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SECTION CXXX.

Fear none of those 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.'-REV. ij. 10.

WHITBY, in the preface to his discourse on the millenium, remarks, that 'Scaliger was pleased to say, Calvin was wise, because he did not write upon the Revelations. I confess,' continues Whitby, 'I do it not for want of wisdom-that is, because I neither have sufficient reading, nor judgment, to discern the true intendment of the prophecies contained in that book.'

It had been well, perhaps, if others had followed the example of Calvin and Whitby. As several have written, however, I may be allowed to quote them, without assuming to be deeply skilled in the meaning of this most mysterious production. I only remark, that any doctrine, resting for support solely on the supposed meaning of this book, can scarcely be entitled to implicit belief.

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1. HAMMOND. Take courage against all possible dangers, remembering me, as I have represented myself to you, ver. 8. And now I tell you before-hand, that your constancy to the faith must, in reason, be expected to raise you up enemies, both at this present, the Jewish zealots for the synagogue, ver. 9, (incensed against you by the Gnostics,) and afterwards the Roman officers, asserters of the diabolical idol worship against christianity, and these latter shall apprehend and imprison some of you, being permitted by God to do so, on purpose for the further trial of your constancy. And this persecution which shall come upon you, when the Jews are destroyed, (in the time of Marcus Aurelius and Verus, under which, Polycarp, the bishop of this church, shall suffer death,) shall then last for a little while; and all this shall prove a foundation of greater glory to you, and help them to

the reward and crown of martyrdom which suffer in it, and that is all the hurt which your constancy shall bring you.' Par. in loc.

2. GILL. Crown of life: which may refer, not only to eternal life, but to the deliverance of the christians from persecutions by Constantine; who coming to the imperial crown, that became not only a crown of glory to him, but of life to the church, and was as life from the dead to the saints; to dead men is promised a crown of life, in allusion to the Gentiles, who crowned their dead.' Expos. in loc.

SECTION CXXXI.

'He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; he that overcometh, shall not be hurt of the second death.'REV. ii. 11.

THE second death has been supposed to signify endless torment. But there is orthodox authority for interpreting the phrase to mean merely an utter destruction, such as fell on Sodom, when the Lord rained upon the city fire and brimstone; but having no special reference to the situation of men in the future existence.

1. HAMMOND. 'They that hold out to the end, that persevere in despite of all these temptations, shall continue a prosperous, flourishing church-shall not have their candlestick removed from them, as all they shall, that, by the sharpness of persecutions, are scandalized, and fall off from Christ. See note on chap. xx. 6.' Par. in loc.

In the note referred to, (quoted in its proper place,) the reader will find some remarks on the phrases, first resurrection, and second death, which are worthy a careful perusal.

SECTION CXXXII.

And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood: And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig-tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heavens departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bond-man, and every free-man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains. And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand ?'-REV. vi. 12-17.

MANY have supposed this passage to be descriptive of the final consummation of all things, and to indicate that some shall be tormented in the future life. A different view is given below. The reader may find it profitable to review the notes on Matt. chap. xxiv., 2 Pet. iii. 7-13, &c., where similar language occurs.

1. HAMMOND. 'And at the opening of the sixth seal, in that roll, there was a representation of eclipses of sun and moon, &c., figuratively to express great destructions, Ezek. xxxii. 7, Isa. xiii. 20, Joel ii. 10, 31, and chap. iii. 15. And the same was again signified by an appearance of falling stars, dropping down as the withered figs, those that are of a second spring, and come not to be ripe that year, but hanging on the tree in the winter, are frostbitten, and with a great wind are shaken down and fall from the tree, Isa. xxxiv. 4. And by the appearance of great, black, gloomy clouds, covering the whole face of the sky, not a star to be seen any more than the writing is discernable in a roll folded up, and by the earthquakes, ver. 12, whereby many hills and islands were moved out of their places, Isa. xxxiv. 4. And the governors and great ones, of several degrees of power among the Jews, the generals of the several factions among them, and every meaner person of all sorts, appeared in the vision to be in a horrible consternation. And the guilt of the

blood of Christ and christians, which they had shed, and of which they wished that it might fall upon them and their children, now fell upon them, made them fly into vaults, or caverns under ground, and into walls, (according as it really fell out, and as it was foretold by the prophets, Isa. ii. 19, Hos. x. 8, and by Christ, Luke xxiii. 30,) as seeing this inevitable vengeance now falling on

them.' Par. in loc.

Five notes are added by Hammond, for the more full illustration of this vision. I quote only the last :—

'Ver. 16, Wrath of the Lamb: the anger of the Lamb, and the great day of his anger, here, ver. 16, 17, and thine anger, chap. xi. 18, are set to express this vengeance on the Jews, whereof the crucifixion of Christ was so great and particular a provoker. Hence is it, that in the gospel it is called the kingdom of God, and the coming of Christ, and in Josephus and Eusebius, divine visitation, destruction from divine vengeance, and visitation from God, Euseb. Lib. iii.; and all this from St. Luke xxi. 22, who calls them days of vengeance from God, poured out upon them remarkably for what they had done unto Christ. And one phrase yet more eminent, there is to the same purpose, Rev. xvi. 14, the war of the great day of God that ruleth all, that is, the bloody destruction which this just judgment of God brought upon them, for their crucifying of Christ, and persecuting and killing of christians.' Annot. in loc.

2. ASSEMBLY'S ANNOTATIONS. In these annotations, this passage is referred to certain troubles in the Roman empire. The first note commences thus :

The troubles that were to befal the Roman empire, and strange alterations therein, are set out figuratively, by the shaking of the earth, and confusion of the heavenly bodies, as often in the prophets such alterations are described,' &c. Annot. in loc.

3. CLARKE. All these things may literally apply to the final destruction of Jerusalem, and to the revolution which took place in the Roman empire, under Constantine the Great. Some apply them to the day of judgment;

but they do not seem to have that awful event in view. Com. in loc.

4. LIGHTFOOT. The destruction of Jerusalem and the whole Jewish state is described as if the whole frame of this world were to be dissolved. Nor is it strange, when God destroyed his habitation and city-places once so dear to him, with so direful and sad an overthrow; his own people, whom he accounted of as much, or more than the whole world beside, by so dreadful and amazing plagues.' He notices Matt. xxiv. 29, 30, and 2 Pet. iii. 10, and then continues thus :—' Rev. vi. 12, 13, The sun became black, &c. Where, if we take notice of the foregoing plagues, by which, according to the most frequent threatenings, he destroyed that people-viz., the sword, ver. 4, the famine, ver. 5, 6, and the plague, ver. 8-withal comparing those words, "They say to the mountains, fall on us, and cover us," with Luke xxiii. 30; it will sufficiently appear, that by those phrases is understood the dreadful judgment and overthrow of that nation and city. With these also agrees that of Jer. iv. 22—-28, and clearly enough explains this phrase.' Heb. and Talm. Exerc. in John xxi. 22.

SECTION CXXXIII.

And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.-REV. xiv. 9—11.

THIS is considered, by some, to afford very conclusive proof, that sinners shall be tormented eternally in the future life. But the orthodox writers, quoted below, interpret it to mean only certain severe temporal judg

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