctuary in the room of that worship.


The Christian daily worship is represented in the Apocalyps by the Jewish.

Here God is represented as it were sitting on a throne above the Ark between the Cherubins in the most Holy place.

The assembly of Presbyters are represented by the 24 Elders, the Holy spirit & the teachers or Bishops by the seven lamps & the people by the four animals full of eyes in the outward court.

The animals worship God day & night or morning & evening saying Holy holy holy Lord God Almighty who was & is & is to come.

And when they give him glory & honour & thanks the Elders fall down & worship him & give him glory & honour & thanks for creating all things This is the worship due from all the Church to God the father.

We are to worship him & him alone as the almighty & ever living God who created all things & gives us our daily bread.

This the foundation of all religion.

There was in the right hand of him that sat upon the throne a book of prophesy none was found worthy to open it or look upon it till the Lamb appeared & took the book.

All foreknowledge is originally in the breast of God Almighty & he communicates it immediately to the Lamb alone who sends it by his spirit to the Prophets: whence the Lamb is called the word of God & the testimony of Jesus is called the spirit of Prophesy & the Apocalyps is called the Revelation of Iesus Christ which God gave unto him & he sent his messenger & signified it to his servant Iohn.

For the spirit of truth speaks not of himself but what he hears that he speaks, He receives from Christ & shews it to the Prophets being sent unto them by Christ.

And when the Lamb had taken the book the four animals & 24 Elders fell down before him with harps & vials of incence & sung a new song saying Thou art worthy to take the book & open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain & hast redeemed us to God by thy blood.

This is a worship due not to the ever living God but to the Lamb alone & is therefore given to him without any breach of the first or second commandment.

Of the daily worship taken away & the abomination of desolation set up.

In the reign of Constantine the great & there were great disputes between several parties of the Church but without a separation.

Some parties endeavoured to impose articles of faith in new forms of words: the seven Churches laboured against all new forms according to the Apostles rule; Hold fast the form of sound words (2 Tim. 1.13) the form of doctrine which was delivered to you (Rom. 6.17) wholesom words, the words of our Lord Iesus Christ (1 Tim. 6.3) the words of faith (1 Tim 4.6).

These disputes about words were vehement but occasioned no separation till after the reign of Julian.

The visible Church catholick continued entire & undivided from the days of the Apostles till the reign of Valentinian & Valens & then came on the hour of temptation upon all the world.

Some few separated even in the days of the Apostles as Iohn represents.

As ye have heard, saith he, that Antichrist shall come, even now there are many Antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

They went out from us but they were not of us: for if they had been of us they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us (1 John. 2.19).

And Jude: These be they who separate themselves (Jude 19).

But These were small separations & continued to be made from time to time without endangering the Church catholick untill the Bishop of Rome with his adherents separated from her which separation being very great & fatal is represented in this prophesy by the Woman's flying into the wilderness & leaving behind her a remnant of her seed which keep the commandments of God & have the testimony of Jesus & by the rising of the two horned Beast out of the earth after which the Dragon made war upon the remnant of the womans seed till all separated & worshipped the Beast & his Image & received his mark except the 144,000.

And by all these separations Christ spewed the Church of Laodicea out of his mouth.

This was the daily worship of the first temple whose candlesticks were the seven Churches of Asia taken away; & the abomination of worshipping the Beast & his Image & receiving his mark set up in the room of it in the outward court of the Temple where the people of God worshipped before.

And this abomination turned the western Empire into a desolate wilderness & caused all in the eastern Empire to be killed or banished humane society who would not worship the Image of the Beast or receive his mark & therefore was an Abomination of desolation.

And being placed in the great Temple of all the Roman Empire it was much more notable & of far greater consequence then any abomination that ever was placed in the Temple of the Jews at Jerusalem, & so answers much better to the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel & Christ.

So soon as that which letted should be taken out of the way there was to be a great Apostasy & the man of sin was to be revealed who opposeth & exalteth himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped so that he as God sitteth in the Temple of God shewing himself that he is God.

By that which letted the primitive Christians understood the Roman Empire.

And when the heathen Roman Empire, which preserved the Christian religion from corruption, was taken out of the way, the Beast quickly appeared & was deified & he & his image were worshipped in the outward court of the great Temple of God.

This man of Sin was to come with all power.