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XII. 14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might flee into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, froin the face of the serpent. But unto the Church were given, by the wise and gracious Providence of the Almighty, many both forcible and speedy means of her delivery; that she might retire and betake herself to a place of more obscure safety; where he took order for her preservation and nourishment, during all the time of her persecution.
XII. 15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood af. ter the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the Serpent, when he saw that the speed of her rescue was such, as that he could not overtake and surprise her; he cast forth, after her, whole foods of lies, slanders, and reproaches, by the mouths and pens of her blasphemous enemies; and broached store of erroneous and heretical doctrines, wherewith, if it were possible, he might draw her, either into detestation or apostasy.
XII. 16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. But this attempt of his was also in vain ; for the Providence of God so ordered it, as that all these false reproaches and attempts of infection prevailed not, but vanished away, even as a flood of landwater is swallowed up of the earth, and is seen no more.
XII. 17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. And the Devil was so much the more exasperated against the Church, for that he saw himself disappointed in all his projects; and, therefore, he ceased not to stir up war against those children of the Church, which professed the truth of the Gospel, and endeavoured to keep sincerely the commandments of God, and the only-true religion of Jesus Christ.
XIII. 1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And I stood upon the shore of the island Patmos, and, behold, there was a further vision presented to me: for I saw out of the ambitious stirs and tumults of the world, there arose the great Roman Empire, in the form of a beast, by reason of the brutish conditions of those that swayed it; whose chief seat was placed upon seven hills; and whose government was managed by seven several forms of sovereignty; and whose strength consisted in ten several kingdoms, which were under the command of that Empire; and divers profane and wicked governors of that Monarchy made profession of horrible blasphemies and impieties, in that they challenged to be stiled and adored as gods.
XIII. 2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and
his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a
XIII. 3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death;
XIII. 4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto
XIII. 5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great
XIII. 6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to
XIII. 7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints,
3 that extra
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professed the Name of Christ, and to put them to death; and this power was yielded to them universally, in all kingdoms and coun. tries, under their dominion.
XIII. 8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him;
XIII. 9 If any man have an ear, let him hear.
: ing ear, let him well consider of these great and mystical things, wbich are spoken of this Empire.
XIII. 10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. For, as this Roman Empire shall long tyrannize over the world, and lead many thousands into captivity; so itself shall be dealt with, at the last; and, as it hath been guilty of much innocent bloodshed; so it shall accordingly be served again, and shall perish by the sword of an enemy: but, in the nean time, there is much patience required of God's Saints; and much faith, to cx. pect and attend the accomplishment of these things, which must, though late, yet, in their just time, be fulfilled.
XIII. 11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And, besides this Secular, I beheld a Spiritual Tyranny ; arising from small and weak beginnings, to a great height of pride and impietv; the semblance and outward shew whereof was meek and lamb-like, as tending to the advancement of the Name of Christ; but the doctrine, and practice, of it was proud and cruel. XIII
. 12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he taketh upon him to exercise all imperial power; making indeed but a mere shadow of the Empire: yet outwardly pretends to draw all the earth to the subjection and obedience of that Monarchy, whose deadly wound was healed. See verse 3.
XIII. 13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men: And this Spiritual Tyranny doth advance itself continually, by boasting of great miracles, that are daily done by the abettors thereof: so that, as Elijah, in his time, by calling down fire from heaven, did approve the truth of his doctrine and mission from God; so doth this tyrannical state go about to justify their teaching and usurpation, by strange and wonderful miracles:
XIII. 14 And deceiveih them that dwell on the earth, by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the
beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did lite. And this Spiritual Tyrant deceived the inhabitants of the earth, by those miracles which he had power to do, in the presence of the subjects of that great Einpire; and caused the people to renew and receive a new restored form and image of that long vacant Empire of the West, which had received that deadly wound by the sword of the Huns, and Goths, and Vandals.
XIII. 15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he had power to put a new life into that new restored image or shadow of the ancient Empire; that it should be able to do the wonted actions of life, and make laws for its own government and the establishment thereof; and, joining the force of bis decrees with the edicts of that meanly-revived Empire, should constrain all men, under pain of death, to yield their homage and subjection to that monarchy of his own crecting,
XIII, 16 And he caused all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, and in their foreheads. And he caused all, both small and great, rich and poor, to make open profession of themselves, to be the subjects and vassals of the Roman Empire; and, both in their countenance to declare it, and with their hands to fight for it.
XIII, 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beust, or the number of his name. And he excommunicated all that would not subject themselves un. to it; inhibiting them from all liberty of trade and traffic, or any affairs of secular commerce; which did not profess their reverence and obedience to that his Latin Empire, and the honourable titles given thereunto.
XIII. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Sir hundred three score and sir, Here is a proof of the wisdom and sagacity of any reader; let him, therefore, that hath skill and knowledge, reckon the number of the numeral letters, which are in the name of this Empire; for they make up the name of a man, even of one of the first princes, viz. Latinus, which swayed this governinent; and the numeral letters of his name make up the number of six hundred sixty and six.
XIV. 1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the inount Sion, and with him a hundred forty and four thousand, having his Futher's name written in their foreheads. Now, after that I had seen these fearful representations of the Two Great Enemies of God's Church, I had a comfortable sight shewed unto me of Christ the Blessed Protector thereof; who was repre, VOL. IV.
sented to me, as a Lamb standing upon his holy mount Sion; 20 with bim those his chosen servants, in infinite numbers, which had formerly received the mark of bis gracious protection, and whe had faithfully professed the truth of his religion.
XIV. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of mang waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice i harpers harping with their harps: And I heard the heavenly voice of God's Church, unanimously praising and magnifying the Name of God, for his wonderful mer
. cies to them; with such loudness and strength, as if it had been the sound of many waters, or of a mighty thunder: and I heard the joyful melody, that they made in the expressing of their thank» givings unto God: XIV. 3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne
, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. And these holy choristers sung, not the old song of their forefsthers, which praised God for the redemption which was to come; but sung new songs of thanksgiving for their redemption alreadr atchieved, in the presence of God and his Angels and glorihed Saints: and none of the carnal and uuregenerate men of the work could know what that joyful song meant; none baving ever found the sweetness and comfort of these mercies of God in Christ, but only his chosen and redeemed ones whom they concern.
XIV. 4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whitherso ever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruils unto God and to the Lamb. These are they, who are neither defiled with bodily fornication with women, nor with spiritual fornication with idols; but have kept themselves chaste and clean from both those pollutions: these are wholly addicted to the sincere worship and service of Christ
: these are bought with a price, even that inestimable price of his blood; being specially dedicated, as the holy firstfruits of mankind, to God and to Jesus Christ his Son.
XIV. 5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God. These are so justified from their sins by the blood of Christ, and so sanctified from their corruptions by his Spirit, as that there is no wickedness nor falsehood in them; and that, being clothed
ble mish, before the throne of God.
XIV. 6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, har, ing the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the Then I saw another "mighty and glorious messenger of God, when earth, and to every nution, and kindred, and tongue, and people ; for the more speed of delivery and safety from all oppugnation, flew with the message of that true and sincere Gospel of Christ whereof is everlasting ; having charge, that it should be broached which had been long suppressed and opposed by men, the truth