Goodwin - BX9315 G6 v2

@/.[n ExPo sI TI oN P~ of the four Beafls, calling upon John to come and fee, and behold the mind and ~meaning of thefe Judgments on the World; the Officers of Churches in their Sermons fo inflructcd them. Obferv.lf. The only Obfervation i !hall raife from this Inflrnllion of the four Beafls, is this, That during the fitfl four Seals, (which indeed bring us to 2 6o Years after Cilrifl) the Officers of Churches remained according to the Inflitution in the purer Churches; but afterwards you hear not of them, Corruptions coming in upon all the Churches, and perverting their right Inflitution and End. You meet not with any more mention of them, till the Vials begin (chap. I 5.) which was in the firfl feparation from Popery ; and then you reade not that all four, but only'pne of the Beafls gave thofe Vials. But after a fecond meafuring the Temple before Rome'• Ruin, as (bap. I I. you reade of four Beafls, chap. 19. in their right order again, praifing God. The fifth Seal, is that great and bloody Perfecution which followed after all thefc Plagues, in the Time of Dioclejian, about the Year 30o,which was of all the ten Perftcutions foregoing it, the greatefl, and therefore is put in for all the reft: Under it there fuffered 144000 in one Province of the Empire; how many therefore in the reft ? Now this !aft is here mentioned inftead of all the refr. r. Becaufe indeed thofe other Plagues, for the contempt of tt1e Gofpel, did but enrage the Heathens the more; for they thought that all this came upon them for their fuffering the Chriflians to live. 2. This being the !aft, and greatefr, is brought in as crying for Vengeance in the Name of all the foregoing Martyrs ; for Co their Cry intimates, How long, Lord, wilt tho11 not avenge o11r Bl•od I The Vifion is, I. Of Souls fevered from their Bodies, even of Men flain, or of Martyrs. 2. Thefe Men are prefented as new facrificed,and with their Throats cut, lying bleeding at the foot of the Altar, alluding to the Sacrifces, for Martyrdom is no other than a Sacrifice; 2 Tim. 4· 6. For I am now ready to be offired, and the tiMe of my departHre ;, at band; and Phi!. 2. t 7· Yea, and if I be offired upon the focrifice and ferz•ice of your Faith, I joy and rejoice with yo11 all. And whereas many underCrand this Altar to be Heaven, that comes in afierward, when white RoGes are given tl;eiJJ. It is an allufion to the Altar of Burnt Offerings, whereon their Bodies were offtrcd ; but, ch.,p. 8. their Prayers ore offered up upon the Altar of lncen(e. 3· They are prefented as crying for Vengeance for their Blood: Mark it, It is not limply the Blood that cries, ( as'tis faid of .Abel's Blood) but the Souls themfelves cry,and that for Vengeance and utter Ruin on the Empire: ALapide makes it [ liberationem J fo the Hebrew word fignifies; and fo vindicare is to ji'ce, as praying fer the Liberty of the Church below. But tbefe cries are in the behalf of thdr own Blood already !hed; and for that there was no fuch liberty to be Cued for. The Satisf.1Clion to their Cry is double ; t. A Keafon why Vengeance is delayed; they bad Brethren to be maqe per· fc{t asthey were. 2. In the mean time they are received to Glory. I. For the R.eafon; it confifls in this, that the Empire was yet a while to fland in Power, becaufe they had other Brethren to be perfected as well as they, after a little Seafon. So that, it refers not to the Perfecutions of Antichrifr,which were a thotif.1nd Years after; but to thofe of Arrianifm, when under thofe Em– perors, as crud Perfecutions for the Time, were raifed fame thirty Years after this, as ever before; and then the Trumpets found, and they ruin the Empire it felf through their Prayers, as cbap. 8. 2. For