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or fons successively, so that the angel's fons are called by several names. And this son who had the key of the bottomless pit, and had power given him to open it, he is called a star that fell from heaven unto the earth. For all wicked kings and magistrates who are the seed of the fallen angel, they are called stars, because the first original of them was from heaven. But as that seed is become mortal, they may be said to fall unto the earth; and here it is that they work all their wickedness, blasphemy, and idolatry against God. And the bottomless pit is in the earth also, for there is no other bottomless pit but the imagination of man's heart, and out of this bottomless pit cometh all manner of wickedness. And when this bottomless pit is opened either by the law, or command of the good magistrate or the bad, there will arise unrighteousness, fear, wrath, and envy out of it. But this star that had power given him, he was a wicked magistrate; for when he opened the bottomless pit by his power and command, there arofe a smoke out of the pit as the smoke of a furnace. And the sun and the air were darkened, by reason of the smoke of the pit.
Now this sinoke that did arise out of the bottomless pit of his own and his peoples imaginations, and the pride of their hearts, it was his and their breathings forth of blasphemy against the living God, and revenge upon all those that would not submit to worship as they did. And this smoke, which was breathed forth from himself and his people, it did darken the sun and the air. That is, it made the faith and worship of the gospel, which did signify the sun, to be darkened, so that the worship of the gospel could not be seen to shine for a season.
And the air was darkned also. The air doth signify the light of reason : that is, the very light of reason was so darkned, that they could not worship God according to the light of reason. For the smoke of the pit was so great, that is, ignorant, dark, and idolatrous worship was breathed and threatened forth, that it became like the smoke of a great furnace, so that no sun or air could be seen. That is, the idolatrous dark worship was so great and overspread the earth, and the threatnings against any other worship, it being the smoke of the bottomless pit, it darkned the sun and the air, that they could not be seen for smoke. That is, no worship of the gospel, nor worship of the law, which was the light of reason, which signifies the air, could be seen by reason of the smoke of the pit; for as the smoke is great that doth arise from a furnace; so that it doth dazzle the light of the fire and candle, that it cannot be seen what is in the furnace; fo the smoke of the bottomless pit was so great, that the light of the sun and the air was darkened, that none could see into the bottomless pit. That is, the light of the gospel, nor the light of law, could not penetrate through the smoke of the pit to see what was in it, the breathings forth of blasphemy and idolatry was so great, that it darkened the sun and the air, as aforesaid.
CHA P. XXVII.
N D in verse 3. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth, and
unto them was given power as the scorpions of the earth have power. Now these locusts that came out of the smoke of the bottomless pit, I declare
they were men, though called by the Revelation of John locusts. For it was the power of the star's command that opened the bottomless pit of his own imagination, and that breathed out threatnings against all that would not obey his command; so that there arose out of the smoke of his imagination, a multitude of locusts, that is, a multitude of wicked men; and these wicked men should have power given, as the scorpions of the earth have power. That is, this star did give commission to those locusts that came out of the smoke, they had power given them by his commission to spread themselves upon the earth. And as the natural scorpions of the earth have power to hurt, or sting any they shall light upon, fo likewise these locusts that came out of the smoke of the pit, they also had power to hurt men whomsoever they did light upon. Only this their power was limited by a secret providence, it was commanded them, verse 4. That they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree, but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. The green grass, and green things, and trees, did signify the faints that should not be hurt.
For tho' the smoke of the bottomless pit had darkened the fun and the air, in that they durft not worship according to the law, nor gospel not publick, because of the smoke aforesaid, yet the saints were not to be put to death, nor hurt by these locusts, not for a certain time; for the faints did forbear cutward and publick worship of the gospel for a season, so that the locusts did not hurt them, according to the secret command and providence of God, but only those that had not the feal of God in their foreheads.
And in verfe 5. it is faid, And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months, and their torment was as the terment of a scorpion when he striketh a man.
