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evil continued to increase *, until it produced a further change from bad to worse, which will appear under the next seal.
But this alteration from white to fire-coloured; from primitive purity and charity, to envious, hate. ful, and murderous animosity; was the first great and notorious change which took place in the character of the Christian church; and did so confessedly follow, that few writers, who treat of its gradual degeneracy have omitted to notice it. The reader was presented with a sketch of the character of Chris. tianity under the first seal, in the words of Dr. Clarke. The same learned and accurate writer thus continues his narration; and it is surely the history of this second seal, although he did not intend it as such:
“ But an enemy soon sowed tares among this “ wheat, and contentious men very early began to build "" bay and stubble upon the foundation of Christ. Not .content with the simplicity and plainness of the .“ Gospel, which could possibly furnish no materials !' for strife and contention, vain men soon began to "mis their own uncertain opinions with the doctrine "' of Christ; and had no other way to give them " weight and authority, but by endeavouring to force "them upon the faith of others. And
And out of this “ bramble, as Jonathan foretold the men of Shechem,
a fire proceeded which hath devoured the cedars of -46 Lebanon Or, as the prophet Ezekiel expresses :“ himself concerning the Vine of Israel: A fire is
gone out of a rod of her branches, which hath de"voured her fruit. For, from a desire of being many “ masters ; from a desire of forcing mutually our
The account of which may be seen in Mosheim's History, vol. á pages 373, &c. 400. 415.
" own opinions on others, instead of exhorting them "to study and obey the Gospel of Christ; have arisen
strifes and contentions, hatred and uncharitable"ness, schisms and divisions without end. From “ whence, says Saint James, come wars and fightings
among you? Come they not hence, even of your " lusts which war in your members ? Froin a zeal for "ithe religion and for the commandments of Christ,
from a concern for the promoting of truth, righteousness, and charity, it is evident, in the nature of
things, and in the experience of all ages, that wars " and fightings, hatred and animosities, never have, “nor can proceed. These precious fruits have al
ways sprung from that root of bitterness, a zeal for “ the doctrines and commandments of men, a stri“ving for temporal power and dominion. At the first “ beginning of the mystery of iniquity, the builders “ of hay and stubble on the foundation of Christ, “ went no farther than to censoriousness and un;" charitableness towards their brethren. Against whom “ Saint Paul argues; Why dost thou judge thy brother, " or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? We “shall all stand before the judgment-seat, of Christ. “ But in process of time, as water, at a further dis“tance from the fountain, divides itself continually
into more streams, and becomes less pure ; so when men had once departed from the simplicity and
purity of the doctrine, and from the charitableness " of the Spirit of Christ, their hatred and animosities 13 against each other increased continually, till they "literally fulfilled that remarkable prophecy of our Aile Saviour, in which is contained a most severe re“ proof of those corrupters of the Gospel of truth and
charity, who he says would arise in following ages.
“I am come to send fire on the earth, Luke xii. 49. And, “ Think not that I am come to send peace on earth : “I came not to send peace, but a sword: for I am. “come to set a man at variance against his father, " and the daughter against her mother, and a man's “foes shall be they of his own household: Matt. x. “ 34. Nay, even that description which he gives of " the persecution which the Jews should bring ou as his disciples, the time cometh, that whosoever KIL
LETH you, will think that he doeth God service; even “this, in time, came to be fulfilled by one Christian, '(so they still called themselves,) it was fulfilled, I say, by one Christian upon another * '
CHAP. vi. VER. 5-6.
5 Και ότι ήνοιξε την 5 And when he opened
τρίτην σφραγίδα, , the third seal, I heard ήκεσα το τρίτα ζώα the third living-creaλέγοντG: "Έρχε. ture saying, “ Come;" (Kai sido] xj id's [and I beheld) and lo! ίππGμέλας, και
a black horse! and he ο καθήμενο επ' that sat on him hayaitor Exur Sugar Ev ing a yoke in his hand:
qñ xrigi ajtë, 6 And I heard a voice 6 Kai xxsoa quino
in the midst of the εν μέσω των τεσ- four living-creatures, σάρων ζώων λίγα
saying, “A chanix of σαν Χοίνιξ σίτα " wheat for a dena
5 And when he had
opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come, and see. And I beheld, and lo, a black horse ; and he that sat on him had
pair of balances in his 6 band. And I heard
a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny; and three
δηναρία, και τρείς χοίνικες κριθής δηναρίe" και το έλαιον και τον οίνον μη αδικήσης. .
rius, and three chee“ nices of barley for
denarius: and the " oil and the wine " thou may’st not in" jure."
measures of barley for a penny: and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
5. Lo ! a black horse !] Another change now ensues, still for the worse; by a colour the very opposite to white; a colour denoting mourning and woe, darkness and ignorance". What a change in this pure and heavenly religion ! but history will shew that Christianity, as professed and practised on earth, underwent this change; which will appear from the following notes.
Ib. He that sat on him having a yoke in his hand.] The word guyos, which in our common translation is rendered by a pair of balances, I have translated a yoke, for reasons now to be assigned.
1. Zuyos, and not Zevyos, is used by all the Greek writers, whether of the Old or New Testament, to signify Syy yoke, either in its proper or metaphorical sense ; the latter word expressing not the yoke, but the pair of oxen, horses, &c, which go under it ; (Lev. v. Jl. Luke 11. 24.) whence it comes to be used by the scriptural and other Greek writers, to signify
any kind whatever. 2. Zuyos, when used by the scriptural writers to signify a balance, is seen seldom, or perhaps never, to stand alone, as in this passage of the Revelation, but is joined to some other word or expression in the context, which points out this its borrowed significa.
Is. 1. 3. Jer, iv. 20. xiy, 2.
tion; such as Ζυγος σταθμιων, Ζυγος δικαιος, αδικος, ανομος, 'Porn Guys, and the like; without which, Suyos would necessarily be understood to mean simply a yoke : for it is only in a borrowed and secondary sense that supos can be taken to signify a balance. In its primary signification it is a yoke; that is, a staff, which having a link or small chain fixed to the middle of it *, was thereby suspended on the beam of the plough, or of the pole of the chariot, or wain, (like the swing-tree used in modern agriculture,) and from this, so suspended, the two beasts were to draw, the two ends of the staff or yoke being fixed to the necks or horns of the beasts. To render their draft equal, it was necessary that the staff, or yoke, should be divided equally at the point of draft, at the place where it was fastened by the link to the beam or pole; it was necessary also that it should hang loose, and play freely upon the pole. Such being the construction of the yoke, it is evident, that when the beasts were taken from under, it would remain suspended from the pole so evenly, and so freely, by the middle, as to exhibit the figure, and answer the purpose of the beam, or yard of a balance, or of a pair of scales. And it seems probable that this instrument, first used to fasten two beasts to a plough or carriage, in such a manner as that they mnight draw equally, afforded the first idea of determining weights, by fixing ropes and scales to each end of the yoke. Thus it seems that the word suyos, yoke, used with words in the context denoting the act of weighing, (but not otherwise,) came to signify a balance t.
Meron nabwy. Hom. Il, X. 212. + The manner in which the yoke was fastened to the pole, and