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ministry of the leven churches of Alia. Thele being thole leven angels which John did write unto, as I said before; for these seven angels which John did write unto in chap. ii. it was to signify those great tribulations and sufferings, that the ministry and the churches themselves should undergo.
But in chap. viii. John saw these seven angels, which were the ministers of the seven churches of Asia, in another condition; he saw them now as if they were in a state of glory. And now instead of tributlation for ten days, which ten days were the ten perfecutions, which did last a matter of three hundred years, as aforesaid. I say, now he saw these seven angels stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets ; that is, each of them had trumpets given unto them; so that every one of them might found forth some plague, and judgement or other upon the earth, where wicked men do dwell, who persecuted the innocent to the death.
And in verse 3. it is said, Another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden cenfer, and there was given unto him much incense that he should offer it, with the prayers of all saints, upon the golden altar which was before the throne. This angel I declare
was Moses, who was to officiate the office of offering up the prayers of all the saints, with the incense upon the golden altar, which was before the throne in the vision, as he did in his commission of the law, when he was here upon earth; so that he is called by John's Revelation, Another angel that came and stood at the altar, &c.
And in verse 4. The smoke of the incense which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before Good out of the angels hand. And in verse 5. And the angel took the cenfer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth, and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.
This is spoken with relation to those offerings, which Moses the angel of the covenant of works, did practice in the time of the law. And as he was the angel that gave forth the law, and so appointed and ordained censers, altars, and offerings to be offered up unto the Lord in that tabernacle, which was but a pattern of the true; so Moses is that angel that is said by John in is vision, to offer up the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar, which was before the throne.
It is called a golden altar, because it is spiritual and heavenly, and the facrifice, which is the prayers of saints, is spiritual also, in opposition to that altar and facrifices Moses had in the time of the law. So that when the angel had offered up the prayers of all the saints and the smoak of the incense, and the saints prayers together, they ascended
up before God out of the angel's hand. And when this was accomplished, theangel took the censer, and filled it with fire, and cast itinto the earth.
Only to signify some extraordinary plagues and judgments that should follow upon the founding of every one of the seven angels trumpets.
Now I would have you the feed of faith to consider, that as there was a real, visible, and temporal altar, facrifice, incence, cenfer, used in the visible worship in the time of the law, the very same things are express’d by John in a spiritual sense, both by way of vision and revelation. So that what M. ses did as he was the angel of the covenant of works, and visible worship, John doth express it in a fpiritual and an heavenly sense. So that there is a true reality in the spiritual sense, though
invisible, which cannot be seen but by the eye of faith, as the temporal was feen and known by the eye of reason. So that those judgments and plagues that were acted in Moses's commission, they are rehearsed by John over again in a spiritual sense. So that the things that three of these seven angels did, the plagues ' that doch appear upon the earth at the founding of their trumpets, they were fulfilled in the commission of Moses, which was of the law. Therefore it is worth the minding, to know what plagues did follow upon the founding of every one of these seven angels who had seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
For observe, that when the angel aforesaid, had took the cenfer and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth, it produced immediately, there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake ; So likewise upon the founding of the seven trumpets which the seven angels had which prepared themselves to sound. The first angel sounded, and there followed hail, and fire mingled with blood; and they were cast upon the earth, and the third part of trees were burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.
The plague that followed upon the first angel's sounding, was upon Pharaoh and his people, when Moses was sent of God to him to let the children of Israel go into the wilderness to worship. I need not to relate the particular plagues, because they may be read in the scriptures. But at the first angel's founding, Pharaoh and his people had that hail, and fire mingled with blood amongst them; so that other great plagues were upon man and beaft in Egypt ; as you may read concerning those seven plagues which Moses brought upon it, because Pharaoh would not let the people of Israel go: and these were the fruits of the first angel sounding his trumpet.
And in verse 8. And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea, and the third part of the sea became blood. And in verse 9. The third part of creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died, and the third part of ships were destroyed.