Now those men which had not the seal of God in their foreheads, they were not to be killed by the locusts that came out of the smoke of the pit, but they were to be hurt and stung by them, and this stinging should torment them for five months. That is, for such a time as their power did last. Now what the fpirit doth mean by five months as to time, it is uncertain, and not revealed. But as the torment is great unto that man that is ftung with a natural scorpion in his body, so likewise the sting that these locufts did strike those men with who had not the seal of God in their foreheads, it was as the sting of scorpions, and the torment was like unto it. Now this torment or sting hath relation to the mind of man, as well as to the outward man; for the sin of idolatry or false worship, especially against a man's will, it will torment and sting the foul of man, as the sting of a scorpion doth the body, so that no rest can be found; for when men are forced to worship contrary to the light within them, else they must loose their estates ; so that these locusts they do either sting men in taking away their estates, and amicting them with outward trouble ; or else they must worship against the light of their conscience, and so sting their souls, and have the torment of his mind, which is as the torment of a scorpion when he striketh a man, So that when men are tormented and stung in this manner both in soul and body, they will chuse rather to die than to live, and shall seek for death, but it shall
be to the end of the world. Verse 7. And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle ; and the latter part of the verse, The faces of these locusts were like men. Verse 8. They had hair like unto the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of a lion. And in verse 9. They had breast-plates of iron. And in verse 10. And they had tails like unto Scorpions, and there were stings in their tails, and their power was to hurt men five months.
These locufts that came forth of the smoke of the pit, may be said to be in Ihape like horses prepared unto battle, in regard of their strength and preparedness of mind they had to hurt and to destroy; for the faces of the locusts were like the faces of men. They must needs be like men, for they were men, only they were wicked men, therefore called locusts. Their hair is said to be like the hair of women, in regard they did wear their hair long; and their teet may be faid to be like lions teeth, in respect of the readiness they had to tear in pieces with their teeth. And they may be said to have breast-plates of iron, in that they were exceedingly well armed. Also they may be said to have tails like scorpions, because of that poisonous nature that lay in their tails ; for there was a sting in it which did hurt men five months ; which men are called scorpions, as that of Ezekiel ii. 6. he speaking to the rebellious house of Israel, whom he calls bryers and thorns, as they were fit for nothing else but for the fire. Yet they like fcorpions, did endeavour to sting Ezekiel, but he was incouraged of God not to be afraid of them. So that wicked men are locusts and scorpions, and do sting men about worship with persecution, and death itself. And this sting may be said to be in their tails, when they persecute men meerly for conscience or religion fake. Then is the sting in their tails, and they do hurt men, as the scorpion of the earth doth hurt, when he striketh a man. So that great plagues were upon the earth, at the founding of the fifth angel. Which plagues did proceed from the smoke of the bottomless pit, it being opened by that king, who is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name is called Appollion. That is, the angel of reason, that was first thrown down from heaven unto this earth, even he that deceived our first parents as aforesaid, which is the destroyer.
And this reason, that is, the fallen angel's nature, is that which rules in all wicked kings and magistrates, therefore called by the revelation of the spirit, serpents, dragons, devils, stars, angels, the devil and his angels ; yet all from one angel of reason fallen. And this angel of reason fallen from heaven unto this earth, is the angel of the bottomless pit of the imagination of man's heart, which doth send forth that smoke, locusts, and scorpions, which doth sting and hurt their fellow-creatures, which doth bring such plagues and woe upon the inhabitants of the earth, which is far more than I can relate, at the founding of the fifth angel ; but I shall leave the reader to consider of it, therefore I shall say no more of it here.
CH A P. XXVIII.
ND in verse 13. The sixth angel sounded, and John heard a voice from the
As for the altar, 1 lhall not peak of that, for that hath been opened in my other writings, neither shall I speak of the voice which John heard, nor of the horns he speaketh of, for the thing is of no great concernment to know. But I shall proceed to verse 14. The voice that came from the four börns of the golden altar which is before God, saying to the sixth angelthat had the trumpet, loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.
Now I would have the reader to understand, that these four angels that were bound in the great river Euphrates, were not good angels, but evil angels. That is, they were the dragon's angels, that is, they' were four kings that were of the same seed and nature as he was, for they came from the old serpent, the devil, which beguiled Eve. He
He may be called the old ferpent, because he was the first angel that was thrown down from heaven unto this earth. And where the spirit of this serpent-angel is in king or magistrate, they being of his feed, they may be called angels also; for the devil and his angels are reserved in chains of darkness, until the judgment of the great day.
