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things have been experienced in all ages by some, and will 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. fuces 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 locusts that came forth of the smoke of the. pit, may be said to be in shape 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 teeth may be said to be like lions teeth, in respect of the readiness they had to tear in peices 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 scorpions, 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 sake. 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 sounding 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 sounding of the fifth angel; but I shall leave the reader to consider of it, therefore I shall say no more of it here.
CHAP. XXVIII. A ND in verse 13. The sixth angel sounded, and n John heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar, which is before God.
As for the altar, I shall not speak 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 horns of the golden altar which is before God, saying to the sixth angel that 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 may be called the old serpent, 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 seed, 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 serpentangel that deceived Eve, as aforesaid ; and he being an angel of light before he was cast down from hea
ven, ven, but now he being upon this earth and dissolving into seed, 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 same 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 imagination what the devil should be; not thinking himself to be the devil ; and this is spiritual 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 seed 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 seed of faith to know that there is no such thing, as the seed 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 said to be reserved in chains of darkness, into the judgment of the great day. This is only to give the seed of faith a little to know the difference of angels. But these four angels that were bound at the great river Euphrates, were of the heathen kings that did succeed 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 Moses 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