תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

garš asie méxas καιόμενο ως λαμπας, και έπεσεν επί το τρίτον των σολα

μών, και επί τας ση11 γας υδάτων. Και

το όνομα το αγέρος λέγεται ο "Αψινθος: και γίνεται το τρίτον των υδάτων είς αψινθον, και πολλοί των ανθρώπων απέθανον εκ των υδάτων,

ότι επικράνθησαν. . 12 Και ο τέταρτο.

αγελς εσάλπισε, και επλήγη το τρίτον τα ηλία, και το τρίτον τών άσίρων" ένα ακολισθη το τρίτον αυτών, και η ημέρα μη φαίνη το τρίτον wirñs, xazin vùš o μοίως. .

fell upon the third part
of the rivers, and upon

the springs of waters.
11 And the name of the

star is called the Worm-
wood; and the third
part of the waters be-
comes wormwood; and
many of the men died
of the waters, because

they were made bitter.
12 And the fourth angel

sounded; and the third
part of the sun was
smitten, and the third
part of the moon, and
the third part of the
stars; so that a third
part of them should
be darkened, and the
day might not shine,
as to the third part of
it, and the night like-
wise.

fountains of waters : 11 And 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 12 were made bitter, Aed

the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.

Ver. 6. And the seven angels, who had the sevent trumpets, prepared themselves to sound.] The former part of this chapter having prepared us for a new kind of representation, in which we may expect to find the history of those commotions which followed the descent of Christianity upon earth; we will in the next place observe, with what propriety they are severally introduced by the sound of Trumpets. Trumpets were in use among the Israelites for several purposes : first, for assembling the people *, or their leaders t; or,

* Numb. x. 2, 3.

† Ib. x. 4.

secondly,

secondly, to express joy and exultation on solemn festivals * ; or, lastly, to give signal when the camp was to move, or the host to go forth to battle t; on which occasion, the trumpets were to “sound an alarm," after a manner not used on other occasions f It was the signal of hostile invasion ç; it was fearful:-“Shall “ the trumpet be blown in the city, and the people “ not be afraid || ?” Of such kind we may account the seven trumpets of the angels. They are not the trumpets of the new moons and feast days I ; there is no joy and festivity in them; they are not for the quiet and peaceful calling of the assembly ; they sound an alarm; an alarm of war; and woe! woe! woe! accompanies their notes (ver. 13.): they foretel to the Church of Christ the invasions of its enemies, and are so many signals on the approach of each antichristian foe. And from the preparatory vision, in which incense and fire from the altar in heaven, are cast down to earth, producing violent commotions, we have reason to expect that Religion, or the pretence and abuse of it, is intimately connected with this warfare. This expectation will be confirmed by our observing, that the representation under every trumpet appears to have some reference to, or connection with, the preparatory vision. At the sounding of almost every one of which, somewhat is seen to fall from heaven to earth, as the incense and fire had fallen, and to occasion the commotions which ensue.

Ver. 7. And the first sounded.] The prophetic history of the four first trumpets is dispatched in few words, containing few images; so that much particular

* Numb. X. 10.

+ Ib. X. 5,
&c.

# Deut. 8.
Jer. iv. 5, 19, 21. vi, 1, 17. || Amos iii. 6.
#Psalm lxxxi. 3.
5

information

information cannot be safely collected from them. Like the first four vials, they seem to have a general character. The attack, whose alarm is sounded, falls in a fourfold division : first, on the land ; for, thus it seems to me that ü yn should be translated ; not in its general signification of the earth, as containing the land, sea, rivers, &c.; but in its particular sense, as opposed to the sea, &c. *: secondly, on the sea : thirdly, on the rivers and springs : fourthly, on the heavenly luminaries,—the sun, moon, and stars; that is, on the whole of God's creation. For in the xivth chapter of this book, verse the seventh, God is described as the Creator of all things, under these divisions : “ the heaven; and the earth; and the sea; " and the springs of waters.” The same divisions of the visible world (three of them often, sometimes four,) are to be seen in other passages of Scripturet. This mode of division is ancient, and passed to the Greek and Roman poets. Virgil, after his Greek masters, describing the creation, says:

Principio cælum et terras, camposque liquentes,
Lucentemque globum lunæ, titaniaque astra,
Spiritus intùs alit.