This great mountain burning with fire which was cast into the sea, when the second angel did sound, was Pharaoh and all his hoft; for Pharaoh was a great mountain, that is a king of great power. And he burned with the fire of envy and madness, that the people of Israel should be carried out of his kingdom, and enrich themfelves with the Egyptians jewels, and other things which they had borrow'd. It was enough to make this great mountain to burn with the fire of madness and revenge; so that he and all his hoft would follow to the sea side, that his wrath might burn as a fire of revenge upon the people of Israel, and bring them back again.
But in the conclusion, this great mountain that burned with the fire of revenge, was cast into the sea. That is, king Pharaoh, the great mountain, and all his host, who burned with revenge like fire, were cast into the sea. So that the third part of the sea may be said to become blood, because the destruction was exceeding great, so that the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died, and the third part of the ships were destroyed; that is, the third part of Pharaohs kingdom was cast into the sea, so that though the poor creatures had life when they were in the midst of the sea following of Moses, the sea swallowed them up, so that the third part of the kingdom of Egypt died in the
fea. And the third part of ships were destroyed : that is, the third part of Pharaoh's chariots and waggons which the kingdom would afford, were destroyed in the sea.
John calls them ships, because they carried him into the sea, and after they were destroyed, the chariots swum upon the waters; and in this regard they are called by the Revelation of John, ships. For when Pharaoh was drowned, we do not read that he, nor any nation else had any ships, but what hath been built since. So that John might call his chariots that swum upon the waters after they were destroyed, ships. And the lives of his horses, and his mules, and his men, were the third part of creatures which died in the sea. And this was that mountain burning with fire that was cast into the sea, at the second angel's founding the trumpet, &c.
CHA P. XXIII.
ERSE 10. And the third angel founded, and there fell a great star from heaven,
burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters. And in verse 11. The Name of the star is called wormwood, and the third part of the waters became wormwood, and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter
This third angel sounded when Elijah and Elisha did those wonderful miracles in Israel, in their reproving of Ahab and his sons for their idolatry, and when Isaiah the prophet prophesied against the king of Affyria. For when the angel doth sound, there is always some great trouble upon the earth attends to one or more particular nations ; as there was in the days of Elijah, and more especially in the days of Elisha the prophet, when as the king of Syria warred with Israel, but was prevented by the prophet Elisha's counsel.
As you may read 2 Kings vi. 8. how many times he prevented the king of Syria : But in process of time another king of Syria came against Samaria, as in verse 14. of this chapter ; so that there was a great and extream famine in Samaria, as may be read in that chapter. But this King of Syria was disappointed also ; and in process of time there arose another king of Affyria, which came up against Samaria and besieged it, and at the three years end took it, as in 2 Kings xiii. 8.
So in 2 Kings xviii. 13. In the fourteenth year of the reign of king Hezekiah, did the king of Asyria coming up against all the fenced cities of Judah, and took them. And further he went on, until he came to besiege Jerusalem, with great high boasting words against the God of Israel, as he did against other idol gods; which he cast into the fire, as Rabshaketh the servant of the king Assyria doth declare, as the history doth abundantly relate.
So that Hezekiah king of Judah did send to the prophet Isaiah to enquire of the Lord, as in 2 Kings xix. 2. And the prophet Isaiah put the king in good comfort, that the Lord would destroy the king of Affyria and his host, as afterwards was done, according to the words of the prophet Isaiah, as may be read in the chapter aforesaid,
Now this king of Affyria, and the other kings of Syria, and the king of Moab that rebelled against Israel; but especially this great king of Affyria, was that great
star which John saw in his vision fall from heaven, burning as it were a lamp; for he was in his own thought with pride and loftiness of his heart as high as the stars are from the earth, in power, from the king of Judah. So that Hezekiah his strength it was but as the earth for him to tread upon, or like a reed which he could crush in his hand.