The meaning is this, the devil was that old serpent-angel that deceived Eve, as aforesaid ; and he being an angel of light before he was cast down from heaven, but now he being upon this earth and diffolving into feed, he is become an angel of darkness; Why because he hath lost the knowledge of himself, what he was himself, and what the other angels were that were of the fame nature of reason as he himself is. I say, he hath lost the knowledge both of the form of angels, and their natures, and what he was himself, so that he is now, in chains of darkness, wondering in his imaginaticn what the devil should be ; not thinking himself to be the devil; and this is fpiritual chains of darkness, not to know what the devil is in his form and nature.
And those great men that came of his seed, that is to say, the feed of the serpent, as Cain the first-born of the devil, cursed Cham, scoffing Ishmael, prophane Esau, that dragon Herod, with thousands of other kings, and great men that are of his seed, therefore called angels.
So that these angels are reserved in chains of darkness, until the judgment of the great day, as well as the devil their father ; for they are as ignorant what the devil is, and that they are angels, as the serpent is, what he was before he was thrown down from heaven; so that I would have the feed of faith to know that there is no such thing, as the feed of reason doth vainly imagine, as to think that there is any such thing as a devil, and his angels in chains of darkness, out of the body of man, distinct from man ; for there is no devil but man, and what is in the body of man.
And this spirit of reason in man is the devil, and when the spirit of reason hath got power in man, so as to be the chief and head of many people, he may be said to be an angel, though an angel of darkness, because he is in chains of darkness; for the spirit of reason is in chains of darkness almost in all men ; so that all men that are ignorant of the devil, and of themselves, may be said to be in chains of darkness.
And in this sense all men that are ignorant of the true God, and of the right devil, may be said to be the devil's angels, and so the devil and his angels may be
This is only to give the feed of faith a little to know the difference of angels. Bụt these four angels that were bound at the great river Euphrates, were of the heathen kings that did fucceed after Herod the dragon, spoken of Rev. xii. And as for the great river Euphrates, where these four angels were bound; the meaning is this, these four angels did border or inhabit near, and about this great river Euphrates. For this river was in the land of Canaan, where Canaanites, and other nations did dwell, which Mofes and Joshua did give to the Children of Israel to inhabit; but through their rebellion and idolatry, they were disinherited, and the Gentiles had it again. And these four angels did inhabit about that great river, for there was abundance of land that did belong to that great river Euphrates, whereby these four angels could raise many thousand horses and horsemen, as doth afterwards appear.
But why is it said that these four angels were bound? The meaning is this, they were bound by the secret providence of God, from going forth to battle to kill and slay men; for they had prepared themselves with such a mighty army, thinking to destroy and Nay the third part of men, that should come against them, in an hour ; if not in an hour, then in a day; if not in a day, then in a month; if not in a month, then in a year. So that these four angels were prepared to accomplish all this their design in a year's time; but these four angels were bound some certain time before they could do this. The time they were bound, it was so long as from the sounding of the fifth angel, to the sounding of the sixth angel. For there were great plagues at the founding of every angel, as I have fewed before. And now at the founding of the sixth angel, these four angels that were bound are loosed. And when they were loofed, you may see what effect they wrought.
The meaning is this, when the sixth angel sounded, there was leave given to those four angles that were bound before, the time being not come to go forth. Now they were loosed to say the third part of men, as they would willingly have done before ; and for that purpose they muster up their army, as in verse 16. John saw the number of the army of the horsemen, and they were two hundred thousand thousand. And in verse 17. John saw the horses in the vision, and them that
fate on them, having breast plates of fire and brimstone, and the beads of the horses were as the heads of lions, and out of their mouths issued fire, and smoak, and brimstone ; by his great army was the third part of men killed, as in verse 18.
That is, by the fire, and the smoke, and the brimstone, that isfied out of their mouths. And as for their horses heads, being like the heads of lions, it was only to signify the strength and dreadfulness of them; because men are more afraid of lions, than they are of horses ; and as for the fire, smoke, and brimstone, that issued out of the riders mouths, it signifies a three-fold destruction of men. As thus, when a man is burnt with fire alone. Secondly, a man may be smothered with smoke, so that he die. And if a man be burnt with brimstone, that is a more terrible death than the other two.
Now by one of these three were the third part of men killed, only to fignify that some died a more cruel death than other fome. That is, there issued out of