Æneid. vi. 724. * In confirmation of which we may observe, that in ch. xvi. all the seven angels are ordered 10 pour their vials on the earth, Eis the gño: and yet only one of them obeys the order literally and specially, as TRI

go: because, in pouring their vials on the sea, rivers, &c. they fulfil * the order in the general sense in which the word earth was applied.

The word is first used, generally, to signify the whole extent of the earth, as containing the land, sea, rivers, &c.; then particularly to mean that part of it only which we call the land.

† See Isaiah li. 15, 16. Hosea iv. 3. Nahum i. 4, 5. Hab. iii. 6, 8, 11. Zeph. i. 3. Hagg. ii. 6. Phil. ii. 10.

Know, first, that heav'n and earth's compacted frame,
And flowing waters, and the starry flame,
And both the radiant lights, one common Soul
Inspires and feeds, and animates the whole, DRYDEN.

In the fourfold enumeration before us, the rivers and springs are kept separate from the other waters, for a particular purpose of illustration, which will be seen. Hereby also is made that fourfold division, which, containing every part of the square, implies universality and completion *. For, as the vision of the four horses, at the voices of the four Cherubim, passing completely around every side or angle of the throne, is seen to exhibit a sketch of the Christian degeneracy in all its parts, from its first purity to its utmost corruption ;

White Horse,
First Cherub.

Παντα εν τη

Livid-green Horse,

Fourth Cherub.

Fire-coloured Horse,

Second Cherub.

τετραδι.

Black Horse,

Third Cherub, ---So, the four first trumpets seem to compose a whole, and, under a fourfold division, to represent all the parts of the Christian world as affected by the commotionsf:

First Trumpet,

Land.

Fourth Trumpet, Heavenly Luminaries.

Τετρας

omnium perfectissimus.

Second Trumpet,

Sea,

Third Trumpet,

Rivers, &c. * See note, ch. iv. 6.

+ I say the Christian world; for thus appear to me, those “new “ beavens," and that “ new earth,” described by the Prophets, and the Apostles, to be “ created after God in righteousness.” Isaiah li, 16. Eph. iv, 24. A A

And,

And, for this reason, it is not necessary to suppose that thesę attacks are made in an exact, successive, chronological order. If the whole of Christianity (as under the seals) were to undergo four several attacks, such attacks could only succeed each other ; but these assaults being upon the four parts of the whole, are not necessarily successive, but may

be

contemporaneous; each assault might begin, or end, at nearly the same time; and yet they would be narrated in a progressive order; for, the history of one part must be told before that of another.

Ver. 7. Hail and fire mingled with blood.] Both hail and fire are instruments of destruction. Hail is such more especially in the warmer climates, as may be seen in the accounts of modern travellers; affording such testimony, as to give perfect credibility to the Scriptural history, which relates surprising events of this kind. (See Job xxxviii. 23. Josh. x. 11. and the commentators.) And even in the climate of France, so congenial to our own, there are undoubted relations of such destructive effects from hail. During the expedition of our 'Third Edward against that kingdom in 1360, the hail-stones fell so large, as to kill men and beasts * The effect of fire and hail united, is seen in Exod. ix. 23. Psalms xviii. 12. cv. 32. cxlvii. 8. Ezek. xxxviii. 29. Eccl'us xxxix. 29. And the horror is increased by their being mingled with blood, as in Exod. iv. 9. vii. 17. Is. xv. 9. These, like the incense and fire in the preparatory vision, are cast to the earth; but not upon the earth in general; not upon every part of it, but upon that part, which,

• Froissart, liv. i. ch. 212. And extraordinary ravages by hail on the agriculture of France, are related by Mr. Arthur Young, in his late account of that kingdom. 5

distin

« הקודםהמשך »