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light, she knows of no further revelation, but draws freely from the treasure she has in store things new and old for every need.

2. The individual believer learns more and more to delve with devout meditation into the wealth of the divine revelation, given once for all to the Church, finding there abundant answer of all his questionings, never needing to go outside the tradition handed down from the Apostles for the satisfying of any longing of mind or spirit.

XCV.

“But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken." -St. Mark xiii. 24, 25.

Exposition.—Isaac Williams says: “These signs in the heavens which are to precede the judgment are, we know, frequently spoken of in Holy Scripture: as when Isaiah says, Behold the day of the Lord cometh. the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light, the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And the prophet Joel, The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble; the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. And again, I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood and fire and pillars of smoke; the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible

day of the Lord come. . . It

may

indeed be the case that these are figurative expressions, and that as our Lord's first coming was described as, every mountain shall be made low, and every valley shall be exalted, words which were intended in a spiritual sense, so may also these, which describe His second advent.. In this manner St. Ambrose would explain it, that the moon is the Church, which will then borrow no light from Christ, Who is her Sun, being eclipsed by the earth, that is, by carnal desires intervening. They will not be able to see the Sun, for faith will fail. The love of life in persecution generally excludes the light of God. And the stars under the figure of which the faithful were described to Abraham, shall lose their influence and cease to give their light, the Saints being no longer regarded. So St. Ambrose interprets it. St. Augustine also seems to suggest that the Church and the Saints will be eclipsed, and scarce visible on earth, from the darkness of those days of Antichrist. And indeed this explanation of the sun being darkened might be implied in the Revelation, and he opened the bottomless pit, and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit, where the smoke out of the pit darkening the

sun seems a figurative description. . . . It seems generally allowed by ancient writers that a literal fulfilment is here intended, as well as the mystical. Thus Theophylact says, 'After the coming of Antichrist the frame of the world shall be obscured on account of the abundance of the brightness of Christ.' And so also St. Chrysostom, "The sun will be darkened, not destroyed, but overcome by the greater light of His presence. And the stars shall fall; for what use will there be of them when there shall be no more night? And the powers of heaven shall be shaken; and very reasonably, for if when the foundations of the earth were laid, they thrilled with wonder, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joymuch more when they behold all things being fashioned anew, their fellow-servants being brought to account, and the universe standing before the terrible tribunal, and all, who have been, from Adam, to the time of His coming, about to answer for what they have done, -how shall they not shudder and be moved.' And St. Jerome: 'It is not that their light will be diminished (for we read, that the light of the sun will be sevenfold); but that all things will be darkened to the sight in comparison of the true light. If therefore that sun, which now glows through the whole world, and

the moon, which is the second luminary, and the stars, which are lit up for the solace of night, and all the powers of heaven (by which we understand the angelic multitudes), shall be considered as turned into darkness by the coming of Christ; let their self-confidence be shaken who esteem themselves saints, but dread not the presence of the Judge. »

Swete says: “The symbolical description which follows is gathered from Old Testament predictions of the ruin of nations hostile to Israel. . . . In all these cases physical phenomena are used to describe the upheaval of dynasties, or great moral and spiritual changes.

The centuries which followed the fall of Jerusalem were destined to witness dynastic and social revolutions greater and wider than any which swept over Babylon and Egypt, and to these portents of Christian history the Lord's words may reasonably be referred. On the other hand, they do not exclude, perhaps they even suggest, a collapse of the present order of nature immediately before the Lord's second coming."

And Bengel: “The language is to be taken literally, as referring to a calamity different from those above described. Such language in the Old Testament refers in figure to what shall actually happen in the end of the world. Shall not give her light. In the ordinary course of

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