« ForrigeFortsæt »
and the season of thy last judgment, wherein all that were formerly dead shall appear before thee, and receive their retribution, according to their works: wherein thy servants the Prophets, and thy Saints, and those that fear thy name, both small and great, shall receive a happy reward of life and glory; and the persecutors of thy Church shall be recompensed with everlasting destruction.
XI. 19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.
Then was an open way set forth (to the world) not only to the true Evangelical Church, figured by the Temple; but also to the very Holy of Holies, and therein to Christ the Saviour, figured by the Ark of the New Testament: and, withal, there was thereupon a terrible execution of judgment upon those wicked enemies of the Church and Gospel of Christ, in all variety of plagues and punish
XII. 1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
Hitherto hath the estate of the Church been represented in Two several Visions: now, it pleased God to shew the same unto me, more at large, in a Third Vision; beginning at the primitive times thereof, and continuing till the end of all things. The primitive Church was therefore represented unto me, as a woman resplendent and glorious; though of herself, in respect of her nature and sex, weak and feeble, yet made pure and majestical, by the perfect beams of Christ's righteousness shining upon her: the moon was under her feet, to signify her treading upon all the transitory and changeable things of this life, now in the times of her first sim plicity and upon her head was a crown, not of gold, but of hea venly matter, even of stars, to signify, that she is honoured as a queen in heaven; of twelve stars, to signify the heavenly doctrine of the twelve Apostles, the maintenance whereof is the only glory
XII. 2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
And she, that had been formerly barren, was now fruitful, and great with child; ready to be delivered of her happy burden; longing to bring forth children unto God.
XII. 3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns upon his heads.
And there appeared another wonder in heaven; for there was re presented to me a fearful image of that opposition, which should be made to the Church; viz. that the Devil, which was resembled by a great red dragon cruel and bloody, whose chief seat and city standeth upon seven hills, being crowned with the command and
government of the world, and having under it many confederated kingdoms wherein the strength thereof consisteth, should stir up the tyrants of the Roman Empire, to set themselves against it in all violent courses.
XII 4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the wo man which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
And the issue of this tyrannical persecution, raised by Satan, was such, as that, by this means, very many, who were and might have been lights to others, were miscarried from their Christian profession, and drawn back to Pagan Idolatry: and these bloody persecutors, agents for the then Roman Empire, stood ready to watch for any that would or durst profess the Name of Christ; and, so soon as any man did but offer to stand out for the maintenance of the Christian Faith, were ready to seize upon him, and to proceed cruelly against him.
XII. 5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.
But, in spite of all the malice and opposition of enemies, the Church brought forth, through the power of the Gospel, a masculine issue of true and faithful professors; in whom Christ was truly formed anew; even Christ Mystical, that Son of God who should rule over the nations, and in whose right his members partake of the same glory and this blessed issue of hers was taken into the special protection of God, and in their several times glorified with bim.
XII. 6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.
And the Church, viz. the faithful professors of Christ's Name, being, after this, persecuted, were glad to retire themselves into deserts and solitary places; where the Providence of God had prepared maintenance and safe protection for them; where they continued during the heat of that persecution.
XII. 7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And the Devil, the arch-enemy of man's salvation, raised up war against Christ and his Church: and there was a very great and sore conflict, betwixt Christ and his faithful servants on the one part, and Satan and his complices on the other,
XII. 8 And prevailed not: neither was their place found any more in heaven.
But Satan, notwithstanding all his power and malice, prevailed not against the Church; neither was permitted to achieve any thing against the salvation of God's elect.
XII. 9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old Serpent called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the carth, and his angels were cast out with him.
And the Great Dragon, the Devil, and Satan, even that Old Serpent, which bore a deadly and perpetual enmity to Christ and his holy seed, and who is the great Deceiver and Tempter of the sons of men, was utterly defeated of all power to prevail against God's Church; and was put over, and limited to the exercise of his ty ranny, upon those earthly and carnal men, whom he prevails
XII. 10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, 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, which accused them before our God day and night.
And I heard a loud voice of Saints and Angels, triumphing in heaven, at this victory of Christ, and defeat of Satan, saying, Now, is salvation without all impeachment prepared for God's chosen; and the strength and the kingdom of our God, and the power of Christ his Son, is enlarged: for Satan, who is the great Tempter and Accuser of God's children, urging their sins against them, and pleading for revenge of their misdeeds, and raising calumnies and slanders against them, before God and men, is foiled and dejected.
XII. 11 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.
And these elect children of God have overcome him; not by any power of their own, but by the blood of Christ, that Immaculate Lamb, applied to them by a lively Faith; and by the power of that mighty word of truth, which they have given their confession unto; and by their resolute and patient suffering, and yielding up their lives to a most bitter death, for the maintenance of the Gospel.
XII. 12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
Therefore rejoice, O ye Heavens, and ye blessed Angels and Saints that dwell therein, for this your happy victory in Christ your Redeemer. But, woe be to you, earthly and carnal-minded inen, whose affections are wholly set upon worldly things! for, since Satan cannot have his will of God's faithful ones, he will be sure to tyrannize over you; and, for that purpose, is he labouring, in his extreme rage against mankind, to execute his wrath upon you; wherein he is so much the more eager and vehement, because he knows his kingdom draweth near to an end.
XII. 13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the arth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And, when this malicious Dragon saw, that he was defeated of his purposes, of hindering the salvation of God's Saints, he turned all is rage against the Church Militant on earth; raising up, by his vicked instruments, all manner of persecutions against her, who ad brought forth that masculine issue of faithful professors.
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, from 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 floods 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 sare 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 lion and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
And the beast which I saw, representing the Roman Empire, was, as it were, composed of the qualities of those other three former Monarchies which were past: for, in fierceness and speed of conquest, it was like the Leopard of the Greek Monarchy; and, for ravening, like the Persian Bear; and, for haughtiness and cruelty, like to the Babylonian Lion: and the Devil did, by all means, set forward the power and authority of this Empire; advancing it by frauds and cruelties, that it might serve for his own purposes.
XIII. 3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
And I saw one of his heads wounded deadly, in the cutting off of the Cæsar's line in Nero; and in the intercision of the Empire, for some time by the Huns, and Goths, and Vandals: but this wound was soon healed up; and the flourishing condition of that Empire was such, as all the world wondered at it, and were glad to do their homage and fealty to it.
XIII. 4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
And men were so besotted with the admiration thereof, that they were ready to adore those hellish powers, by whose means and furtherance this Empire was so advanced; and to doat upon the honour and greatness of this, which they called a sacred and perpetual Monarchy; saying, What Empire was ever so great and large as this, and what nation or kingdom is able to stand out against it? XIII. 5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
And Satan had so prevailed with divers of these Cæsars, that, in the pride of their heart, they spake horrible blasphemies against God; proclaiming their own deity, and calling for adoration from the people; and, through the permission of God, power was given unto this Empire, to prevail and execute tyranny and cruelty for the space of a thousand, two hundred, and sixty years.
XIII. 6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
And these proud and atheous governors opened their mouths against God, to blaspheme his Name, and to arrogate his title to themselves; as also to slander and traduce his Church, raising wicked calumniations against his saints and servants.
XIII. 7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
And, beside their blasphemies, they were permitted, in the just judgment of God, to raise cruel persecutions against those that