And this star it burned like a lamp, that is, a rumour and noise of his great army, it went thorough many kingdoms, putting them into such a fear, which made the inhabitants hearts to burn with fear of his strength; for he burned as a lamp. That is, not swiftly, but slowly, that is, he overcame one kingdom after another, for when he had burned one kingdom by overcoming them by the sword, and firing their wooden gods, the noise of this burned like a lamp in other kings hearts, with fear that they and tireir gods should be served so. And so it did prove, as you may read 2 Kings xix. 12. what a many kings and gods did he destroy ; so that he burned indeed like a lamp until he had confumed many kings and their wooden gods. So that his heart was lifted up with pride, even as a great star in heaven, so that he thought to do by the God of Jacob in whom Hezekiah did trust, as he did by those wooden gods which other nations did worship. Therefore he proudly faith, What God shall deliver Hezekiah the king out of his band? So that he burned as a lamp with fear and terror both to the king and all Judah, so that kings are called stars, as it is said in scripture, speaking of Christ, A star shall come out of Jacob. So that Christ being the king of the Jews, he is called a star. So likewise this great king of Affyria who had overcome so many kings, and had burned all their wooden gods, who thought to do fo to Judah, he was that star that fell from heaven burning as it were a lamp. It fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters : this star is said to burn like a lamp, in regard he conquered so many kings, and burned their gods with fire. And this star is faid to fall upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters, because he fell upon those kings that were situated by Jordan and the fea-coast, and many kings did Senacherib king of Assyria fubdue, and burn their gods with fire, as you may fee 2 Kings xix. 18.
So 2 Kings i. 33. Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered at all his land out of the hand of the king of Asyria ?
Where, faith he, are the gods of Hamath, with divers other kings, and Samaria, or countries that have been delivered out of the king of Affyria's hand? So that he hath digged and drunk strange waters, and with the sole of his feet hath he dryed up all the rivers of besieged places, as in 2 Kings xix. 24. And this was that great star that fell from heaven which burned like a lamp, as aforesaid. And this star fell upon the third part of the rivers and fountains of waters. It is faid to be the third part of the rivers and fountains of waters, in regard he stopped all those rivers and fountains of waters, which did belong to all those kingdoms and lands which he conquered. So that the inhabitants of those lands could have no benefit of those rivers and fountains of waters, which did belong to their land; for this star falling upon the rivers and fountains of waters in
besieging their cities; so that their rivers and fountains of waters were dryed up with the soul of his feet ; for his Army was so great that the feet of his foldiers were every where upon the rivers and fountains of water ; so that they were all become dry to the people of those lands. Neither could any of the inhabitants of those lands, not so much as taste of those rivers and fountains of water, which did belong unto them. For the feet of his army had besieged every place, and in this regard the king of Affyria, that star that fell from heaven, may be said to fall upon the third part of the rivers and fountains of waters, and that he had dryed them up with the fole of his feet.
CH A P. XXIV.
ND in verse 11. John saith, the name of the star is called wormwood, and
the third part of the waters became wormwood, and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter. Now John calls the name of this star aforesaid wormwood, in regard it made the third part of the waters it fell upon to be wormwood also ; for many men that drank of these waters, which this star fell upon, died, because they were made bitter.
The meaning is this, that when the men of those islands or lands did fally out, or any other ways to get water out of those rivers or fountains, to give themselves and their cattle drink, then the feet of this star, that is, his soldiers fell upon those men and killed them. So that the waters became bitter, and that many men died of the waters; for the waters were good of themselves, but they could get none of them, neither could they get water any where else, so that they must have of those rivers and fountains of water where the star fell, or else they must perish both men and beast for want of water. So that they were forced to drink of those bitter waters, though they died with it. For the star whose name was wormwood, was fallen upon them, that is, he had besiged the waters so in every place, that the waters became as bitter as wormwood. So that whosoever did drink of them without the star's leave, he must die. So that the waters became bitter indeed; likewise many of Judah did drink of these bitter waters, and as you may see, Isaiah viii. 7.
In verse 6. Judah is blamed for refusing the waters of Shiloah, and many other waters; therefore in verse 7. it is said Now behold the Lord bringeth up upon the waters of the river, strong and many, even the king of Assyria, and all his glory, and be shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks. So that this star whose name is wormwood, must go over the channels and banks of Judah and Samaria, and make their waters as bitter as wormwood. So that they must many of them die of the waters also, as it is said, Jer. ix. 15. Therefore thus faith the Lord of Hofts, the God of Israel, bebold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink. So that besieged waters are called by the revelation of the prophets, and of John, wormwood of waters, and bitter waters, and many are said to die of the waters, because they were bitter. It is because of the drought, in that the star, the king of Affyria, or any other